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Series / Nightmare Theatre

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One day, the Devil came to him
For he was a minor demon
Asked him to torture some humans
With his two friends in tow
Mittens and El Sapo
The Baron Mondo von Doren
On Nightmare Theatre
—The opening theme

Nightmare Theatre is a midnight movie showcase originating from PBS station WSRE in Pensacola, and a continuation of the public access series of the same name. The plot of each episode is as follows: Baron Mondo von Doren (Mike Ensley), a minor demon, is placed in charge of NMTV 23, Hell's half-kilowatt, which he operates with Mittens the Werewolf (Lemmy Crews) and longtime sidekick El Sapo del Tempesto (Chip Chism). Inevitably, El Sapo will fail to find the movie of the week at first, providing Baron von Doren with a film reel to tide the viewers over until he can find the movie of the week. On the reel each time is a serial trailer or serial episode and/or a cartoon, and Baron von Doren will inevitably comment on the story so far at the end of each serial. Midway through the movie, Baron von Doren and El Sapo will visit the sub-sub-sub-sub-basement of NMTV 23, where the Curator of the Merrill Movie Museum lives and shows them film and television memorabilia.

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Season 1, which presents the serial The Phantom Creeps, features the following films:

Season 2, which presents the serial Radar Men from the Moon, features the following films:

Though Season 3 was put on hold due to COVID-19, a special presentation was made for broadcast on Halloween. The short subject that Halloween was Halloween Safety (Second Edition), the newest film yet to feature on the show, followed by the feature presentation, Encounter With The Unknown.

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Tropes

  • Accidental Misnaming: In the Halloween special, El Sapo miswrites the Baron and Mittens's names as "Byron" and "Nittems" (and "Nuttens") and his own as "El Supo".
  • Affably Evil: Baron Mondo von Doren is very cheery about his task of terrorizing the human race with bad B-movies and threatening his manservant/sidekick El Sapo.
  • Berserk Button: Make fun of Gammera at your own peril. El Sapo just can't get the hint even as the Baron yells at him multiple times about it.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: A debate between Baron Mondo von Doren and Mittens that parodies a similar debate in Gammera the Invincible greatly resembles the average political debate of The New '10s, with neither party being able to reach across the aisle on the matter.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Baron Mondo von Doren, tasked by the Devil himself with torturing us humans on bad horror and sci-fi B-movies, thinks Track of the Moon Beast is a torture even the most sinful of humans shouldn't suffer through.
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  • Jerkass: El Sapo has plenty of moments in the second season, including his constant mockery of Gammera and his criticism of Santa's ideas for Christmas presents.
  • Noodle Incident: It's never explained what sort of transgression prompted the Devil to transfer Baron Mondo von Doren to NMTV 23.
  • Once an Episode:
    • El Sapo fails to find the movie of the week and leaves a reel containing a serial episode and, sometimes, a cartoon.
    • Baron Mondo von Doren and El Sapo visit the sub-sub-sub-sub-basement of NMTV 23 to be treated to some film and television history courtesy of the mysterious Curator of the Merrill Movie Museum.
  • Overly Long Gag: Any time Baron Mondo von Doren has to mention that they're with the Curator of the Merrill Movie Museum in the studio's sub-sub-sub-sub-basement.
  • Running Gag: El Sapo's various business and philanthropic ventures, none of which work out.
  • Signing Off Catchphrase: "May all your dreams be nightmares."
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: House on Haunted Hill. In a nutshell, El Sapo selected a good movie for the Baron to show for once.
  • Villain Protagonist: Baron Mondo von Doren, which is pretty much expected of a minor demon assigned to torture us humans.
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