Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Introducing the Filthy Horrors Podcast | And That's When the Murders Began

I know I have a problem, but just listen. I started a new podcast with a couple of dear friends: Darla Ecklund and Jessica Hickman. It's a horror podcast, so if that's your thing, I hope you'll give it a listen.

This one's different from other shows I'm on, because the three of us all live near each other, so we're recording it face-to-face instead of online. I have some learning to do about producing a show like that, but this was a fun discussion. We just talk about how horror got its claws into us and reveal our favorite horror movies, books, comics, and TV shows.


Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

Filthy Horrors, fertile imaginations! As creative people, we’re drawn to things that are on the fringes of society and dwell on those things that are in the corner of the eye that most other people brush off or ignore.

This episode feels a bit unfocused probably because it’s the introductory episode and I’m sure you three will rein that in with specific topics. It cab be frustrating playing fly on the way to a fun conversation when theres no way to participate. It is great to hear Jess Hickman’s voice after following her art online for a while.

I do like the idea of more of talking about more than just movies. You’ll contribute plenty of literature recommendations I’m sure. Since you’re a fan of gothic romance/horror so I expect there may be discuss of Frankenstein or Dracula before too long.

No surprise that Hellboy gets name-dropped. I binged through the series a few years back and found it a bit of slog to get through ongoing arcs with artifact quests or the end of the world but love the stand alone ghost stories like The Corpse or Wolves of St. August.

I consider myself a modest horror fan, having seen more than most people but not going in for everything in the genre. I know plenty of people who are huge fans of slashers like Michael Myers, Freddy Kruger, Jason Vorhees or Chucky. I like aspects of those characters and maybe one or two movies of each series, but I wouldn’t rank those high on my personal horror movie list.

Its tricky to make a list though because you always remember, oh yeah, that’s good too. Or something just don’t seem to fit horror without some branch out like Jaws is a drama/thriller or Jurassic Park is a science fiction thriller, etc.

I grew up with the Universal Monsters, Alfred Hitchcock Thrillers and Silver Age Marvel Comics all at the same time in my preteen/teen years. Frankenstien and the Gillman felt right at home in that Marvel “misunderstood monster” mode along with Hulk or Ben Grimm.

Looking back I wish I had continued into the Hammer Horror films after the run with Universal, but pre Internet, I didn’t know about them. Hammer feels like a natural stepping-stone in continuing that same moody atmosphere but also feature gratuitous cleavage and poster paint blood!

Fortunately I made up for it when I discovered the Val Lewton movies in college. The Universal monsters have a bit of a juvenile feeling with their camp but a movie like Cat People made me feel like I was watching a movie that was made for adults rather than a movie for teenagers that had adult content.

As an introvert I’m fascinated with zombies. It taps into and manifests my own fears of being surrounded by strange people or overwhelmed by crowds. The original Dawn of the Dead or The Return of the Living Dead would be my top picks for that subgenre, but there is plenty to choose from given zombie ubiquity in the past decade.

This past October I had quite the marathon of a horror movie a day mixing classics with some stuff I hadn’t seem before and it poured into the inspiration for my Inktober drawings. Regardless I usually set aside time to watch John Carpenter’s The Thing, Cat People and at least one Evil Dead movie to prep for the Halloween season.

Michael May said...

Yeah, "unfocused" was the name of the game on this one. People come at horror from so many different directions and highlight so many different subgenres that I wanted to start with a whole episode of us just talking about our specific approaches and tastes. Listeners who want conversations about slashers and torture movies will probably be disappointed.

The next episode is about Frankenstein. Specifically the novel, but also some of the adaptations that we like (and the recent Mary Shelley biopic starring Elle Fanning). I haven't relistened to the audio yet, but I imagine it'll be more focused. Though whenever people get together live and without a lot of notes, the conversation can wander and I suspect we'll always have that on Filthy Horrors. It's part of the attraction for me, frankly.

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

I suppose the natural conversation feel comes about when you have everyone in the same room, which isn't always common among podcasts with three or more people.

I'd be curious to get a ruling on whether the members of podcast panel prefer Frankenstein or Dracula. Those two seem the be the biggest rivals of the classic monsters. Though if I recall the Nerd Lunch monster draft correctly, Frankie may have this contest sealed already.

The movie history podcast "You Must Remember This" did an episode this past Halloween comparing the parallel careers of Boris Karloff and Bela Legosi. Bela Legosi played old world aristocrats and members of high society while Karloff was often a misunderstood monster or a martyr. When the monster movies were revived on television in the 60s many of Karloff's characters were more appealing to audiences who were a part of counterculture movement and spurred his career resurrection.

Its fascinating to see how a character can still have relevance and impact on a new generation even with the reinterpretation for a new medium.

The closest I've come to reading the original book is pouring over those gorgeous Bernie Wrightson illustrations. I'll be curious to learn how book Frankenstein Monster differs from the perception thats been built post Boris Karloff since that portrayl has colored every depiction since.

Michael May said...

That's a cool way to think about Karloff and Lugosi's popularity. I never considered that. I mean, I'm sure there was a lot more to it than that, but that sounds like a good explanation for at least part of the phenomenon.

Dracula wasn't included in the Nerd Lunch monster brackets, so he didn't get a fair shake there. I guess there could be some meaning to his absence, but we also didn't include the Wolf Man or anyone else except the Gill Man (whom Pax chose, if I remember right). I purposely didn't bring any of the others up because I didn't want to load the brackets with Universal monsters, but it's telling that when I only picked one Universal monster, I picked Frankenstein. He gets my vote over Dracula. Dracula is a true villain where Frankenstein is a misunderstood underdog, so there's not much contest.

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

It would be easy to overload those brackets with Universal Monsters. Though now I'm picturing you hosting this show while wearing a shirt that says "Team Frankenstein".

Surely you'll get the covering Dracula and vampires and their contrasting representations soon enough between the Anne Rice immortal tortured soul forever adolescents and the more animal than man monster of the Nosferatu.


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