Le Shoc is a Nosferatu

In an interview with series co-creator Michael Heagle, we get some insights as to the thought process behind TVTV’s resident cranky boss, the Vampire Le Shoc.

What impact has Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror had on the horror genre?

Murnau’s Nosferatu is somewhat of a hidden gem — while the German Expressionist films and their filmmakers were assimilated by and had a major impact on the development of American studios, it is more difficult to draw a straight line from Nosferatu to the films of today. To assign the epithet of cult film to Nosferatu is at least partially right, as its ban and destruction by the Stoker heirs and disappearance from the annals of silent film make it a lesser known entity than the ubiquitous Universal Dracula. Consider it the smarter, hipper Dracula, and the only vampire film that actually approached the uncanny feeling of Stoker’s novel for decades to come.

Has the vampire Count Orlock had any impact on the vampires we see in film today?

Orlock got the short-end of the stake, in my opinion. Hollywood naturally gravitated toward the seductive vampire, leaving behind its roots as, first and foremost, a reanimated corpse. With few exceptions, film vampires tended toward the handsome. In fact, the most lasting, terrifying vampires were direct evocation of Orlock. The 1979 TV movie of Stephen King’s  Salem’s Lot features a skull-visaged, floating-outside-your-window terror that scared (and scarred) me forever. When Jerry Dandridge, the vampire antagonist of 1985’s Fright Night, does the full-on vampire transformation, he is a direct descendant of Orlock and thus one of my vampy favorites.

Is Nosferatu or any other silent horror film important to cinema today?

Unfortunately, modern filmmakers are discouraged to plumb the depths of film history, and are more frequently asked to evoke recent successes. When a filmmaker boldly embraces the silent movie tradition, they are often rewarded by critics but ignored by audiences, which places films like The Artist or Shadow of the Vampire squarely on the art-house list — admired by the cinephiles and shunned by regular audiences. The state of modern film horror also emphasizes the adrenaline rush over eerie atmospherics — and are thus more about terror than horror. Few commercial filmmakers are allowed to indulge in the traditional joys of slow eerie scenes with subtle payoffs, and when they do it is often used as a joke (Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, perhaps).

 Has this film or any other film from the silent era influenced you or your filmmaking in any way?

When tasked with making an original vampire character for an adult puppet series, we instantly gravitated towards the idea of a Nosferatu. The Lugosi-style vampire had been seen as a puppet on multiple occasions, ranging from Sesame Street’s The Count to Greg the Bunny’s scathing parody of the same. Thus, the Vampire Le Shoc in Transylvania Television is absolutely an Orlock-Nosferatu, with blue skin, pointed ears, and a long brown coat.

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TVTV: The Very Beast on DVD!

The penultimate DVD release from the retro monster comedy web-sensation is here! The Very Beast of Transylvania Television, until recently available only as a convention exclusive, is now yours for the asking! Containing the five slickly-produced TV 22-minute episodes, this represents the culmination of over seven years of production on your favorite monster puppet comedy show. These episodes feature the very best of the web show, some sketches that were recreated at a higher quality for the show, and a host of all-new material guaranteed to leave you like Dwayne Frankenstein — in stitches! Order now on the STORE page, or take advantage of our “Shitload of TVTV” package deal and get the entire library for one low cost. In addition to the five TV eps, you also get a trio of live hosting performances and audio commentary by the cast.

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Oscar Worthy? No. Oscar Related? YES.

If you missed this the first time around, here’s TVTV’s rip on the Oscar phenomenon.

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Classic Behind the Scenes Video

Minnewood Behind the Scenes with Transylvania TV from Minnewood on Vimeo.

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TVTV: Some Music From and Inspired by the Series

Get the free download of this album here! This compilation features rock-inspired, upbeat tracks from the series’ run, starting with the pilot’s “Say Muh Name” performed by Batfink himself and culminating in a slew of cues from the director’s cut of the Real Meanin’ of Halloween Special Show. Thanks go out to contributors far and wide, including Minneapolis artists International Espionage, Scott Keever, and John Mapes. “The overarching goal of the Halloween Special was to evoke the 80’s comedies like Caddyshack and Back to School,” says Heagle, “and music was a huge part of all of those films. Trying to record vintage-sounding tunes with today’s tools was a challenge, but I grew up with the music of that era and find it an easy and fun genre to write for.” Though few of these were really meant to be heard as anything but background songs or bits of score, getting a closer listen provides an opportunity for fans to find other bits of humor hidden within the simple music cues. Most are brief and end abruptly, characteristic of their design as excerpts of “source music.”

Rumors that an “Original Score” type album for the Halloween project may also in the works have been confirmed, stay tuned to this site for more information. To download the album, right click here and choose to save the download in the appropriate place on your computer.

TRACK LISTING

  1. TVTV Theme  — International Espionage
  2. Get Down it’s Halloween – DJ Sothoth
  3. Cthulhu Rising – DJ Sothoth
  4. Got to Have it All – David Last
  5. High Frequency – DJ Sothoth
  6. Ba Vita Clu — From the Chronus Spiritus Collection
  7. Hot for Teacher (of the Secret Wisdom) — From the Chronus Spiritus Collection
  8. Widow’s Tears — From the Chronus Spiritus Collection
  9. Devil’s Advocate Stinger
  10. Magic Snatch (Stinger)
  11. Say Muh Name — Batfink and the Steel Riggers
  12. TVTV Rock Theme – John Mapes
  13. Mockingbird Theme — Scott Keever
  14. Tiki Bar Fugue — Scott Keever
  15. Powered Station – DJ Sothoth
  16. SheZZ – DJ Sothoth
  17. Kim Ho Tep Love Theme – DJ Sothoth
  18. Release Me (bonus Track) – Mutant Boys
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Fall 2012 — See TVTV in Your Area This Halloween!

These stations will be running the Halloween package — five half hour episodes plus the one-hour Halloween Special! Check your local listings for times.

  • Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids MI — The Comcast Network
  • Indianapolis, Fort Wayne IN — Hoosier TV
  • Norfolk, Portsmouth, Newport News VA — Cox 11
  • Roanoke, Lynchburg VA — Cox 9
  • TUFF TV Affiliates across the nation:
    • Los Angeles — KFLA Ch 8.3
    • Aurora IL — WPVN Ch 24.2
    • San Francisco CA — KCNS-TV Ch DTV39
    • Atlanta GA — WTBS Ch 26.8
    • Phoenix AZ — K38IZ Ch 38.2
    • Alexandria MN — K60-EJ Ch 47.1
    • Cleveland, Canton OH — WIVM Ch 39.2
    • Charlotte, Hickory NC — WHKY Ch 14.3
    • Alexandria TN — WRTN Ch 6.5
    • Salt Lake City UT — KPDR Ch 19
    • Las Vegas, Parumph NV — KHMP Ch 18.4
    • Oklahoma City OK — Ch 41, 52.1, 52.2
    • Albuquerque NM — KYNM Ch 30.2
    • New Orleans LA — KNOV Ch 41
    • Cobleskill NY — WYBN Ch 14.3
    • Lexington KY — WOBZ Ch 9.3
    • Wichita KS — KSMI Ch 51.4
    • Flint MI — WHNE Ch 26.4
    • Athens AL — WTZT Ch11
    • Chattanooga TN — WDEF Ch 12.2
    • Saranac Lake NY — WNMN Ch 40.1
    • Augusta GA — WAAU Ch 18
    • Macon, Warner Robins GA — WRWR Ch 38.2
    • Andalusia AL — WAAO Ch 40.1
    • Redding CA — KGEC Ch 26.2
    • Anchorage AK — KACN Ch 38
    • Yuma AZ — KSWT Ch 13.2
    • Dothan AL — WJJN Ch 49
    • Cortez CO — K26CI Ch 27.4
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TVTV on MSP TV

Live in the Twin Cities and want to get the new seven-episode Transylvania Television Halloween Broadcast Pack on your local stations? Or do you just want to help spread the love and help us get the Retro Monster Comedy Series on for a big holiday run? Either way, contact the stations themselves and let them know you’re looking for the TVTV Halloween series — the one with the puppets that isn’t for kids — at the links below:

 

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ToplessRobot.com Plugs TVTV

Sacred geek site toplessrobot.com declares Transylvania Television “the greatest show ever to come out of Minneapolis that isn’t Mystery Science Theater 3000.” In a recent article showcasing the “10 Best Nerdy and Non-Professional Web Series,” TVTV ranks right up there with fan shows about the Dark Knight, Tron, and Star Trek!

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TVTV is Bound for Broadcast!

And you can help. We need a starting salvo of cash to pay off the gatekeepers of commercial television. Your donation will help get the ball rolling, allowing our advocate to start pitching it to stations around the USA and encouraging sponsors national and local to contribute much-needed ad dollars to get it on air. Any amount will help!

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