By Jerry Chandler
In between grumblings and observations on fandom and genre, I do a lot of promoting of other people’s works and passion projects. One thing I’ve really not done is promote anything I’ve been working on other than in the little bio bit at the bottom of the columns, and, let’s be honest, most people that read articles on websites tend to stop reading when they hit the first few words of those things.
However, if I learned nothing else during my years of being a professional wrestling fan and seeing Mick Foley on the television, I’ve learned that cheap pops work. Unfortunately, cheap pops of the Foley variety don’t really work all that well on a website like this. However, I also learned from the Foley years of WWE television that shameless self-promotion isn’t always a bad thing. As such, this week I’m doing some shameless self-promotion. Think of it as my birthday gift to myself. Granted, my birthday is still five months away. However, I keep being told that procrastination is bad, so I’m getting it out of the way now.
Links to the podcasts and websites are in the names.
So, a little while ago I started doing a podcast with Richard Ewell, John Neal, and Becca Upson called The Assignment: Horror Podcast. It’s a simple concept with a little bit of a twist in the actual execution of the podcast. One day a conversation got started between Richard, John, and I about the old and sometimes strange horror film references John and I would occasionally make that Richard new was a reference to a horror film but didn’t know the actual film or really get the reference.
Richard is a horror fan, but he got a later start on it than John did and I did. He’s a horror child of the 1990s and beyond, but he has seen some of the older films here and there over the years. Nevertheless, to a large degree, there are large holes in his horror movie viewing when it comes to the decades that predate the 1990s. He jokingly suggested John and I start assigning him old horror films to watch when he had the time. This morphed into the two of us and John’s friend Becca actually assigning Richard old films we’ve seen that he’s never seen and then recording the discussion of around our recounting our connections to the film and Richard giving his opinion of these films as a first time viewer in this day and age.
The slight twist in the execution comes from (I think) the three of us old geezers having grown up with horror hosts. We don’t exactly play characters on the podcast, but we sort of do. The gag in the program is Richard is locked away in a dungeon being forced to watch these films and only released once every two weeks to discuss the films. Once we’re done, Richard is returned to the dungeon to watch the next film. While we treat talking about the films as seriously as some of the films deserve, there are a few ‘in character’ jokes about Richard’s time in the dungeon. I suppose in modern terms, there’s a tad more MS3TK in the concept than old school horror host.Most of the episodes clock in at about an hour.
While it didn’t fall on my pick when it was chosen for the podcast, Quatermass and the Pit is a huge favorite of mine. This was one of Hammer’s big screen attempts at doing a blending of science fiction and horror, and it may well have been their best attempt.
X: the Man with the X-Ray Eyes was John’s pick, and, again, it’s a film I quite liked as well. This one is absolutely one of the episodes that’s worth a listen if you’ve never seen the film, and the film is absolutely worth tracking down if you haven’t seen it.
Blacula was the first show we did, and the first film I picked for Richard to watch. I made it my first pick because Blacula is, for me, one of the two greatest big screen vampires in the history of cinema. Unfortunately, the name and the jokes around the character have long kept many people away from the film as they’ve assumed the thing is more farce than serious vampire film. Of course, they don’t know how close they almost were to being right…
If you can’t find it in your heart to love a film like THEM!, I really don’t know what I can say to you. Great classic science fiction cinema with wonderful characters and giant ants. You just can’t beat that.
The Abominable Dr. Phibes is one of those Vincent Price classics that many people just cannot give enough love to. There are very good reasons for this, and we all had a fun time discussing those reasons.
That’s only five of the shows so far. We’ve done more than just five, including an April Fool’s edition where Richard turns the tables on us and has the three of us watch a more modern horror film that we’ve never seen before. You can find the show on iTunes, Soundcloud, Wordpress, and Facebook. Give us a listen and share any shows you like on social media. Hell, share the ones you don’t like as well.
By the way, do you know how I got hooked up with Richard and John? It’s because we’re all wrestling fans.
Some few years ago now, The Earth Station One Podcast did a few episodes devoted to wrestling as backdoor pilots for a possible wrestling podcast on the network. Apparently, everyone had fun and the episodes were well received, because a little later The ESO Pro Wrestling Roundtable started up. The show was a blast to listen to, but it had to go away for a bit. When it came back, Richard and John were the primary hosts along with Jonathan Williams of Wrestling with Pop Culture. Eventually, I would come on as a guest to discuss wrestling in the 1980s. After that, I started showing up more regularly as a guest contributor on the show. It’s one of the ones I feel really fortunate to have found and been given the opportunity to play in their sandbox, because it’s become one of the podcasts I most look forward to getting an invite to.
If you like professional wrestling even a little, you should be giving this show a try. They cover everything from what’s happening now to the old days to toy figures to movies related to wrestling and more. They’ve also been snagging some damn fine interviews with both indie talent and some RoH and WWE talent. Big nod to Jonathan Williams for a number of those. Again, give them all a listen, but, for now, here’s a small selection of my appearances on the show.
The ESO Pro Wrestling Roundtable Ep 22 – Pro Wrestling in the 80s! is, wow, two years old already. Oddly, it seems like simultaneously both less time and more time has passed. The name of the show says everything you need to know about the subject. We were talking about wrestling from back in the 1980s.
The ESO Pro Wrestling Roundtable Episode 30 – Pro Wrestling Time Machine: Great American Bash 1988 was another nostalgia show, but one with a little more focus to it. Rather than discuss an entire era of professional wrestling or even just one territory or one wrestler’s run during an era, the guys decided to focus a discussion on a classic wrestling event from way back when. Man, this one was a lot of fun to look at. This event had some crazy fun moments in it, and it was a total blast to get to talk with the guys about it.
The first of the show’s looks back on wrestling related movies was The ESO Pro-Wrestling Roundtable Episode 36 – ESO PRO GOES TO THE MOVIES!, and I got to sit in on this one. I was admittedly dreading a bit of a train wreck episode, because how many times and ways could you have multiple people saying a movie was a four-finger stinker? But with the crew we had on hand, it actually turned into a really fun discussion about the film, WCW at the time, various wrestlers, and the creative decisions of WCW in that era that made us both grimace and grin.
Another movie episode was devoted to a criminally overlooked (maybe not) wrestling film starring Peter Falk. The Pro Wrestling Roundtable Episode 58 – All The Marbles looked at a film that was a nostalgia favorite of mine, but also shows its age in more ways than one more and more as time goes by. It also features an interview with indie wrestler Kiera Hogan, who has everything she needs to become a major star in the business. A fun episode all around.
The Pro Wrestling Roundtable Podcast Ep 63 – Horror In Wrestling let me talk both horror and wrestling with the guys at the same time as well as with the talented indie wrestler, Trevor Aeon. I knew I was going to have fun with this episode, and it didn’t disappoint.
Decades of Horror the 1970s Episode 30 – Tombs of the Blind Dead. I’ve been on several episodes of Horror News Radio’s Decades of Horror shows. Two of them for me really stand out as having been truly fun shows to have been on and done. The first one is the first one I was ever on. I got to come on the show and talk about the Blind Dead with my good friend Bill Mulligan, Doc Rotten, and the late, great, and dearly missed Black Saint. I really could not fully express in words how much fun it was to talk horror with these guys- especially with it being The Blind Dead –or how much of a good mood it put me in for the next day or so. It was a wonderful memory, and one I’m extremely glad there is a record of. It was also one of the only two times I ever knew a bit of horror trivia that Santos didn’t know, so I’m almost proud about the useless volumes of knowledge that take up the room in my brain that useful stuff could go in if just for that.
A close second was talking a lesser-known film that I truly love with some of the Decades of Horror: the Classic Era crew. Night of the Demon (aka Curse of the Demon, 1957) – Episode 28 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era was a chance to focus on a film that doesn’t get the love it deserves from a lot of horror fandom. It was also a hell of a lot of fun talking about it with the Classic Era crew.
The Decades of Horror shows (1970s, 1980s, 1990s and Beyond, and Classic era) are all up on the website I linked to with the show names, but you can find a lot of them on iTunes and Podbean as well. I strongly suggest giving them a listen; especially the earlier Decades of Horror the 1970s shows. You will find yourself listening to the earliest 1970s episodes and suddenly wanting to track down, watch, and enjoy films you may never have heard of before, and films of a type you may never have thought you’d want to watch.
Subject Matter Episode 10: A Circus Farewell (the show is now under the Nerdy Laser umbrella and name) was one of the few (The only?) discussions I’ve had on a podcast that wasn’t genre related. I was invited on the show by Richard Ewell to discuss the end of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Maybe not the most fun podcast I’ve been on to end this list of podcasts I’ve been on and am shamelessly promoting here, but one that means a lot to me.
Do us a favor and give The Assignment: Horror Podcast episodes a listen and some shares. Give the other shows a listen whether they’re the episodes I’m on or not, and give them some shares as well.
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.