Sneak a Peek at Terrible Tim & the Drive-In Movie Maniacs

by Angela Yuriko Smith

Since 2013 Kansas City has welcomed Terrible Tim and the Drive-In Movie Maniacs—an award winning, nationally syndicated television show that features classic horror films blended with reality T.V.

Recently Terrible Tim took a break from the show to sit down with Space and Time and give us some insight as to what’s going on behind that spooky grin.

AYS: Drive-In Movie Maniacs is a unique approach to reintroduce classic horror to a new generation. Where did the idea come from?

T. Tim: Technically the idea of DIMM began in 2010. At the time I was organizing an annual horror event, and at the same time I was re-discovering the horror host genre.

Kansas City had not had a true horror host in 25 years, which just seemed absurd to me. I couldn't figure out why anybody wasn't doing it, so I decided to get a group of people together and bring horror hosting back to Kansas City in a fresh new modern way.

I really felt the whole genre needed a face-lift and to be brought up to modern times. Where a lot of shows have grown stagnant with movie trivia and poor humor, we saw the potential for something more advantageous with more of a reality show flare to it.

Typically most hosts just introduce a movie and make a couple jokes, then maybe spew some movie trivia that anybody can find online these days. We knew we had to approach things from a different angle to be noticed in today's world.

Our host is Terrible Tim—he kind of breaks tradition. You get to see what his character gets himself into between the takes... you're brought into his world, so to speak.

AYS: A hit with fans, Drive-In Movie Maniacs has just received nationwide syndication on RetroTV, ActionTV and The Family Channel. Can you tell me how that came to happen and what does it mean for the show now?

T. Tim: We won a national broadcasters award in 2017 which got us some national attention. In turn we were invited to attend the NAB awards in Las Vegas.

There our producer Brian Short pitched our show to Luken Communications, who own Retro TV and the other networks.

They showed an immediate interest simply due to the musical content of the show. We have an in-house band called The Haunted Creepys. They're another reason why our show stands out. What that means is, now that we are syndicated, we have advertising dollars coming in—which is a nice feeling.

AYS: Reknowned Crematia Mortem, host of KSHB-41’s “Creature Feature” from 1981-1988, passed "the keys to Creepytown" to you in 2014. Only a year into his own show, Terrible Tim was a relatively new, iconic face. What was it like to receive such a distinctive honor?

T. Tim: Roberta Solomon, a.k.a. Crematia Mortem, is such a huge influence on us as a group, just about everyone involved with DIMM watched her Creature Feature/Friday Nightmare growing up, along with all the other KC Horror Hosts. We felt that we needed her blessing, since she was KC's last real host.

To gain her blessing was a real coup in solidifying our status as KC's next iconic horror personality. We really can't say enough good things about her. She truly is an wonderful person and we feel lucky to know her. We absolutely love her to death! Muwhahahaha! Crematia & Terrible Tim have a bit of a secret "thing" going on, beyond the grave.

AYS: Kansas City has a history of positive reception for horror themed hosts. Why do you think that is?

T. Tim: I think that's mainly because KC has such a rich tradition of horror hosting, stemming all the way back to the late 1950s. Starting with people like Gregory Grave's SHOCK! Theatre, The Witching Hour with Marilyn The Witch, or Penny Dreadful's Son Of Chiller.

All those shows were huge back in the day, which led to shows like Crematia's Creature Feature, Huge Bowen on Friday Fright Night, and of course, the ever popular All Night Live with Uncle Ed. They were all popular shows in their day. The mid-west has always been the hotbed of horror hosting in many ways. I think Ohio has the most hosts per capita. But in general I think people just love to be scared.

AYS: You have a weekly live event on Facebook called a "Scream." What can a new fan of Drive-In Movie Maniacs expect if they join in? Will they be welcomed as a sacrificial offering or fellow fiend?

T. Tim: Yes, we use the word "scream" instead of "stream" for obvious reasons, but our weekly FB "Live Scream" is Friday's at 9 p.m. central. Everyone is welcome and treated with respect! We love chatting with folks all over the world on a weekly basis. It's a lot of fun! We also do giveaways on the live chat, either through trivia or... sacrificial means, yes.

AYS: Thanks so much for taking time away from being horrible to chat with Space and Time. Can you tell us what’s in the future for DIMM?

T. Tim: You can expect world domination from DIMM! We have a lot of crazy stuff coming your way in 2019—look for new episodes, merch, events, celebrity guests, music, alien probes, pirates and maybe even a few mummies! Hate us on Facebook, stalk us on Instagram, and show us your twits on Twitter! You can also find us online atdriveinmoviemaniacs.com.