Jay of the Dead here. Today is October 25, 2015, which is exactly two years since the launch of Horror Movie Podcast. On Friday, October 25, 2013, we released our epic debut episode titled Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 001: The Horror Genre and Our Top 10 Favorite Horror Movies. (It is a must-listen episode, if you haven’t heard it yet.) At that time, HMP only had three hosts: Jay of the Dead, Wolfman Josh and Dr. Walking Dead Kyle Bishop.
Dr. Shock had not rejoined us yet. I say “rejoined” because HMP is the third (and final) incarnation of a Jay of the Dead horror podcast. Many of our listeners have gathered sometime during the course of the past two years, so if you haven’t heard how Horror Movie Podcast came to be, I will give you the history below.
The History of Horror Movie Podcast
In about 2006 or 2007, I was a film critic for my college newspaper located in Orem, Utah. Two filmmakers were shooting an intriguing documentary called “Cleanflix” (2009). One of the co-directors was Joshua Ligairi.
That’s when I first met Josh. My interview footage didn’t make the final cut of his film, but even so, I highly recommend “Cleanflix” to anybody who loves movies.
As a Utah cinephile, I found myself in an unofficial community of fellow film-lovers. But after graduating from college in 2008, I moved back to West Virginia to work as the film critic (among other roles) at my hometown newspaper.
To maintain my association with my Utah film friends, I started a movie review / discussion blog called Considering the Cinema. Two of my fellow contributors on that site were Joshua Ligairi and Andy Howell. It was late in 2008 that Josh asked me if I listened to any movie podcasts. He recommended a couple to me, one of which was The /Filmcast, which is still my all-time favorite podcast.
I became obsessed with movie podcasting because of Josh and The /Filmcast. I listened to it every single time I drove somewhere alone.
By the end of 2009, the newspaper business was a very shaky career — especially for a movie critic, so I moved back to Utah. It was devastating to me to no longer have my job as a film critic, where I saw every new movie release for free and had a circulation (at that time) of somewhere around 30,000. So, I started very seriously considering starting a movie review podcast.
In June 2010, I launched the Considering the Sequels Podcast, where Andy Howell, Karl Huddleston and I reviewed entire movie franchises once a month. We were earnest, but the show’s quality was poor, so we only gathered around 25 listeners after two years. (Joshua Ligairi made guest appearances on a couple of those episodes.)
It was late in 2010 that I noticed that the CTS Podcast was being followed on Twitter by an impressive man named Dave Becker of DVD Infatuation.com. I think he may have even sent me a message, kindly complimenting my show. I was very impressed by his daily movie review blog, so we had a sort of mutual admiration society.
Dave told me that he was also part of a movie podcast that just recently launched — a horror podcast called Planet Macabre, hosted by BillChete, GregaMortis, Hell Hunter, Lady Phantom and my new friend, Dave Becker, who went by “Dr. Shock.” That show still remains my all-time favorite horror podcast. Planet Macabre was my /Filmcast of horror podcasting.
Admittedly, at the time, as a bit of a latent horror fan, my new obsession with Planet Macabre awoke something monstrous inside of me.
Through Dr. Shock, I got to know the infamous BillChete, and I had the distinct honor of being invited to be one of the very few guests in its short, 16-episode run of Planet Macabre. I got to be a guest on Episode 010 — a bonus episode — when we reviewed my all-time favorite horror film, “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (1974). My “horror-ized” name for that show was “Jason X,” but for all intents and purposes, that’s when my alter ego, horror-podcasting persona was born.
As podcasts always do, Planet Macabre folded in June 2011, due to BillChete’s demanding schedule, if I recall correctly. But you can’t keep a podcaster out of the game for very long! Later that same month, BillChete contacted me with “an offer.” He invited me to be one of the official hosts on Horror Jungle, his new horror podcasting venture. A true honor for me. Even though Horror Jungle only ran for a total of three episodes before BillChete had to drop it, too, it is still one of my life’s biggest regrets that I had to decline his invitation. My wife and I just had our second child in February, and she wasn’t fond of the idea of me having another podcast, since I was still beating dead horses with the CTS Podcast.
That decision to turn down Horror Jungle haunted me. By September 2011, I was planning to start my own horror podcast in October — just in time for Halloween. I named it The Weekly Horror Movie Podcast. I reached out to BillChete to invite him to be one of the hosts. He accepted. Coincidentally, BillChete said he was planning to build Horror Palace — a horror podcasting network, and he invited TWHMP to be a part of it. I accepted. BillChete planned to launch his own video horror podcast called Grisly Zone, and he had also asked Boss Butcher’s Terror Troop to join.
Horror Palace Network began in mid-October, and I launched The Weekly Horror Movie Podcast on the network on October 30, 2011. My new horror moniker was Jay of the Dead, and it has been ever since. Along with BillChete, I also invited Dr. Shock, Midnight Corey and newcomer Craig “Terror” Tovey to be my co-hosts.
TWHMP was an incredible show, but it was also very grueling for me. Long story short, by Episode 014, sometime in January 2012, I needed to reassess my work situation and return to college for a different degree, so I handed the reins of TWHMP to my co-host, Midnight Corey, who kept the show going with the other hosts until Episode 026, when it ended in April 2012.
By that time I decided not to pursue my new college degree and did professional podcast production, instead. And even though everything wasn’t quite kosher with my schedule or employment, by April 2012, I wanted to return to horror podcasting again, much to my wife’s chagrin.
I talked to BillChete about coming back to the now-thriving Horror Palace Network. As TWHMP ended, Midnight Corey created a new, solo-cast show called The Electric Chair. On April 29, 2012, I launched my second horror podcast, which I named Horror Metropolis. My co-hosts were Dr. Shock, BillChete, Terror Tovey and a new addition, Wolfman Josh! Due to my busy schedule, Horror Metropolis was a bi-weekly show. Unfortunately, I had a lot of resistance from my wife, and after only 10 episodes, I felt I should abruptly drop Horror Metropolis in July 2012. And like The Weekly Horror Movie Podcast, I’m still sad about losing Horror Metropolis, too.
By October 2012, I started thinking about returning to horror podcasting yet again! And by January 2013, I began planning the triumphant launch of Horror Movie Podcast, the third incarnation of a Jay of the Dead horror podcast.
I’m happy to report, exactly two years to the day, that on October 25, 2013, we launched Episode 001 of Horror Movie Podcast, where we’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies…
And have been ever since, two years and counting. Happy two years, HMP!
—Jay of the Dead
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