Through the 1970s and 1980s Creature Double Feature served up a Saturday afternoon double bill and enlightened the young and the young at heart to the classic world of Japanese kaiju and American monster movies. It was perhaps, for a time, one of the greatest shows on the planet - at least on Saturdays!
Every Saturday was a treat that often delivered wide-eyed children heaping amounts of Godzilla, Gamera, Rodan, Mothra and strange delicacies like Attack Of The Mushroom People, Attack Of The Puppet People and Yog: Monster From Space not to mention the incredible Daimajin.
The list goes on and the show could easily shift between the best of Toho or Japanese classics back to American fare like X: The Man With The X-Ray Eyes and The Amazing Colossal Man to The Brain That Wouldn't Die. Right? I know. You wouldn't want to miss Creature Double Feature either. It was through this massive series of cool that I was exposed to the very best of kaiju and early science fiction. It was my bread and butter as a kid. When the world was throwing everything it could at me and making every effort to knock me down this series gave me my chance to curl up and escape into other worlds and other fears. I was not alone.
The series aired immediately after the traditional 6:00 AM-Noon run of Saturday morning cartoons that featured everything from Barbapapa, Super Friends, Thundarr The Barbarian to Land Of The Lost, Herculoids and everything in between. As you might well imagine I was often cooking up a marathon day on the homefront.
I enjoyed those Saturdays immensely especially after a week at school that tried my nerves and patience. When those Saturdays arrived I rarely wanted to leave the pajamas behind. I was all-in on the pajamas and, like the Cylons, I had a plan from sun up to sun down on those days. I never wanted to leave the comfort of my home those days, but who did? Saturday was special.
On one occasion I recall my mother forcing me out the door to swimming lessons at our local beach. I was so devastated I was about to miss the monster movies of the week I had to make a stand. Like any typical kid ruled by a life of ME, I declared defiantly and passionately to her, "Mom, I hope I'm so sick next week I can't even move!" This battle cry, while normally ill-advised by normal, clear thinking people, seemed like a good idea at the time if it meant an afternoon with Creature Double Feature. Off my prayers went to the heavens. This was of course intended to ensure me a seat in front of the television for the next round of kaiju clashes and other survival classics, because as kids we understood survival. We did it every day back and forth from school. Why not live vicariously through Godzilla. He won most of the time! So my wish for ill-health was indeed child-like and to say the unfortunate act of a kid that should not wish such things on anyone or one's self, but it was merely the temporary thinking of a child who simply yearned to be that much closer to Gamera and others. I mean kids loved Gamera even the boy scouts.
Well, by God, as luck would have it, my prayers were answered, the next week I was thankfully sick as a dog with the very temporary stomach bug [thank God nothings serious] and this little boy was home free and sitting pretty with ginger ale and a giant heap of Toho between visits to the porcelain throne, but heck, I was home with Creature Double Feature as my nurse friend. Ice pops and other goodies accompanied the roughly three hour tour, a three hour tour.
In honor of the spirit of that fine Saturday and those formative years, I intend to bring you our first official Creature Double Feature flashback for Saturdays [time permitting] in the near future. It'll be a fun way to look back visually at images that instantly recall those unforgettable classics and revisit those simple, but effective, plot lines of the best in Japanese and American science fiction and monster movies. And boy, in Japan, those aliens from outer space were always stirring up trouble.