The Hilarious House of Frightenstein Volume 1

Created at Hamilton, ON’s CHCH television studios in 1970 and 1971, the Hilarious House Of Frightenstein has become one of the most legendary Canadian cult television series ever. A children’s show mixing horror, humour, variety and educational sequences, the show has been shown in syndication on and off since the early ’70s, with Critical Mass recently bringing the show back to CHUM’s Drive-In Classics and Space channels. Interest in the show has grown thanks to websites such as and, as well as a recent Toronto convention in 2005 that attracted 400 attendees. Starring Toronto comedian Billy Van in multiple roles — he played 90-percent of the characters on the show, including Count Frightentstein, Bwana Clyde Batty, the Wolfman and Grizleda — along with the South African-born Fishka Rais as Igor, professor Julius Sumner Miller and legendary horror movie star Vincent Price as the show’s host and narrator, many of the episodes were created through improv, with Van working magic on top of the already well-written scripts. Set in Frankenstone, the majority of the Count and Igor’s time is spent trying to revive the Count’s monster Brucie so they can return to their homeland of Transylvania. The show is full of mistakes and follies, which work thanks to Van’s great comedic mind. He was the definite star of the series. This three-DVD set, the first official commercial release, contains 13 original 50-minute episodes in their entirety. These do not represent the first 13 episodes; instead, these are the first to have their music segments approved for airplay, something that didn’t matter when the show first aired 35 years ago. There are no bonus materials, with the packaging offering little information. However, as the series has never been commercially available before, it’s enough to simply have the episodes. Frightenstein was one of the most amazing Canadian television shows of its time and this collection is a must have for fans of the show, and also doubles as a great introduction for those previously unfamiliar. As the Wolfman would say, "dig it.” (Alliance Atlantis)