Horror Host Flashback: Humphrey the Hunchback

Humphrey the Hunchback
Real name: Robert McAllister
Years active: 1994-1996, Middle TN

Ah, now this was a host that I actually remember seeing. I first saw Humphrey on WNAB-58 way back in the mid-90’s. The show originally had no name, but the moniker Frightmare Theater was added later.

Anyone else remember when the WB was the new network? Lord, some of those shows deserve their own pages.

The biggest thing I thing I remember about Humphrey were the movies. A stable of most horror hosts is their reliance on public domains films, such as Night of the Living Dead, Horror Express, etc., but Humphrey showcased bigger budget films like Jason Goes to Hell: the Final Friday as well as the cheap exploitation fare like Screamers.

And I don’t mean the sci-fi one with Peter Weller one, I mean the late 70’s one. It was the type of film you always found at local video stores. I remember the VHS cover vividly. It had a man, skinned to the waist, lurching out of the surf towards the viewer. “This man has been turned inside out, and he’s still alive!” screamed the tagline; pity that was nowhere in the film.

The downside to showing to such films, however, is that commercial copies of the shows are nonexistent.

Like most hosts, Humphrey introduced the show, told jokes, and had the occasional bit of trivia about the film. I remember him having two puppet sidekicks (a rat and spider), but the show was yanked off the air after two years. I remember staying up every Saturday night to catch what wild film Humphrey would have in store. Humphrey was more entertaining than most of the films he showed, but then again you could say that about most horror hosts.