Monday, October 30, 2006

Smith's horror bags

Horror and spooky themes have been a popular form, for a number of products, especially children's sweets and snacks. Advertisers are very clever in releasing a product that will attract their consumers, they only have to come up with some sort of theme that they know will sell a product. They can put a theme to any item, whether it is connected to the theme or not. Film and TV characters are especially very popular amoung children, monsters are another.
One such product from the 1970's was the corn snack made by Smith's Crisps [now Walker's]Horror bags. These came in 5 different flavored shaped snacks which included Fangs,Bones,Bats,Ribs and Claws. A similiar type snack would come out later-Monster Munch,which is still in production today.
As well as the cool artwork that adornded the packaging such as a top hatted vampire for Fangs and Claws, a skeleton for bones and a bat for bats, Smith's would sometimes have spooky promotional items that you could send away for by collecting so many tokens from the backs of the wrappers. These items included a set of four Horror grippers [see picture above], picture cards, a set of five plastic Creepy Clutchers [see below], a snakes and ladders type game called Serpents and Stairs [see below], a game called Identi-kit in which you had to sort out the sections of card body parts to make up the monsters and lay them in the card graves [something like that]. Take a look at the Identi-kit advertisement from Look-in for the kit below. I remember
a friend of mine from school had a black vinyl swimming bag featuring the vampire from horror bags printed on it in white, something he or his parents had sent for from horror bags. I tried for ages to try and persuade him to sell me it, but is parents wouldn't let him. If there is anyone who remembers horror bags and sent for items themselves or have any magazine/comic advertisements please let me know. maybe I could add some more pictures to this post.

Friday, October 27, 2006

horror double bills

One of the things I used to look forward to usually on a friday night was the horror double bills that were shown on TV. Many of these were seen before the advent of video/dvd and even channel 4. Unlike now when we have a choice of what films we can buy or rent and watch anytime we like over and over again, the 1970's/early eighties you either watched these films or miss them and not knowing when they would appear again on TV. Now we take for granted what we watch and when we watch. These horror double bills were the highlight of many a horror/film fan. On some occasions I used to set up a tape recorder next to the TV so that I could listen to the audio from the film, which was a little like re-watching the film again. It was great as you had to use your imagination to work out what was going on. The downside of recording straight from the TV speaker was that there was a constant buzz on the soundtrack and you had to try and record when nobody was in the same room, so as not to get people talking in the background or the dog barking.
Here is a list of the horror double bills that were broadcast during the 70's/80's:

Fantastic Double Bill (1975) BBC 2

August 2nd 1975
The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari (1919)
Quatermass 2 (1957)
August 9th 1975
The Tell Tale Heart (1963)
The Premature Burial (1961)
August 23rd 1975
This Island Earth (1955)
Barbarella (1968)
August 30th 1975
The Cat and the Canary (1939)
The Comedy of Terrors (1963)
September 6th 1975
The Beast with five fingers (1947)
The Maze (1954)

Masters of Terror (1976)

August 14th (1976)
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde (1932)
August 21st (1976)
Devil Doll (1932)
Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)
August 28th (1976)
The Hounds of Zaroff (1932)
Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)
September 5th (1976)
The Mad Genius (1931)
The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)
September 12th (1976)
The Walking Dead (1936)
Dracula Prince of darkness (1966)

Dracula, Frankenstein and Friends 1977

July 2nd 1977
Dracula (1931)
Frankenstein (1931)
July 9th 1977
Bride of Frankensstein (1935)
Brides of Dracula (1960)
July 16th 1977
The Mummy (1932)
The Wolfman (1941)
July 23rd 1977
Son of Frankenstein (1939)
Kiss of the Vampire (1964)
July 30th 1977
Dracula's Daughter (1936)
Plague of the Zombies (1966)
August 6th 1977
The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)
The Premature Burial (1961)
August 13th 1977
The Raven (1935)
The Black Cat (1933)
August 20th 1977
Frankenstein meets the Wolfman (1943)
The Raven (1963)
August 27th 1977
House of Frankenstein (1944)
The Reptile (1966)
September 3rd 1977
Son of Dracula (1943)
Evil of Frankenstein (1964)
September 10th 1977
House of Dracula (1945)
Fall of the House of Usher (1960)

More to follow later.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

National Lottery werewolf TV ad.

I thought I would post a link to the National Lottery Over the moon TV ad, because it is very much like the style and atmosphere for the Lon Chaney (1941) Wolfman film. Shame the ad isn't longer

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Horror/monster TVadverts

There have over the years been many television advertisements which featured horror or monsters even if the actual product was nothing to do with the theme. Ones that come to mind include the Holston Pills ads, the one with Griff Rhys Jones incorprated in a scene with Peter Cushing, Haywards Pickles with Vincent Price, Ted Rodgers [of 321 fame] as a werewolf in the Mountain Dew ads [Soocckk!!], the Electricity ads with several classic monsters including Frankenstein's monster and family. I am sure there are many more. I'll post more when I can think of them. The ones I remember that advertised Horror/monster type products included a vampire in top hat walking into a dungeon or lab, the vampire was played by Frank Thornton [Are you being served] this was a advert for Smith's Horror Bags, there was the Monster Munch ads, one or two for the 80's Scream comic and I am sure many more. If you think of any others, please let me know in the comments section, especially if you know where these ads can be seen.

For the moment here is a ad from the 1970's featuring Frankenstein's monster and Dr. Frankenstein advertising Hoff Meister lager.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Good, you are here! Please enjoy.

You are here at the dusty and old Cobwebbed Room, please pull up a chair. Sorry about the Rat knawing at your shoe, or the spider weaving a web around your arms and legs; it's just that we don't receive visitors often and the spider only wraps webs around those it likes, so think yourself fortunate. The ones that have visited that have not stayed, because of their constant nagging [Ooohh this place is a disgrace, when was the last time you cleaned up, get that rat off my ass.....] were dragged from the Rat's clutches and lowered out of the room into the underground vaults [I think there is a way out...eventually].
So please be civil, it's only a little decoration and entertainment, its all good fun, I want to share with you my delicacies from the Cobwebbed room's archives of HORRRRRRROOOOOOORRRR.