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The Horror Host Hotel Proudly Presents:

Black Sky Cinema!

Somewhere in the dark, cold reaches of Minnesota lies the family estate of Gortem Shreek, a horror film aficionado of the first order whose mission is to bring you the joy of terror--good movies, bad movies, silent movies and everything in between.  Each week Black Sky Cinema brings you the Sinister-Minister of monster movies and his collection of bizarre houseguests, relatives and strange medicinal brews.

From the grounds and hallowed halls of the Shreek estate, each week unsuspecting viewers in Minnesota and Iowa receive a show that, in many ways, reflects the oldest traditions of the horror hosting craft.  In the summer of 2003, Black Sky Cinema (my vote for coolest show title today, by the way) began in bare bones style, so to speak, with a simple goal--to reanimate the corpse of the old fashioned late night spook show.  In that spirit, the show began with the host, Mr. Shreek, a scary skull on a stick, Pimp Deady, and a simple desire to bring monster movies to local TV--like it used to be in the good old days.  From there it has evolved into a show with characters of various dispositions--the eternally toasted Me Zombie, the valiant space traveler Atomic Monster and the sinister Ivar Thoth.  And in the dungeon is wizened, cantankerous Grandpa Shreek, who hates "yammerin' talkies" and can fling phrases like "new-fangled,"  "whipper-snapper" and "back in my day" quicker than the oatmeal runs through the geriatric ward.

Black Sky Cinema and Mr. Shreek:  The most salient trait of Black Sky Cinema and its progenitor, the mysterious Mr. Shreek, is its genuine love of the classics.  It is utterly clear that the host has a devoted reverence for the pioneers of horror films going all the way back to the days of silent film.  Even the earliest sets of the show featured the icons of original horror cinema . . . Lon Chaney, Sr., Boris Karloff, and an unmatched favorite, Bela Lugosi.  As Mr. Shreek often says, "We love Bela around the Shreek parlor." 

From all this, you get the clear impression that Mr. Shreek is on a mission to get his viewers to see the value of these seminal horror screen stars in a renewed respect.  For those of us who remember what a treat it was to see Dracula or The Mummy's Tomb in our local TV listings, this is an aspect of the show that will bring a smile to your face.  For the younger viewers, it is a good education so put down your damn iPods and pay attention!

The show often operates in a free form style--again, just like the old days--and through it all, Gortem Shreek maintains a kind of sly smile . . . as though things are never quite what they appear to be.  Black Sky Cinema also has a kind of honest enthusiasm for fun in front of the camera and it is clear Mr. Shreek is enjoys every second of his show.

There are several recurring visitors to the Shreek estate who provide Shreek with a constant supply of weirdness.  Played by the one and only Rock and Roll Ray, these characters offer updates on their strange lives and in the case of Grampa Shreek, a lot of uninvited opinions about "these kids today."  The story of this potent combination was relayed to us by Ray in a recent correspondence:

I met Shreek in late summer of 2004.  He was a special guest on Richard "A-Bomb" Klatte's cable access show, a show I appeared on frequently.  Shreek had heard of the Atomic Midnight Shows I was involved with and asked if I would want to appear on his Black Sky Cinema.  I told him sure and also told him about some of the characters I did for Atomic Midnights. They'd be perfect for Black Sky Cinema. It worked out very well and I've been a frequent guest on his show ever since.

Atomic Monster:    The Atomic Monster was created way back in 1999 and used for a trailer called THE MONSTER VS. RASSLER X which played after Rock and Roll Ray's short subject, THIS IS BIGFOOT. "Since then, it's been like my own Robby The Robot, making numerous appearances mainly during my hosting a run of Atomic Midnights. However, when it came to appearing on BSC, it had to talk.

I had to think for about a half a year.  At first, he would just make growling monster noises which Shreek would understand and whole conversations would ensue.  Shreek was great at asking questions and carrying those segments.  Then, the time for Atomic Monster talking came when Shreek took a break and had me fill in BSC with Rock and Roll Ray's Grinderhouse Horrors.  For those four shows it would just be me. So, when Atomic Monster hosted an episode, I decided that he would have a translator device so the people at home could understand him. I went for the Ro-Man voice and that started a whole new life for the character. For his head design, I wanted the cyclops thing with a Jack Kirby flare."

Me Zombie:  According to Ray, "The character's name and personality was made up about 10 minutes before taping the episode. Me Zombie is a play on "I Zombie."

Me Zombie is a throw back to the days of the West Indies zombie. He once worked as an extra on the film WHITE ZOMBIE, but was killed during production and resurrected as a zombie to work in the sugar cane fields.  Me Zombie escaped and then, because he's dead, discovered that he could work many more jobs than your regular living person and has been living a full after life ever since.  As a result, he typically has 9 or 10 jobs to go to each week. 

Me Zombie also likes to party and drinks and smokes up on a regular basis. The laid back party zombie was an instant hit with viewers!

 

 
Ivar Thoth:  Ivar Thoth was originally created for the Atomic Midnights Shows back in late 2001--a 3-D occultist character made to cast spells on the audience and the such. The inspiration for this character was from a film short that would play before horror movies with featured a vampire that you would recite a vampire oath with. The film short is featured on the Zacarley Horrible Horrors video.

According to Rock and Roll Ray, "When it came to Ivar appearing on BSC, I added to the ranting prophet very toned down side comments.  That primarily came from the rhythm used by the pro-wrestler, The Crusher.  Shreek does a great job playing off of him.

Grandpa Shreek:  Perhaps the most frequently appearing character is Grandpa Shreek, who lives in the dungeon with his unholy pets and well, likes to complain, about how things aren't like the old days . . . what with inventions like electric lights and "talkies."  Ray says he essentially channels Grampa from dozens of grumps from the golden age of TV.

 

"I really get a kick playing grumpy Grandpa Gregarius Shreek. The reason being- he's one mean bastard! All my other characters are more or less nice, but Grandpa is a hoot! I get to just let the insults just flow. It's very refreshing! Shreek asked me if I wanted to play Grandpa Shreek, we bounced some ideas back and forth and it worked out well."

If you live near Minneapolis, MN you can find Mr. Shreek lurking on the airwaves of NWCT TV channel 19 Monday evenings at 10 pm and again on Tuesdays at 4 am.  Some lucky Iowa viewers can get these strange nocturnal transmissions too!

You can contact Mr. Shreek at [email protected] and tell him that CreatureScape sent you! 

And one more thing . . .Beware parents.  If you let your children become obsessed with Bela Lugosi and rock and roll, they might just grow up to be as cool as Gortem Shreek and Rock and Roll Ray.


Former Hotel Guests can be found by clicking the links below

Chiller Cinema

The Midnight Shadow Show

Creature Feature:  the Weekly Web Program The Mortician
 
Meet Cleaver Theater Mr. Lobo Black Sky Cinema  
 

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Online ISSN:  1546-6140

 

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