In the late '50s, Screen Gems released dozens of Universal horror films on TV via the Shock Theater and Son of Shock film packages. (Some Columbia Horror films were included in the Son of Shock Package as well.)
Though the packages were padded with non-horror thrillers like Danger Woman and the Man Who Cried Wolf, a number of films from 1931 to 1946 (the years covered by the Shock packages) were not included.
Not all of these films are pure horror films, but most would have been more welcome late night viewing than Chinatown Squad or Reported Missing.
Some of the films were probably considered to "classy" to be part of the package. Some might have already been released on another package. Some might have been missing, overlooked, or lacking a decent print.
In any case, here are some notable Universal films that were not released as part of the Shock packages.
NOTE: This list doesn't include any of the many Paramount films (like Island of Lost Souls or The Monster and the Girl) which MCA purchased in 1958. None were ever included in a Shock film package, possibly because MCA did not take over Universal until 1962.
The list also does not include films that Universal lost the rights to, like The Old Dark House and Life Returns.
The Man Who Reclaimed His Head
A brilliant but impoverished writer, who is a pacifist, goes to work for a publisher and writes anti-war editorials... (80 mins.)
“ More of a "message" picture with horrific overtones. Plus there might have been legal issues, but I'm not sure. ” - tharrx
Tower of London
In the 15th century Richard Duke of Gloucester, aided by his club-footed executioner Mord, eliminates those ahead of him in succession to the throne... (92 mins.)
“ This costumer was probably reserved for another film package. ” - tharrx
“ More of a dark melodrama than a horror flick, it was still closer to what viewers wanted than a lot of the crime movies that were included in the packages. ” - tharrx
The Invisible Woman
An attractive model with an ulterior motive volunteers as guinea pig for an invisibility machine. (72 mins.)
“ The Columbia comedy "The Boogie Man Will Get You" made into the Son of Shock package, but no other comedies made the cut, not even this one. ” - tharrx
The Black Cat
Elderly Henrietta Winslow lives in an isolated mansion with her housekeeper and beloved cats. As her health fails, her greedy relatives gather in anticipation of her death. (70 mins.)
“ This is a curious omission. Perhaps someone didn't realize there was more than one Black Cat film in the Universal vault. ” - tharrx
The Invisible Man's grandson uses his secret formula to spy on Nazi Germany. (81 mins.)
“ Admittedly, not a horror movie. But it was firmly part of the Invisible Man series, and should have been included. ” - tharrx
Flesh and Fantasy
An anthology of three loosely connected occult tales, with ironic and romantic twists. (94 mins.)
“ More romantic than horrorific, even if it was about the supernatural. ” - tharrx
“ This technicolor extravaganza was probably saved for a fancier film package. ” - tharrx
A demented physician becomes obsessed with a young singer whose voice sounds similar to his late mistress. (86 mins.)
“ Another technicolor extravaganza too good for the Shock packages. ” - tharrx
Two bank robbers, Cliff Banks and Sam Baker go their separate ways while being chased by the law. Now fleeing alone... (65 mins.)
“ This started out as part of the Flesh and Fantasy anthology, and thus is also not horror as Universal fans usually define it. ” - tharrx
Two zanies get mixed up with a Southern colonel, his beautiful daughters, a nightclub and a haunted mansion. (68 mins.)
“ No Universal comedies ever made it into the Shock film packages, no matter how supernatural the plot elements were. ” - tharrx
Paula the ape woman (Acquanetta) is alive and well, and running around a creepy old sanitarium run by the kindly Dr... (61 mins.)
“ This must be the most curious omission on the list. The first and third films in the trilogy made it into the package, so why not this one? My guess is it was mistaken for a "Tarzan" type film based on its name. ” - tharrx
Murder in the Blue Room
A party is thrown at a haunted mansion, people start to die, and a man who spent a night in the "blue room" disappears. (61 mins.)
“ This is a musical-comedy remake of Secret of the Blue Room, which was included in the Shock package, so I guess they figured it would be redundant. ” - tharrx
A scientist who is working on a cure for influenza is victimized by his unscrupulous boss, who releases the vaccine before it's ready, resulting in the death of the scientist's young son. (62 mins.)
“ This is the only "Inner Sanctum" movie not to be included in the Shock film packages, perhaps because it leaned more towards melodrama. I also heard it might have been the subject of legal wrangling because of its alleged similarities to the Man Who Reclaimed His Head. ” - tharrx