This documentary tells the story of "horror hosts", the local people who would introduce and perform little skits during the showing of movies in TV's infancy. Probably the most well known is Elvira, although this documentary makes passing mention of The Cryptkeeper from "Tales from the Crypt" and considers "Mystery Science Theater 3000" to be in that same vein.
This documentary is interesting, but the director got incredibly sloppy with his editing work for most of the film. The film starts suggesting all of the famous hosts we're going to be told about, but takes a good 10-15 minutes "introducing" the concept of horror hosts. There's nothing wrong with an introduction obviously, but the sloppy editing starts here, as the interviews tend to trail off into nothingness leaving the viewer confused about where we're heading.
The horror hosts then begin to go very well starting with Vampira, and Roland moving on through Svengoolie and the rest. When the movie gets to the "normal" guys like "Chillie Billy" and "Big Chuck and Little Jon", I began to wonder why these people were even called horror hosts, especially as all the interviewed began to bemoan the fate of television. Yes, there is no locality to television anymore, it is mostly corporate stations, but the concept of people hosting a movie is still around.... yes, the productions are more slick, but except for their low budgets and cheesy jokes the "normal" guys are no different than modern hosts.
This is where this movie really falters too. One of the horror hostesses said she went off the air in 1990, so we're talking 19 years ago now. Considering someone was a lets say 13 year old kid in 1990 (more or less their key demographic as they all attest to), that person was born in the late 70's. Therefore, anyone under lets say 35 will have no idea what this is all about and therefore not feel like their missing anything that all these horror hosts are bemoaning. I'm 30, and I don't remember any of these people... mostly because they only played to local markets, but also because I think the peak of this genre was in the 70's.
The message then is lost on many people simply by virtue of their birth date, but for even those who do remember this, the director's lack of conscious editing will really dull the impact of this movie. The lengthy discussion of Ghouliardi from Clevelend, OH and all of the great horror hosts from Ohio will begin to lose interest from anyone not from Ohio as it drags on endlessly. Neil Gaiman's babbling on at the end about nothing in particular is also just a bad way to end the movie, as it doesn't really drive any of the director's points (if he had any) home to the audience.
Overall this movie has an interesting section of American pop culture played out before our eyes, but I think they overestimate their own importance, and this documentary only gives them exposure, it doesn't really help their case.