BOB CARTER 1929-2013
Yesterday there was An Open to the Public Visitation at Singleton Mortuary in Indianapolis. As we could not be there, we thought we might have a memorial of sorts right here at HORROR HOSTS AND CREATURE FEATURES. Take a moment. Turn off your phone. Sit in a dark quiet place and read along.
By MR. LOBO, Art by DAVID HARDY
Special Thanks to MARK CARTER, SEAN KOTZ, SANDY CLARK, SOLOMON MORTAMUR, CREEPY CHRISTY SAVAGE, MARLENA MIDNITE, BLAKE POWELL, JEROME A. DOLAN, DIXIE DELAMORTO, AND THE FANS OF SAMMY TERRY!
While preparing for AMERICAN SCARY, I viewed many of Sammy’s shows because he was unique. Sandy kept telling me how unusual he was. He’s one of the only horror hosts who is not funny. He’s scary. Although, thoroughly creeped out by him at first–I began to tune in to his wit. He’s not coconut-pie-in-the-pants bozo funny…but he’s clearly doing schtick. When he checks your X-Mas stocking for candy and there’s a foot in it–that’s a joke. But his serious commitment to the character made it scary for kids and many adults. And that is very rare. Sandy contacted me with another great story about a young fan of NIGHTMARE THEATER.
SEAN KOTZ brings up a good point. SAMMY TERRY IS NOT DEAD! Bob Carter handed it down to his son MARK CARTER a couple years ago. He does a remarkable job. It was chilling and heartwarming at the same time to meet the man in Indiana. He introduced himself to me and we remarked that we both have been given the torch to carry by a beloved horror host. Back in California, BOB WILKINS from CREATURE FEATURES gave me mine and his Dad from NIGHTMARE THEATER gave him his. This is also the way of it. Chicago’s SVENGOOLIE handed it over to Son of Sven…Who is now largely accepted as just SVENGOOLIE. Cleveland host THE GHOUL got GHOULARDI’s blessing. DR. SANGUINARY in Omaha spawned the SON OF SANGUINARY. Dr. Paul Bearer’s son has picked up his dads undertaker coat down in Florida. Although, ELVIRA had a PR disaster searching for THE NEXT ELVIRA on Fox Reality TV…perhaps it’s too sacred of a tradition to force it.
DAVID HARDY, who supplied the cover artwork for our memorial, Contacted me. Immediately volunteering any and all of his wonderful of paintings of Sammy for MR. LOBO and HORROR HOSTS AND CREATURE FEATURES to use anyway we wanted. He had his own personal story about “Sammy”. “Back in the late sixties he read one of my fan letters on the air ! It was one of those crazy , surreal moments that don’t happen very often in anyone’s life ! For a kid growing up in the Indy of the sixties and seventies Bob’s show was a MUST WATCH every Friday night !! It , along with FORREST ACKERMAN’s magazine FAMOUS MONSTERS helped to form this ” monster kid ” who now makes a living drawing and painting the monsters !! I owe Sammy a LOT . He is terribly missed already.” Hardy, who will be in attendance at UNCLE FORRY’s favorite conference MONSTER BASH, loved Sammy Terry because his made his life a little more magical on Friday nights “He was my “Horror Hero”!! And he taught me some important life lessons !! If you can get over being scared of the ” monsters ” in those old movies than you can learn not to be afraid of the bad things in your every day life ! I miss him already.”
MR. LOBO reminded David that Sammy will haunt us forever.
“Yes he will !!! As “UNCLE FORRY”” used to say about LON CHANEY SAMMY TERRY will NEVER die !!!! Immediately, the conversation came back to the quality of his show and his commitment to the details. “I have some of his DVDs … I LOVE the fact that he left the ” bumpers ” and wraparounds intact !!! Even the cheesy old commercials!”
MARLENA the lovely host of MIDNIGHT MAUSELEUM had these thoughts to share.
I think my favorite Sammy Terry moment is the 1974 “Halloween / Birthday” special. what seems like an endless stream of political leaders – regional celebrities drop by and wish Sammy HAPPY BIRTHDAY. There is also an official proclamation of SAMMY TERRY DAY and although it seems like he is actually quite choked up, he NEVER breaks character and simply responds with things like “Howwww Awefuuuuuuul”
The very first MIDNITE MAUSOLEUM “public appearance” was at the SAMMY TERRY TRIBUTE event at the PARANORMAL SCAREFEST in Bloomington, IN (2010). Sammy was already far too ill to attend the event but his wife and family did. It was great meeting them and ROBYN GRAVES and I sent Cards and photos to him via his wife.
MARLENA and BLAKE Encouraged us to talk to Indiana ARTV host Dr. SIGMUND ZOID as well –
“being a kid sneaking to the TV to watch SAMMY TERRY is a whole different context”
So true. I reached out to the good Doctor but I got no reply. Without a doubt, he is having a rough week.Typical reaction of the many grown-ups MR. LOBO talked to while researching for the film AMERICAN SCARY–SAMMY TERRY scared them out of their minds as kids.
GEOFF ARBUCKLE From Indy, grew up on SAMMY TERRY and was so scared by the opening he had to leave the room at the start of every episode.
CHRISTY SAVAGE was not scared however. She is one of the organizers of Sacramento’s Notorious Midnight Movie series TRASH FILM ORGY and director of photography for PLANET OF THE VAMPIRE WOMEN. A film in which I was cast as FUTURE MR. LOBO.
“No…he didn’t creep me out…I loved him! I lived in Indianapolis from 1977-1981. I thought he was soooo awesome with his creepy undead thing. I was always drawn to the unusual and creepy stuff. He was my second horror host…after DR. CREEP in Dayton, Ohio. I remember being around 8 or 9 and watching Sammy Terry all the time…a very influential time in building my love of horror films, for sure!
I’m pretty sure one of the first films I saw on Sammy’s show was the AIP JACK HIILL/STEPHANIE ROTHMAN movie BLOOD BATH (AKA Track of the Vampire). It had a HUGE influence on me…first time I’d really seen the mad artist theme and it struck a chord.”
Another filmmaker known for IT CAME FROM TRAFALGAR, SOLOMON MORTAMUR was a huge fan and he still lives in the great state of Indiana. He could a massive documentary himself with all the info and material he has.He used to tape many of his appearances/gigs and has a lot of cool unseen stuff. 6 hours of interviews of fans talking about him. Perhaps one day he will have time and resources to do something with all that great stuff…(perhaps a producer is listening)
For now Solomon offers his childhood memories.
“My cousin Tina used to babysit for me when I was 4 or 5 back in about 1977…
We’d stay up late and watch NIGHTMARE THEATRE.. Some of my earliest memories are of getting to stay up late and watch old monster movies hosted by SAMMY TERRY He introduced me to all the classic monsters as well as a few of the obscure ones too… Even with the fact that you could still see the wire dangling his pet GEORGE THE SPIDER around didn’t detour his show being terrifying to a young child.
His show was GREAT! Probably why it stayed on the air for so long…
One thing I find fascinating is that he was scarier than a majority of the films he hosted… He would scare me so bad with his voice & one of kind unmistakable laugh… I would have to turn his segments off… run back hide under the covers for the film to return or for a commercial break…
My favorite thing he used to say was… “I hope you had a horrible time” Then he’d usually do his laugh…. The way he could pronounce the word horrible was just brilliant spine tingling awesomeness.
I think he is one of very few horror hosts that could have been a Lugosi or a Karloff if he wanted.
He had that kind of talent…
Later in life I would get to meet Bob Carter several times at various gigs that he would do.
I was fortunate enough to have some nice conversations with him at some length about how he introduced me to all the good movies etc… and I thanked him as many folks have done over the years.
Bob Carter was a true genius and will be missed greatly.
But as all legends do he will… live on forever…
Bob Carter AKA Sammy Terry you will be missed… RIP”
JEROME A. DOLAN a New York writer who helped us with our E. NICK WITTY obit could only say–“Another TV Legend gone.”
Well, the man has left us but his legend endures…like Solomon said, that’s what legends do. Thanks for taking some time and joining us for this electronic memorial.
MARK CARTER who has taken on the role at his fathers request closes our offering today, in character, as SAMMY TERRY.
“My creator, ROBERT CARTER, has died. But like all Great People, his gift to this realm lives beyond his years. It is my greatest honor and privilege to continue Robert’s passion and joy delivering spine tingling excitement and Many Pleasant Nightmares in his stead. Please watch my video Eulogy to my creator ROBERT CARTER on the www.sammyterrynightmares.com website as well as learn about the Public Visitation Friday at the Mortuary. As always… GEORGE and I wish you all… Many PLEASANT NIGHTMARES!!!!!!!!
You can share your memories on the
SAMMY TERRY FAN PAGE on FACEBOOK