It’ll soon be Halloween and the little ghosts and goblins will be out ‘trick or treating’. To celebrate this ‘scary’ holiday, all 5 questions this week are associated with all things Halloween. (but maybe in name only). Pretty simple right? By the way, for anyone wondering where the title of this week’s quiz comes from, it’s a lyric line in the Ray Stevens 1963 Top Twenty hit song, “Harry the Hairy Ape”.
1. This British group from the 1960’s, aptly named for Halloween, didn’t sing about ghosts, haunted houses or scary things at all. They sang about love gone bad and love betrayed, things like that. They had 3 Top Ten hits from 1964 until 1969. Several TV shows and recent movies feature creatures known for their ‘undead’ ways. That name also applies to this group only they weren’t ‘undead’, they were musicians. If you really need a hint, these creatures like to eat brains (the musicians do not, so far as I know). Now, what’s the name of this British band?
2. This song was inspired by the ‘horror’ movies that starred Freddy Kruger. The singer and co-writer of the song (it was a duo) went on to major TV fame in a series set in the ritzy suburb of Los Angeles called Bel Air, then became one of the hottest film stars in Hollywood, even taking a turn portraying Muhammad Ali. Can you guess the name of this ‘fresh’ performer? (Ok, I’m just giving away the answers now.)
3. As a recurring sketch on a certain Canadian comedy TV series, this character, dressed like Dracula, hosted a fake TV show that showed bad horror films. This character was also one of the TV series’ ‘fake’ newscasters named for CTV’s Lloyd Robertson. He was Big Jim McBob who loved to ‘blow up things up real good’ and played Guy Caballero, the owner of SCTV who always rode around in a wheelchair. He later appeared as a regular in two TV series, “Maniac Mansion” and “Freaks & Geeks” and had a small part as a Western Union man in “Back To The Future II”. In 1982, while SCTV was still on the air, he released a record on RCA with only four parody songs on it (it didn’t chart or frankly, sell very well and is now a highly prized collector’s item. Guess who has a copy? Yep, it’s me!) Can you name this very funny, versatile and “oooo, that was scary wasn’t it kiddies” actor?
4. We’re going all the way back to 1958 for this one and it may be the toughest question of all because it might be a little too obscure. This ‘character’ hosted a TV show in Philadelphia that showed horror films. He dressed all in black (and he wasn’t Johnny Cash either) and wore heavy make up that made him appear very scary. His nickname was ‘the cool ghoul’ if that helps at all (but it most likely won’t). His last name starts with the last letter of the alphabet. He released an album and a 45rpm single (remember them?) on Cameo Records, also based in Philadelphia, the same label as ‘60’s teen idol Bobby Rydell, The Orlons, The Dovells and Dee Dee Sharp. So with heavy heart, I ask the question that I doubt many will be able to answer – what’s the name of this ‘cool ghoul’? Or, do you know the name of his Top Ten 45 single maybe?
5. This heavy metal rocker’s real name is Robert Cummings (although he changed it later to a more suitable macabre name). He grew up in Massachusetts with a deep love for horror films. He formed his band in the 1980’s with his then girlfriend. It took them a number of releases before Geffen Records signed them to a contract. Over the course of the rest of their career, they sold several million albums, but broke up in 1998, which is when he went solo. He’s since directed several horror films. Who is this guy?
1. The Zombies charted a slew of hits on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart, including three Top Ten hits, “She’s Not There” (# 2 in 1964); “Tell Her No” (# 6 in ‘1965) and “Time Of The Season” (# 3 in 1969). The group was formed at St. Alban’s School in England in 1962. The two best known members are Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone (who still tour as The Zombies today). Rolling Stone Magazine ranks The Zombies 1968 album, “Odessey and Oracle” at # 100 in their list of the “500 Greatest Albums Of All Time’.
2. The song, “A Nightmare On My Street” by D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince went to # 17 on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart in 1988. The Fresh prince aka Will Smith starred in the TV series “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” from 1990 to ’96. Will’s hit films have included “Independence Day”, “Men In Black I”, “Ali”, “Men In Black II”, “Bad Boys I & II”, “Hitch”, “Hancock” and “Men in Black 3”. Combined, his films have grossed over 6 BILLION $$. Will has completed the film “Focus”, scheduled for release next year. Plus “Bad Boys 3” and “Hancock 2” have both been announced as on his schedule in the next couple of years, but neither are as yet in production.
3. If you guessed Count Floyd, give yourself a pat on the back. Count Floyd aka Joe Flaherty, hosted “Monster Horror Chiller Theatre” on SCTV as well as a stable of other zany characters. Prior to moving to Canada, Joe was a member of Chicago’s Second City, then moved to New York where he was a regular performer on ‘National Lampoons Radio Hour” during 1973 and ’74, with such other funny performers as Chevy Chase, Bill Murray and Gilda Radner (this was just before the launch of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” in 1975). Flaherty moved to Toronto where he helped launch Canada’s Second City and later SCTV. The 1982 RCA mini LP was called simply, “Count Floyd” and featured 4 songs, “The Gory Story of Duane and Debbie”, Treat You Like A Lady”, Reggae Christmas Eve In Transylvania” and “Count Floyd is back”. A copy of the mini LP is currently listed on ebay, selling for $12.99. Ironically, the 45rpm single of “Count Floyd Is Back” from the mini LP is available on ebay for $19.99.
4. John Zacherle (nicknamed ‘The Cool Ghoul’) was the host of Philadelphia’s WCAU TV, Channel 10’s “Shock Theatre” beginning in 1957 (and then on WABC TV, New York and finally WOR, New York). He played a character named Roland, who lived in a crypt. Zacherle was so popular in Philadelphia that he had over 800 fan clubs. The station held an open house and expected that maybe 2,000 fans would show up. 14,000 Zacherle followers made the pilgrimage to visit the studio where their hero broadcast his program causing a major traffic jam on the streets nearby the station. Zacherle’s only hit single, “Dinner With Drac Part 1” climbed all the way to # 6 on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart in 1958. You can check out the story of Zacherle (who’s still alive and kicking) at www.zacherle.com.
5. Any heavy metal fan would know that the guy we were looking for is Rob Zombie. Rob’s love of horror films is legendary. He named his first group White Zombie after the 1932 Bela Lugosi movie of the same name. His first horror movie as a writer/ director was “House Of 1000 Corpses” in 2003. Rob wrote and directed “Halloween” in 2007 and “Halloween II” in 2009. His latest is this years’ “The Zombie Horror Picture Show”.