Through the words of the hosts themselves as well as their longtime devoted fans (including Neil Gaiman, Tim Conway, Leonard Maltin, Curtis Armstrong, and the late Forrest J Ackerman), American Scary discusses the roots of horror hosts, their rise to popularity, and the tragic decline of what is most definitely an American treasure (when those Commie corporate bigwig bastards took over the boob tube).
American Scary is presented in an anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1 transfer. The various clips and interviews used to make this feature vary in quality, so the whole of the film is a bit of a mixed bag. That said, it’s a pretty good mixed bag, especially when you consider some of the archival television footage is over 50 years old!
On the sound front, American Scary is presented with a nice two-channel stereo that (due to the variance in footage once again) can be a bit over-modulated at times, but it’s no biggie (not for me, at least).
A second audio track opens the door for a collection of special features: an audio commentary with writers/directors John E. Hudgens and Sandy Clark gives the two men behind this much-needed look at horror hosts a chance to discuss their work on this project. Following the commentary are a good twenty minutes of additional interviews with Bob Burns, Ernie Anderson (Ghoulardi), John Zacherle (Roland/Zacherley), Maila Nurmi (Vampira), and Tim Conway; featurettes "Nashville Horror Hosting" (4:13) and "Horror Host Wedding" (6:11); the original five-minute pitch reel; and two trailers that really don’t do the film itself very much justice. The final extras consist of two additional trailers for other Cinema Libre releases: American Zombie and American Shopper.
American Scary is definitely required viewing. To do otherwise would be un-American.