Sunday, September 19, 2010

Going to bat for The Creature

The roar of Monster Kids filled the air at AT&T Park in San Francisco yesterday, as they held the second annual Creature Features Movie Night at the ballpark following the Giants game.

Those of you who grew up in the Bay Area will remember Bob Wilkins and John Stanley, who each took turns hosting the show several decades ago. Last summer, a local group of fans and film event promoters got together with the park to schedule the first Creature Features night, which included a screening of Night of the Living Dead hosted by John Stanley, with actress Judy O'Dea in attendance.

Needless to say, we were quite disappointed to find out about the event a few days after it happened, and vowed to return if they ever did it again. Well, last night was the night, and this time the film was the Jack Arnold classic Universal-International picture from 1954, The Creature From the Black Lagoon.

Stanley talking to Kihn before the event.
Local 80s rock star/disc jockey/horror writer Greg Kihn was in attendance to introduce our host for the festivities, Creature Features host John Stanley.

John provided a brief history on producer William Alland, leading up to his role producing The Creature, and shared stories of talking with composer Henry Mancini on his scoring the film (his third assignment after two other Universal-International franchise jobs: Ma & Pa Kettle and Francis the Talking Mule). 

Oh, and there was one other celebrity guest in attendance who was more than happy to mug for the crowd...

The (Gill) Man of the Hour.
The attention then turned to the big screen, as they showed a clip of an interview he did with Julie Adams and Ben Chapman, along with some Creature trailers and excerpts from a Bob Wilkins screening of the film.

Stanley, Adams, and Chapman.
The late, great, Bob Wilkins.

We missed the opening credits as the A/V team forgot to switch over to the video right away, but were soon enjoying The Creature on the big screen (albeit from reasonably far away, particularly for those of us used to sitting 10 feet from a 100" wide screen). 

As the night grew on, some folks gave up and trickled out, but for the most part the group of several hundred stuck it through. Those of us who paid the $25 for a View Reserved ticket and T-shirt can't really complain about the deal (unless of course you were more concerned about the Giants blowing their chance to retain first place in their division).

Last year's design was cooler, but still a nice T-Shirt.
The only drawback was that due to the slight chance of rain in the forecast, the grounds crew had to cover the infield, and fans weren't allowed on field to watch the film (as originally planned), and we had to watch from the stands. I thought our first onfield experience at the park would have been in the Creature's honor, but I guess that will have to wait until next year.

Vonna and T.C. saying SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!

1 comment:

Peter Enfantino said...

Rain?? I suggest that next year the promoters run their flick (how about THEM!?) at Chase Field Ballpark in Phoenix . Closed roof, 102 degrees outside. Our baseball team doesn't use the field much, at least that I've been able to tell (:>).