The Daves are excited to announce the return of Midnite Mausoleum! After a short hiatus the girls are back which is great news for us horror host fans. Anyone who has met Marlena, Robyn and the man behind the scenes, Blake Powell, at various events know what great people they are and how well-deserved this opportunity is! Marlena was kind enough to do a short interview with us, giving us all a better idea of what’s going on. The last time we interviewed them (which you can catch HERE) was in 2011 and it went on to be one of our most popular posts!
The Daves: It wasn’t that long ago you were announcing the end of Midnite Mausoleum. What brought the show back from the brink?
Marlena: We shot our last episode of the old MM in January 2013. Even as we were doing it we half-jokingly talked about our terms and conditions for returning. We didn’t know how prophetic that was at the time but that’s basically the deal we have now. WQAD contacted us in June and by the end of July we had a deal.
The Daves: Tell us about the new show and how it all began.
Marlena: We are shooting the new show at the WQAD studios, we literally have 4 times the room we did before and the new mausoleum will be quite spacious. The TV station is 100% behind us and is very familiar with what we do. We are in kind of a unique position. If I have my facts right we are 1 of only 3 commercial broadcast horror host shows at the moment (along with Svengoolie and Zomboo). Although our show is mostly supported by local advertising, we certainly are well-known across the U.S. and made an indiegogo to give other advertisers (moviemakers etc.) a chance to advertise to thousands of east Iowa/west Illinois horror fans.
The Daves: What changes can fans expect to see? Will the characters essentially be the same?
Marlena: The premise of the show is basically the same although we will be able to do more with it now. The mausoleum will be quite a bit bigger and redesigned and Robyn and myself are basically the same. The Wolfred 2.0 that we were using toward the end of the old show stays the same only now he is joined by an updated Franklin. There will also be a few new characters that will join the cast. It will simply be a bigger better show.
The Daves: You’ve participated in multi-host projects such as Thomas Berdinski’s GIANT RUBBER MONSTER MOVIE. Are there plans to do more of those and will we see some familiar guest appearances on your own show?
Marlena: Robyn and I recently shot parts for GIANT RUBBER MONSTER MOVIE 2 as well as PAYNEKILLER which we are currently working on. On our show there are certainly some surprise guests that will definitely be recognized by horror host fans.
The Daves: I guess there’s no easy way around it but many fellow hosts want to know…is this a paid gig? Could this be a sign that horror hosting, as a profession, may be making a comeback?
Marlena: Yes and is it the return of horror hosting? It certainly was for us. When we got “the call” it certainly took us by surprise. I had a meeting a little over a week ago at the station to measure out the layout for our new sets and they were running the station October events by me to see what events I wanted to represent the station at and then it dawned on me, “This is the real deal”. In a way it’s a lot of responsibility and we have to try to make a show in the tradition of what we love and still make it appeal to a new generation. I guess it will either work, or it won’t.
The Daves: Where can fans see the new show? If we cannot see them as they are being broadcast will the episodes eventually be available on DVD to buy?
Marlena: The show will actually run on Friday AND Saturday every week and will be in 1080p HiDef. We are talking about the possibility of streaming it online but we are unsure at the moment. Our episodes will be released on DVD for a short while – usually the week after they air and they are looking like they will be around $5.99 each – but those details are still being worked out.
The Daves: What movies will you be showing? Will you be restricted by the public domain offerings or will you be able to show some of the classics that most hosts would die for to be able to show?
Marlena: We picked a package that will run through the end of the year, some movies are PD, others aren’t, but it seems a good starting point and we’ll be able to release those on DVD in limited runs. We are looking into other packages that are all NON-PD films for 2015 but we still have some time to decide and that will also be up to the station for various business reasons.
So I guess I would say, half will be the movies you would expect and others won’t. At 52 episodes a year we will probably break up the more expensive movies with PD films as well and possibly a few of the real quality newer indie flicks. Now as far as Universal classics… not going to happen unless we are nationally syndicated because the local TV business just doesn’t work that way anymore unfortunately.
We wish the girls all the luck in the world with this new project. In the meantime, if you need your Midnite Mausoleum fix, check out their website HERE where you can buy DVD’s, posters and other MM items! You can also follow them on Facebook by clicking HERE for all of the latest updates!
4 thoughts on “Midnite Mausoleum is Back! Great News For Horror Host Fans!!”
Love Marlana and Robin (and a shout out to Blake!) They deserve to be on broadcast television. The quality of the show makes it perfect to jump from public access (where it had a good number of stations.) This is what you get when a station sees value, and it’s a decent market to be in. Some hosts have tried to get on Broadcast only to for station to turn them down or offer them “leased time”, otherwise known as “Pay to Play”.
It’s a shame that Elvria got suck with bad time slots and had 6 shows go unaired (Thankfully Ms. P put got them out on DVD!) and RTV/Retro TV was a mess (poor and low powered affilates,and lost over 30 good stations once MeTV and Antenna TV Came Along) and look what happened to “Chiller Drive-In” Mac deserved better.
Svengoolie got ALL The breaks,even with the several year hiatus! Not only paid to be Sven, but the announcer for “The U” and The alternate announcer for “MeTV”! But when his time is over, will MeTV/The U look for another host?
Thanks for the comments, Herb! I think that a lot of people are encouraged by Midnite Mausoleum breaking through. They’ve worked hard and, like many other hosts out there doing what they do as a labor of love, have built a strong following.
I will say, however, that while it may have appeared that Svengoolie got “all the breaks,” it really was due to the hard work and talent of Rich Koz that made his success possible. Professional hosts can’t rest on their laurels, they are dependent on ratings to keep them afloat and Svengoolie struggled through less than stellar movies as well as a multitude of time slots since he returned to commercial TV in 1995 to get where he is now. He’s also responsible for “staying” on national TV for over three years which is virtually unheard of. Yes, I’m biased to a degree as he was my childhood host and is a friend, but numbers don’t lie and his show has been a big success for MeTV on Saturday nights.
I couldn’t agree more about Wolfman Mac. That show was fantastic and he has a lot of devoted fans including myself that would love to see his return. The vintage drive-in setting was pitch perfect and he had a talented team both behind the camera as well as alongside him. Unfortunately RTV was every bit the mess you described it as and Mac paid a price for something beyond his control. There is a part of me that believes (or at least wants to believe) that his best days are still ahead. You were dead on with the “pay to play” situation and perhaps the success of Svengoolie will change that. Only time will tell.
Again, thank you for the great comments!
Thanks for the comments – we are very fortunate to have a VERY supposrtive station behind us (WQAD.- Tribune Broadcasting) there are key members of management.(which just changed in December) and staff who grew up with horror hosts and really want to create a. station that is similar to the UHF stations that they grew up with. Thus far we will be the only locally produced programming on the station other than the news but I’m sure it won’t stop with us.
Another thing I don’t think people recognise the importance of is SVEN being on the cover of B & C a couple weeks ago. , this magazine is read by all the.people who make the decisions.and local stations looooove finding out what works for other stations 🙂
Thanks for chiming in as well as the interview, Marlena! We Daves salute you and Robyn and wish you all the best! PS. I saw that B&C thing and need to get myself a copy!