Monday, October 30, 2017

Haverhill’s Horror Movie Heritage

WHAV radio notes some of the people associated with Haverhill that have contributed to horror movies over the years just in time for Halloween. In addition to John Bellairs - noting his Johnny Dixon series (set in "a thinly-veiled 1950s Haverhill") and the impending movie adaptation of The House with a Clock in its Walls - Dave Goudsward passes along the following biographies:


Rather than at city locations, it is in the casts and crews of films that Haverhill’s impact in horror movies lie. And perhaps none have been as high profile as Bradford’s own Rob Zombie. The Haverhill High grad took his diploma and headed to New York, becoming a major force in heavy metal that infused references to the horror films he loved.

Forest Hill Cemetery in East Derry, N.H., was used to film Haverhill author Scott T. Goudsward’s screenplay for the short film Granite Voices (2002), the story of two teenage mediums that unwillingly allow restless spirits to air their final message.

Peter Breck was born in Rochester...[but]...because his father was a jazz musician often on the road, Peter lived with his grandparents George and Mary on Harvard Street in Haverhill. In 1937, Breck’s parent divorced...and...Breck began traveling with his father. It inspired a love of travel that would prove helpful as he launched his career in theatrical touring companies. Once he arrived in Hollywood, he worked nonstop as a cowboy. As cowboys on television faded away, Breck branched out. In 1963, he appeared in an episode of “The Outer Limits” (1963) followed by the lead in “The Crawling Hand” as a scientist battling the (1963) animated hand of a dead astronaut that goes on a killing spree. Other appearances include the allegedly Lovecraft-based “The Unnamable II: The Statement of Randolph Carter” (1992) and an appearance on the revival of “The Outer Limits” (1996).

Bob Montana (1920-1975) was born in California and traveled with his show business parents. When Montana was 13, his father died of a heart attack, and his mother remarried. His new stepfather, John Carrol...thought Haverhill would be a good choice to settle down and raise the family. They arrived in 1936. Montana kept a journal of his years in Haverhill High School (now City Hall), illustrating the entries with his cartoons. From this, Montana created Archie Andrews and his friends.  The Archie Comics empire introduced a new character in 1962, not a Montana creation. Sabrina Spellman, a teenage witch proved popular enough to get her own comic book. With the success of the Archie cartoons, Sabrina got her own animated series, which in turn spun off another animated icon of 60s-70s Saturday morning – “The Groovie Goolies.” Sabrina would return to animation in 1999 as a prequel to the live action series Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which also generated TV movies. Today, Montana would not recognize his creations – both Archie and Sabrina have new horror based comic book series. In September 2017, it was reported that a live-action television series, “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” based on the Archie Horror imprint, is in development.

Yet no mention of Tom Bergeron's hosting America's Funniest Home Videos.

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