One of the reasons I started F This Movie! a few years ago was so that I could write about anything I wanted, particularly the things I love. And I love Killer POV. I want to write about it.
I listen to a lot of movie podcasts. There are very few that I actually like. I try to check out a lot of horror podcasts, too, especially during October when all I want to think/talk about is horror movies. Most of them are terrible; it's always some Skype roundtable of guys who call themselves Dr. Chainsaw or Assface McBlood talking about which horror movies have the BEST KILLS and how anything without the BEST KILLS just isn't any good.
Killer POV doesn't do any of that shit. The three hosts, Rob Galluzzo (of Icons of Fright and formerly FEARnet [RIP FEARnet]), Rebekah McKendry (of Fangoria) and Elric Kane (of Inside Horror and owner of the Jumpcut Cafe in Los Angeles, one of the places I'm most excited about going to when we travel to L.A. next summer), are first and foremost passionate lovers of horror. But they're not just gushing fanboys (and girl); all three are able to articulate what they love about the movies they love in ways that are smart, funny and totally endearing. They are the dream team -- the Beatles of horror podcasting.
I can't tell you how many movies I've checked out based on their discussions, whether it was a first-time viewing of something they recommended or giving another look to something I had written off but reconsidered because of how passionately one of them spoke of it. Even when they don't like something, they'll find something good or interesting to say about it; as Elric Kane is fond of saying, there's no such thing as a bad movie, because every movie is someone's favorite (except The Green Inferno...never The Green Inferno). There are a lot of bad horror movies -- a LOT -- but no one on Killer POV ever takes cheap shots or tears stuff down in a way that's easy or dismissive. Mostly they focus on the positive, because they understand something that a lot of critics and movie bloggers/journalists don't: it's way more fun to talk about stuff you like.
It's weird, right? A guy who hosts his own podcast recommending everyone listen to another podcast? Not really, because a) I'm not an insecure asshole and b) there's room for more than one podcast in your life and c) the world only gets better if more people support something good and valuable like Killer POV. I've always prided myself on the fact that all of you who listen to our show and give feedback have commented that you love the fact that we love movies -- all kinds of movies -- and we love what we love without judgment or negativity. I certainly hope that's the kind of show we're doing. It's exactly how I feel about Killer POV.
We cover horror movies all year long, but concentrate on them particularly during October because it's motherfucking #ScaryMovieMonth. Killer POV talks about horror all year long -- new stuff, old stuff, indie stuff (they talk about movies outside of horror, too, just not as much). If you enjoy #ScaryMovieMonth as much as we do, you'll want to check them out.
Please note that this list doesn't necessarily represent the 11 "best" episodes, just a great place to start. You should listen to them all, as there are too many good shows to limit it to just ten; several that didn't make the list include interviews with great, interesting guests like Savage Steve Holland, Manny Coto, Mick Garris, Rodman Flender, Jim Wynorski, Bill Lustig and many, many more.
Our Top 10 Favorite Horror Movies - Here's the best place to start if you're new to Killer POV, as it provides a great overview of the three hosts' very different tastes and gives you some idea as to where they're coming from as you listen to more episodes. One of the things I love about the show is that everyone has a different area of expertise and how they complement one another perfectly: McKendry is into weird exploitation movies, Satanic horror and killer nun flicks; Elric Kane gravitates toward artier, dreamlike filmmakers like David Lynch, Lucio Fulci and (of course) Andrzej Zulawski and Rob G.'s tastes are probably the most "mainstream" -- he loves horror comedy and is a big believer in building a collection, something to which I can completely relate (I see aspects of my own tastes in all three of them, which is nice...together they form my horror movie Voltron). This episode is also a great starting point because they give a general overview of the entire genre, picking what they think are the 10 "best" horror movies ever made in an objective sense. Even if you're only a casual horror fan, there's a good chance you'll have heard of most of the titles mentioned on this episode. Except Rebekah's picks, because Satánico Pandimonium.
This One's For You! - While there is always some free-form discussion at the start of the show, most episodes of Killer POV have a guest and a specific theme to be covered. Sometimes, though, the shows that just feature the three hosts are my favorite. This is one of those episodes, in which they answer listener questions, cover several genre obscurities and talk about getting into horror journalism. It's just a great opportunity to listen to the hosts bounce off one another and have two hours of casual conversation about everything horror.
Scream Factory - The Sequel - As of this writing, the Scream Factory guys (Jeff Nelson and Cliff MacMillan) and have been on Killer POV three times (you can listen to their other appearances here and here). Theirs are always some of the best shows, not just because I am a TOTAL mark for Scream Factory (it's their fault for continually releasing movies I thought only I loved [just this week, they announced that they're putting out motherfucking ROBOT JOX in 2015]), but because they always provide a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of what it's like to try and license different movies, how they decide what to put out and just how much care goes into every aspect of their releases. Like all the best episodes of Killer POV, the Scream Factory shows are simply spilling over with love for the genre.
Going a Little Mad - A Psycho B-Day Bash! - Rob Galluzzo is a Psycho nut (he directed the franchise documentary The Psycho Legacy and has been involved in Scream Factory's releases of the sequels), so to celebrate his birthday the show brought on Stephen Rebello, author of Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, for a three-hour discussion of all things Hitchcock. Because Rebello was a friend of Hitchcock and spent a great deal of time with him, he has amazing stories to share, as well as valuable insight into what made the movies so great. This is a terrific conversation and yet another example of what good interviewers all three hosts are, knowing when to take the discussion in one direction and when to just hang back and let the guest take over. There's even a few hints of Rebello's feelings about Sacha Gervasi's biopic Hitchcock, which was based on Rebello's book and for which he contributed an early draft of the screenplay, which subsequently went through major rewrites and became a movie I really don't like. I also love that Killer POV does a special show to celebrate one of their birthdays (they just did it again with a special show on insect horror for Rebekah's birthday), because this show is as much about the friendship between the three of them as it is about horror. It's one of the reasons I love listening.
Punishment - Editor-turned-director Mark Goldblatt is the guest on an episode that covers a lot of ground, as Goldblatt is another genre lover who has seen everything and has clear opinions on all of it. He's another guy who's been around a long time and knows everything about the business, having started out working for Roger Corman (a story shared by many of the Killer POV guests) and eventually becoming one of Hollywood's most in-demand editors. Goldblatt has stories from the trenches of some of horror's most notoriously re-edited movies, including Halloween II and Nightbreed and gets to give the inside scoop on his 1989 adaptation of The Punisher with Dolph Lundgren, an underrated and incredibly violent action movie. He's a guy I could listen to talk all day.
Episode 3: Mike Mendez and His Big Ass Spider! - Though very, very early in the show's run, this episode and interview with indie horror director Mike Mendez is essential listening because it helps to define the terms of the discussion for everything going forward. After a really interesting talk with the very likable and talented Mendez about his approach to filmmaking (though his budgets are low and some of his scripts might be preposterous -- particularly Big Ass Spider!, the film he's on to promote -- he always busts his ass to make the best possible movie and one that defies our expectations of what low-budget horror might be), the four launch into a discussion about what is and what isn't a horror movie. There's a lot of gray area, and it's fun to hear everyone navigate what counts as horror; just because something might be horrifying, is it still horror? It's the kind of discussion that forces the listener to confront his or her own opinions on the genre and to question where their own lines might be drawn.
Full Moon, Full Circle - This was a big one for me. Not only did it inspire this piece, but also got me to subscribe to Full Moon Streaming, which led to my (semi) regular Full Moon Fever column. Full Moon Features head honcho Charles Band has been making movies for a long time and seen the business change in a whole bunch of ways; those stories and his insights into the changes are what make this episode such a compelling listen. The shifting face of independent film is an ongoing concern of Killer POV; this is one of the episodes that deals with it most directly and in a way that still manages to be highly listenable, mostly because the hosts know how to keep things engaging and Band is an entertaining storyteller.
Reaching the Outer Limits - Author and screenwriter David J. Schow sits in and is quickly anointed the unofficial "fourth host" of the show for how effortlessly he fits in and keeps up with every part of the discussion. Covering his work as a screenwriter on Freddy's Nightmares and Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III and eventually his exhaustive knowledge of The Outer Limits, Schow is exactly the kind of guest that's great on the show -- loose, funny, incredibly knowledgable and completely in love with the genre. Like the three hosts, he's an encyclopedia of horror movies and never misses a step in the conversation. I don't want any of the original three to have to miss an episode, but if they do I hope Schow really will make good on his promise and sit in as a guest again.
Our Favorite Genre Performances - Indie horror mainstay and friend of the show AJ Bowen is the guest for this three-hour conversation about favorite performances in horror. Bowen is fun in his dry, soft-spoken way, and he fits right in on the show because he has strong opinions that you might not expect, like the way he defends Eric Freeman's performance in Silent Night, Deadly Night 2. This also might have been the first time I heard Elric Kane refer to Joe Spinell's work in Maniac as a "beautiful performance," something he has repeated a few times since and is exactly the kind of opinion that makes me love Killer POV. While I've never thought of that performance as being "beautiful," I love that someone does and that he can articulate it in such a clear and affectionate way. I also defy any real horror fan to walk away from this episode and not want to check out six or seven films mentioned -- even one like Lovely Molly, which two of the hosts admit to hating while championing the lead performance.
The Non-Horror Episode - This one makes a nice bookend to the "Favorite Horror Movies" episode, as it gives a good sense of what the hosts like to watch when they're not watching horror (as well as ample opportunity for Elric Kane to tease Rebekah McKendry for her picks, which is a recurring theme on the show). Once again, it's an enjoyable glimpse into the interests and preoccupations of the three hosts, and it's interesting to see how their non-horror tastes inform their horror tastes and vice versa (of the three, Rebekah's picks are the most unlike her taste in horror movies). It's just a really fun episode.
The Debates! - While this one might only be for "advanced" listeners of the show, it is my all-time favorite episode of Killer POV. Brian Collins of Badass Digest, filmmaker Dave Parker (who made the very good The Hills Run Red) and Mike Williamson (curator of Secret 16 at Jumpcut Cafe) join the episode to debate the horror movies they love that no one else does. Oh, and everyone gets really drunk, too. Yes, it's loud and rowdy and difficult to understand what's being said at times on account of the fact that a roomful of people are all talking at once. But it's everything I love about the show -- pure enthusiasm and impassioned defenses of horror movies that feel very personal and singular. While I can't agree with Rebekah and Mike Williamson's affection for Freddy's Dead, I love hearing them discuss a movie they love for reasons that go beyond a simple "I like it, fuck you" (which is my go-to argument). Did I come away with newfound respect for Phantoms or Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows? No, not really. But I did come away wanting to revisit them, which is all anyone can hope for. As someone whose tastes are sometimes pretty out there, these are exactly the kinds of conversations I love having. This podcast always feels like hanging out with friends, talking about the movies we love with people who understand us.
If you're not already subscribed to the show, just take my word for it and do it now. I look forward to new episodes every week.
New episodes of Killer POV are posted every Friday at Noon CST on GeekNation.