By Jerry Chandler
Every so often I just want to promote a lot of the things I like, and this is one of those times.
I love podcasts. I’m a big podcast person. With my job, having a lot of podcasts to be able to turn to and play during the really long, slow shifts is almost at times an aid to retaining sanity, and, on a good day, ones where it’s not 34 degrees, windy, and pouring rain, they make good listening for a morning’s walk. So, yeah, I tend to need a lot of new content every week. These are a few of the podcasts I tend to have at the top of my daily playlists.
A quick list of some of the podcasts I’ve talked about before and that still deserve looks if you haven’t checked them out. Links to all of the podcasts will be in the highlighted podcast names.
The Needless Things Podcast – Yeah, that seems a no brainer here, but I’m including it on the off chance that someone unfamiliar with this site or the podcast finds there way here. Besides, if I don’t mention it the boss might withhold my check next week. Just a fun podcast in general that covers a lot of topics under the overall umbrella of geekery and dorkery.
The ESO Network – One banner, a small ton of podcasts, and enough variety that everyone should be able to find a little something there. Director Faber and (large) crew have some of the most entertaining podcasts out there. More than worth the time to look through their selection of shows and find the ones you like best.
Gruesome Magazine Podcasts – The Grue Crew of Horror News Radio have started building a nice little network themselves. When I first came across their flagship show, it was one of only two regularly ongoing shows under their overall banner. These days, they fill listening time with Horror News Radio, Decades of Horror the 1970s, Decades of Horror the 1980s, Decades of Horror the 1990s and Beyond, Decades of Horror the Classic Era, The Gruesome Magazine Podcast, and miscellaneous short run podcasts devoted to genre television shows.
Kaijucast – The podcast devoted to Godzilla & all his rubber suited foes has been going strong for nine years now. For my tastes, this is still the best podcast out there talking about Kaiju films and related topics.
Monster Talk – Presented by Skeptic Magazine, Monster Talk looks at monsters, myths, and ghosts (as well as a few other topics) from the perspective of science and skepticism. The show is still as entertaining as ever, and it’s still doing a great job of cutting through the bs put out there by practitioners of all manner of woo.
Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard and Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru – Two of the many very good wrestling related podcasts out there. Whether you’re a diehard, dyed in the wool old school fan who has been there and seen it or just a newer, casual wrestling fan who loves hearing entertaining stories about the business, you can’t go wrong with these two podcasts.
So, with that done…
This is a pretty new podcast, but one I’ve instantly fallen in love with. The Son of Celluloid and BattleCougar (and so far one episode guest Ryan Cadaver of The Casket Creatures) sit down and look at some painfully bad movies that you may or may not want to watch after you listen to their show. With only three episodes- Barn of the Blood Llama, Suburban Sasquatch, and The Absence of Light -in the can as of this writing, I have to admit that they introduced me to two bad films I’d never heard of anywhere else, so I can thank them (or curse them) for that.
If you love bad movies, and you love sitting around talking about bad movies with friends, BattleCougar and The Son of Celluloid’s Caught Dead Watching podcast is absolutely a podcast for you. The two of them have the right kind of broadcasting chemistry to make the discussions come across through the speakers feeling exactly like bad film discussions with good buddies, and you want to be a part of the discussions with them even as you realize that you would have to suffer viewing some films bad enough that they might cause permanent brain damage.
Caught Dead Watching captures a lot of the spirit of what makes so bad they’re good film discussions so much damned fun to be in, and they make them so much damned fun to listen to. Outside of the Podbean link I provided, you can find their podcast on various platforms including iTunes.
Derek Koch’s Rondo-award winning Monster Kid Radio has been chugging along for about five years and 361 episodes now. Derek Koch and guests like horror hosts Larry "Dr. Gangrene" Underwood and Michael "Dr. Dreck" Legge as well as others along the way look at and celebrate the classic, and sometimes not-so-classic, genre cinema of yesteryear.
Monster Kid Radio is typically an absolutely joy filled look at the types of horror, science fiction, and dark fantasy films a lot of us grew up watching on late night cable and on the local horror hosts’ programs along with the occasional look at the big new monster and horror films. It is fun, it is informative, and it is absolutely worth tracking down and listening to if you’ve never heard the show before.
You can find the show at the Podbean link I provided, various other podcasting platforms, and iTunes.
C. Robert Cargill has been a big genre geek for way longer than he’s been a novelists and screenwriter. Some of you out there may not recognize the name right off the bat, but you may recognize his previous public personas. He wrote on genre news for years as Massawyrm during the Ain't It Cool News website’s better days and worked under the name Carlyle on Spill for a time. So, if you’re familiar with either of those personas, you know that C. Robert Cargill is a hardcore geek, a knowledgeable fan, and an entertaining writer and speaker.
He’s been putting all of that (except maybe the writing part) on display for the last several years on the Junk Food Cinema podcast that he co-hosts with film critic Brian Salisbury. Together, the two of them look at some of the great goofy fun films of the past few decades, and they make it a funny and occasionally pretty informative look every time out of the gate.
Both hosts are above average knowledgeable on the topics they cover, and Cargill in particular has a passion and enthusiasm for some of the films they cover that comes through in an almost infectious manner. It’s some great talk about a lot of movies you probably have fond memories of, and likely a few good ones you may have missed over the years.
The show can be found on various platforms, but many of them, including the Podbean link I provided, appear to not be getting updated of late. While you can get a lot of great shows running up through late last year on those platforms, the show’s iTunes page may be the only place to get the most recent shows right now.
Timesuck is the weekly podcast by Dan Cummins that plays in the realm of the skeptic some weeks and in the realm of the historian in others. The subject matter is largely determined by whatever Dan Cummins is interested in looking into that week, and, as such, there’s a lot different topics being covered here.
Timesuck has covered historical topics like the IRA, Ed Gein, Doc Holiday, Bielski Brothers, and how the Third Reich came about while also taking on things like the Loch Ness Monster, Flat Earth believers, Waco conspiracies, and the JFK conspiracies along with a huge host of other topics. Cummins seems to have some basic knowledge of most the subjects that he fleshes out with research into the topics leading up to the shows, so he tends to get far more of his facts right than he gets wrong. However, especially with the more controversial topics, you might not always agree with the opinion he ends up with.
I’m actually fairly new to this podcast myself, having had it recently recommended to me by a coworker. I’m still on the fence about it as I’m working my way through the topics and trying it out, but so far it’s been good enough to recommend to others to at least give it a try.
Timesuck can be found at the provided link as well as on iTunes and other platforms.
Disclaimer- Richard Ewell is a friend of mine, and we also host a podcast together. That doesn’t change the fact that his personal podcast, Nerdy Laser, is a damned entertaining podcast.
Nerdy Laser is a podcast built largely around Richard looking at and talking about whatever strikes his fancy at that given moment. He’s used it to discuss comic books, conventions, wrestling, specific toys, favorite actors, the circus, and anything in between. Sometimes he flies solo, sometimes he has now semi-regular co-host Chris DePetrillo with him, and he even has occasional guests like the Needless Things Podcast’s own Dave West and the schmuck writing this article.
Nerdy Laser is a lot of fun, and it’s probably doubly so if you’re a child of the late 1980s and the 1990s since Richard has a particular love for things of that era. Give the show a look at the provided link or on iTunes.
Mick Garris is an icon in the horror genre, and he’s also seen by many in the industry as one of the genre’s true gentlemen. Post Mortem with Mick Garris is Mick getting to chat with old friends in the industry as well as other genre names both newer and older about their careers, life in and out of the industry, and whatever else comes up during the discussions. His list of guests is a serious who’s who of genre names, and their wealth of knowledge along with their decades of collected stories about the genre and the business can make for some pretty entertaining and informative episodes.
The show can be found at the provided link, on a number of streaming podcasting platforms, and on downloading platforms like iTunes.
Some people love him, a lot of people seem to hate him, but no one can deny that Tony Schiavone has had a long history in the wrestling business working for the biggest promotions and having been at and seen some of the industry’s biggest events and moments. Along with Conrad Thompson (cohost of the previously mentioned Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard) as his cohost, What Happened When looks at some of the moments, events, and personalities from Tony’s era in the business.
If you’re a wrestling fan new or old, you’re missing out if What Happened When is not somewhere on your podcast playlist. Find it at the provided link, on various streaming platforms, and on iTunes.
The BBandBC Podcast is a wild and fun look at all things grindhouse, exploitation and cult cinema, and it is absolutely not for the PC at heart. The hosts- typically Mike and Iris, occasionally joined by Mark and/or Drew -get into discussions about some very wild, very crazy, and occasionally very dirty films from the golden eras of exploitation and cult cinema. Seriously, this is a podcast that recently devoted an episode to Bat Pussy. If you love the crazy films of the classic exploitation era and beyond or just love learning about them, this is the podcast you want to find episodes of (out of their at this time over 270 episodes) to add to your weekly playlists.
Check them out at the provided link or on iTunes.
Okay, I’m being self-serving here. The Assignment: Horror Podcast came about because of a discussion between Richard Ewell, John Neal, and me about the horror movies John and I love and Richard being a horror fan who only started strongly coming into his own as a horror fan in the 1990s. Some joking around turned into the idea of assigning Richard films he had never seen and then- adding in the huge amount of genre knowledge and the different perspective that Becca Upson brings -the four of us discuss the films from the perspective of longtime fans and the first time viewer. I’d like to think we’re doing a pretty entertaining podcast, and getting better as we get more into our grove.
You can find The Assignment: Horror Podcast on the provided link, on iTunes, on Facebook, and on its own blog where additional materials are also posted.
Got a favorite podcast that you want to share with others? Add it into the comments below.
Jerry Chandler is a lifelong geek who, while enjoying most everything fandom has to offer, finds himself most at home in the horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction genres. When not wasting too much time on social media, he can be found writing regularly here at Needless Things, but has also written for websites like Gruesome Magazine as well as remembering to put up the occasional musings on his on blog. He’s been a guest on several podcasts from the ESO Network, Decades of Horror, and the Subject Matter. He has also recently become a regular cohost of The Assignment: Horror Podcast.