Friends, I hope you won’t mind too much if we start off our Halloween 2020 celebration here on the PCR site – by sharing yet another piece of television history that features Vincent Price. The other evening we had the opportunity to enjoy the legendary Price as host of The Horror Hall of Fame from back in 1974. Today we are going to offer up a brief interview from the popular BBC talk show entitled Parkinson, as the host was Sir Michael Parkinson, with not just Price but Wilfrid Hyde-White (Buck Rogers in the 25th Century) as well. The interview itself is barely over four minutes long – but right at the beginning Parkinson makes mention of appearing with Price previously in a film – that happens to be 1974’s Madhouse.
It might not surprise you to learn that Parkinson portrayed a television interviewer in Madhouse – although it was a tiny role it should be pointed out that he had a bigger part in the iconic UK TV movie entitled Ghostwatch. Originally airing on Halloween night 28 years ago – while having been filmed it was aired as if it was live – an investigation of poltergeist activity in a home located in Greater London. It is a surprisingly effective bit of horror – especially if you keep in mind that audiences thought they were seeing a live news program – one that initially isn’t taking itself seriously and then things spiral out of control… the end really sticks with you. Even though the beginning of the program plainly stated it was written by Stephen Volk (The Awakening) – many people were ‘tricked’ into believing it was real – it has been said that the BBC had 30,000 phone calls from frightened and angry people after the program was aired. For ten years it wasn’t allowed to be shown again in fear that it might frighten viewers once again.
This 1976 interview Sir Michael Parkinson allows Vincent Price to showcase his talents as a natural raconteur – sharing some amusing anecdotes about his career in the horror genre and even being mistaken for Boris Karloff!