After the death of my local “Creature Feature”, I didn’t lose interest in fantastically themed movies. Though I no longer had the regular TV show, there were other developments that had an impact on me.
One was that I started to hunt for and collect books that featured lists of the types of movies I wanted to see. Some books I was able to find at local book stores; I found most of the John Stanley “Creature Feature movie guides” that way. Others were more difficult and more elusive. However, I eventually discovered a resource called “The Movie/TV Entertainment Book Club”. They offered books about movies and TV shows, including many from a book company known as MacFarlane.
Perhaps my favorite title from them was Bill Warren’s two-volume set, “Keep Watching the Skies”, dedicated to science fiction movies from the fifties, my favorite era. It was a joy reading through these books, and hearing about obscure titles from that period that never showed up on my local Creature Feature. How I wished I could actually watch all of these movies, but it seemed impossible.
However, other developments were changing the movie landscape. The rise of home video opened up the possibilities of actually possessing copies of these movies for repeated viewing. The rise of VCRs was next, allowing the recording of movie off of the TV, and with the ability to program them ahead of time, it was possible to catch things in the middle of the night or at times when you weren’t home. The rise of cable TV suddenly and dramatically increased the number of movies being shown on TV. As a result of these developments, I began to build a movie collection from video store purchases and recordings off of TV.
Yet there was one more development that needed to happen: the arrival of the internet. The rest of the world had opened up. More places to buy movies became available, and it was possible to connect with more movie fans than I ever thought possible. Then, one day, I visited the online site for one of my favorite sources for fantastically-themed movies, Sinister Cinema. To my surprise, they had something known as a “message board”, and looked it over. When I discovered that the author of “Keep Watching the Skies” was on the board, I joined in as well. There were other fantastic film historians as well, including Tom Weaver and Ted Newsom. I made several online friends and engaged in interesting discussions.
Everything was in place for me to begin the project…