Last week, myself and my co-hosts, Rebekah McKendry and Elric Kane, wrapped up our time as the Killer POV podcast for the Geeknation network. And although we’re planning to relaunch with Shock Waves later in the month, it’s going to be an extremely difficult act to follow.
We had a lot of incredible guests on over the course of our 3 year run (which spanned 140 episodes), not to mention all the horror-themed topics we tackled weekly. You’d think 3 horror nerds in a room would eventually run out of horror stuff to talk about, but it never happened and it always felt like we were just scratching the surface. That’s the beauty of discussing movies. Everyone has a different point of view, but also as you grow older, those points of view can change!
To commemorate our time together with Geeknation, I wanted to select 5 particular episodes that stand out to me. I don’t want to call these my “favorites” because like with any creative entity, you tend to consider them all your “babies.” So I’ll just say these are my 5 fondest episodes and the ones I often recommend to first time listeners.
I had met and interviewed director Savage Steve Holland, director of the celebrated comedies BETTER OFF DEAD and ONE CRAZY SUMMER way back in 2011, and we immediately hit it off, mainly because of our mutual love of horror. After exchanging emails for several months, going back and forth with horror recommendations, I knew he’d make an ideal guest. Someone that works in the industry, though not necessarily in the horror genre, and yet loves horror movies. When he’s out of town on a shoot, he would often regale me with tales of his hunt for horror movies at whatever the local video store or outlet would be out there. That sums up what not only we, the hosts, often do, but what our listeners do as well. We’re always on the hunt for that one horror movie that will blow us away. And this episode is a celebration of that. Plus it’s fun to hear Elric get all giddy that we don’t even make it through the opening intro. And we argue that BETTER OFF DEAD is a horror movie in its own way. This one captures the pure fun of our best episodes.
AJ Bowen has been a longtime friend of all of ours outside of Killer POV, but after his debut appearance on our show, we practically anointed him our unofficial co-host and brought him back on several occasions. Still, his first appearance where we focused on our favorite genre performances has to be my favorite. Delving into why Tom Atkins is as great as he is in NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, or how Eric Freeman is giving the most honest performance in horror with SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT 2, these are the types of debates horror fans get into at the bar of a convention hall. Focusing on one aspect of the genre, in this case performances, and breaking down why we love them is also what our show is all about.
Sometimes, topics will come to us naturally based on the guest, other times we try to come up with something that will just be fun. When we were welcoming director Eric England on to discuss his film, CONTRACTED, we knew that we’d finally be focusing on “Sex In Horror.” But rather than just blurt out what sex scenes we think are “hot” or analyze the coital exploits seen in the FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise, we really broke down and thought about what is “sexy.” What is the context for a good sex scene in horror? And then we had fun debates about things like, what character would you bring home to your parents? I may have divulged my personal appreciation for Shelley Duvall in this episode, in particular her slightly damaged character from THE SHINING, but hey, it’s all in fun, right? No regrets!!!
I had worked on the bonus features for a handful of Blue Underground titles long before first meeting William Lustig in person, but when I did meet him, it was for coffee with my friend Zane right before we all went to see a musical version of SHOWGIRLS, where we also got to meet and chat with Bobcat Goldthwait. I can’t make this stuff up! The one thing I took away from the bizarre evening was that Bill was a great storyteller and a lover of all cinema. When we were planning something special for our 50th, we knew it had to be with Bill as our guest. Back when I lived in New York, I’d always spot Bill sitting in the back of the theater at the Two Boots in Manhattan, so I knew he’d have great theatrical experience stories about New York, on top of his filmmaking experiences on MANIAC and MANIAC COP! He didn’t disappoint. Hearing Bill tell us about the first time he saw a Dario Argento movie in a theater on 42nd street is one of my favorite moments in Killer POV history.
Last but certainly not least is my birthday episode with very special guest Stephen Rebello, the author of ALFRED HITCHCOCK & THE MAKING OF PSYCHO. I had of course read Stephen’s book when I was much younger and it was a huge influence on me tackling THE PSYCHO LEGACY as a documentary project. When we finally met one afternoon for lunch, I immediately sensed a kinship with him. After all, for better or for worse, both of us will forever be pegged as the “PSYCHO” guys. And it’s not a bad club to be in! In our casual conversations, I found Stephen to also be a great storyteller so I knew he’d make a great guest. It wasn’t until my “birthday” episode that he agreed to come on, and what I didn’t expect was a nearly 3 hour discussion all about Alfred Hitchcock. Most horror fans I know may love the genre, but they love all movies, and in particular have a tremendous amount of respect for master craftsmen like Hitchcock. So it was always exciting for me when we deviated slightly from horror and into the works of someone that knew horror inside and out. This episode in particular is very special to me.
I know we had to cap this at 5, but I wanted to throw in a notable mention… I really love Episode 94 with Philippe Mora. A few weeks prior to this episode, I was assigned the task of picking up Mora to drive him to his commentary session for THE HOWLING 2 Blu-Ray. We were stuck in tremendous traffic on the way over there, and his stories and just general warmth completely won me over. I told the Killer POV gang immediately that we had to have Philippe on, and sure enough, my co-hosts and our audience were completely won over by his wonderfully dry sense of humor, and comedic timing in his storytelling. From Christopher Lee stories to Dennis Hopper driving around drunk with his mum, this episode was just pure gold.