… while on the road (or, you know, wherever).
Having a 40-50 minute commute to work each day allows for some ample time for deep reflection, sometimes boredom, avoiding raging speedsters on the road and, if I’m up for it, a good amount of music from what many may consider a rather diverse playlist. However, I’m more interested in listening to talk radio or, rather, podcasts. I’ve gone through my fair share of various podcasts depending on what is deemed my flavor of the month. From conspiracy theory podcasts to horror talk, comedy, film reviews, science fiction, paranormal talk, soundtracks and more! I’ve done it all. Sometimes, I let some of them go but I oftentimes find myself revisiting them again – eventually. What can I say, I like to give things second chances.
Here are a few of the podcasts that are currently on my iPhone which I listen to frequently and, sometimes, revisit. Please note that this is arranged in no particular order:
The Movie Podcast Network:
First up is the Horror Movie Podcast – where their dead serious about horror movies! The Horror Movie Podcast is a bi-weekly horror movie review podcast (sometimes weekly) that releases every other Friday. Hosted by Jay of the Dead, Wolfman Josh Ligairi, Dr. Shock and Dr. Walking Dead himself, Kyle Bishop. This is one of my favorite, if not, the best horror movie podcast out there. I say this with no prejudice, nor bias, as I feel that their reviews and discussions on the horror genre are some of the best I’ve heard with exemplary coverage, analysis and reviews which go far and beyond from just the “it’s a good movie” or “it sucks” reviews. No, the guys go beyond the scope of just keeping it simple and give you the why behind their analysis and sometimes (more often than not) can sell you on their expert trains of thought. Best thing of all is that they refrain from any spoilers unless they explicitly warn you beforehand with plenty of time to tune out before anything is revealed.
There is true chemistry among all of the hosts in the show as well as all the special guests that frequent the show from time to time. These are the kind of guys that you wish you can spend a Friday night with and shoot the shit with about horror films or just film in general from any genre. Note that this is a family friendly show and the host, Jay of the Dead, does NOT condone profanity on the show which in no way shape or form detracts from the show’s content. Great quality, great conversations and great humor. I recommend this one, hands down!
The Movie Podcast Weekly. This is a podcast hosted by a Critic (Jason Pyles), an Actor (Karl Huddleston), a Geek (Ryan Elliott) and a guy named Andy. In case you’re wondering, the critic Jason Pyles is the same Jay of the Dead from the Horror Movie Podcast so you can expect more of the same humor, chemistry and clean fun! On this podcast, the gentlemen review movies every week, hence the title. More insights into recent film releases, without spoilers, unless otherwise noted beforehand. More often than not, these guys have me laughing and intrigued at the same time. If movies are your thing, I’d say give these guys a listen!
The Sci Fi Podcast. The SciFi Podcast is, and I quote, “
a wretched hive of scum and villainy a bi-weekly podcast (released every other Thursday) focused on in-depth discussion of all things Science Fiction. The Sci-Fi Podcast features three hosts—Mattroid, Solo, and Station!—as well as frequent guests. Each episode we’ll look at a science fiction theme or franchise and take it where no show has gone before!” Hosted by Matt Daniels (Mattroid), Elizabeth Gordan (Station), William Rowan Jr. (Solo) and often frequenting the shows is Josh Ligairi (SpaceWolf) and Brian “The Brain” Patchett who, being a physicist, offers scientific explanations and rationale to the events that occur on screen and explains the “truth” of what may or may not be – see light sabers, for example. Truly fascinating stuff and, again, chemistry is key. Get your Sci-Fi fix here with this great bunch.
Movie Stream Cast. Hosted by, wait for it, Josh Ligairi – yep this guy is everywhere which says a lot as most of what he hosts/produces is quality content! Also co-hosted with his wife Rachel Mae Ligairi which makes this a great listen for any husband/wife combo. Movie Stream Cast helps you manage your movie queues which is a great help with, well, giving you reviews on streaming content and whether or not you should stream or avoid, which can save you a hell of a lot of time from browsing more than actually viewing. Note, Josh is a huge Survivor fan and will more likely than not briefly touch on it in some form or another. Mr. Ligairi is also a filmmaker which was a pleasant surprise for me when I learned that he was the director of the documentary entitled Cleanflix, where a small Utah-based edited movie company is caught sanitizing Hollywood’s copyrighted material. Having seen the film long before being introduced to these podcasts, it was a wonderful experience to get “to know” Mr. Ligairi by way of the podcasts. Definitely give both this podcast and Josh’s documentary a view and be on the lookout for more of his upcoming content!
This is just a small taste of what’s available on the Movie Podcast Network. I will be visiting the others as well, when time permits, which includes the likes of Forgotten Flix, Geek Cast Live and Retro Movie Geek. All in due time!
The Last Podcast on the Left. Every week Ben Kissel, Henry Zebrowski, and Marcus Parks explore the horrors of the world both imagined and real. The Last Podcast On The Left covers all the horrors our world has to offer both imagined and real, from demons and slashers to cults and serial killers, The Last Podcast is guaranteed to satisfy your blood lust.
Like horror, the paranormal, true crimes, conspiracy theories, creepy pastas, aliens? You name it and these guys got it covered, with a twist. The twist being that this is not your run of the mill talk show. No, this is well researched podcast with a couple of dudes from NYC who infuse comedy and humor into topics that are, for the most part, grim at best. One episode in particular that stuck out to me was their coverage on Charles Manson which took 3-4 episodes to complete. This one had me laughing until my eyes swelled with tears.
How Did This Get Made? Ever just sit around with a couple of your buds, watched a terrible/off the cuff film that is just so bad that it’s good and just thought… How the hell did this film ever get made?! Well the folks, Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas and June Diane Raphael, answer just that and, well, hilarity ensues! They scrutinize each film, some of which are many “guilty pleasures” to us, favorites to others, such as Teen Witch, Maximum Overdrive, Face/Off, Conair and so much more! You will have a great time just listening to these guys shred these films apart and find yourself agreeing with a lot of what they have to say. They will bring out a ton of stuff to the forefront that you’ve thought about when watching these movies and it is absolutely, and insanely, funny!
The Damn Fine Podcast. Like music? Let me be more specific – do you like movie scores and soundtracks? What about said genre on vinyl? Then The Damn Fine Podcast is the place for you! Hailing from the UK, hosts Tony Giles and Scott Johannsson started the podcast after meeting on the Spin the Blackest Circles vinyl forum, which is where I too was introduced to this dynamic duo of soundtrack talk. The idea for this podcast spawned from the want to divulge into movie soundtrack conversation and bringing the audience interviews with composers with the likes of Craig Safan, Christopher Young, Richard Band, Disasterpiece and much more. Truly an insight to us soundtrack aficionados! What’s more is that they have introduced me to a plethora of film music that’s just music to my ears. It is exactly what the doctor ordered and a pleasant listen for those interested in the particular brand of music. The hosts throw a fun bag into the mix putting their guests to the test by measuring their soundtrack knowledge skills – a great game that I love to play along and test my own knowledge. I have to say that I’m pretty decent at it.
The Anything Ghost Podcast. Anything Ghost is a free audio show where people share personal paranormal experiences. In the show, the host Lex will read the stories–enhancing the them with effects and his original music.
This is one of those podcasts that I leave and go back to from time to time. For some reason I can never get away from this one altogether. It can be because I simply like ghost stories and personal accounts from everyday people. The host Alex Wahl is very soft spoken and timid. He has been at this podcast for quite some time and has accumulated quite the collection of stories, some of which are recorded by users themselves. The stories are entertaining and Mr. Wahl adds his own special effects and music to add a little extra “umph” to each story. I frequent this one in bed at night just before nighttime with headphones on so as to not wake/scare my wife.
The NoSleep Podcast. In the mood for some exceptional horror fiction? Then check out The NoSleep Podcast which is intended for mature audiences so that tells you right away that this ain’t no walk in the park. The Nosleep Podcast has proudly featured stories from authors who have gone on to publish their stories. Notably, the “Penpal” series from Dathan Auerbach and “99 Brief Scenes from the End of the World” by T.W. Grim. Truly magnificent content and the stories are just to die for! Another good one to listen if you have had your fill of true stories and just want to sit back and let good horror literature capture the imagination.
Night Fear Horror Podcast. Want more Horror Fiction? Then you’ve come to the right place. The Night Fears Horror Podcast is another good one to listen to when you’re all by your lonesome at home or even in bed with your headphones on. Night Fears is a horror fiction podcast hosted by Jethro Arola. Bringing you dark, adult short stories to deliver Fear of the Night. And, again, this podcast is intended for a mature audience, it contains adult language and adult content, listener discretion is advised. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! The host, Jethro Arola, is talented in that he writes the fiction as well as narrates them with effect that shows his talents come through. A lot of work goes into this and it shows!
Serial. A podcast from the creators of This American Life. One story. Told week by week. Hosted by Sarah Koenig. This is great investigative reporting! Sarah Koenig plays the role of reporter and detective in this podcast where she tries to get all the facts and details of this one particular intriguing case. The truth is what she seeks and she takes us along for the ride. The description to this one is best explained by the Serial website so I’ll just paste it here:
A high-school senior named Hae Min Lee disappeared one day after school in 1999, in Baltimore County, Maryland. A month later, her body was found in a city park. She’d been strangled. Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was sentenced to life in prison. The case against him was largely based on the story of one witness, Adnan’s friend Jay, who testified that he helped Adnan bury Hae’s body. But Adnan has always maintained he had nothing to do with Hae’s death. Some people believe he’s telling the truth. Many others don’t.
Sarah Koenig sorted through thousands of documents, listened to trial testimony and police interrogations, and talked to everyone she could find who remembered what happened between Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee. She discovered that the trial covered up a far more complicated story than the jury – or the public – ever got to hear. The high school scene, the shifting statements to police, the prejudices, the sketchy alibis, the scant forensic evidence — all of it leads back to the most basic questions: How can you know a person’s character? How can you tell what they’re capable of? In Season One of Serial, she looks for answers.
Season 2, now currently playing at the time I write this has Sarah Koenig taking on another case. Season Two is a story of Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured and held by the Taliban for nearly five years. We get to hear his story from his own mouth as well as what others in his battalion thought about his “shenanigans”. Truly fascinating and interesting stuff! Ms. Koenig also provides us with updates on the case in Season 1. Check out the website above for more information and pictures of all mentioned in cases.
The Horror! (Old Time Radio). If you like Old Time Radio with the likes of that of Inner Sanctum, Beyond Midnight, The Weird Circle, The Hermit’s Cave, CBS Radio Mystery Theater, The Black Mass, The Price of Fear, Lights Out!, The Hall of Fantasy, The Witch’s Tale and more! Hell of a lot of content here to get your fix of mystery, paranormal, suspense and old time radio to keep you fixated for hours with the use of actors that can certainly convince you one way or the either. I can’t say that I’m old enough to have had the pleasure of listening to these live while they aired over the airwaves, but, just listening to this podcast brings me to a time that I can only imagine and puts me into the eyes and ears of a young adolescent with eyes wide and fists clenched as I wait to hear what happens next. Give the link above a click for more!
Night of the Living Podcast. Here’s another podcast that I frequent from time to time. A good cast of hosts that talk horror and more. Extremely entertaining bunch that is sure to provide you with more than a few laughs. I can’t say that the reviews are in-depth and highly analytical but border more along the lines of “it sucked” or “I liked it” with not much depth. Still, there is enough substance to relay to you on whether or not a movie may be worth a viewing – all hinges of personal taste of course. Most of their reviews also divulge on revealing spoilers, without warning at times, which keeps me away from this podcast more than I would like too. The opening and closing theme song is definitely ear-catching and will certainly have you singing along with it that’s for sure.
There’s a few on my radar as well such as ForceCast, where Star Wars is the topic of discussion, Resurrection of Zombie 7, more horror movie talk never hurts. Lore, a podcast about true life scary stories. Our fears have roots. Lore exposes the darker side of history, exploring the creatures, people, and places of our wildest nightmares. Because sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction. MovieDrone, more film on wax (vinyl) talk! Moviedrone, a podcast dedicated to under-heard and under-appreciated film scores and soundtracks. And, Knifepoint Horror, These tales of supernatural suspense by Soren Narnia adhere to the most primal element of storytelling: a single human voice describing events exactly as it experienced them. The stories, stripped of even proper titles, spill forward as taut, uninterrupted confessions. Knifepoint Horror leaves nothing but the story’s riveting spine to compel and chill you to the core. Music by Kevin MacLeod.
If you have podcasts that you would like to recommend, please feel free to share! I’m always up for listening to new content especially that of the macabre, the grotesque, the frightening, scary and entertaining type. Feel free to leave in the comments below.