Wednesday, October 12, 2011


YEAR: 1978

TRACK LISTING: Monster Mash, Monster Party, Monster Holiday, Monster Boogie (Part 1), Monster Boogie (Part 2), Dr. Shock Theme/Let There Be Fright, Creepy Crawlin', Three-Eyed Martians, Frankenstein Was A Soul Brother, Tale of Haunted Hill

IMPRESSIONS: It seems very appropriate that Dr. Shock's MONSTER MASH album should be the album which appears as the 100th post on this site -- occurring as it does right smack dab in the middle of the Halloween Countdown. The beloved and much-missed Shocky Doc was the horror host I grew up with on TV. If you never grew up watching a TV horror host. . .well, yes, you're missing a lot and can never quite understand the special place in our hearts for these delightful macabre misfits. A great deal of the love of horror and science fiction which we genre fans now possess owes a great deal to the TV horror hosts which brought these films to our bewildered eyes -- many for the very first time. Sadly for myself and the legions of Dr. Shock fans out there, no video seems to have survived except the one hour tribute special aired by Channel 17 to mark Zawislak's passing in 1979; this special aired without commercial interruption (an unheard of event in 1979 or, indeed, today) and featured clips from the Doctor's decade of shows. I owe a special thanks to Dr. Shock's daughter Bubbles (who appeared on the show with her father for 10 years) and the great man's son Joe Jr. for both providing me with a DVD of the TRIBUTE TO DR. SHOCK programme which I will always cherish. The video footage may be mostly gone, but my memories of Saturday afternoon's with Dr. Shock will never fade.


FACT SHEET: MONSTER MASH is Dr. Shock's one and only album ever released. Dr. Shock was the TV horror host I grew up with; he presided over the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley area (which encompased my own South Jersey) on UHF Channel 17 from 1970 to his death in 1979. He started first on the late-night programme SCREAM-IN and then moved to Saturday afternoons with his double feature MAD THEATER and HORROR THEATER. Dr. Shock was magician Joe Zawislak who actually requested of John Zacherley the chance to do a vamp on his makeup and character after Zacherley moved from Philadelphia to the New York TV market. Zacherley gave his blessing and Dr. Shock was born. This rare album was a locally-produced platter released only a year before Zawislak's death.

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