Podcasts were invented for murder and cold case stories, right? I don't know what it is about the format that lends itself so well to stories of the darker side of humanity. I guess it's like how YouTube was made for cat bloopers; my second favorite form of entertainment after murder talk. Here are five of my favorite serial true crime podcasts. Please erase my podcast history if I’m ever charged with a crime.
Teacher’s Pet - This one’s a twofer for murder AND patriarchal fuckery. Ex-footballer Chris Dawson’s wife goes missing and nobody seems to be that bothered by it, even when he moves the babysitter into the house and marries her. Host Hedley Thomas dives deep into a story of lies, abuse, and statutory rape in Australia. Get ready to scream at your phone, folks.
Happy Face - Happy Face gets real dark, real quick. In 1995, Melissa Moore finds out her father Keith is a serial killer. What follows is the story of a brutal, heartless murderer, and a daughter who hopes she’s not like her father. Trigger warning, the pod includes narrated testimony from Keith’s trial, which is very, very graphic.
Dr. Death - Wait, is this a murder list or a shitty patriarchy list? Hahahaha it’s hard to tell! Dr. Death is about how a total moron rose through the ranks of his profession, without anyone questioning his actual ability. Dr. Christopher Duntsch operated on 38 patients between 2010 -2012, with thirty-three patients suffering injury and two patients actually dying post-op.
Black Hands - In 1994, five members of an eccentric New Zealand family were gunned down in their home. The suspects were the father, Robin, dead of a gunshot wound at the scene, and the son, David, the only member of the family not home during the murder. This podcast has it all; hoarding, religious zealotry, family annihilation, and a weird courtroom grudge.
Bear Brook - You had me at "Two Barrels, Four Bodies."
Hey, welcome back to the Friday Five! It's about to snow 100 ft. in Chicago, and I really want to get on the train before the world explodes, so here are five horror/music moments that have stuck with me.
Midnight Special - Twilight Zone
Although you can't see it in this scene, Danny Ackroyd has a butt that won’t quit. That's all really.
Six Different Ways - It
When I was making out with my high school boyfriend to the Cure in a dark basement, I never would’ve imagined this sugary sweet song would be associated with a group of scrappy kids cleaning a blood-soaked bathroom. Excellent music choice for an excellent movie adaptation.
Hip to be Square - American Psycho
I bought the Huey Lewis and the News - Sports LP at a local record store a few years back, and some clever soul had gone through the trouble of typing out the entire American Psycho diatribe on computer labels on the jacket. I hope they got a raise.
American Girl - Silence of the Lambs
If you don't refer to being kidnapped and thrown in a well as getting "Tom Petty'd" I honestly don't know what's wrong with you.
Roll With the Changes - Cabin in the Woods
Sadly, I couldn't find a clip of the actual movie scene of the control room folks celebrating and poor Dana being beaten to a pulp on the dock by Judah Buckner (spoilers, I guess) but it fits deliciously with this, my favorite REO Speedwagon song, and I SHRIEKED in the theater when it came on. This Joss Whedon decision almost makes Riley Finn worth it. Almost.
We're working on our candle game in the Bathomet Labs, and before we go full Yankee-Candle and betray our brand, I give you Top Five Candle Scents I Would Love to Make that Nobody Would Buy
Garage - A mix of two-stroke engine oil and mildew. A real dad scent.
Cold Cat Fur - The oddly smoky way a cat smells when it comes in during the winter.
Wet Leaves - You know, the smell of fresh rain on lawns, with a hint of worms.
Permanent Marker - Smells good, man.
Vinegar - If I were pickled, I’d probably eat me.
What are yours?
It's GALENTINE'S! Well, it's about a month until Galentine's. But we can't contain our excitement about the Galentine's Day Market at Emporium Logan Square. Brought to you by the same people who did the Crampus Holiday Market, and c'mon that's a genius pun.
Admission to the Galentine's Day Market is free, but we encourage bringing a donation of pads or tampons. Did y'all know that having a period sucks? It does. Now imagine having a period on top of homelessness or poverty. The Chicago Period Project empowers homeless and in-need people to experience their periods with dignity. Your donation will make a difference in someone's life, probably within the month.
Anyway, join us and some of our faves at Emporium Logan Square on February 13th. We may or may not have anatomical heart soaps in the works.
It's been a while since I had blog on which to ramble about the things I love. I used to do a yearly 31 Days of Creep thing on tumblr during October, but I kinda grew out of tumblr.* I had a secret poetry Livejournal in the early aughts, but that's neither here nor there. What I'm saying is that miss writing in a format longer than 280 characters. So here, in no particular order, and with no real thought to quality or lasting cultural impression, are my Top Five Favorite Horror Movies.**
Keep an eye out for future Friday Fives here.
*Not just because they banned porn.
**As of right now, in this minute, while I'm composing this.
1. The Abandoned
In The Abandoned (2006) (not to be confused with Abandoned (1949), Abandon (2002), Abandoned (2010) or The Abandoned (2016)) our heroine Marie inherits a house from her estranged mother in Russia. Upon arriving at the remote homestead, she finds out the place is anything but vacant as her mysterious family history comes back to actually haunt her.
This one’s a claustrophobic and atmospheric thinker with enough twists and chills for a second or third viewing. The filming and set design amplify Marie’s fear and desperation as she tries to make sense of her house of horrors. And the ending ties everything into a bleak ouroboros that will make you hope you never inherit anything in your life.
2. The Changeling (1980)
The Changeling tells the story of John Russell, a widowed composer who rents a big, old house in the wake of losing his wife & young son. Russell soon realizes he’s not alone in the rambling mansion. Pushed by a ghostly presence, Russell unravels a web of secrets and murder implicating a powerful local family.
While the Changeling isn’t well-known outside of horror circles, its influence is obvious in The Ring, another movie I’ve watched a billion times. The film artfully blends haunted house story and murder mystery. Also, George C. Scott rules.
3. As Above, So Below
Rogue archaeologist Scarlett Marlowe enlists her ex-flame George and some subculture locals to search the famous Paris catacombs for the philosopher’s stone, a fabled alchemical substance rumored to grant eternal life. After getting lost in the labyrinthian catacombs, each character must face horrors from their past to return to a normal present.
Sometimes when I don’t know what to watch, I’ll put on this flick. As Above, So Below combines folklore with likeable characters, spooky imagery and slick production value. It’s fast enough that you don’t get bored, but complicated enough that you can watch it over and over.
4. Silent Hill
After some creepy foreshadowing and a mild car accident, Rose (Radha Mitchell) loses her daughter Sharon in the spooky ghost town of Silent Hill. Joined by kick-ass lady cop Cybil, Rose searches the hellish town for Sharon, evading terrifying mutants, a murderous cult and a dude called Pyramid Head who is a real sack of crap.
It’s possible that I only like the Silent Hill movie so much because I loved the video games. But there’s some real production value here; Radha Mitchell’s costume slowly changes from light pastels to a deep blood red as her quest to find her daughter progresses. And of course once you’ve visited Silent Hill, you’ll never hear a foghorn again without peeing your pants a little.
5. Ghost Ship
Don't @ me, this movie is flawless. FLAWLESS.