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By Emily Booth, Monday 29th June 2015
So I was fishing around on Twitter when I see a link to a podcast mentioning my name and was pleasantly surprised the podcast was all about the grand tradition of the ‘Horror host’ and I was among them alongside Queen of Horror Hosting; Elvira. I must admit – I did feel proud for she is, along with her ‘Haunted Hills’ movie and theme park rides a bit of an icon for me. Although it’s clear the likes of Elvira and Dr Terror are in a different camp to me, theirs being character led, hammy ‘Mwah ha ha ha’ types while I am more of a straight presenter we are all batting for the same side; giving the horror industry ‘a face.’
But why is this tradition so fitting for the horror genre specifically? The Total Cuts Podcast #97 pondered the idea and one of the chaps (either Doctor Gogol or James Tricks – not sure!) said perhaps it was to lessen the blow of the ‘horror’ element in the movies coming up, to lighten some of the gravitas associated with the genre. Click here to hear the funny and informative podcast
I personally think that Horror, essentially harks back to a time when fairytales were passed on by storytellers to warn little children of the dangers in life; Horror is in fact ripe for needing a ‘bedtime storyteller,’ someone to entice you in. I think the Horror Host is there to prepare you for what’s to come. Horror is essentially deeply psychological so the host is the one who invites you to think about what you’re about to see.
And of course, horror being one of the most versatile genres, sitting as comfortably with emotionally driven drama as it does with comedy and Sci Fi, it is definitely a genre you can ‘play’ with.
But this got me thinking! We are all clearly nostalgic for the 80’s high trash fun that Elvira brought to her movie introductions, and then later in the early 90’s the more classy quintessentially British tones Guy Henry brought to his BBC 2 Dr Terror intros. But has this sense of high camp fun in the horror genre disappeared somewhat? Are you, the fans craving that back or does it belong in the past?
I love character driven presenting (I’ve done this a few times as Pussycat Gethsemane and then as Eden on ‘Out There’) but of course for Horror Channel I am also a serious reporter and journalist on the genre so I need to be just Emily Booth for my job, but how about a Horror Special? A whole night of high camp horror hosting in that 1980’s vein where I ‘ham it up for Hammer!’ I’ll see what I can do if you guys think that’s something you’d like to see!
While I was thinking about traditional Horror hosting it struck me that ones ‘horror name’ was incredibly important in creating your identity, and is something you really can have fun with so I asked my twitter fans to come with their own spooky Horror names!
Richard Tandy; Frankencock (really made me giggle) Tom Pike as Tomb Spike, Mark West cleverly came up with Murky Westphalia, James Buckingham somehow got to Cheesecake Fungalmartyr (??!) while @nevernotdave gave me Elle Raiser (like that last one v subtle) There were tons more as this proved to be a popular twitter subject but I think I’ll end on my new Horror Name - Countess Boothula!
Till next time Boys and Ghouls!
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