Category Archives: popculture

Scary Podcasts I Can’t Stop Talking About

I am a big fan of podcasts, they make me feel way more productive in life when I’m able to multitask by listening to them while I am working out, driving or sometimes even at work if I’m doing something mindless like data entry. I don’t know why, but I always feel like I have achieved so much more when I have smashed my days tasks as well as some podcasts.

I listen to a whole bunch of stuff, but those who know me well know I love horror and have a penchant for the dark themes. So in the interests of not cross contaminating my podcasts too much, today I wanted to talk about my favourite dark podcasts.

tumblr_mv0tilCboR1rb28hgo1_400

Straight up, I want you to know that I don’t get paid for my opinions and no one actually asked me to write this article – I am genuinely just sharing the ones I love, so no hidden agendas here! I’ll talk about each of them here, and you’ll be able to find all of these on the Apple Podcast app, and I imagine Stitcher as well if you’re an Android user. In each case, I’ll at least hook you up with their site links and you can go from there!

7. Lore

IMG_8060The Lore podcast is one of those ones I stumbled across after another podcast mentioned it and I feel really lucky that I found it. The host of this show is presented by writer Aaron Mahnke who tells us scary real life stories based on folklore. With beautifully eerie music and stories that are so nicely scripted… I feel like I learn new things all the time with this podcast but also get scared at the same time. I kinda love it.

It’s absolutely addictive and was voted as Best of 2015 on iTunes. With over 2 million monthly listeners, this show is polished and professional but also creepy as hell. The episodes are achievable being only about 20 minutes each which I appreciate because you can smash through them so quickly.

Excitingly, Lore is going to become a TV show sometime soon with this being announced recently. Get onto this podcast before the show comes out and catch up!

6. Faculty of Horror

IMG_8062These ladies from The Faculty of Horror are fascinating to listen to. Hosted by Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West, these monthly episodes involve our hosts watching scary films pre-podcast and then coming together to analyse and dissect them, talking about some of the deeper themes to the movies and not just the surface aspects of “did you like the movie?”

These discussions tend to stem from an academic perspective and can focus more on the craft of the movie and the tropes and if there are females in the movie, there’s the spin on if the movie is a feminist movie or not.

Both of these women are super intelligent and I love the episodes they put together that are about a theme and they’ll talk about a number of horror movies that fit within that theme and why.

It’s great BUT not my favourite because they can sometimes talk at great length about feminist issues (personally off putting for me), but there’s no way that I can’t mention it as one of my favourites in any case.

5.  The Black Tapes

IMG_8059The best way to describe The Black Tapes is if you had the Serial podcast crossed over with X-Files. This is addictive. It’s a serialised horror drama that is recorded to sound completely legitimate. In fact, at first listen I thought it was real but then some of the acting let it down just a bit for me to believe it was real. Soon enough I saw past that though and got hooked.

This series is about journalist Alex Reagan who does a story on world renound skeptic, Dr Richard Strand… once she does some digging around, she finds his unsolved cases – what he calls, The Black Tapes. Each episode is about a different black tape. It’s captivating.

Even on their website, these guys will spout it’s a docudrama and live up to the image that this is real, and that’s what I love about it… there’s so much effort involved and even spin off series to back up the ‘legitimacy’ of this podcast. Really recommend this one, it’s fun!

4. Serial

IMG_8064Now, if we still only were on season 1 of Serial, this would be my number one podcast pic. Serial was the show that actually made me get INTO listening to podcasts in the first place. Season 1 was captivating, grisly, a real life murder mystery that I spent hours debating with colleagues about. It was the first podcast that broke the mainstream and had people of all walks tuning into because you couldn’t miss out on what happened next. Whilst not exactly scary, it’s definitely dark.

Season 2 was different – it addressed the story of Beau Bergdahl who is in the US Army and abandoned his post when in Afghanistan and then was captured by the Taliban for 5 years before a deal was arranged with the US and he was sent home. He is now on trial and there are so many mixed thoughts on what he did and why he did it. I was really entertained by this season – my boyfriend is in the US Army and so my ears pricked up a little bit more for that reason probably. But I have to admit, I missed my murder mystery case that season 1 offered which is why it’s no longer my fave. Definitely up there though.

Sarah Koenig is absolutely incredible at telling a story piece by piece in a way that sometimes makes you feel an inner conflict, but in a good way because you force yourself to answer some hard questions.

3. Seriously Strange Podcast

IMG_8061The Seriously Strange Podcast is hosted by two really awesome YouTubers that I am a fan of – Rob Dyke and Cayleigh Elise. Both have channels on YouTube that talk a lot about serial killers, mystery disappearances, urban legends and folklore, so naturally when I found out Rob was doing a podcast with Cayleigh I subscribed and I haven’t been disappointed since.

My favourite episodes are the one they did about the disappearance of Elisa Lam (God that story is scary!) which was episode 2, the episode they did on the Mothman (episode 3) and their most recent episode where they talked about these scary videos uploaded by an Australian (!) guy where you can see this ghostly image in the background of a video he took and they dissect this in episode 8.

These two are just generally funny and I really enjoy their chemistry and banter, so it’s quickly becoming one of my favourites at the moment. I wish they did more frequent episodes.. I think they do one a month at the moment but I am impatient.

2. The Girls In The Back Row

IMG_8063The Girls In The Back Row is frigging amazing. Hosted by Kate and Tab, these ladies pick a new horror movie each week and discuss it. I love the shows format because they always have the first half of the show being the non spoiler part of the discussion, and then they give you a warning and then the second part of the show is the spoiler part. It’s great that they allow their audience to get a taste of movies they may not have seen by listening to the first half and still allowing them to be involved. We’re always invited to pause the podcast, watch the movie ourselves and come back for spoilers or keep listening which is great.

Having seen most of the movies that Kate and Tab talk about, I firstly love their movie taste, but secondly I always find their opinions to be pretty on par with my own. It’s like I am listening to a chat with some friends, which is maybe why I like it so much.

The ladies are so interactive and have given me shoutouts on the show before just for tweeting them which I absolutely love because they really do acknowledge their listeners. It’s the little things that keep you really engaged that way.

Loyal fan of this show, and I highly recommend it. My boyfriend listens to this as well and we often have big conversations about the episodes and the movies themselves. If you’re into horror movies, you need this.

1. Nosleep

IMG_8058Oh god… this podcast has actually made the hair on the back of my neck raise. I can’t listen to it when the lights are off. I am straight up addicted to it though. I usually listen to this when I am driving to the gym, and then during my workout, and then on the drive home… but now that daylight savings has ended it’s too dark for me to be driving home listening to Nosleep.

Nosleep is a podcast of scary story retellings from reddit posts on the nosleep forum. For some reason, stories are so much scarier when you have the sound effects, music and creepy voice happening at the same time.

Some of these stories will honestly stay with me forever because they’re so well written and clever. I personally love when they do special episodes that are just focused on one story instead of the 3 to 4 that usually feature in an episode. Highlights for me are Butcherface, Penpals and Penpals II. So intense!

It’s my current obsession right now, so Nosleep gets number 1 from me!

I won’t be held accountable for you guys getting scared now! 😉 Enjoy!

Melissa / holybatgirl

Supanova Popculture Expo Melbourne 2016

Hey everyone!

I went to Supanova in Melbourne on the weekend and had the most amazing time with my friend and her boyfriend. I always love going to these types of events, because I see a mass of nerds and I totally feel like screaming”MY TRIBE!”… although I don’t because I am actually quite introverted (I know you don’t believe me).

IMG_7717

I wish there was more comic stalls this year as anime seems to be slowly taking over this convention, but they did still have one comic stall there and so I bought a few books – you can check that out in my newest video!

We still have a couple of comic conventions still to come in Melbourne this year! Oz Comic Con is happening from June 11 – 12 which is 3-4 days before I go to America. I might be strapped for cash still when it comes to this con but I still might just go. I know that event is focused way more on comics so I need to get there.

We also have the Australian Movie and Comic (AMC) Expo (formerly known as Armageddon Comic Con) happening in Melbourne on 15 – 16 October and I will absolutely be there for that one as well.

If you ever see me out and about at these events, don’t be afraid to come up to me and say hi – I promise I am nice! haha

That’s it for today, but first…. how amazing is this Ursula cosplay?!

IMG_7718

Melissa / holybatgirl

 

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

fanboys_everywhere-why-movies-can-t-mirror-comics-and-you-shouldn-t-expect-them-to-499x264

I personally think we’re living in the best of times as a nerd. We have access to everything we could possibly want. Hundreds of comic titles, a new superhero movie every week, TV shows based on our heroes, websites and news are broadcast to us faster than it ever has and we have social media and podcasts to be able to discuss these things.

We are so fucking lucky and yet, we still have fanboys and haters.

The word fanboy is thrown about a lot, and I think sometimes people use the word when it’s not really an accurate description of the person of the situation.

My definition of a fanboy is someone who is so passionate about something they they lose their ability to be objective and will just blindly follow, fight and defend the honour whatever it is they’re into. You can’t argue with a fan boy, they’re so committed to their thoughts that regardless of whether they’re right or wrong, they won’t budge.

The reason I am writing this post now is because I truly can’t think of a better time. We’ve just had Batman v Superman come out, and of course given the mixed reviews, there’s no better time for the DC and Marvel fanboys to come out start arguing over who has the bigger penis is better than the other.

The Marvel v DC argument is exhausting to me. Yet we all hear it loud and clear every time a DC movie comes out is “Marvel would have done it better/Marvel do their characters better” and vice versa when it’s a Marvel movie “DC’s movies are better/darker/don’t make their movies aimed at children.”

I wish they would shut up.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I am not saying people have to like everything, because that’s not realistic. But why is it that we can’t just like or dislike something in isolation? Why does a DC movie need to be compared to a Marvel movie instantly? Why is there even a need for one company to be better than the other company?!

Yes, negative opinions on film, tv and comics can go far in terms of helping people understand that they need to lift their game and do better, but it’s when people just blindly start shitting on something because it belongs to a company they don’t like, or they’re hating on a movie because of a certain actor or director… that kind of hate is not constructive nor does it help anyone. It’s just you being a hater.

I think sometimes as fans we just need to take a deep breath and chill out a little bit and understand how lucky we have it. Some perspective around these things usually helps, because we put our blinders up and get so caught up in the things going on in our little bubble that we forget that 30 years ago, or hell, even 20 years ago being a nerd was so isolating and you would never have had the access to information and news that you get now.

I spent most of my life isolated in the nerdy interests I have. I had friends that liked some of the things I liked, but when it came to comics, I had to turn online for that. I am grateful for that, as well as the amazing friends I’ve made. We shouldn’t lose sight of things like this.

The fact that we can talk to other fans at the touch of an app these days is incredible. And yet, how often do we abuse that privilege by talking shit to one another instead of trying to lift each other up?

I’ll say it again, I don’t care if you like or dislike something, but let’s try and not make it a pissing contest comparing it to everything else around us and arguing about which company is better than the other. I see people having these fights online in the most disrespectful  manner and it makes me sad that we have this amazing platform to come together as a group of people with a similar love and we just tear each other to shreds.

I don’t know if I am the only one that feels this way, but I’m putting it out there. Let’s be a bit more awesome to each other.

Melissa / holybatgirl

Daredevil & My Love/Hate Relationship

So since I can’t film any new videos until my gear arrives, I figured I would put some thoughts online in writing about my love-hate relationship with the Netflix TV show Daredevil. Stick with me here, I promise you there’s a romance at the end.

daredevil

You see… when it first came out I was just like the rest of you, binge watching the season away, until I got to about episode 5 and realised it wasn’t holding my attention.

I am the first to admit I have the attention span of a chihuahua and so a show needs to be pretty fast paced in the beginning if I am going to invest my time into it. There’s too many other things I could be doing with my time rather than sitting around watching a slow show right?

So by episode 5 of Daredevil, I had enough. I really was pushing through from about episode 3 through to 5 and by midway through episode 5, I said no more. My friends said I was crazy – they had already finished season 1 and told me that “by episode 7, it gets great”.

But here’s my “hate” part of my relationship with Daredevil. Why should I invest 7 hours of my time waiting for the show to become great? Don’t you owe it to your audience to find a way to make the show a little more captivating earlier on?

Now I know not everyone will agree with me, and there’s those of you out there who will say it was captivating from the start, but I can say for fact that it wasn’t only me who thought this show was slow as hell.

I get that they have to build the story and that there’s an element of world building, but in my opinion you shouldn’t need half a season to set it up. Just me though.

The fight scenes were so dark that you could barely see them – guess they were trying to make us feel like Daredevil in that moment. There was an awful lot of unnecessary heavy dialogue going on when it could have been progressing the story on. In the space of about 3 episodes, I could summarise everything that happened in 30 seconds or less.

Now I got the “hate” feelings out of the way, let me get on to telling you how this becomes a love story.. and it does.

Earlier this week, I was pushed to giving Daredevil a second go. I had too many people telling me I should try it again, and well.. there’s only enough digging in of the heels that I can do before I allow myself to be dragged along. So I continued on. I made sure I was very awake and had snacks prepared… and okay, so my face was still pretty emotionless for episode 5 and 6 but something happened along the way, and I can’t even pinpoint the moment… but I started to get on board.

tumblr_nmvd04cJsU1tau2g1o3_r1_500

I ended up understanding what it was they were trying to execute and started to embrace it, and I loved the build up in each episode to the cliffhanger finishes. I remember episode 9 at the end had my jaw dropped and it was already 11:30pm on a work night so I couldn’t say “one more episode” as I usually do, and had to go to bed not knowing what was going to happen next.

I’ve spent most of my Easter weekend continuing to watch Daredevil as it turns out. I’m still in the first few episodes of season 2 now but already, it’s such a better start to a season than season 1 delivered, especially with the fast paced nature of introducing The Punisher and instantly creating mystery and intrigue over his character.

I’m not too proud that I don’t know when to eat my words and say I was wrong about a show. Daredevil turned out to be a really solid show in the end. I love it. There’s a spark and I think I’ll keep seeing him as long as he can remain committed to entertaining me.

daredevil

But I do stand by what I said about shows needing to do more to engage their viewers early on, and that’s where I still believe that a lot of these TV shows adapted from comic books need to do better.

Shows like The Walking Dead where episodes can be incredibly slow, I’ve given a pass to. And that’s because they engaged me highly in season 1, so now it’s a ride or die situation with that show. If other shows put more effort into making their season 1 that gripping, people would have no doubts about continuing to watch down the track.

Those are my thoughts, I know there’ll be those of you who disagree and that’s okay too. Share your thoughts in the comments below and let me know what you think of shows like Daredevil.

Melissa / holybatgirl