Tulsa TV Memories      
Renfield (Dwight Frye) at the bottom of the stairs in "Dracula", courtesy of Jim Reid
(79K .wav file) "A HEE- HEE- HEE..."

Plenty Scary Movie (Mistral font, per Monte Toon)

Jimmie Tramel: Who wants another dose of Plenty Scary Movie?
(Tulsa World, 10/27/2014)

Parchment hand-lettered by Monte Toon

Plenty Scary Movie promo Watch the promo for "Plenty Scary Movie", courtesy of Carl Bartholomew.

9/15/07: Upgraded the promo quality at Kirk Demarais' request

(via email, 1/29/03) Tim Hudson said:

How can you do TV in Tulsa without featuring the Plenty Scary Movie? You know "Friday nights at eleven thirty," I still remember the commercial. Tons of great films, and when Channel 8 was running Star Trek after the news it was awesome. I waited all week for it.

(from Guestbook 31) David Reynolds said: News item about Renfield

Was just thinking about 8's Plenty Scary Movie commercials. Remember the one with the guy at the bottom of the ships hold from "Dracula" going "A HEE- HEE- HEE..." (Dwight Frye, I believe) That always really freaked me out!! And is anyone aware 8 tried to bring back P.S.M. a couple of years ago? That's what TV Guide told me anyway...

(from Guestbook 108) Doug Pratt of Chicago said:

...But does anybody remember "The Plenty Scary Movie"? If I remember correctly it came on every Saturday night @ 10:30, immediately following the 10 PM news broadcast. Thanks Channel 8, for all the memories. 8's still The Place!

(from Guestbook 108) Jim Reid said:

Actually, the Plenty Scary Movie was on at 11:30. We used to run an hour show at 10:30 Mon-Fri. It changed over the years. Ironside, Star Trek, Gunsmoke, etc.

(via email, 2/2/03)  Carl "Uncle Zeb"Bartholomew said:

Plenty Scary Movie facts:

The name came from a 'brain-storming' session during a weekly department head meeting in Tom Goodgame's (GM) office. We all had suggestions, but it was Keith Bretz (sales manager) who came up with the name. It was a shorter than usual meeting because we all agreed that the name was as simple and corny as you could get.

I created an on-air promo from film clips that I thought would edit well with a piece of edited "library music" we had. The only sound from any clip was from the little guy -- out of his gourd -- laughing as he looked up the ship's stairs. That was the next to the last shot.

The "sig" shot, with the meat cleaver and dungeon like surroundings (near the top of this page), was designed and produced by Kent Doll.

The tag line, "Channel 8's Plenty Scary Movie, Friday Nights at 11:30," was read perfectly by Richard Wilson.

Jesus, we had fun in those days. I'm glad so many people remember our efforts.

I can add one bit of information to Carl's commentary: the music is from a track called "Nova (exploding star)" on Russ Garcia's "Fantastica" album.

I bought "Fantastica" from the same source as the Fantastic Theater theme: Jack Diamond Music (3/2007, now apparently out of business).

Russ Garcia also scored the 1960 movie, "The Time Machine". Here is a link to an interview with Mr. Garcia about his work.

(from Guestbook 142) John Russell (of the musical group "Admiral Twin") said:

One day when I was working in a local comic book shop, the man I worked for was playing an old Pink Floyd album that I'd never heard before called "Ummagumma". I was working away and minding my own business, when suddenly I felt a chill crawl up my spine. Something was frightening me. It was then that I became aware of a track off that album weirdly entitled "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving With a Pict" (read about it and hear an excerpt at the link above...webmaster).

At the same time that I was hearing this track, visions of Frankenstein, The Wolfman, etc., were entering my brain. I knew this music. And I knew that it was somehow associated with Plenty Scary Movie. Perhaps it was a second promo for the show that I'm remembering. I just need someone from the good 'ol days of Channel 8 to confirm this for me. It's a very bizarre sound pastiche of animal noises and other weirdness.

(from Guestbook 152) Joel McLemore said:

I was such a devoted viewer of the Plenty Scary Movie, even though I was just a kid and usually fell asleep about halfway through. I remember the opening mentioned on your page, but I also recall one with a heartbeat sound and a close-up of an eye slowly opening. This was quite a while later, again, probably late 70s-early 80s. And I do remember them trying to resurrect it in the early 90s, but it was on at weird times, like one or two AM during the week and didn't seem to have a steady timeslot.

(via email 3/3/2003) KTUL artist Monte Toon said:

KTUL artist Monte Toon, courtesy of Emily Elliott The "Plenty Scary Movie," eh? Our local sales manager at the time, Mr. Keith Bretz named that little jewel when we first started running it. Keith was a good man, a fine example of the quality of people Channel 8 has been blessed with over these many years.

I believe the font you are seeking is one called "Mistral" . It was a Letraset product, dry transfer type that came on a plastic sheet and you rubbed the type onto the surface you were working on. It was a good type for many applications. It could be blown up and hand lettered and regardless how messy the brush strokes were, it still looked great.

That sign (photo courtesy of Emily Elliott) has been in the art department almost as long as I have...it will be 30 years this May! It hasn't aged a bit.

Talking about fonts...when Carl and I put the 8's The Place campaign together, I selected Hobo as the type face because, as the Mistral, it too could be blown up and hand lettered and still look great. We knew when we started it all that it would have to work on many applications.

8/2/2003: Monte Toon has just written a page-turning new novel: Asylum's Bridge.

The first time I applied that logo to anything, it was on a cow down by Muskogee. The whole thing came off as she brushed the sides of the chute as she came out. It took almost the entire hot day to catch her again, put her back in the cage and apply another decal. We finally got the shot we wanted late in the afternoon....Carl used about two seconds of it in his promo.

Oh well! That's show business!

8's The Place cow

(via email 4/25/2003) KTUL artist Monte Toon responded to the webmaster's query:

Yep, the meat cleaver, the parchment...I put the lettering there. It seems I was always putting lettering or 8's the Place on something back then. Cigars, cows, frisbees, swimsuits, on arms and bellies as tattoos, cups, hats, sheets of "parchment", newspapers, belt buckles, flags, on the inside of a coconut...even a big ol' American Airlines commercial jetliner became fair game!

8's The Place - AA jetliner Even to this day I look for Carl Bartholomew to come into my office rubbing his hands together as he says, "Monte...I got this idea for another 8's The Place. Do you think you could put the lettering on a...."

One of our most effective special effects was used in the Plenty Scary promo. Back then we had a "smoke" machine here at the station and we used it often. We also used many pounds of dry ice. Both of those products were cheap and when we used them, they added a great deal to each of our "miniature movie" promotions. And they were that. "Miniature movies." Actors and scripts, set design, blocking, lighting, costume and make-up, props and special effects, music...they were every bit a movie production. "Lights...Camera...Action! And I guess they were effective! Even the "Friday Nights at 11:30" was remembered!

(via email, 2/28/2003) Peter D. Abrams said:

'Squared 8' logoThe Plenty Scary Movie open/close was pretty darn simple. Per the norm, Carl B supplied the music/concept, Monte Toon the artwork. I started with a white screen, and slowly brought the orange "Plenty Scary" artwork in on the right. At the appropriate music cue, Ron Swasta in engineering hit the focus rocker on the camera, which made the logo vibrate. Pretty cool at the time. *Everybody* was easier to amuse in those days, I guess. The music ended with a large Gong, at which point Ricardo on camera in the studio rolled focus on the "squared 8" logo left screen while I faded that in. Done. Piece o' duck.

Carl B approved it, then went downstairs to the GM's (Tom Goodgame) office to show it off. Bob Doubleday (Leake Ind. President) was there as well. Whoa. Tough crowd.

Ron S fed it downstairs via the in house closed circuit. As Carl related to me later- "So there they were, looking at it, and before it was over, one of them made a really nasty remark about how there's no f***in' Station Identification", and that Carl needed to redo it right.

Just then. The Gong. And. The Station Identification, aka the logo.


Plenty Scary Movie

(from Guestbook 93) Kirk Demarais said:

If I had two wishes, my first would be to own a Bell's Phantasmagoria bumper sticker. Anyone know where I can find one? Did they ever produce posters?

My second wish is to see the TV spot for the Plenty Scary Movie again. That music put to those film clips fascinated me, but I was rarely allowed to stay up "Friday night at 11:30."

3/14/2006: As of today, both Kirk's wishes have been fulfilled!

Here is an interview with Kirk in which he beautifully articulated some of my own inchoate thoughts on the nature of memory and nostalgia.

He is the creator of Secret Fun Spot, which features a Flash web toon about Bell's Phantasmagoria ride. Also, don't miss "Uncle Laff's Legacy", both his web toon, now a live action DVD as well.

Secret Fun Spot

Kirk, here's a show of the period you would've been able to see:
The Channel 8 Saturday Afternoon Movie circa mid-70s, courtesy of Peter D. Abrams
The Channel 8 Saturday Afternoon Movie, courtesy of Peter D. Abrams

Back to 8's The Place     Back to main