with Bob Wilkins
KTVU 2, San Francisco / Oakland
1971 - 1979 (Bob Wilkins)
1979 - 1984 (John Stanley)
Various times, Saturday
(with a Friday edition for a few years)
Creature Features is, with Dialing For Dollars, the Bay Area's best-known local movie show.
When Creature Features debuted in the San Francisco market on KTVU 2 in February of 1971, its host, Bob Wilkins, had already spent five years perfecting his disarmingly sedate horror host persona on
7 Arts Theater on Saturday nights on KCRA-TV 3 in Sacramento.
I had seen Wilkins on KCRA-TV once or twice before then, while visiting friends who could receive Sacramento stations, and was thrilled he was finally on a channel I could get at home. Just as thrilling was that the first movie shown on Creature Features was 1964's THE HORROR OF PARTY BEACH. a film I had been waiting half my life (roughly 7 years) to see.
Creature Features rapidly became a hit, and a second movie was added to the show before the end of the year. KCRA-TV quickly dropped Wilkins in the Sacramento market, but KTXL-TV 40 just as quickly picked him up for a hosted horror movie, where he outlasted his run at Creature Features.
Bob's presence was unique for a horror host at the time. Although the Creature Features set was festooned with skulls and cobwebs, Wilkins didn't play a horror character. He wore a suit and tie and dark-rimmed glasses. He had a slightly bookish, softspoken quality, which never seemed to waver no matter how scathing his jabs at the films became.
The story of Creature Features and Bob Wilkins' other careers as kid's show host and weatherman have all been very well documented at several web sites. Scott Moon's BobWilkins.tv is the official site, and tells much more than more than I could here with some really snazzy design, to boot! There are also a couple of informative tribute sites here and here. There's no need to duplicate these fine efforts, but there is something I'd like to add about Bob Wilkins.
More Creature Features...
DRACULA is available on DVD from Universal as part of The Dracula Legacy Collection, which contains all the Dracula films of Universal's horror cycle. KILLERS FROM SPACE has been issued by several grey-market labels, none of which are particularly good quality.