When did podcasts get so huge? What was once a niche market is now the go-to type of media. Thousands of podcasts are consumed daily, with topics from everything from true crime, science, politics, history and, of course, movies. As a serious film lover, I try to take in as much as I can, from print magazines, reviews, criticisms, books and obviously podcasts. There’s a lot to wade through, so I’ve rounded up my absolute favourite movie podcasts that are worth a listen.
We Hate Movies
Wait, what? Why would a movie fan want to listen to a podcast full of hate? Well, it’s hilarious, informative and entertaining as hell, for starters. Four guys who went to film school together and now work as a comedy group gather round and discuss a film that they couldn’t stand, from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to Halloween III: Season of the Witch (the longer the title, the worse the movie?) to Lady in the Water and The Butterfly Effect — basically all the same movies you and your friends make jokes about on the regular. That’s what gives this podcast a special charm: the guys are clearly all friends and their easy flow and comraderie feels just like trash talking bad movies with your friends, except usually funnier. Don’t listen to this podcast in public, or else you might end up that weird person laughing to themselves on the bus.
I Was There Too
Want an insiders look at one of your favourite movies? Then you shoud listen to I Was There Too, where host Matt Gourley (Drunk History) sits down with extras, bit players and sideline actors that were a part of some of the biggest movies in history. The crew from Aliens, the bus passengers from Speed, and the Pink Ladies and T-Birds from Grease all drop in to share their stories. You get a behind-the-scenes look at some iconic films, hear about the real process of the A-list filmmakers and actors invovled, and learn a bit more about an actor you might not be familiar with already. It’s an informative listen, but a fun one too, especially episodes with comedians like Greg Proops talking Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
This one is my personal favourite. Two film critics – Devin Faraci from Birth.Moves.Death and Amy Nicholson from MTV News – debate one film every week, arguing whether or not it belongs in the canon of all-time great films. The duo each have unique tastes and smart takes on popular films, so the podcast is far from a love-in for the obvious classics. Scorcese has only been approached a handful of times, while flicks like The Blair Witch Project, Gunga Din and Boyz in Tha Hood have been discussed for an hour plus. It’s a great excuse to revisit (or catch up on) older films, and they often illuminate points that I would never have caught on my own. It’s informative and more importantly, entertaining. Don’t forget to vote after each episode! The canon is decided by the listeners after all.
The Faculty of Horror
As a horror movie buff, there had to be at least one horror-themed podcast on my list. This one, presented by Rue Morgue magazine, is hosted by Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West, a pair of horror writers and academics out of Toronto. Andrea and Alexandra easily discuss everything from Ghostbusters’ backlash to the archetypes of Cabin in the Woods and the Evil Dead. They often group films together to discuss themes, like body horror, witchcraft, the role of wicked or evil mothers, and more. The hosts are intelligent and education and discuss horror with a smart, critical and feminist eye. Being a woman and a horror fan can sometimes be treacherous, but not with Andrea and Alexandra here to navigate me.
You Must Remember This
One of the more popular podcasts is Karina Longworth’s Old Hollywood podcast You Must Remember This. The longform podcast tackles one topic over the course of a season, consisting of around 20 episodes, with the occasional one-off or supplemental backstory. She’s delivered well-researched and informative podcasts on everything from the Manson family and the murder of actress Sharon Tate, to the Hollywood blacklist and red scare in the 1950s. Longworth uses excerpts from autobiographies, court documents, newspaper clippings and TV and movie scenes, as well as voice actors re-enacting scenes to create a well-rounded and fully realized story that proves sometimes real life is crazier than the movies.
How Did This Get Made
While We Hate Movies’ charm lies in the fact that it’s a group of regular guys trashing movies, How Did This Get Made takes a similar concept (discussing the worst movies they’ve ever seen) and puts it in the hands of professional comedians. Hosts Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas take on movies like Gigli and Jupiter Ascending with help from all star comics like Amy Schumer, Nick Kroll, Chelsea Peretti, Rob Corddry and Adam Scott.
Doug Loves Movies
The best thing about Doug Loves Movies, hosted by stand-up comedian Doug Benson, is that it’s part comedy show, part game show. A slew of famous guests stop by (previous guests include everyone from movie stars Mark Wahlberg and Chris Evans to fellow comedians Patton Oswalt and Amy Poehler) to play a series of movie related games with Doug, like The Leonard Maltin Game, where Doug reads an excerpt of a review and the guest has to guess the movie. Other games include Whose Tag Line Is It Anyway (he reads the tagline and the guests have to guess the movie), or Last Man Stanton, where guests (and sometimes Doug) have to name as many movies by a particular actor as they can.
Entertainment Weekly’s podcast isn’t strictly movie-based, but plenty of movies come up for discussion in this nerd-focused pop culture podcast. Hosts Darren Franich and Jeff Jensen (also known as Doc Jensen, famous to me for his Lost recaps back in the day) talk the latest in geekdom from new movie releases like Star Trek Beyond or Deadpool, to the best summer blockbusters of all time, what’s so important about The Hunger Games franchise and which Batman movie is the best of all time. There’s a lot of TV talk too, from Stranger Things to Mr. Robot, so if you’re a genre junkie this one is a must-listen.
I didn’t want to include one and not the other, and I didn’t want to clog up this list with two TIFF entries, so Yo, Adrian and Well, Nobody’s Perfect get to share a spot. The Toronto International Film Festival debuted the two podcasts earlier in 2016 and they both cover pop culture, film news, the Canadian film industry, festival circuits, diversity and anything else you could need to know about movies right now. Yo, Adrian is hosted by film critics and academics Fariha Róisín and Kiva Reardon (with the occasional special guest) while Well, Nobody’s Perfect hosts Rob Kraszewski and Geoff MacNaughton take a more laid-back, everyman approach. Both podcasts are worth a listen!
Admittedly, I haven’t listened to this one in a while, but Battleship Pretension was the first movie podcast I ever listened to regularly – possibly the first podcast I ever listened to, period. I was drawn in by the catchy title (a play on Battleship Potemkin, and an acknowledgement on how pretentious that is in itself) and quickly devoured episodes about filmmaking, stage makeup and VFX, Oscar picks and the top 50 horror movies of all time. It’s incredibly intelligent and informative, and toes the line perfectly between enjoyable for the hardcore cinephile and accessible enough for an average movie fan.
While these are my personal favourites, it is by no means a definitive list! What other movie podcasts are worth checking out?