Saturday, October 2, 2010

"IL DRACULARE" - Zacherley (1958)

We wished him happy birthday last Sunday, and the Magic Carpet Burn has recently handed out some extensive information on Zacherley that is well worth reading right HERE, but there is still more to be said!

Back in ancient times before computers, DVDs or even video, cable or FM radio, when a movie was released, you basically had one shot at seeing it in the theater, but with the advent of TV, also came the ability to show movies to the public again, and the concept of having a host arose, and nobody did it better than the legendary John Zacherle!!!

"THE ZACHERLEY ARCHIVES" is a hypnotizing bit of nostalgia featuring just some of John Zacherle's work, and we wouldn't have been able to present it here without the help of one of Zacherley's biggest fans, Professor Grewbeard!

It's hosted by John himself much later in life as a retrospective vision of his past, and his beautiful irreverent attitude, and "Cool Ghoul" laugh prevail throughout the whole presentation!!

He wasn't Zacherley at first, the makeup didn't really change, but his first outing was as Roland, the host of the Philadelphia show, "Shock Theater in 1958!

John Zacherle's contributions to horror history are similar to Forrest J. Ackerman's, because they both were devoted to promoting films, and their love of Monster Movies was obviously honest, and irrepressible!

This picture is from an awesome bit where John was setting up a tripod to lower himself to the center of the earth, and he gets tangled up in the ropes, and you can hear the guys off camera laughing! It's live TV with no chance for second takes, and John just plows on through, and the viewer gets a chance to see what impromptu and improvisation really means!

Interspersed in the video are ads for things like Playtex bras for $2.50, that show how dated the programs really are!

After 92 broadcasts, he changed his name to Zacherley and moved the show to New York, and the name was changed to "Zacherley At Large" as he was becoming a much more recognizable character!

What I have featured for you in tonight's sound clip is a portion of an opera entitled "Il Draculare" than John performed on the air. There is an array of crazy characters including Count Dracula, Larry Talbot, Dr. Frankenstein, and Princess Ananka!

If I pieced the whole thing together for you, it would probably amount to about 15 or 20 minutes, but you'll get enough to give you a good idea of the simply amazing talent of what was, and is, the greatest horror host of all time, the one, and only Zacherley!!

There once was actually a time in history when people with brains and imagination ran for political office whether it was in jest or not!!


prof. grewbeard said...

BRAVO & BRAVAH! how fortunate this performance was preserved, since it was only performed once and i'm sure Zach never thought it's come back to haunt him!

G. D. Wilson said...

Ya'll forget to add the sound clip?

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

GD G.D. - The highlighted "THE ZACHERLEY ARCHIVES"

Jack said...

There's something about that actors' face that looks extremely familiar. Was he ever on the Twilight Zone? I've wanted to get some of the seasons on Netflix. All 8 Fangoria Frightfest films are also up there such as Grimm Love, The Tomb & Fragile.

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Hey Jack, the reason his face looks so familiar is because it's ZACHERLEY!!!

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