Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Every Other Day is Halloween (2010)

In C.W. Prather’s documentary Every Other Day is Halloween, viewers are taken on a nostalgic and whimsical trip back in time to the golden age of television horror hosts, a time when local TV’s witching hour was ruled by ghouls and boils introducing old black and white movies for a generation of delighted fans. Prather focuses on one of the most well-known and longest running horror hosts, Count Gore De Vol, played by Dick Dyszel, as we are given a glimpse into his wacky world.

Though Count Gore De Vol is a very recognizable horror host and still makes regular appearances at conventions and hosts his own online horror show, I wasn’t that familiar with the character’s creator, Dick Dyszel. This documentary does a wonderful job at connecting the audience to the kind man behind the well-known cape! From his beginnings as playing Bozo the Clown and Captain 20 for local kid’s shows on Channel 20 in Washington D.C., we see Dyszel’s growth and desire to do something for the adults – hence Count Gore De Vol’s first show in 1973!

We are shown lots of vintage footage of Dyszel as his different characters, with the focus of course on the Count. We also see interviews with people Dyszel’s show, Creature Feature, influenced, including writers like Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), filmmakers such as Jeff Krulik (Heavy Metal Parking Lot), Scream Queens Leanna Chamish (Stakes) and Eleanor Herman (Night Beast) as well as a new generation of horror hosts including John Dimes (“Dr. Sarcofiguy”) and Jerry Moore II (“Karlos Borloff”). There are also lots of nostalgic recollections from regular old horror fans who watched his show when they were kids as well as from the man himself, Dick Dyszel. In one touching segment Dyszel recalls having Forrest J. Ackerman on the show and we are treated to rare footage of the interview.

Much of the footage shown in this documentary is rare or has never been seen before, adding to the deeply nostalgic feel of the documentary. Though I was too young to recall Count Gore De Vol’s long-running TV show Creature Feature, I still deeply appreciate the era of horror hosts and especially pioneers such as Dick Dyszel. When horror hosts seemed a thing of the past in the early ‘90s, Dyszel resurrected Count Gore De Vol and decided to host his show on the Internet (and this was back when people were still on dial-up). He is considered the first ever Internet horror host!

Nowadays, we are seeing a resurgence of horror hosts, many who claim Dyszel and his Count Gore De Vol character were huge influences on them. Many of these modern horror hosts are interviewed, including Penny Dreadful, The Bone Jangler, Karlos Borloff and more! It’s amazing to see what a gigantic impact horror hosts like Dyszel made on today’s performers and it’s pretty heartwarming to see such a great guy like Dyszel still getting adoration from fans!

Hard-working horror hosts like Dyszel basically reared a generation of horror fans and influenced a whole new breed of horror hosts to go on and inspire another generation of horror fans. Since many horror fans have horror hosts to thank for introducing them to the genre, it’s quite a treat to watch this documentary and get a behind-the-scenes peek at Dick Dyszel’s long (and still going strong) career as Count Gore De Vol!

If you are looking for a superb documentary that takes you down memory lane, check out Every Other Day is Halloween. It’s a fascinating and fun look at horror host Dick Dyszel’s life and will make you nostalgic for the golden years of horror hosts as well as make you excited for the horror hosts in years to come!

Available from Amazon!

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