The Monster Librarian Presents:
Reviews of Horror Podcasts and Podcasts Sites
Isn't technology grand! Over the past few years millions of people around the world have bought these spiffy little digital music players called ipods. The popularity of these gadgets has inspired some authors to offer their product directly to the world at large via podcasts. A podcast is a distribution of a work electronically usually using Apple computer's Itunes or similar distribution channel. Podcasts can be either books like Earthcore by Scott Sigler or done in serial format such as Pod of Horror. The following is a list of horror related podcasts.
The Cutting Room Podcast by Tom “TomaHawk” Dettloff, Joseph “Joe Mummy” Christiana, William “The Evil Reverend Billy Grim” Bourassa and Max “The California Chainsaw MaxSacre” Koch
Free downloads available at http://www.horrorpalace.com/audio-podcasts/the-cutting-room/
For those of you who are new to the podcast culture, the elements that make a good podcast are very similar to what makes a good radio talk show: interesting subjects (or, hosts that can ask the right questions to make the subjects interesting), good rapport among the co-hosts, and the ability to keep the conversation flowing. When considering these elements, horror movie fans can’t do much better than The Cutting Room podcast.
The Cutting Room is just one of an ensemble of podcasts that can be found on The Horror Palace website (http://www.horrorpalace.com/). Being part of a network of broadcasts makes for an interesting dynamic when the creator of the site, Bill Chete, or a podcaster from another show comes on to fill-in as a host or give input. Podcasts historically tend to be independent ventures, so the underlying but noticeable support and their unity in purpose are refreshing.
As to the podcast itself, the content is fairly typical: the group reviews three or four horror movies and assigns a rating for each one. What might distinguish this podcast from similar broadcasts is the depth of research each host brings to the table and their shared backgrounds in independent film making. This combination of expertise gives the listener a thorough understanding and critique of the film’s story as well as a comprising analysis of the composition, production, and editing of the movie itself.
Another notable asset is the camaraderie between the co-hosts—the listener is drawn into both their collective passion for the medium and the mutual respect they share for their fellow podcasters. They will sometimes go on tangents (like their personal experiences with death and how it affected them in Episode 10), but often those conversations speak to the human experience of horror as well as allowing a subjective view of the hosts and where they are coming from, which I find is another essential element of a good podcast.
Horror movie enthusiasts tend to be an…unpretentious lot, so there are times when the conversation will go blue. Consumers should also be advised that the podcasts tend to have a hour-long review of each movie, so the podcasts are long in time and large in size, maybe about 150 MB. However, The Cutting Room podcast is highly entertaining, and the themes of their shows (mostly the early works of well-known directors such as Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson, and George Romero) would cater to both newcomers and long-time fanatics. I can highly recommend the podcast for any horror movie fan or for a librarian who would like a thoughtful, slightly philosophical introduction to expand their knowledge of the medium or to better appreciate what the genre has to offer. As a bonus, for Monster Movie Month I interviewed the co-hosts, which can be found here.
Contains: profanity, descriptions of gore, some crude remarks
Reviewed by: W. E. Zazo-Phillips
Diabolique Radio Show Podcast
Free downloads available at
Commentary between two or more people who have a passion for a subject can be a lot of fun to listen to. It’s one of the reasons pre-game shows are so popular, and why the best television programs of movie reviews often have cohosts (i.e. Siskel and Ebert). Horror Unlimited has begun to produce podcasts to complement their Diabolique magazine, and they are enjoyable and entertaining, even if a listener has limited knowledge of the horror movie genre. In the tradition of Diabolique magazine, the podcasts focus on classic films that might not be widely known by the general public.
At the time of this review’s publication, there were six podcasts posted on their website. I listened to the first four. One of the podcasts was an interview with Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., director of Universal's The Thing that was released in October 2011. The other three podcasts were discussions of classic movies with Steve “Slaughter” Head, a freelance writer who also cohosts the post-movie.net podcast, and David Kleiler, former artistic director of the Coolidge Corner Theater and a film professor at Babson College.
Technically speaking, I have heard better-produced podcasts. The interview with Heijningen via Skype was garbled, and even the in-studio sound quality between Head and Kleiler is hit or miss. But Head is a very competent interviewer, and the podcasts flow smoothly from one topic to another effortlessly. It is obvious that the analysts are well-versed in the horror film genre and have done their research. I was so impressed and inspired, for example, with their critique of Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast (1946) that I ordered a copy for myself; they can be that compelling.
I recommend the Diabolique Radio Show Podcast for the spectrum of horror film fans, from the connoisseur to the neophyte who wants to expand his current repertoire. Unlike the magazine, the podcasts so far are scrubbed clean of gore, violence, and foul language, making it potentially available to all. Librarians could use it for a film discussion group, or just have it on their “links” page for something new and entertaining to listen to.
Contains: nothing objectionable
Reviewed by W. E. Zazo-Phillips
Pod of Horror by Mark Justice * Review Revisited
Podcast from hosted by Mark Justice , Nanci Kalanta, and Scott Bradley and is found at Horrorworld.org is a bi-monthly audio magazine for horror fiction. Podcasts include horror author interviews, horror fiction news items, reviews of horror fiction, as well as trivia. For readers of horror fiction the Pod of Horror is a welcome supplement to print horror magazines. The production has a very morning radio show feel to it with Justice's enjoyable interactions with Kalanta and guests. Justice has a very smooth voice and enjoyable to list to. Pod of Horror is a great listen for those who are interested in horror fiction and is also worthwhile for librarians who want to keep up on the small press horror and horror authors . Recommended.
Pseudopod edited by Mur Lafferty and Ben Phillips; produced by Escape Artists, Inc.
Pseudopod is a weekly podcast that offers a new horror story every week. The stories vary in the length from 15 minutes up to 60 minutes and are from different authors of the horror genre. A sampling of various podcasts reveals solid stories and good clear narration. The production values of the various podcasts are very impressive. Pseudopod is an excellent example of what happens when you combine the distribution power of the web and good storytelling. Recommended for fans of horror fiction. Note: According to the Pseudopod web site, podcasts can contain death, graphic violence, explicit sex (including sexual violence), hate crimes, and blasphemy.
by Darker Projects
Your typical zombie tale-a terrible virus causes the end of humans and the rise of zombies- but with a twist. One of the zombies retained his unique personality and while dead, is not one of the mindless hordes roaming the world. There is also thes scientist (aptly nicknamed Frankenstein), and the military leader, using questionable means to try and eradicate the virus, who capture our zombified hero. Finally, there are his friends, who set out to free their living impaired friend. This is an excellent radio drama that lives up to the standards that Darker Projects has set for itself. High production values and a well-written story make for a wonderful listening experience. You can find it in iTunes’ podcasts or by going to the Darker Projects webpage, www.darkerprojects.com. Entry by N.O.
Five Minute Fears by Darker Projects
The name says it all. Described as "bite sized chunks" of horror, all productions are from 3 to 7 minutes long. As with all Darker Project productions, the production values are excellent and well-written. As with most anthologies, some are definitely better than others, but these first ones are great. I especially liked "Elevator Music." Damn, that was creepy! You can find it in iTunes’ podcasts or by going to the Darker Projects webpage, www.darkerprojects.com. Entry by N.O.
Earthcore by Scott Sigler
Earthcore is a
story of greed leading people to a bad end. Platinum is found in Utah in a place
where it is said to be bubbling up from under the ground. The origins of the
find are the largest pure deposit every discovered, but it is deep under the
ground. Luckily the EarthCore company has the technology to drill the 3 miles
down to get to it. Unfortunately, the company quickly discovers why the Native
Americans consider the place cursed as they discover evidence of an ancient
culture that wields bizarre razor sharp platinum knives.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book to any adult. It is really well written and the concepts explored in the story are fascinating! I also really liked the non typical love story and that I was surprised at who survived and who died. The only possible thing that may work against it is this is Scott Sigler's first podcast novel (and I believe the first novel to be distributed by podcast before publishing) and is a bit rough and weak in the uniqueness of the voices of the characters.
This is a different kind of book. While not strictly horror, it's really Sci-fi horror, it is definitely a monster story. This book was originally released as a serialized podiobook (a book usually read by the author and released as a podcast) and, while available in print format from Amazon, it is really something to hear the author read the story to you. It is available for free at: http://www.podiobooks.com/podiobooks/book.php?ID=24
or by searching iTunes' podcasts for it.
Contains: Vioence and a few adult situations. Entry by N.O.
Ancestor by Scott Sigler
Ancestor is something of a cautionary tale of current scientific exploration. Many companies in Ancestor are looking to breed animals for human organ replacement. One such company is creating a Chimera to try to find the ancestor of all mammals, and therefore create the perfect donor animal. Although they succeed the animal is not passive herbivore that they believed they were creating... This novel is a violent, bloody affair with a few adult situations, but I would still recommend it. On a fascinating side note as of this writing of this review (9/28/06) the book has been optioned for a move on the sci-fi channel. While it has been initially turned down there is a campaign to get it made. I, for one, would love to see that movie as it would be one of the few sci-fi originals that would sound interesting.
It is available for free at: http://www.podiobooks.com/podiobooks/book.php?ID=85 or by searching iTunes’ podcasts.
Entry by N.O.
Infection by Scott Sigler
Ever wonder how truly scary it might be if you could actually communicate with what is infecting you? Perry Dawsey is very familiar this horror. Follow his story as he tries desperately to find a way to live. This story has a crossover with 7th Son by J.C. Hutchins. While this story lives up to Scott Sigler’s excellent writing style, I would only cautiously recommend this story as it is truly disgusting.
It is available for free at: http://scottsigler.podshow.com/ or by searching itunes' podcasts for it Entry by N.O.
7th Son by J.C. Hutchins
So, you think you are unique just like everyone else? What if you found it you were wrong? What would you do if you found out you were one of seven clones sent down divergent paths? John (they're all John, but with nicknames) is confronted with just this situation. On top of that they (the seven clones) find out that the man they are cloned from is a terrorist who has the technology to erase anyone's mind and insert a mind of his choosing into the body and that he used that technology kill the president with the body of a child. Now it's up to the clones to stop their alapha. This story has a crossover with Infection by Scott Sigler.
This book is a lot of fun. It is well written and the author is doing some really cool multimedia things (he had a release party at secondlife.com for book two that was really cool). The only thing that was hard about this book is keeping the clones straight as they all had the same names and similar personalities.
It is available for free at: http://www.podiobooks.com/podiobooks/book.php?ID=53 or by searching itunes' podcasts for it. Entry by N.O.
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