Horror Host Icon: Baron Von Wolfstein

The state of Indiana is filled with a rich history of Horror Hosts that rivals that of Ohio, and the state’s most popular and iconic host hands down is Sammy Terry whose legacy spawned a whole generation of horror fans who have gone on to work in the world of Horror Hosting, Horror Comics and even Horror Movies. But in a short time in the late 1970’s Sammy Terry was off TV and another host rose in his absence from TV lasting only a few months. But while very short lived, he left an impact on viewers and fans as he was unique and classy with fantastic effects and top notch side characters, and I am of course talking about the werewolf Baron Von Wolfstein and his show Saturday Night With The Monsters! This proper speaking werewolf is even one of the major inspirations of A. Ghastlee Ghoul, the Horror Host I covered here in 2020 who is also a major icon in Hosting. So it’s with great honor that I bring to you Horror Host Icon: Baron Von Wolfstein, an update that I have been looking forward to doing for many years now. So sit back, relax, and le’ts chat about this amazing Host and his legacy.

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Baron Von Wolfstein is a werewolf who lives in a castle that is surrounded by woods as well as a large cemetery. He is very soft spoken and proper and is by no means evil or sinister. He sits in his castle and reads from his books about the night’s film to entertain his viewers, who are looked at very much as his friends and houseguests. Baron Von Wolfstein loves to show the films as he enjoys the tales of classic monsters like The Blob, Frankenstein’s Monster and Count Dracula. By all accounts Baron is a gentleman and enjoys sharing the horrors of the cinema as well as facts about those who make them. Baron Von Wolfstein loved also getting letters from his viewers as well as getting artwork drawn by them that he would show off on the show. Baron was also always so nice to his friends that lived in and around the manor, but while super nice and friendly, one could also pick up that Baron Von Wolfstein also had a darker side, a little beast to his gentleman. After Saturday Night With The Monsters went off the air Baron Von Wolfstein vanished and fans were upset and wondering what happened to him! But in around the early 2000’s Baron showed back up in the world of hosting as he had cameos on such shows as “The Ghastlee Movie Show” and “Monster Madhouse”! Even in modern times Baron is still gracing fans with his presence as he is showcased on The Late Night Eerie Radio Show giving his insight on not just Horror Hosting but also films and history. Who knows when Baron Von Wolfstein will appear again and if he will have his own show or cameo on others…only Baron for sure knows!

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Saturday Night With The Monsters started on April 1, 1978 on WTTV Channel 4 in Indiana and was a show that was a way to fill the void of Sammy Terry who at the time was off the air. And viewers in Indiana and parts of Ohio were happy as they had a new show to watch Horror Movies on and a new Host to guide them along the spooky journey of the film. The show would only run for 8 months before being canceled and would go head to head with Saturday Night Live, and in his market out draw it for viewers. The station’s biggest mistake is when they wanted to move the show to a different time slot and later in the night, and this was the downfall that lead to the show’s end. While Saturday Night With The Monsters was very short lived, its mark was made on the Horror Hosting world as its fans remember it very fondly and spoke of it throughout the years. I know I would love to see new episodes of Saturday Night With The Monsters as the world needs more Baron Von Wolfstein and his amazing sophisticated and calming way of hosting. I know there have been some rumors of new episodes, but only time will tell if this iconic Indiana Horror Host shows returns.

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The side characters of this show are fantastic and each brought their own touch and style to the show. First we had Robin Graves, the British kindhearted gravedigger who is close friends with The Baron and tells cheesy jokes and ushers in the commercials. The Vampire Cousin is a bloodsucker that is related to Baron Von Wolfstein and is very sinister and uses his evil powers to take over the Wolfstein Manor and wants to fill it with pure evil. And my favorite is Carlyle The Invisible Wizard, a ghostly wizard who watches out for the Manor as well as his friends The Baron and Robin. The thing about the co-hosts and sidekicks of this show is they are very much a major part of the show’s atmosphere and lore making each and everyone of them very important. And each had their own fan base and my favorite of the trio is Carlyle The Invisible Wizard as he is awesome and I need to say it again.

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I first truly found out about Baron Von Wolfstein thanks to my friend A. Ghastlee Ghoul who would talk about how he was one of the Horror Hosts that helped make him want to become one himself along with Dr. Creep and The Cool Ghoul. Then I was lucky to get to meet the man himself at several Horror Conventions like Cinema Wasteland and Scary Camp, as well he moved to Dayton, Ohio for some years and was a staple on The Ghastlee Movie Show as well as just the gatherings of the areas Horror Community. And after a few meetings, I no longer just saw him as Horror Host Baron Von Wolfstein but as Tim Herron, a friend who would take his time to chat with me about goofy shot on video films I was making as well as always told silly and cheesy jokes to get a laugh. Watching fans interact with Baron Von Wolfstein was always something to behold as he was so great with them and you could see the respect and love his fans have for him. He would be around as well in other Horror Media like the films “Abe’s Tomb” and “Joe Nosferatu: Homeless Vampire,” both shot in Ohio. And at several points during the years I have spoken to Baron Von Wolfstein about a return to Horror Hosting with new episodes of Saturday Night With The Monsters as I think his fans and a new generation of fans would love to see it. The good Baron also in 2020 became one of the co-host on the Eerie Late Night Radio Show alongside Halloween Jack and The Bone Jangler, two iconic hosts in their own right. Who knows what the future has in store for Baron Von Wolfstein, but one thing that is for sure, he made a major mark on the art of Horror Hosting and had a loyal fan base as well as inspired many.

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On March 21, 2015 at Horrorhound Weekend for the Horror Host Hall Of Fame Baron Von Wolfstein took his place of honor among many of his peers, and he 100% deserved to be inducted in my opinion as his look, show and storylines were unlike any other before him. While A. Ghastlee Ghoul was supposed to induct him, he sadly could not make it and Captain Crypt of the Horror Dungeon, a fellow Indiana Horror Host, stepped up and did so with honor and much respect. It was great to be there and watch Baron Von Wolfstein get this honor as he is a true legend and such a wonderful person. In the 2015 Class he was joined by other inductees like Dr. Gangrene, Rhonda Shear, Gilbert Gottfried, Joel Robinson, Sir Cecil Creape, Superhost and Misty Brew to name a few. A great class of names to be inducted with, don’t you think! Plus at this Hall Of Fame, Baron Von Porkchop got to meet Baron Von Wolfstein and that was something very cool to see.

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Baron Von Wolfstein was a Horror Host who made his mark with his own show, but as you can see went on to guest star and even co-host along side other Horror Hosts from all over making his mark on the history of this genre and locking his place in the hearts of fans. So sadly besides some raw footage of the segments, no full episodes have survived and the episodes I will be covering are Fan Reproductions done by myself, and yep I even added some classic commercials. As always I will not be giving these episodes a star rating and the movie write up will be coming from our pals at IMDB and the Host segment parts will be written by me. So let’s spend some time with the Monsters and The Baron himself.

Saturday Night With The Monsters Dracula DVD

Saturday Night With The Monsters: Dracula (1931)
Starring – Bela Lugosi & Helen Chandler     Not Rated     1931

Host: We open up at Wolfstein Manor and Carlyle The Invisible Wizard welcomes us and says that The Baron will be with us very shortly. And we see Baron Von Wolfstein in his chair writing the monster family history, and then he notices the viewers and welcomes us to take a seat as he introduces himself as well as talks about Vampires as well as Dracula who is the topic of the night’s movie and then takes us to the first part of the night’s film. We next see Baron as he invites us to come closer to him, and as he holds a film strip in his hands, he asks a number of questions and then snaps the film and to a commercial we go. He next greets us from the commercial break and then back to the film. Baron then talks to us mentally and then sends us to more commercials. Once back he phases in holding his Dracula book and tells a Dracula spoiler joke and sends us back to the film. After the movie is over, Baron chats about Dracula and the film and mostly about blood and wooden stakes and then wishes us a good night after telling us next weeks film will be Universal’s Frankenstein!

Movie: After a harrowing ride through the Carpathian Mountains in Eastern Europe, Renfield enters castle Dracula to finalize the transferral of Carfax Abbey in London to Count Dracula, who is in actuality a vampire. Renfield is drugged by the eerily hypnotic count, and turned into one of his thralls, protecting him during his sea voyage to London. After sucking the blood and turning the young Lucy Weston into a vampire, Dracula turns his attention to her friend Mina Seward, daughter of Dr. Seward who then calls in a specialist, Dr. Van Helsing, to diagnose the sudden deterioration of Mina’s health. Van Helsing, realizing that Dracula is indeed a vampire, tries to prepare Mina’s fiance, John Harker, and Dr. Seward for what is to come and the measures that will have to be taken to prevent Mina from becoming one of the undead.

Note From Matt: This episode is a fan reproduction done by myself, in order to showcase the feel of the episode as I even added commercials from 1978.

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Baron Von Wolfstein is one of those classic Horror Hosts whose show was not aired on TV for very long but had made a big mark on the lives of those who watched him in 1978. And Hosts like Baron Von Wolfstein also shows just how important Horror Hosts are to the local culture of the states they air in as because of him we also got the likes of A. Ghastlee Ghoul and his The Ghastlee Movie Show as well as other creative minds that he helped inspire. For me personally he also shows that in my opinion Indiana has some of the best and most interesting Hosts, only outdone by my own home state of Ohio. I also have so much respect for Baron Von Wolfstein and the man behind the fur Tim Herron as he really is a one of a kind Host who has such an original and awesome characters. Plus the shows use of chrome key effects is amazing and really does add to the spooky nature of the show. Well our time at Wolfstein Manor has came to an end and it’s time for me turn over Rotten Ink to Juliet again as this time she is going to cover our America Hero July 4th update, a man who knows what it means to make that perfect hamburger, a man who works hard for his family and a man who talks to his food…that hero is Bob Belcher from the cartoon series Bob’s Burgers that airs on Fox. So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time as I saved us all a booth at Bob’s Burgers for the 4th!

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Horror Host Icon: Captain Jolly Roger

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!