An Earful of Horror

Work continues on The New Horror Handbook as its October 31st pub date inches near. And during this time I find that one of the things that keeps me stoked during those late hours when I’m trying to tie up a chapter is the bevy of horror podcasts out there. There’s nothing like listening to people who really enjoy the genre to recharge the creative juices and re-enthuse you about this medium. Here are four that are in regular rotation on my iPod (all are available via iTunes):

Mondo Movie. I mentioned this one briefly in my Dario Argento posting a few days back, but there’s more to them than the odd Mother of Tears excoriation. Londoners Ben Howard and Dan Auty have racked up a pretty solid back catalog of podcasts that tackle everything from Fulci to Bergman, all with an engaging mix of cynicism, wit and knowledge. (Howard also is the host of CNET UK’s Reel Weekend online movie review program.) It’s pretty apparent that these two are genre fans from way back. And in case you need to see their credentials, you can check out an old horror documentary that the two were interviewed for when they were wee nippers. (Note that it was a Mondo Movie fan rather than Howard or Auty who posted the following clip.)

Reel Horror. Horror purists who only want to hear the latest genre news have been known to complain about this podcast, and granted it’s an acquired taste. But hosts Michael Sean Becker and Mike Carbone do one thing really well, and that’s entertain. Sure, they discuss the latest horror news, offer reviews of the most recent flicks they’ve seen, and occasionally interview B- and C-list horror celebs. However, what keeps fans coming back is their on mic chemistry. These are the guys you wished were running your local radio morning zoo when you were growing up rather than the knobs most of us ended up with. One of the most interesting shows to come out of the great podcast revolution.

Horror Etc. We’ve discussed some Brits and Americans, and here’s an entry from Canada. I only just stumbled across this podcast yesterday, but I have to say I’m enjoying it. Hosts Ted and Anthony spend more than an hour each episode tackling films by theme, and seem to have a good time doing it. The episode I just finished listening to was on films that claim to be “based on a true story.” In addition to their interesting takes on Open Water and The Girl Next Door (it’s a good movie but can you really, you know, recommend it to someone?), this was the first time I’ve heard that the French film Ils (Them) was supposed to be based on a true story as well. Gonna have to look into that one. Definitely worth a listen.

Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews. All right, not strictly a horror film podcast, but these two Brits are a must-listen for those who take their film reviews seriously, and who also enjoy a chuckle or two. Kermode remains one of the most erudite-yet-entertaining film reviewers out there, and his horror CV is beyond reproach. He has a PHd from the University of Manchester in modern English and American horror fiction and wrote the BFI Modern Classics book on The Exorcist. Mayo doesn’t say a great deal necessarily, but the show is not nearly as effective when a guest host is taking his place. And Kermode’s rant on Pirates of the Caribbean 3 (as well as Mayo’s response) is well worth a viewing.


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