On DVD: Every Other Day Is Halloween
Revisit the good ol’ days when local TV stations actually employed local talent beyond the nightly news in Every Other Day Is Halloween, C.W. Prather‘s wonderful profile of Washington, D.C.’s legendary late night horror host Count Gore De Vol. This wickedly entertaining documentary is now available on DVD at Amazon and other retailer/rental outlets.
Underneath the cape, fangs and pancake makeup, the good Count is actually performer Dick Dyszel, who appeared as several different characters on WDCA-TV Channel 20 in the nation’s capital throughout the 1970s. During the day, he entertained the kiddies as Bozo the Clown and hosted cartoon shows as the sci-fi themed Captain 20. But, at night, he transformed himself into Count Gore De Vol for the adults — and the naughty children who dared to stay up late watching old horror movies.
But, all good things must come to an end — or not! Even though WDCA eventually canned Dyszel after the station was bought by corporate overlords concerned with the bottom line, like any good vampire, Count Gore was given new un-life on the Internet where he continues to introduce films and tell bad jokes. He also has a very busy Vimeo channel where he interviews old-school horror personalities and the like.
Every Other Day Is Halloween, originally reviewed on the Underground Film Journal here, is truly a great documentary as its appeal goes much further than just the nostalgia for the days when horror hosts appeared on TV and not just online. For those who may not be so interested in that particular subject, this is also film about being fully committed to and exploring one’s deepest passions no matter what.
Dyszel has an extremely dynamic presence on camera no matter which personality he’s exhibiting, either the Count’s or Captain 20 or just being himself. The film recounts many of the struggles that Dyszel faced during his time on WDCA and the amazing commitment he displayed in order to do the right thing to create meaningful, engaging and memorable TV. It’s no wonder he inspired so many creative folks who’ve come out of the DC area, such as underground filmmaker Jeff Krulik (Heavy Metal Parking Lot) and horror comic writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night).
Dyszel’s story is a very inspiring one and it’s great that Prather has been able to so successfully bring it to a wide audience outside of Washington. It’s no wonder the film made my list for one of the best films of 2009. Now it’s your turn to check it out in 2010.
Buy or rent Every Other Day Is Halloween on DVD: Amazon
Watch the trailer: