Summer Screams: A Return to the Horror Podcastverse

As this year’s Summer Screams winds down with our final entry into fall, I figured I would once again take a moment to shine the spotlight on some of the hardest working people in the horror world. The podcasters I’m about to tell you about deliver the goods, time and time again, and do so for free. You’re talking about hours of content that has to be recorded, edited, polished, and put up every week.

Why would they go through all the bother? Because they love the genre, want to talk about it all the time. They know and respect all things horror, and want to share that with the world. That is something I can always respect. Oh, and I am also a bit of a podcast addict. Yeah, I love them. I listen to over a dozen different shows every week, about all sorts of things. These here are the best of the horror-centric ones that I have recently discovered. So, come with me and let me point out the best of the best of the horror podcastverse right now.

Let’s kick things off with an individual operator that does it all himself. Now, normally, solo podcasts are just boring. Sorry, but that’s just the truth. They always come off as some basement-dwelling fanboy, just listing things that they like, with no counterpoint to their opinion, and no one to play off for humor or fun. These shows are as enjoyable to listen to as listening to grass grow. Yes, not watching grass grow – that would be more entertaining – but listening to it grow. Now that is boring.

Thankfully, the Kruger Nation Horror Podcast is the exception to that usual rule. Put out by a cool cat named ‘Johnny Kruge.’ His shows usually focus on slasher films, a favorite subgenre of mine, but he will occasionally veer off in other directions to cover other flavors of horror. He also discusses things in an exuberant style, and the guy’s funny and knowledgeable enough to keep me listening to him and wanting to know his thoughts on whatever flick he’s talking about at the time. His humor can be a little off-color at times, but then, so can mine, so maybe that’s why I like listening to him so much? If you want to give a talented one man show a listen, you can do so here: http://kruegernation.com/.

From the smallest podcast crew on my list, let’s go to the largest. And since this is the Innsmouth Free Press, you know something Lovecraftian had to show up here. The Miskatonic University Podcast is my favorite Lovecraftian-related show on the cyber airwaves right now. It is largely devoted to the RPG game, Call of Cthulhu, so some experience with that game will go a long way in fully appreciating this show.

However, there is far more than just geeky gaming goodness going on here (which, for the record, I always love). They cover all things Mythos. Books, movies and, yes, games are frequent topics, but they also have had shows all about small press publishing, Cthulhu-inspired art, real-life weird and creepy events from history, and various horror and gaming conventions. The four co-hosts; Dan, Murph, Jon, and Chad (They only go by their first names) are entertaining as a barrel of shoggoths and play very well off each other.

You get the feeling that these are four friends just shooting the s*** and when you listen, you really feel like just one of the guys. Few shows are as warm and inviting as this one. Oh, and that s*** I mentioned before brings me to another point: While entertaining and oftentimes hilarious, the show is always family-friendly. Any misplaced vulgarities are always BLEEPED over and this quartet can be both entertaining and informative without “working blue.” So, feel free to listen to this show out loud with the kids. After all, the Cult of Cthulhu always needs fresh blood. You can enroll at the Miskatonic University Podcast here: http://www.mu-podcast.com/.

I said at the start of this that I love podcasts. You could say that I devour them. And wouldn’t you know it? That brings me to the next show on the list: Devour the Podcast. Yeah, boys and girls, that’s called a pro-level segue right there. Maybe I should start broadcasting? Anyway, back to DtP. If you want some variety in your horror movie podcasts, Devour the Podcast will do that for you. This show has the powerhouse trio of David Anders Jr., Bo Ransdell, and Jamie Jenkins, who brings a much-needed woman’s point of view on horror.

Devour’s shows always have a news segment, so horror fans looking to stay current on such things will want to listen just for that. But wait – there’s more. Each episode will discuss two films. The first one will be something found on Netflix’s streaming services and I really like that idea, as I also have Netflix.

The second will be their feature presentation and that’s where this show really shines. Besides just being entertaining and informative, Devour the Podcast is wonderfully diverse. One week, they will feature a slasher flick. The next, some obscure cult classic like Raw Head Rex. I mean, who ever talks about that movie, anymore? But I digress. They have discussed a little bit about all subgenres of horror since I started listening to them just a few months back. From zombies to Blaxploitation horror, these two guys and a gal will devour just about anything horror. So, if you want to get stuffed by a smorgasbord of fright flicks, this show will do that for you, but you’ll always want to come back for more. You can devour this podcast here: http://www.devourthepodcast.com/.

Last but not least is the newest kid of the podcast block. It has only had one show come out so far, but that’s because it only comes out with every full moon. It has a link to the previous podcast in the form of the host and creator, Jamie Jenkins, whom I gather is the First Lady of Horror Podcasting, as she seems to be in every other one I listen to. Well this show is her little hairy baby and if the full moon comment wasn’t enough of a hint for you to figure out what this new show is all about, perhaps the title will do that. It’s called “Lycan It!” That’s right, people, it’s a werewolf movie-focused podcast and that makes me very happy.

Werewolves always seem to get the short end of the stick in the horror world and it’s nice to see them get some love here. What’s also cool about this show is that Ms. Jenkins and her co-host, Craig McGee, don’t pick the low-hanging Wolfsbane and choose the furry flicks that everyone knows. I hope they will one day, as I want to hear their thoughts on The Howling, American Werewolf in London, Dog Solders, etc., but I like hearing them discuss the runts of the litter. Underground or forgotten movies like Scream of the Wolf from 1974. I mean, come on, who the hell has seen that? I never have, and I sort of watch horror movies for a living. Lycan It! shows great promise and I can’t wait to see where they go from here. If you want to come along and howl at the moon, you can give it a listen here: http://www.horrorphilia.com/horrorphilia-network-of-podcasts-i-z/lycan-it/.

Final Verdict: So, there you have it: four great shows that offer something different for all you discriminating horrorheads out there. There are countless many more great podcasts, but these are four of my favorites and I can easily recommend then to all.

Brian M. Sammons

About Brian M. Sammons

Brian M. Sammons has been critiquing all things horror, science fiction, dark, or just plain icky for over a decade. His reviews and columns can currently be found in the pages of these magazines: Cemetery Dance, Shock Totem and Dark Discoveries, and on these websites: Horror World, The Black Glove and now here. Not being satisfied at being a humble and handsome critic, Brian has penned a few tales himself. They have appeared in the magazines Bare Bone, Cthulhu Sex, Dark Animus, and Horror Carousel, and in the anthologies Arkham Tales, Cthulhu Unbound Vol. 2, Horrors Beyond, and Twisted Legends, among others. He has also written extensively for the Call of Cthulhu role playing game, in an attempt to corrupt as many new, young minds as possible. Despite all this, Brian is often described by his neighbours as "such a nice, quiet man", and he loves animals.

Brian M. SammonsSummer Screams: A Return to the Horror Podcastverse