Really good, scary movies are difficult to find. The slash-and-gore films follow a formula that is numbingly boring or just plain offensive. Body parts and serial killers abound, but films that produce delicious breath-holding shivers are rare indeed.
The "B" (supposedly referring to "budget") movies florished under Hammer Films, Roger Corman's American International Pictures and then Universal International as the studios churned out the Frankenstein, Mummy and Dracula film series.
I was hooked. As I became older and was allowed to stay up later, one of my favorite television shows was "Chiller Theater" in the early 60's. The popular show's opening montage of the wavy word (Chiller) that dripped blood (in black and white) featured classic monster movies starring the likes of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. It eventually evolved into a show hosted by "Vampira" who was the predecessor of the late 1980's "Elvira, Mistress of the Night". Cassandra Peterson's Elvira was a sexy, wise-cracking horror hostess who wore a low-cut gown and spouted trademark one-liners of varying degrees of taste. As an example, when she arrived in character for the reading of a fictional aunt's last will and testament, she cracked "Hey guys! Sorry I'm late, but then, so is my aunt." In response to a would-be suitor who asked if she smoked, while offering her a cigarette, she opined "Guess we'll find out soon enough."
Chiller Theater's originating television station, WPIX, has aired one-night-only revivals for the past four years, and there is even a Chiller Theater Convention held annually in New Jersey since 1990, which has become one of the largest horror conventions in the eastern United States.
What's your favorite scary movie?