Back in the 90’s, network TV had cancelled many of the amazing Horror Host shows that graced their airwaves as the TBS show Super Scary Saturday with host Grampa Munster was history in 1989 with that same year USA ended Commander USA’s Groovie Movies and even the original run of Movie Macabre with Hostess Elvira Mistress Of The Dark came to an end by the late 80’s. But in 1991 TNT stepped into the Horror Host game and delivered Monstervision to weekend viewers that became a mainstay for the station all the way to the year 2000! Most of you readers know Monstervision with its Host Joe Bob Briggs, but did you know that the show had more hosts then just him? That’s right before Joe Bob there was The Moon, Penn & Teller and Logo with Narrator’s Voice! And for this Horror Host Icon update we will be taking a quick and yet fun look at The Moon and The Narrator as I feel they are very important to the legacy of Monstervison as well. And I have been itching to talk about Monstervision and my Joe Bob Briggs update is in the works but still years away from being posted, so it’s with great pleasure that I bring to you Horror Host Icon: TNT Monstervision – The Moon & Narrator! So let’s get our MOOOONSTERVISION on.
TNT Monstervision started on June 29, 1991 and was a way to bring viewers marathons of classic Horror and Science Fiction films plus TV Shows as special epic feeling events. The marathons would run all night and would keep fans glued to the TV Screens fighting off sleep to watch all the cheesy goodness. And our guide for Monstervision for the first year or so was a smirking Moon who was in the sky who would accompany a Narrators Voice over, and this pairing clearly got joy in bringing you classic films for your late night viewing. The Moon in the sky seemed to always be looking at the viewer and with a half grin and a sinister glee in his eye it was as if he was warning you about the classic films that awaited you that evening’s marathon. While The Moon was silent his expressions really did say everything you needed to know as you entered the world of TNT’s Monstervision! While his run as the Host of Monstervision was very short The Moon made his impact not only with the fans but also in the world of Horror Hosting. And one other very important fact I would like to point out is when The Moon was the host all the films were classics from the 40’s-70’s and stayed clear of the rated R fright flicks the show would go on to be known for.
Sometime later before and even after comedy duo Penn & Teller took over for a very short time an amazing Voice Narrator was the soul host of the show and would talk over the shows opening as well as logo and title cards. The Narrator would make the show sound so epic as he would stress the shows title and deliver one of the best voiceovers for a Horror Host show in the 90’s. This Voice also helped co-host the show with The Moon and brought the excitement as his tone would boom! But to be honest there was two different voice actors that did the Narration for the show over the years and each brought their own touch or should I say golden pipes to the show. The Narrator would last as the host all the way up until 1996 when the show became a weekly program and had a permit host with a true icon of Horror Hosting the one and only Joe Bob Briggs who had his own announcer…so yeah I guess the show had a total of three…or at least I think three….so many classic voice work on this show!
Growing up I was much like James Rolfe (Angry Video Game Nerd) as I would grab the TV Guide and scroll through to find what monster movies were playing that week and when Monstervision was on it was like an all night marathon of cheesy and fun classic genre films! My Mom and Brother most of the time would remember for me what was coming on and I would rush to turn on the TV to watch the films. Monstervision through out it’s entire run was a very important part of my childhood as alongside USA Up All Night, Moraine Playhouse Theater and USA Saturday Nightmares during this time was must see TV for me and filled the void left behind of Commander USA, Dr. Creep and Grampa Munster being off the air. Crazy to think that Monstervision was the show that introduced me to many amazing classic Sci-Fi and Horror films with the one standing out the most to me being the 1956 film The Werewolf that aired on a Monstervision Marathon on Christmas night in 1993, I even taped it back then and became obsessed with that film for years after….sadly that VHS tape is long gone and I wish I had that airing for this update. While writing this update it was great to remember back to the early years of Monstervision when it was a true event when it came on and the films lasted all night and delivered chills, thrills and adventures to all those who watched. It’s a shame that TNT has followed the path of USA Network and have became a shell of what they use to be, but who knows now that they brought back wrestling to the station with AEW Dynamite so who knows maybe Monstervision’s return is in the cards as well with a new host or even back to the none hosted format, one thing is for sure if this happens I will be tuning in.
The Monstervision Narrators are as important to the shows history as Joe Bob Briggs and while the Moon might not be as remembered he still was apart of the shows legacy and made his mark on viewers. Now it’s time to take a look at the episodes of MonsterVision I have that feature The Moon or just The Narrator and I would like to thank Ebay and my friend Scott Scarborough for making this update possible. I want to remind everyone that I will not be giving these updates a star rating and I will take the films write up from our friends at IMDB and the Host write up is done by me. So lets get ready and take a look at MooooonnnnsssttteeerrVisssion!
TNT Monstervision: Spaced Out Adventures
Starring – Zsa Zsa Gabor & Peter Graves Not Rated 1958/1966/1952
Host: This episode is the combo of The Moon and the Narrator who bring us in and out of the movies. While The Moon looks smug and sinister the Narrator brings his A-Game of making the nights film and theme seem like the most important thing on TV that night.
Movies: Queen Of Outer Space: American astronauts are drawn by a mysterious force to the planet Venus, which they find to be inhabited only by beautiful women and their despotic queen. The Wild, Wild Planet: A deranged scientist is using his employer’s top-secret bio-laboratory to engage in clandestine eugenics experiments. When he starts kidnapping leading citizens for use in his twisted tests, it’s up to rogue cop Mike Halstead to come to the rescue of all and sundry, including his lady friend Connie, who is also being held captive by the madman. Red Planet Mars: An American scientist is able to contact and communicate with Mars with shattering political, economic, and spiritual repercussions.
TNT Monstervision: Outer Limits Vol. 2
Starring – Leonard Nimoy & Martin Sheen Not Rated 1963/1964
Host: This second TNT Monstervision salute to the Outer Limits Marathon has just the normal TNT Narrator taking us in and out for breaks. We also get a sneak peak at The Moon as they welcome us to Monstervision and that more episodes are to come.
Movie: Soldier: A soldier from the far future is accidentally teleported back to 1964. The psychiatrist assigned to examine the soldier realizes that he has been bred purely as a killing machine, but he believe he can reawaken the warrior’s humanity. Meanwhile, a second soldier arrives, dedicated to hunting and killing his enemy. I, Robot: A cynical lawyer is hired by a young woman to prove that her uncle was not killed by his invention – a sophisticated robot. Nightmare: A stranded team of soldiers are captured and experimented on by demonic looking aliens. Demon With A Glass Hand: Days ago, Trent awoke with no memory of his past. Since then, sinister men have pursued him constantly. He manages to stay one step ahead of them by following the advice of his hand. Made of glass and apparently capable of speech, Trent’s hand can answer many of his questions. But it cannot tell him who he is or why his enemies seek him until he finds all of its fingers. The only trouble is that they’re in the hands of his enemies. The Bellero Shield: Richard Bellero, a dedicated scientist, is working on experiments involving sending laser beams into outer space. His father, Richard Bellero Sr., believes the scientist isn’t strong enough to take over the Bellero business empire. In the meantime, Richard’s wife Judith has more than enough ambition for the two of them. Richard, through a freak accident, reels in a being from another dimension with his laser experiment. The being has a small device that can project a shield that no force can penetrate. The alien at first wants to learn all about earth that he can and Richard cooperates. Judith, however, sees the alien and the shield-projecting device, as a means to power. While Richard is away, Judith first tricks the alien to deactivating his shield device then shoots the alien to prevent him from departing Earth. She removes the hand held device while failing to notice it was connected to a vein in the alien — whose bodily fluid is the key to operating the device. This is the … Cry Of Silence: A couple find themselves lost and in the middle of a deserted valley. Then, they come under attack by a series of rocks, tumbleweeds and animals. What could be causing this assault?
Note From Matt: This was originally aired on November 30, 1991 on a Saturday night as part of their TNT Salutes The Outer Limits II event that featured a total of nine episodes. This tape only has 5 1/2 of the episodes. The episode Cry Of Silence is only partly there. Its missing the episodes “A Feasibility Study”, “Don’t Open Till Doomsday” and “The Chameleon”.
TNT Monstervision: Outer Limits Vol. 5
Starring –Don Gordon & Peter Breck Not Rated 1963/1964
Host: This classic Monstervision marathon has just the Narrators Voice set over TV Screens that show clips of the show The Outer Limits.
Movie: Moonstone: A lunar exploration team from Earth encounters alien life, and must make a difficult decision. The Human Factor: At an isolated military installation in Greenland, Major Brothers has allowed one of his men to die after falling in a crevasse. Suffering from hallucinations, he goes to Dr. Hamilton. Hamilton has invented a device that allows him to read the thoughts of another person. Hamilton and Brothers connect via the device, but then a power surge causes the unthinkable: the minds of the two men switch bodies. The deranged Major Brothers is bent on destroying the whole base. Unfortunately, his mind is in the psychiatrist’s body, and the other base workers know nothing of the mind switch. The Duplicate Man: When a dangerous alien creature called a Megasoid escapes, the scientist who smuggled him to Earth creates an illegal clone of himself to hunt it down. But his plan is complicated when his neglected wife begins to fall in love with his duplicate. The Forms Of Things Unknown: Two female friends poison a sadistic blackmailer, then while fleeing happen upon an isolated house containing a time machine. Kasha, his lover, and Leonora, the daughter of the blackmail target, fight to bury him before the idealistic inventor Tone Hobart is able to re-animate the murdered man, by tilting him back into the past. The Invisibles: Aliens plan to take over the U.S. by recruiting disaffected loners who are themselves “invisible” to normal society. The alien crab-like creatures attach themselves to human hosts and control them. The recruits are assigned low-level jobs of highly appointed government officials so they can get the alien in close proximity to them. A U.S intelligence agent infiltrates the alien organization, but it may be too late. O.B.I.T.: While operating the Outer Band Individuated Teletracer, or O.B.I.T. machine, in a military base, Captain Harris is strangled. U.S. Senator Orville arrives at the base to investigate his murder and learns that there are several bases with the O.B.I.T. machine, which is capable to monitor in a video display the privacy of any person anywhere. Along his investigation, Senator Orville asks for information about the OBIT, such as who is the manufacturer, price, who bought, but no user has any information about the mysterious machine. The Guests: A drifter enters a lonely house, unaware that it is actually an alien creature in disguise. Soon he realizes that he is a prisoner, along with several other half-mad inhabitants, but he is determined to escape.
Note From Matt: This was originally aired on February 27, 1993 on a Saturday night as part of their TNT Salutes The Outer Limits V event that featured a total of nine episodes. This tape only has 6 1/2 of the episodes and at the start the commercials have been removed and later in the tape some commercials are shown and the recorders editing becomes very sloppy as parts of episodes are even cut off. The episode The Guest is only the first 17 minutes of the episode.
TNT Monstervision: House Of Wax (1953)
Starring – Vincent Price & Carolyn Jones Rated PG 1953
Host: Film Director Tim Burton opens the show talking about his love for House Of Wax as well as a little about the films production and history.
Movie: Professor Henry Jarrod is a true artist whose wax sculptures are lifelike. He specializes in historical tableau’s such a Marie Antoinette or Joan of Arc. His business partner, Matthew Burke, needs some of his investment returned to him and pushes Jarrod to have more lurid exposes like a chamber of horrors. When Jarrod refuses, Burke set the place alight destroying all of his beautiful work in the hope of claiming the insurance. Jarrod is believed to have died in the fire but he unexpectedly reappears some 18 months later when he opens a new exhibit. This time, his displays focus on the macabre but he has yet to reproduce his most cherished work, Marie Antoinette. When he meets his new assistant’s beautiful friend, Sue Allen, he knows he’s found the perfect model – only unbeknown to anyone, he has a very particular way of making his wax creations.
Note From Matt: This was apart of a MonsterVision event that was called “Our Favorite Movies” that had director Tim Burton not only hosting House Of Wax bust also the films Mysterious Island, The Time Machine and 7 Faces Of Dr. Lao. This originally aired on July 28, 1994 on a Thursday night and my friend Scott only recorded this movie.
TNT Monstervision: Fiend Fiesta Pt. 2
Starring – William Hooper & Ray Corrigan Not Rated 1957/1958
Host: The Narrator ushers us in and out of the film over clips of films with his spooky voice echoing out. This also the classic colorized film bumpers that helped push Monstervision into super popularity. Plus we get cool Monstervision bumpers and ads.
Movie: 20 Million Miles To Earth: The first spaceship to visit Venus crash lands in the sea, freeing a small native Venusian creature called the Ymir. Eventually growing to enormous size, it threatens the city of Rome. IT! The Terror From Beyond Space: In 1973, the first manned expedition to Mars is marooned; by the time a rescue mission arrives, there is only one survivor: the leader, Col. Edward Carruthers, who appears to have murdered the others! According to Carruthers, an unknown life form killed his comrades during a sandstorm. But the skeptical rescuers little suspect that “it” has stowed away for the voyage back to Earth.
Note From Matt: These are two of the films that showed on August 27, 1994 as part of the “Famous Last Words/Fiend Fiesta” themed marathon and was the last two films of the night! The first three minutes or so of 20 Million Miles To Earth is missing
TNT Monstervision in all its forums and all its hosts over the years has always been something very special to those of us who grew up watching it and is truly missed by late night TV watchers. I for one would like to see it return to air with a new host (as Joe Bob Briggs is hosting the Last Drive In on Shudder and is delivering one of the best Horror Host programs going) or even just bring back The Moon and Narrator as the world truly needs this and I feel that if Ted Turner was still in charge of TNT the show would have never went away fully as by 2001 most of what made stations like TNT and TBS special was washed away by AOL and Time Warner and as I have stated before they are both just a shell of what they use to be and only delivering a small amount of programing that is worth watching with most programs being aired are just bad reruns of crime shows. For me The Moon and Narrator for TNT Monstervision are true Icons in the world of Horror Hosting and helped make my childhood amazing! Sadly I don’t think Monstervision will ever come back on TNT, but what will be coming back in my next blog update as I will be doing another in my From Horror Movie To Horror Comic updates to help ring in the Halloween season as I will be talking about Wolf Cop and the comic mini series based around it! So until next time read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you soon for a ride along with a werewolf who has a badge that likes beer and doughnuts.