Celebrating 'Creature Features' in San Francisco   

May 12, 2008 If you are 35 or older and live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you likely remember "Creature Features," the late night horror show that had the balls to play Dario Argento's "Deep Red" on TV. A new documentary on the series is screening in nearby Oakland this month.

The film airs Thursday, May 15, at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. at the Grand Lake Theater, 3200 Grand Ave., Oakland, California.

Conceived and produced by Tom Wyrsch, and written and directed by Michael Monahan, "Watch Horror Films – Keep America Strong" celebrates the unique and lasting contributions of hosts Bob Wilkins and John Stanley to Bay Area broadcasting, makes its premiere at Oakland’s historic Grand Lake Theater in a benefit screening for the Bob Wilkins Foundation. Special guests at this event will include John Stanley, Sally Wilkins, Bob Shaw, Ernie (Hardware Wars) Fossellius – with others yet to be announced.

KTVU’s Creature Features (1971–1984) remains the most-loved, best-remembered local program in San Francisco Bay Area broadcast history. “Watch Horror Films – Keep America Strong!” was the rallying cry of host Bob Wilkins as he lured unsuspecting audiences into viewing the type of film usually found clinging to the bottom of the cinematic barrel.

After nearly eight years enticing viewers with the irresistible promise of the awful, Bob Wilkins passed the torch to San Francisco Chronicle film critic and author John Stanley, who expanded the creative boundaries of the program, offering a singularly ambitious vision of Creature Features for many years after.

Blending newly filmed interviews with crew, family and fans with rare footage unseen since originally aired, Watch Horror Films – Keep America Strong recalls the strange and wonderful era of local television. The film is an affectionate tribute to a special time and place – and to the special people who entertained and inspired a generation of viewers.

In recent years, Bob Wilkins has struggled with the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Proceeds from this film will go directly to the Bob Wilkins Foundation to assist in his care.

Tom Wyrsch is the author of The Bob Wilkins Scrapbook and The John Stanley Scrapbook.
He is also the Creature Features Archivist.

Michael Monahan is the Associate Producer and Researcher for American Scary (2006) and author of an upcoming book on the national history of the TV horror movie host.

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