BOWMAN BODY'S SHOCK THEATRE FILMOGRAPHY!

Hi there, horror movie fans!

While the Bowman Body has done a lot of different versions of his show, his first claim to fame was on Petersburg's "Big 8," WXEX TV beginning in the summer of 1970.  The station had acquired the Screen Gems “Shock!” and “Son of Shock!” packages which featured the 72 classic (and some not so classic) Universal horror films including Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man and The Mummy.  In June of 1970, Bill Bowman gave form to the Bowman Body.

The first year featured a few weeknight “horror film festivals,” but the station had no idea how many people were watching until the September shows when Bowman casually mentioned that if fans liked the program they should write in because otherwise he’d be “selling hotdogs on Virginia Beach.”  Hundreds of letters came in including one from the College of William and Mary with over 400 signatures.

The show had a Halloween special (see below) and then a seven day run in November before going on the air every Friday night starting in February of the following year.  Many fans remember the Bowman Body theme song that mentions “every Saturday night,” reflecting the show’s occaisional change of night.  Air times shifted somewhat too and there was a brief hiatus in 1973 when Bill Bowman went to WVIR in Charlottesville to help get the station off the ground before returning to the Richmond airwaves . . . largely because the public demanded it.

The list you see here is based on research of TV schedules printed in the Richmond Times Dispatch.  These are probably 95% accurate, but such info was not a top priority at any given newspaper.  Additionally, schedules might be cut short if space on the page was too tight.  In some places, therefore, you will see “No Info.”  And in a few spots, other events, like holidays and special coverage displaced the show.  Finally, there were double features sometimes, but no records exist.

And oh yeah . . . about Halloween 1970.  More than one person attests to this, even though the paper shows no record, so we are going with the fans.  .  The most vocal of them is Wayne Lumpkin, who wrote:

 “As a 12 year old kid in 1970 I was ate up with monsters and ghosts. I enjoyed Shock Theatre and the Bowman Body when I first saw him that year in June. Sometime around the last week of October I found out Shock Theatre was going to air "A Special Halloween Shock Double Feature" Saturday night at 11:30 October 31st. I was excited, mainly because it was 2 treats for me......I got to listen to the first 30 minutes of Richmond Revisited on WLEE 1480 AM radio and then to watch the Bowman Body.I could never find any newspaper ads for the event so maybe it was a last minute decision by the powers that be at WXEX (just a guess) Anyway, it aired and I got to record the audio (terrible thou it sounded) I know the first feature was The Mummy but for the life of me I can’t remember the second feature. My recording has Bowman Body with a little assistant named Barkley and they both read the names of people who wrote in with many, many requests for his appearance. (BARKLEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!...IF YOU'RE OUT THERE LET US KNOW SO WE CAN FILL THIS VOID) Bowman also mentioned the wild time he had at the Halloween frolic in Colonial Heights early that week and ended the night by saying Shock Theatre would return in November 1970.”

1970

Monday       

Tuesday      

Wednesday 

Thursday

Friday

   

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

   

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

   

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

   

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

6-22-70

6-23-70

6-24-70

6-25-70

6-26-70

   

7- 20-70

7-21-70

7-22-70

7-23-70

7-24-70

   

7-27-70

7-28-70

7-29-70

7-30-70

7-31-70

   

9-7-70

9-8-70

9-9-70

9-10-70

9-11-70

   

11-22-70

11-23-70

11-24-70

11-25-70

11-26-70

11-27-70

11-28-70

THE RAVEN

THE BLACK CAT

THE MUMMY

THE INVISIBLE MAN

FRANKENSTEIN

 

DRACULA

DRACULA'S DAUGHTER

THE WOLF MAN

FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN

SON OF FRANKENSTEIN

   

HOUSE OF HORRORS

MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE

THE INVISIBLE RAY

NIGHTMARE

MAN MADE MONSTER

   

THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS

MUMMY'S GHOST

THE SHEWOLF OF LONDON

SON OF DRACULA

WEREWOLF OF LONDON

   

4-D MAN

HUMAN DUPLICATORS

THE BLOB

THE GORGON

THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. RX

NIGHT KEY

MAD DOCTOR OF MARKET STREET

1971:   Friday @ 11:30

2-19-71

2-26-71

 

3-5-71

3-12-71

3-19-71

3-26-71

 

4-2-71

4-9-71

4-16-71

4-23-71

4-30-71

 

5-7-71

5-14-71

5-21-71

5-28-71

 

6-6-71

6-11-71

6-18-71

6-25-71

 

7-2-71

7-9-71

7-16-71

7-23-71

7-30-71

8-6-71

8-13-71

8-20-71

8-27-71

 

9-3-71

9-10-71

9-17-71

9-24-71

 

10-1-71

10-8-71

10-15-71

10-22-71

10-29-71

 

11-5-71

11-12-71

11-19-71

11-26-71

12-3-71

12-10-71

12-17-71

12-24-71

12-31-71

THE MUMMY'S TOMB

NIGHT MONSTER

 

THE MAD GHOUL

THE SPIDER

HORROR ISLAND

SEALED LIPS 

 

CALLING DR. DEATH

DEADMAN'S EYES

THE MUMMY'S HAND

THE SECRET OF THE BLUE ROOM

WEIRD WOMAN 

THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME

PILLOW OF DEATH

THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD

SECRET OF THE CHATEAU 

 

CAT CREEPS

MYSTERY OF THE WHITE ROOM

DESTINATION UNKNOWN

CHINATOWN SQUAD 

 

X FROM OUTER SPACE

MYSTERIOUS MR. MOTO

THE GORGON

CURSE OF THE MUMMY'S TOMB

NO INFO--"SHOCK THEATRE" LISTED AT 12:30

 

THE TRUNK

MR. MOTO'S GAMBLE

MUTINY IN OUTER SPACE

IT'S ALIVE 

 

FIRST MEN IN THE MOON

13 FRIGHTENED GIRLS

MAN WHO RECLAIMED HIS HEAD

WEREWOLF OF LONDON 

THE INVISIBLE MAN

MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE

NIGHT MONSTER

THE BLACK CAT

THE MUMMY 

 

FRANKENSTEIN

DRACULA

THE WOLF MAN

SHE WOLF OF LONDON

 

MAN MADE MONSTER

THE INVISIBLE RAY

DEAD MAN'S EYES

THE CAT CREEPS

NEW YEAR'S EVE-NO MOVIE

The Gorgon  (Trailer)​ (

"I NEVER HEARD OF THAT MOVIE . . .?"

While the Bowman Body was memorable, not all the films he showed were, and you will notice some puzzling titles.  Some, like Chinatown Squad and The Cat Creeps, were part of the original Shock! package because they were mysteries and apparently, that was close enough.  Also included were Universal "Inner Sanctum" mysteries featuring Lon Chaney, Jr. giving us such terrifying titles as Pillow of Death.  But the contract required rotation of the films, so WXEX couldn't just run Frankenstein when ever they wanted.  So the station borrowed horror, mystery and sci-fi titles from other general movie packages it owned which explains things like The Mysterious Mr. Moto, X From Outer Space and the occaisional gem, like The Gorgon.

1972:   Friday @ 11:30

1-7-72

1-14-72

1-21-72

1-28-72

  

2-4-72

2-11-72

2-18-72

2-25-72

  

3-3-72

3-10-72

3-17-72

3-24-72

3-31-72

  

4-7-72

4-14-72

4-21-72

4-28-72

  

5-5-72

5-12-72

5-19-72

5-26-72

  

6-2-72

6-9-72

6-16-72

6-23-72

6-30-72

 

7-7-72

7-14-72

7-21-72

7-28-72

8-4-72

8-11-72

8-18-72

8-25-72

9-1-72

9-8-72

9-15-72

9-22-72

9-29-72

MURDER IN THE BLUE ROOM

SPIDER WOMAN STRIKES

NIGHT KEY

CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN

  

HOUSE OF DRACULA

THE MUMMY'S HAND

SON OF DRACULA

HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN

  

THE INVISIBLE MAN

THE MUMMY'S CURSE

THE FROZEN GHOST

HORROR ISLAND

THE RAVEN

  

IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE

THESE ARE THE DAMNED

THE GORGON

FRANKENSTEIN VS. THE SPACE MONSTER

  

4-D MAN

HUMAN DUPLICATORS

THE BLOB

DINOSAURUS

  

CURSE OF THE MUMMY'S TOMB

MUTINY IN OUTER SPACE

VALLEY OF THE DRAGONS

NIGHT MONSTER

BLACK CAT

  

FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD

THE INVISIBLE MAN

THE MAN WHO RECLAIMED HIS HEAD

MURDER IN THE RUE MORGUE

  

INVISIBLE RAY

CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN

SHE WOLF OF LONDON

RETURN OF THE GIANT MONSTERS

HOUSE OF DRACULA

THE WOLF MAN

THE BODY SNATCHER

CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE

NO INFO:  Shock Theater moves to 12:30 *

1972:   Friday @ 12:30
 
* In late September, the show moved to 12:30 AM (technically Saturday) and Playboy After Dark reruns then Perry Mason took the 11:30 slot.  Also, on Halloween (a Tuesday), WXEX ran The Creeping Unknown.  It is unclear whether or not Bowman hosted . . .

10-6-72

10-13-72

10-20-72

10-27-72

 

11-3-72

11-10-72

11-17-72

11-24-72

 

12-1-72

12-8-72

12-15-72

12-22-72

12-29-72

BEAST OF HOLLOW MOUNTAIN

FACE OF MARBLE

I BURY THE LIVING

I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE

HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN

THE LIVING GHOST

PHAROH'S CURSE

MARK OF THE VAMPIRE

 

SON OF DRACULA

7TH VICTIM

GOG

MAN FROM PLANET X

VOODOO ISLAND

1973:   Friday @ 11:30 

1-5-73

1-12-73

THE APE
THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD
From January 13-May 19, 1973, Shock Theater was not on the air and was replaced by Rollin' (aka Rollin' Down the River, a syndicated musical variety show hosted by Kenny Rodgers). During this period, Bill Bowman was helping establish a new station in Charlottesville, WVIR.  At the time, it was the smallest market in the country and had never had a television station.  Most of the people involved had no television experience at all and Bill was instrumental in getting the fledgling station aloft.  
 
Bill returned to to WXEX in the mid-summer but Shock Theatre returned to the airwaves, this time on Saturday night at 12:30 am, when the summer season began in May.  For the short term, Reed Wolliver (who passed away in March 2020) hosted movies as "Count Drac" until Bowman could get back full time.  Count Drac's most infamous moment came when he reclined in a metal lawn chair which collapsed and he unleashed a spray of profanity . . . which they forgot to edit out.
1973:   Saturday @ 12:30 

5-19-73

5-26-73

 

6-2-73

6-9-73

6-16-73

6-23-73

6-30-73

 

7-7-73

7-14-73

7-21-73

7-28-73

 

8-4-73

8-11-73

8-18-73

8-25-73

 

9-1-73

9-8-73

9-15-73

9-22-73

9-29-73

 

10-6-73

10-13-73

10-20-73

10-27-73

 

11-3-73

11-10-73

11-17-73

11-24-73

 

12-1-73

12-8-73

12-15-73

12-22-73

12-29-73

THE THING (FROM ANOTHER WORLD)

THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN

 

FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN

THE MUMMY'S GHOST

DRACULA

DRACULA'S DAUGHTER

SON OF FRANKENSTEIN

 

THE MUMMY'S TOMB

SON OF DRACULA

HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN

THE MUMMY'S HAND

 

FRANKENSTEIN

WEREWOLF OF LONDON

GHOST OF FRANKENSTIEN

THE INVISIBLE MAN'S REVENGE

 

THE LOST MISSLE

THE BODY SNATCHER

SON OF KONG

THE BEAST WITH 5 FINGERS

VOODOO ISLAND

 

BEDLAM

THE CAT PEOPLE

ISLE OF THE DEAD

DESTINATION MOON

 

MAN FROM PLANET X

DIE, DIE MY DARLING

THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD

THE WALKING DEAD

 

FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN

DRACULA'S DAUGHTER

SON OF FRANKENSTEIN

INVISIBLE WOMAN

MUMMY'S CURSE

1974:   Saturday @ 12:15 

1-5-74

1-12-74

1-19-74

1-26-74

 

2-2-74

2-9-74 

2-16-74

2-23-74

 

3-2-74

3-9-74 

3-16-74

3-23-74

3-30-74

 

4-6-74

4-13-74

4-20-74

4-27-74

 

5-4-74

5-11-74

5-18-74

5-25-74

6-1-74

6-8-74

6-15-74

6-22-74

6-29-74

 

7-6-74

7-13-74

7-20-74

7-27-74

 

8-3-74

8-10-74

8-17-74

8-24-74

8-31-74

 

9-7-74

9-14-74

9-21-74

9-28-74

 

10-05-74

10-12-74

10-19-74

10-26-74

 

11-2-74

11-9-74

11-16-74

11-23-74

11-30-74

 

12-7-74

12-14-74

12-21-74

12-28-74

HOUSE OF DRACULA

THE RAVEN

THE MUMMY'S GHOST

DRACULA

 

THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS

GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN

THE CURSE OF THE MUMMY'S TOMB

THE BLOB

 

4-D MAN

INVISIBLE MAN

THE MUMMY

TERROR IS A MAN

DONOVAN'S BRAIN

 

TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE

BRIGHTON STRANGLER

7TH VICTIM

CURSE OF DRACULA

 

CHARLIE CHAN AT THE RACE TRACK

DEAD MAN'S EYES

CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OPERA

INVISIBLE AGENT

CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OLYMPICS

PILLOW OF DEATH

CHARLIE CHAN ON BROADWAY

HOUSE OF HORRORS

CHARLIE CHAN IN ROME

 

JUNGLE CAPTIVE

CHARLIE CHAN IN THE DESERT

DRACULA'S DAUGHTER

CHARLIE CHAN IN EGYPT

 

THE CRIME OF DR. HALLET

MARK OF THE VAMPIRE

THE MYSTERY OF MARIE ROGET

THE FLAME BARRIER

FRANKENSTEIN

 

BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN

SON OF FRANKENSTEIN

GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN

FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN

 

THE WOLFMAN

THE MUMMY

THE MUMMY'S TOMB

THE MUMMY'S GHOST

 

THE MUMMY'S CURSE

THE MUMMY'S HAND

KING KONG

SON OF KONG

MIGHTY JOE YOUNG

 

THE THING

THE MAN FROM PLANET X

SHE WOLF OF LONDON

WEREWOLF OF LONDON

1975:   Saturday @ 12:15 

1-4-75

1-11-75

1-18-75

1-25-75

 

2-1-75

2-8-75

2-15-75

2-22-75

 

3-1-75

3-8-75

3-15-75

3-22-75

3-29-75

 

4-5-75

4-12-75

4-19-75

4-26-75

 

5-3-75

5-10-75

5-17-75

5-24-75

5-31-75

 

6-7-75

6-14-75

6-21-75

6-28-75

 

7-5-75

7-12-75

7-19-75

7-26-75

 

8-2-75

8-9-75

8-16-75

8-23-75

8-30-75

 

9-6-75

9-13-75

9-20-75

9-27-75

 

10-4-75

10-11-75

10-18-75

10-25-75

 

11-1-75

11-8-75

11-15-75

11-22-75

11-29-75

 

12-6-75

12-13-75

12-20-75

12-27-75

1-3-76

THE MAD GHOUL

MAN MADE MONSTER

BLACK FRIDAY

INVISIBLE RAY

 

MURDER AT THE RUE MORGUE

NIGHT MONSTER

THE BEAST WITH 5 FINGERS

OCTAMAN

 

ISLAND OF LIVING HORROR

CURSE OF THE VAMPIRES

DECOY FOR TERROR

TOMB OF THE LIVING DEAD

CREATURE'S REVENGE

 

VAMPIRE PEOPLE

TOWER OF TERROR

INN OF FRIGHTENED PEOPLE

BEAST OF THE DEAD

 

DIE SCREAMING MARIANNE

BLOOD LEGACY

LEMORA: LADY DRACULA

GRAVE OF THE VAMPIRE

THE LAST WAR

 

GORATH

CURSE OF THE MUMMY'S TOMB

THE BLOB

HUMAN DUPLICATORS

 

WALKING DEAD

MAGNETIC MONSTER

THE MANSTER

No Movie--Democratic National Telethon

 

FOUR SKULLS OF JONATHAN DRAKE

CURSE OF THE FACELESS MAN

RED PLANET MARS

THE BODY SNATCHER

IT: THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE

 

THE LAST MISSILE

BLACK SLEEP

THE NEANDERTHAL MAN

INVISIBLE INVADERS

 

KING OF THE ZOMBIES

REVENGE OF THE ZOMBIES

GOG

I BURY THE LIVING

CURSE OF DRACULA

LIVING GHOST

VOODOO ISLAND

RETURN OF DR. X

CREEPING UNKNOWN

 

RIDERS TO THE STARS

THE INVISIBLE MAN'S REVENGE

THE MUMMY'S TOMB

NIGHT MONSTER

INVISIBLE AGENT

1976:   FRIDAY @ 12:00 
Records indicate that Shock Theater moved back to Friday nights in 1976 (with the exception of the first weekend--see above).  It ended in September.  The Screen Gems contract ran out and by the end of the year, Bill Bowman had left WXEX for new opportunties.  The last movie shown on Bowman Body's Shock Theatre was I Bury the Living . . . something poetic about that perhaps . .  .

1-9-76

1-16-76

1-23-76

1-30-76

 

2-6-76

2-13-76 

2-20-76

2-27-76

 

3-5-76

3-12-76

3-19-76

3-26-76

 

4-2-76

4-19-76

4-16-76

4-23-76

 

5-7-76

5-14-76

5-21-76

5-28-76

6-4-76

6-11-76

6-18-76

6-25-76

 

7-2-76

7-9-76

7-16-76

7-23-76

7-30-76

 

8-6-76

8-13-76

8-20-76

8-27-76

 

9-3-76

9-10-76

INVISIBLE WOMAN

MIGHTY JOE YOUNG

BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS

THE BODY SNATCHER

 

KING KONG

SON OF KONG

THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD

FIRST MEN IN THE MOON

 

VALLEY OF THE DRAGONS

MUTINY IN OUTER SPACE

DINOSAURUS

THESE ARE THE DAMNED

 

ISLE OF THE DEAD

THE PHAROH'S CURSE

TERROR IS A MAN

DONOVAN'S BRAIN

 

THE THING (note: 1 am . . . Kentucky Derby delay)

DESTINATION MOON

THE WALKING DEAD

FACE OF MARBLE

THE LIVING GHOST 

RED PLANET MARS / MARK OF THE VAMPIRE (double) 

THE CREEPING UNKNOWN 

THE FLAME BARRIER

 

THE MANSTER 

BLACK FRIDAY 

CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN 

MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (1 am--football delay)

NIGHT MONSTER

 

INVISIBLE RAY 

THE APE

FOUR SKULLS OF JONATHAN DRAKE

THE NEANDERTHAL MAN

 

INVISIBLE INVADERS

I BURY THE LIVING

1976-77:   The Strange Case of Afternoon Shock!
 
In 2018 (nearly 10 years after starting this project), new info popped up indicating that Shock Theater continued to run on Saturday afternoons at 3:00 pm from October 16, 1976 through June 11, 1977.  If you have have recall of this period and whether the Bowman Body hosted the show, please let us know.