Horror Double Bills

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BBC2 Horror Double Bills 1975 - 1983[edit]

The "Horror Double Bills" were TV seasons of classic horror movies broadcast annually in the UK on BBC2 during the summer (usually July and August) between 1975 and 1983. Even 40 years after their broadcast, they are still fondly remembered by UK horror movie fans, as they were rare opportunities (in a pre-VHS or DVD era) to see some of these films.

Each week two horror, science-fiction or fantasy movies would be shown, the majority of which were from Universal and Hammer studios, though other less familiar movies were also featured. The first season was broadcast in 1975 under the title "Midnight Movie Fantastic,[1]" though the season title would vary throughout the years ("Horror Double Bill," "Monster Double Bill," "Dracula, Frankenstein & Friends"). The third season in 1977 ("Dracula, Frankenstein & Friends") featured the most famous Universal monster titles (paired with each other or a Hammer/AIP title)whilst the final original season in 1981 consisted of the Val Lewton RKO horrors paired with more obscure modern titles.

After seven years and remarkably few repeated screenings, there was no season in 1982. A final series of Double Bills was broadcast during the summer of 1983, although this season was entirely made up of the classic Universal horrors from the 30's and 40's, all of which had been shown before, predominantly in the 1977 season "Dracula, Frankenstein & Friends."

The 1990s[edit]

After 1983, the BBC decided to rest the format. However the Double Bills returned in 1993 following the success of an all-night Halloween horror marathon on BBC2 a year earlier. The marathon was introduced and linked by Dr. Walpurgis, played by Guy Henry and created by Kim Newman. The other memorable event of that evening was the broadcast of the infamous Ghostwatch on BBC1 starring Michael Parkinson, Mike Smith & Sarah Greene. During this evening it was intended that the Doctor would have the privilege of introducing for the first time on British TV the uncut version of Curse of the Werewolf (Hammer 1960), which the doctor described as having “extra stalk and slash scenes.” However, problems led to the showing of the usual cut version of the film. The uncut version aired a few months later.

Dr. Terror's Vault of Horror was broadcast on Fridays on BBC1 between September and December 1993 and featured Guy Henry's character, though he was renamed Dr. Terror. The Double Bills only ran one year, although Dr. Terror would return to introduce individual horrors in 1994 and 1996.

The Classic Horror Campaign[edit]

The Classic Horror Campaign was set up to persuade the BBC to bring back the iconic Saturday night classic horror double bills. The campaign hosts its own classic horror double bill screenings in the UK and organized the hugely successful Frighten Brighton Classic Horror Film Festival in the south coast city of Brighton in 2012. Actress Emily Booth is among the campaign's supporters.

List of films broadcast in the Double Bill[edit]

1975 Fantastic Double Bill[edit]

Date Time Title Detail
Saturday, 2 August 1975 22.55 - 00.05 The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Decla Productions (1919)
00.05 - 01.20 Quatermass 2 Hammer (1957)
Saturday, 9 August 1975 22.45 - 00.00 The Tell Tale Heart Danziger (1960)
00.00 - 01.20 The Premature Burial AIP (1961)
Saturday, 16 August 1975 23.15 – 00.20 Noah's Ark (1928)
00.20 – 01.20 Man & His Mate
Saturday, 23 August 1975 22.40 - 00.05 This Island Earth Universal (1955)
00.05 - 01.25 Barbarella Dino de Laurentis/Marianne Productions (1968)
Saturday, 30 August 1975 22.55 - 00.05 The Cat and The Canary Paramount (1939)
00.05 - 01.25 The Comedy of Terrors AlP (1963)
Saturday, 6 September 1975 22.35 - 00.00 The Beast With Five Fingers Warner Brothers (1947)
00.00 - 01.20 The Maze Allied Artists (1954)

1976 Masters of Terror[edit]

Date Time Title Detail
Saturday, 14 August 1976 22.55 - 00.10 The Phantom of the Opera Universal 1925
00.10 - 01.40 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Paramount 1932
Saturday, 21 August 1976 22.00 - 23.20 Devil Doll MGM 1932
23.20 - 00.50 Frankenstein Created Woman Hammer 1967
Saturday, 28 August 1976 22.00 - 00.00 The Hounds of Zaroff RKO 1932
00.00 - 01.25 Hound of the Baskervilles Twentieth Century Fox 1939
Saturday, 5 September 1976 22.55 - 00.10 The Mad Genius Warner 1931
00.10 - 01.30 The Pit and The Pendulum AlP 1961
Saturday, 14 August 1976 22.50 - 23.55 The Walking Dead Warner 1936
23.55 - 01.20 Dracula Prince of Darkness Hammer 1966

1977 Dracula, Frankenstein and Friends[edit]

This season is probably the most remembered and treasured by fans as it contained the Universal classics chronologically.

Date Time Title Detail
Saturday, 2 July 1977 23.05 - 00.25 Dracula Universal 1931
00.25 - 01.35 Frankenstein Universal 1931
Saturday, 9 July 1977 22.50 - 00.00 Bride of Frankenstein Universal 1935
00.00 - 01.25 Brides of Dracula Hammer 1960
Saturday, 16 July 1977 22.45 - 00.15 The Mummy Universal 1932
00.15 - 01.05 The Wolf Man Universal 1940
Saturday, 23 July 1977 22.10 - 23.45 Son of Frankenstein Universal 1938
23.45 - 01.10 Kiss of the Vampire Hammer 1964
Saturday, 30 July 1977 22.35 - 00.05 Dracula's Daughter Universal 1936
00.05 - 01.30 Plague of the Zombies Hammer 1966
Saturday, 6 August 1977 22.50 - 23.55 The Ghost of Frankenstein Universal 1942
22.55 - 01.10 The Premature Burial AlP 1961
Saturday, 13 August 1977 23.05 - 00.05 The Raven Universal 1935
00.05 - 01.10 The Black Cat Universal 1933
Saturday, 20 August 1977 22.00 - 23.15 Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman Universal 1943
00.05 - 01.35 The Raven AlP 1963
Saturday, 27 August 1977 22.20 - 23.10 House of Frankenstein Universal 1944
00.05 - 01.35 The Reptile Hammer 1966
Saturday, 3 September 1977 21.55 - 23-10 Son of Dracula Universal 1943
23.45 - 01.10 Evil of Frankenstein Hammer 1964
Saturday, 10 September 1977 22.05 - 23.15 House of Dracula Universal 1945
23.20 - 00.35 Fall of the House of Usher AlP 1960

1978 Monster Double Bill[edit]

Date Time Title Detail
Saturday, 8 July 1978 22.55 - 23.55 Murders in the Rue Morgue Universal 1933
23.55 - 01.25 The Man Who Could Cheat Death Hammer 1959
Saturday, 15 July 1978 22.40 - 23.55 The Fantastic Disappearing Man Gramercy Pictures 1958
00.00 - 01.15 X-The Man with X-Ray Eyes AlP 1963
Saturday, 22 July 1978 22.00 - 23.20 The Quatermass Xperiment Hammer 1955
23.50 - 01.35 The Crazies Cambist 1973
Saturday, 29 July 1978 23.15 - 00.15 Man Made Monster Universal 1940
00.15 - 01.15 The Mummy's Curse Universal 1945
Saturday, 5 August 1978 22.40 - 23.55 White Zombie Halperin 1932
00.00 - 01.25 House of Wax Warner 1953
Saturday, 12 August 1978 21.40 - 23.10 Them Universal 1954
23.45 - 01.05 The Incredible Shrinking Man Universal 1957
Saturday, 19 August 1978 22.00 - 23.15 Voodoo Island Bel Air 1957
23.20 - 00.45 Phantom of the Rue Morgue Warner 1953
Saturday, 26 August 1978 22.00 - 23.35 King Kong RKO 1933
23.40 - 01.10 Superbeast A & S Productions 1972

1979 Masters of Terror[edit]

Date Time Title Detail
Saturday, 14 July 1979 22.35-23.50 Doctor X Warner 1932
23.55-01.20 The Curse of Frankenstein Hammer 1956
Saturday, 21 July 1979 22.30-23.30 Sherlock Holmes and the Spider Woman 20th Century Fox 1944
00.00-01.30 The Hound of the Baskervilles Hammer 1959
Saturday, 28 July 1979 22.15-23.25 Night Monster Universal 1942
23.30.01.10 The Devil Rides Out Hammer 1968
Saturday, 4 August 1979 23.00.00.05 Black Friday Universal 1940
00.05.01.35 The Mummy Hammer 1959
Saturday, 11 August 1979 22.05.23.25 The Strange Door Universal 1951
23.25-01.00 Blood from the Mummy's Tomb Hammer 1971
Saturday, 18 August 1979 22.35-23.40 The Mummy's Hand Universal 1944
00.10-01.35 The Satanic Rites of Dracula Hammer 1973
Saturday, 25 August 1979 22.00-23.20 It Came From Outer Space Universal 1951
23.25-01.05 Quatermass and the Pit Hammer 1967

1980 Horror Double Bill[edit]

Date Time Title Detail
Saturday, 28 June 1980 22.30.00.00 Night of the Demon Sabre 1957
00.02-01.35 The Ghoul Tyburn 1975
Saturday, 5 July 1980 10.10-11.35 The Beast With Five Fingers Warner 1947
23.50-01.30 Chamber of Horrors Warner 1966
Saturday, 12 July 1980 22.40-23.45 The Mad Ghoul Universal 1943
23.50-01.30 Dr. Terror's House of Horrors Amicus 1964
Saturday, 19 July 1980 22.35-23.50 The Devil Doll MGM 1936
23.55-01.25 Daughters of Satan UA 1972
Saturday, 26 July 1980 22.10-23.40 Curse of the Werewolf Hammer 1960
23.55-01.35 From Beyond The Grave Amicus 1974
Saturday, 2 August 1980 22.35-23.50 Paranoiac Hammer 1963
12.00-01.35 Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter Hammer 1973
Saturday, 9 August 1980 22.35-23.55 The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms Warner 1953
00.00-01.20 Night of the Lepus MGM/A.C. Lyles 1972
Saturday, 16 August 1980 22.20-23.40 The Bat UA 1959
23.45-01.20 Legend of the Werewolf Tyburn 1974
Saturday, 23 August 1980 22.40.00.00 Tower of London Universal 1939
00.00-01.20 The Skull Amicus 1965
Saturday, 30 August 1980 00.00-01.35 The Beast Must Die Amicus 1974

1981 Horror Double Bill[edit]

Date Time Title Detail
Saturday, 4 July 1981 22.35-23.10 I Walked with a Zombie RKO 1943
00.10.01.10 Zoltan, Hound of Dracula Crown International 1976
Saturday, 11 July 1981 23.05-00.15 Cat People RKO 1945
00.15-01.35 Mystery of the Wax Museum Warner 1933
Saturday, 18 July 1981 22.55-00.05 The Seventh Victim RKO 1943
00.05-01.35 Race With The Devil Saber 1970
Saturday, 25 July 1981 21.20-22.30 Isle of the Dead RKO 1940
23.40-01.25 The Crazies Cambist 1973
Saturday, 1 August 1981 22.30-23.45 Bedlam RKO 1946
23.45-01.30 Bug Paramount 1975
Saturday, 8 August 1981 22.50-23.55 The Leopard Man RKO 1943
23.55-01.35 The Shuttered Room Warner 1966
Saturday, 15 August 1981 22.35-23.40 The Curse of the Cat People RKO 1943
23.40-01.10 The Eye of the Cat Universal 1969
Saturday, 22 August 1981 22.30-23.40 The Body Snatchers RKO 1945
23.40-01.25 Theatre of Blood AlP 1973

1983 Horror Double Bill[edit]

Date Time Title Detail
Saturday, 9 July 1983 10.00-11.10 Dracula Universal 1931
11.15-12.30 Frankenstein Universal 1931
Saturday, 16 July 1983 11.45- 01.05 The Bride of Frankenstein Universal 1935
Saturday, 23 July 1983 10.05-11.15 Dracula's Daughter Universal 1936
11.20-01.35 Son Of Frankenstein Universal 1939
Saturday, 30 July 1983 10.35-11.45 The Mummy Universal 1932
11.45-01.00 Ghost of Frankenstein Universal 1942
Saturday, 6 August 1983 10.40-11.50 The Wolfman Universal 1941
11.55-01.10 Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman Universal 1943
Saturday, 13 August 1983 10.15-11.35 Son of Dracula Universal 1943
11.40-12.55 House of Frankenstein Universal 1944
Saturday, 20 August 1983 10.05-11.10 The Mummy's Hand Universal 1940
11.15-12.25 House of Dracula Universal 1945
Saturday, 3 September 1983 (titled Horror Triple Bill) 9.45-10.50 The Black Cat Universal 1934
11.30-12.30 Murders In The Rue Morgue Universal 1932
12.30-01.35 The Raven Universal 1935

1992 BBC2 All-Night Halloween Marathon[edit]

The Vault of Horror[edit]

Time Title Detail
11.00 - 11.20 Introduction by Dr. Walpurgis
11.20 - 11.25 Tales from EC A look at the 1950s horror comic
11.25 - 01.25 Creepshow Laurel Entertainment 1982
01.25 - 01.30 The Art of Illusion With special effects and make up artist Tom Savini
01.30 - 01.40 The Unholy Trinity A discussion on horror's leading men – Freddie, Jason & Pinhead
01.40 - 03.10 The Curse of the Werewolf Hammer 1961
03.10 - 03.15 Prime Evil Sam Raimi & Bruce Campbell talk about The Evil Dead
03.15 - 03.20 Terror on the Page
03.20 - 04.30 The Bride of Frankenstein Universal 1935
04.30 - 04.35 The Horror of Sex Women's role in horror
04.35 - 04.45 Dario's Friends Dario Argento at work on his new film Trauma
04.45 - 06.10 Death Line Harbor Ventures/K-L Productions 1972
06.10 - 07.25 Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein Universal 1948
02.25 - 07.30 Close by Dr. Walpurgis

Dr. Terror Seasons 1993 - 1995[edit]

1993 Dr. Terror's Vault of Horror[edit]

Date Time Title Detail
Friday, 10 September 1993 11.15-12.50 Vamp Balcor Film Investors, Planet Productions 1986
12.50-02.20 The Mask of Satan Alta Vista, Galatea Film, Jolly Film 1960
Friday, 17 September 1993 11.25-12.55 The Guardian Universal/Nanny Productions 1990
12.55-02.10 From Hell It Came Allied Artists 1957
Friday, 24 September 1993 11.30-12.55 The Curse of Frankenstein Hammer 1956
12.55-02.05 Blood of Dracula AIP/Carmel 1957
Friday, 1 October 1993 11.05-12.30 Horror Express Benmar/Granada 1972
12.30-01.50 The Comedy of Terrors AIP 1963
Friday, 8 October 1993 11.00-12.25 Crucible of Terror Glendale 1971
12.25-02.05 The Beast With Five Fingers Warner 1946
Friday, 15 October 1993 11.15-12.40 Twins of Evil Hammer 1971
12.40-01.55 Terror from the Year 5000 La Jolla Productions 1958
Friday, 22 October 1993 11.50-01.20 Blood of the Vampire Artistes Alliance Ltd 1958
01.20-02.50 I Don't Want to Be Born Rank 1975
Friday, 29 October 1993 11.30-12.45 The Gate New Century Entertainment/Vista/Alliance 1987
12.45-02.00 I Was a Teenage Frankenstein Santa Rosa 1957
Friday, 5 November 1993 11.10-12.40 The Haunted House of Horror Tigon 1969
12.40-01.55 House on Haunted Hill William Castle Productions 1959
Friday, 12 November 1993 11.15-12.45 The Lost Boys
12.45-02.05 I Was a Teenage Werewolf
Friday, 19 November 1993 11.40-01.05 April Fool's Day Paramount/Hometown Films 1986
01.05-02.35 Cat's Eye Dino De Laurentiis/Famous Films 1985
Friday, 3 December 1993 11.05-12.35 Countess Dracula Hammer 1971
12.35-01.55 Voodoo Woman AIP 1957

Dr. Terror Season 1994[edit]

Date Title Detail
Friday, 9 September The Fog AVCO Embassy 1980
Friday, 16 September The Ghoul Tyburn 1974
Friday, 23 September The Unnameable Returns Unnamable Productions/Yankee Classic 1992
Friday, 30 September Taste the Blood of Dracula Hammer 1970
Friday, 7 October A Study in Terror Compton Films 1965
Friday, 14 October Legend of the Werewolf Tyburn 1975
Friday, 28 October Body Parts Vista Street Entertainment 1991
Friday, 4 November Curse of the Crimson Altar Tigon 1968
Friday, 11 November The Mummy Hammer 1959
Friday, 18 November The Legacy David Foster Prods/Pethurst Ltd/Turman-Foster 1978
Friday, 2 December Dr Terror's House of Horrors Amicus 1964
Friday, 9 December Alligator Alligator Inc 1980
Friday, 16 December The Serpent and the Rainbow Universal 1988

Dr. Terror Season 1996[edit]

Date Title Details
Friday, 27 September The House of Seven Corpses Television Corporation of America 1974
Friday, 4 October The Asphyx Glendale 1973
Friday, 11 October Devils of Darkness Planet 1965
Friday, 18 October The Beast in the Cellar Tigon 1968
Friday, 25 October A Child For Satan 1991
Friday, 1 November Ghost Story Universal 1981
Friday, 8 November Dr. Giggles Dark Horse/ JVC/ Largo 1992
Friday, 15 November Phantasm New Breed Productions 1978
Friday, 29 November Nothing But The Night Charlemagne 1972
Friday, 14 December The People Under the Stairs Alive Films/Universal 1991

References[edit]

  1. ^ BBC Genome