The world of Horror Hosting, as you readers know, is made up of all types from broadcast giants to online superstars and sometimes even direct to home media warriors…and our subject for this update is one of the latter as this host went direct to DVD and as far as I know only lasted one episode and made a very tiny splash. The host I am talking about is Captain Jolly Roger and his show was Hell’s Drive-In, a quirky silly show. This update will be super fast paced as Captain Jolly Roger has a very short history of being a Horror Host, and while he was a blink and he was gone kind of Host, he still had his fans who enjoyed his antics. So while he might not be a full Icon, I feel he should at least get his time in the Horror Host spotlight so get ready as I bring you Horror Host Icon: Captain Jolly Roger, sit back relax and let’s go to the Drive-In with The Captain.
Captain Jolly Roger is pirate who wears eyeglasses, has long black hair, rocks a skull & crossbones bandanna and wears a pirate coat. He has a very dry delivery of his jokes and is slightly egotistical as he feels his viewers owe him respect for sailing and finding these movies he hosts. When not in his dungeon room hosting cheesy movies Captain Jolly Roger is sailing around the world to find more films to host. Jolly Roger also has a catchphrase that has him make his hand into a hook and he says “Arrr” like a true pirate. It’s also very clear that Jolly Roger enjoys Hosting movies and loves his show. Speaking of the show, Hell’s Drive-In started in 2006 and had one episode that went direct to DVD making the show also end in 2006. I like how Jolly Roger throughout his episode would try to con his viewers with a business scam as well as would try and get them to buy the products by his sponsors. While Jolly Roger was a Captain, he seems to only have one crew member that was a female voice who announced things for him a small amount of time. So while Captain Jolly Roger might have been a very short lived host, those that saw his episode enjoyed his Hell’s Drive-In presentation.
The man behind the Pirate Captain was J.D. Fugate, who was the director of independent horror movie “Brokeback Zombie” that was produced by his wife. In fact J.D. has worked on many different indie Horror Movies over the years and was a main stay at Cinema Wasteland Convention. Sadly I cannot find much more about J.D. Fugate, but I do believe he is based out of Indiana when he made Hell’s Drive In.
I am sure you’re asking, “How did you discover Captain Jolly Roger, Matt?” Well let me tell you – back in 2007, I was 28 and was always at Cinema Wasteland in Strongsville, Ohio selling Independent B Movie films at Andy Copp’s table and helping Dr. Creep film interviews for his show that sadly many never made it to air. And while at the convention on one of my breaks, I went shopping and stopped by the Hell’s Orphans Production table and found a DVD copy of the show thrown in their cheap bin, and seeing it I knew I had to watch it! One thing I have always loved is finding new Horror Hosts that I have never seen before and ones that flew under the radar of the mass viewing fans, and Captain Jolly Roger and his Hell’s Drive-In fit that bill. I laughed my butt off at the good old Captain’s dry and awkward delivery and over all really enjoyed the episode, and to me it’s a shame the show only lasted one episode as I would have liked to see what Jolly Roger had in store for us in further ones and what films he would have selected to bring to viewers. Plus I think that with more episodes Jolly Roger would have found his pacing as well as the true nature of himself. The Hell’s Drive-In DVD in 2020 is going to be super hard to find, but if you ever do find a copy on DVD or on a trade list, give it a watch. It’s far from amazing…but it’s still a part of Horror Host history.
So while writing this update I searched the seven seas as well as every abandoned drive-in theater I came across, and I found Captain Jolly Roger at one in parts unknown and lucky for us, he is willing to answer a quick 4 Questions! So sit back and relax, and let’s chat with the Captain!
Me: Welcome to Rotten Ink, Captain Jolly Roger. The first question for you is what Horror Host, if any, inspired you to become a Horror Host?
CJR: Arrrr when I was just a wee little boy there was no time for TV. I spend my days looking for gold. Only thing was I was landlocked in Indiana. How could a young lad like myself learn to be a pirate? It was the drive-in theaters that showed me what I really wanted to do. But by the time I grew to a man all the drive-in theaters were gone. Arrrrrr
Me: Very cool so it was the old drive-in theaters of Indiana that inspired you. Well my next question is how did Hell’s Drive-In come about?
CJR: Arrrr Hells’s Drive-In came about when I saw there was no pirates for a host at all. Arrr make me seasick. I had to do something or my name wasn’t captain Jolly Roger. So I busted open my chest of gold which was about $85 and went out and bought me a camera and set up to start filming Hell’s Drive-In.
Me: In 2006, the world did need a pirate Horror Host! So my next question for you Captain, is if you could pick any movie to host, what would it be?
CJR: Arrr more questions. When do I get me gold and ship is my question. Aye, but to host Ed Wood’s plan 9 From Outer Space would be a true dream come true. That Ed Wood knew a thing or two about making movies. Arrr He sleeps in Davy Jones locker now.
Me: Ed Wood is fantastic as is his cheesy classic film Plan 9! But my final question is what advice do you have for any future Horror Hosts reading this?
CJR: Arrr So you want to be a horror host also. Arrr No one could be a horror host like Captain Jolly Roger. You do better stay in below deck. Aye but if you did venture into it you need to look at what everybody else was doing and not do it. You need to do something completely different. Come up with a plan and set sail to it. There will be plenty that will say you can’t do it. You may have to start it alone but others will come when they see what you have created. Arrr that be the best I can do for your land lovers.
Me: Thanks for your time Captain Jolly Roger!
Arrr! Let’s now get to the part of this Horror Host Icon review where I will take a look at the first and only episode of Hell’s Drive-In. I want to remind you all that I will not be giving this episode a star rating and will be taking the film’s write up from our friends at IMDB, and I will write about what happens in the host segments. So if you are ready, let’s get to spending some movie time with Captain Jolly Roger.
Hell’s Drive In: Brain That Wouldn’t Die
Starring – Jason Evers & Virginia Leith Not Rated 1962
Host: Captain Jolly Roger starts the show off telling a Michael Moore joke and then welcomes the viewers to his drive-in. We next see the Captain planning out his next sea adventure to find another movie to show for a future episode and then he answers his mail from fans. He later talks about his sponsor M.P. Water, a very nasty product but he does his best to promote them. Next we join Jolly Roger as he tries to get you to go to his hospital and shows how he works on patients by removing things from their stomach that include all his guts! In the final segment, Captain Jolly Roger does a little dance about making it through the movie and once more brags on himself.
Movie: Dr. Bill Cortner has been performing experimental surgery on human guinea pigs without authorization and against the advice of his father, also a surgeon. When Bill’s fiancée Jan Compton is decapitated in an automobile accident, he manages to keep her brain alive. He now needs to find a new body for his bride-to-be and settles on Doris Powell, a glamor model with a facial disfigurement. Jan meanwhile doesn’t want to continue her body-less existence and calls upon the creature hidden in the basement, one of Bill Cortner’s unsuccessful experiments, to break loose.
Hell’s Drive-In is not a classic show nor is Captain Jolly Roger an amazing Horror Host, but one thing I can truly say is that they both had heart and you can tell everyone involved had a blast making it. I also have to say that I really like the fact that Jolly Roger was on quests to sail around the world including past Skull Island to find not only buried treasure but also cheesy movies that he could share with his viewers. For our next update, we will leave Captain Jolly Roger behind and will be passing Rotten Ink over to Juliet who will be writing about M! So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support you local Horror Host. See you next update for a Fritz Lang good time!