Writer and former horror TV show host John Stanley discussed his career interviewing stars associated with horror and sci-fi, and also shared some spooky real-life incidents. Among his Hollywood tidbits:
- Lucille Ball, head of Desilu Studios in the 1960s, was the one who made the decision not to cancel the Star Trek TV series.
- Gene Roddenberry had a falling out with Paramount and the studio took away his creative power when the first Star Trek movies were made.
- Robert Bloch, the author of Psycho signed away his rights after the first film of his book, and did not see any profits from the Psycho sequels.
- When Stanley first interviewed Vincent Price in 1979, the actor denied that he was a horror film star and referred to those films as "action thrillers."
Stanley, who hosted the "Creature Features" program on KTVU in Oakland, noted that many cities had their own horror hosts such as the Ghoul, Elvira, Zacherley and Dr. Morgus. But the popular trend began to fade in the wake of cable television's dominance, and the more violent and extreme horror films of the 70s and 80s weren't as suitable for syndication, he explained.
In 1978, Stanley took part in a séance held at the "Slaughterhouse" in Oakland, which was known for ghostly activity. In attendance were such notables as Sylvia Browne (who went into a trance), and parapsychologist Nick Nocerino, who had taken some unusual photos of the house. Later, said Stanley, a San Francisco Chronicle photographer captured an anomalous image of the house that matched some of Nocerino's. For more, view a set of photos Stanley sent us.
Chinese Toy Recall
In the first hour, game inventor Tim Walsh appeared briefly to report on Mattel's recall of Chinese-made toys. He was followed by Marianne Szymanski with Toy Tips, who discussed concerns over lead paint and magnets. She suggested that parents go through their children's toys and remove anything that might fall into the recall category.