I was born around a time where television was beginning to change. Around the time where I was a kid, television was still all about local programming and whatever movies stations could dig up to fill the time slots, so my brother and I spent many days sitting down to watch horror movies that they just will not show anymore on local television. Many kids today have the internet at their fingers and can access whatever they want, but for people like me and people born much earlier, movies were an event, and one you stopped your day to focus on. Horror hosts died with the changing face of television and what with the censorship and corporate stranglehold of American television, all charm and enthusiasm has been lost in a sea of stale programming meant to sap dollars and not entertain.
“Every Other Day is Halloween” hearkens back to a time where television was fun, where you didn’t need high priced cable to watch a Godzilla movie, where every movie was preceded with a costumed host making your movie watching in to a fun ride for you. Count Gore De Vol is a local celebrity and all around cult icon who was one of the many horror hosts from the seventies who made horror movies fun, and brought with him a passion and theatrical sensibility that didn’t reap much in financial rewards but earned him a lifetime of respect, admiration and love from true horror fans who saw him as a source of inspiration. With his talent for thinking outside of the box, he changed his local station and even managed to topple the ratings for “Saturday Night Live” at one point.
What with Dick Dick Dyszel’s ability to transform in to any character he was asked to, almost like an underrated Lon Chaney, he was able to spark the minds of impressionable youths as a man who was a kiddy entertainer by day as Bozo the Clown, and Captain 20, and then at night got down and dirty raising hell with his own creation Count Gore De Vol, a dysfunctional count who hid in his castle introducing the latest schlocky masterpiece for his audience. “Every Other Day is Halloween” is not so much the biography of Dick Dyszel as it is the origin of the local station horror host and how the changing sentiment of the American public inevitably spelled doom for creativity and novelty.
And what director Prather is exploring is how much soul has been left to the wayside in exchange for a more corporate experience and how most of us in this new generation missed out on a lot of good stuff. With this death, we also get to see the followers of De Vol who rose to fame to make the horror host popular again what with Penny Dreadful and Karlos Borloff, and Count Gore De Vol is the madman who birthed these wicked creatures and continues doing what he loves, in spite of not being a worldwide celebrity. While most of the documentary is quite entertaining, director Prather seems to be reaching for more length after the hour mark where he pretty much meanders from the actual topic and focuses on a less interesting time in De Vol’s history which is sadly his transformation in to an internet celebrity.
Rather than exploring the changing face of America along with De Vol, he instead segues in to a whole other realm focusing on everyone but De Vol, which really isn’t as entertaining as I assumed it would be. Filmed with clips from his old television show and an earnest look at the pitfalls of working at a changing station pushing out the old “Every Other Day is Halloween” is a remarkably amusing documentary with a great spirit that Prather’s De Vol’s charm for everyone to see. In spite of a lagging last half hour, “Every Other Day is Halloween” is a fun and informative look at a bygone era of television where every station had its own individual charm instead of a corporate logo, and director C.W. Prather gives us a pleasant time capsule of that period.