Those of us who are horror fans can trace our obsession back to childhood. I specifically remember the autumn when Dark Shadows was to re-air and I became obsessed–just like those that came before me. Weeks before Dark Shadows was to begin, our local horror host in Memphis (where I spent my pre-teen years) advertised that Barnabas Collins was returning! Sivad was the name of our horror host and he would present movies on Fantastic Features each week. Although Sivad is now passed from this earth, he touch many fans and there are those who could not imagine their childhood without him.
This is the legacy of many of these horror hosts. They have cult followings. They would lead us into the darkness and show us the monster on the screen. Zacherley, Vampira and Bob Wilkins just to name a few of the hosts that have left an indelible impact on the horror movie world. These horror hosts paved the way for Elivra, Mistress of the Dark and Mystery Science Theatre 3000.
The legacy of the horror host is alive and well and there are those that are carrying on the tradition while paying homage to those who came before us. Current hosts like Penney Dreadful and Professor Anton Griffin have taken the tradition into the 21st Century and inspired new blood to take up the reins.
I would now like to introduce you to Danvers of Demented Features! Danvers, like many horror hosts, is not unlike a character from the films he shows. The premise of Danvers is that he is a patient in an insane asylum. His caretakers, Dr. Coate and Ivy Garland, are often the unwilling participants in Danvers mischief and Danvers is often enabled by the misguided Heather Stalker who brings him all manner of contraband. Demented Features has a unique quality, in that the show encompasses all horror hosts both past and present. Danvers describes it as if it’s like the Marvel or DC Universe–all horror host characters exist within the same world as each other. This premise sets up the opportunity to interact with other hosts in future episodes.
Demented Features is currently in their first season. You can subscribe to the Demented Features Youtube Channel or visit their website. Even with the support of fellow hosts and a growing audience, an independent show always struggles to get a foothold during their first steps. If you are a fan of horror and have a special place in your heart for the horror host you grew up with–or your current one–I encourage you to help support Demented Features.
I couldn’t end this post however without asking you share with us the memories of your local horror host in the comments!