Dayton has a rich heritage of television horror hosts dating back to the late Barry Hobart’s Dr. Creep. Today, there are more than a half-dozen locally produced programs with a direct lineage to the late pop culture icon.
Like any good movement, it needs a memorable tagline. Maybe, The Children of Dr. Creep? Or The Ohio Horror Hosts Universe? Whatever you call it, it’s a unique and expanding world focused on low-budget television and film with a scary yet campy twist.
“All of these shows are connected to ‘Shock Theater’ and Dr. Creep,” said Matt Brassfield, who works behind the scenes on several current programs. “All of the Ohio horror hosts make it so we’re all in it together and it’s all connected. A. Ghastlee Ghoul is connected to Iris and Retina from ‘Mondo Smash A’ Go-Go.’ Even Henrique Couto’s new ‘Popcorn Fodder’ show is connected. We had The Creeper go on there. It’s one big universe.”
Brassfield, who worked previously on programs with Dr. Creep and A. Ghastlee Ghoul, has his hands all over three very different offerings airing new episodes this week. “Horror Ahoy,” a new 90-minute Halloween special hosted by newcomer Scott Scarborough’s Captain Scurvy, airs on Miami Valley Communications Council at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31.
The third season of “Baron Von Porkchop’s Terrifying Tales of the Macabre” began a new 13-episode run on Oct. 5. The show, which airs Fridays at 11:59 p.m. on DATV, Miami Valley Communications Council and The Monster Channel, is followed each week by “Moraine Playhouse Theater.” That program, hosted by The Creeper, which first aired locally in the late 1980s, was revived in October after years of inactivity for 13 new episodes with Brassfield’s help.
“The father of it all was Dr. Creep,” Scarborough said. “I grew up watching him on TV and I saw him multiple times. I only met him once and that was at Carl Casper’s Custom Auto Show.”
Hobart, who was born in 1941, remains an icon in the horror community. His Dr. Creep was the host of “Shock Theater” on WKEF-TV in Dayton from 1972 to 1985 and “New Shock Theater” on local public access from 1999 to 2005. Today, a growing community of like-minded characters in the Gem City like Captain Scurvy and Baron Von Porkchop is carrying on the tradition of Dr. Creep, who passed away in January 2011.
Stephen Alexander, who has portrayed Baron Von Pork since 2010, never met Hobart but he recognizes the huge debt this modern wave of hosts owes to Dr. Creep.
“He died just as I was getting started, but he had a huge influence on all of us,” Alexander said. “The local horror host community is tight-knit. We’re friends with A. Ghastlee Ghoul and The Creeper out of Moraine.”
Alexander is taking his program beyond the television for two upcoming events at the recently reopened Englewood Cinema in Englewood. He and Brassfield, who are cousins, have Baron Von Porkchop Presents screenings of the locally-produced movies “Scarecrow County” on Nov. 9 and “People to Kill” on Nov. 16.
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.