There's an old line about the first Velvet Underground LP: "It only sold 5,000 copies, but everyone who bought one started their own band."
Sometimes, when a project truly resonates with its audience, it inspires more than appreciation; it inspires the audience to stand up and create their own work in response. Nowhere is that more true than in the case of the influential horror and pop-culture podcast, Horror, Etc.
Horror, Etc. was the product of two guys from Kingstown, Ontario, who shared a love of genre entertainment and a willingness to let the rest of us listen in on their conversations. With humor, insight, and candor, Anthony and Ted promoted little-known works and shed new light on horror classics.
One of the original Horror, Etc. hosts, Anthony D.P. Mann has gone on to become the creative force behind Bleak December, producing top quality audio horror, featuring high-profile talent and legendary works of fiction (Dracula, The Signal Man, The Hound of the Baskervilles).
And while his co-host Kingstown Ted has chosen to slip D.B. Sweeney-like into the wilderness and off the internet, their sometimes co-host Sometimes Doug has his own podcast venture, The Last Horrorcast. (Edit: Doug has recently re-booted this as The Midnight Drive-In podcast.)
But the thing that's truly staggering about the long shadow cast by Horror, Etc. isn't the ongoing careers of its creators, but the podcasters and journalists who took up their microphones and pens after being inspired by Tony, Ted, and Doug.
The Horror, Etc. family tree is extensive and filled with diverse creators and fans, all of whom bring their own passions and unique takes on the topic of discussion. For an example, let's look at one branch: The UNH.
The United Nations of Horror
The first podcast inspired to rise up fromthe ashes of Horror Etc. was The United Nations of Horror. Organized by members of the Horror, Etc. Facebook group, The United Nations of Horror (UNH) wears their genre badge proudly on their sleeve, and the camaraderie and fun of the show spills over into their Facebook group, making it stand out in the crowded field of genre forums.
United by their love of genre media and inspired by Tony, Ted, and Doug's amiable and open approach to podcasting, the UNH has featured a number of different hosts and contributors, with a special focus on bringing diverse voices from multiple countries. Eventually, the cast settled into the three primary hosts: Rebecca, Lucard, and Mark.
Lucard is the behind the scenes maestro of UNH, pulling strings and editing audio to produce each episode. A steady force and consistent voice at the mic since the debut episode, Lucard epitomizes the good-natured attitude of the cast without losing the passion of his fandom.
Mark F. Cain
A true master podcaster, Mark juggles multiple other podcasts, many of his are under the umbrella of his The Good, The Bad, and The Odd brand. Diving into topics both mainstream and niche, Mark has covered everything from video games to anime, and has spun off podcast series on everything from X-Files to Stephen King to Twin Peaks. He's also an author, with multiple non-fiction works and a YA novel. In my opinion, his work Quatermass in Television and Movies is the definitive study of the Quatermass franchise.
My god, what doesn't Rebecca do? Host of multiple podcasts, film critic at esteemed venues such as Diabolique, and comics reviewer at Big Comic Page (along with Horror Etc admin Chris Downs). Rebecca's film and cultural analysis is top rate, and it's been a pleasure seeing her garner more and more recognition in the field.
But Wait! There's More!
Just like the Horror, Etc. listenership was filled with fans inspired to create their own work, the UNH community has had a similar burst of creativity. Some UNH listeners have been active in horror journalism for years, while others have been inspired by the UNH to pick up the pen or podcast mic and create their own works of expression.
One of the earliest UNH segments to spin off on its own was Anthony Rotolo's regular study of made-for-television horror. TV Terror has since grown into its own podcast, Facebook group, and TV Terror Website, this guest segment made good now has a growing listenership and shhh... there may even be a book in the works!
In addition to being one of the co-hosts of the Decades of Horror: Classic Era podcast, UNH contributor Erin Miskell established the Backseat Driver Reviews site, which she runs along with the UNH "Horror Librarian" Talicia Tarver. Backseat Driver is a prime source for consistently smart and on-point examinations of genre topics, and deserves a place on your list of regular reads.
In addition to Erin and Talicia, the site also includes contributions from UNH community member Dan Pollitt.
Seriously, there's Even More!
Once I started listing off the members of the Horror, Etc. and United Nations of Horror groups that are actively creating great content, the scope of everyone's work was almost overwhelming. In addition to the folks mentioned above there's also:
Malcolm Johnson reviews at The Horror Show Blog.
Herman Louw has created a website and podcast celebrating the history of horror comics, The Longbox of Darkness.
Joseph Perry is deeply tied into a number of horror outlets, including Gruesome Magazine, SQ Horror, and his own blog, the fantastically named Taste the Milk of Chocula. He also hosts multiple podcasts, and is a go-to source for coverage of horror festivals and fandom in and around South East Asia.
Rick Powell has several works of poetry and fiction available, and has made guest appearances on the UNH to talk about various dark topics.
Occasional UNH co-host Dia Westerteicher hosts the German-language horror podcast, Evil Ed. (They've got some English language episodes, so don't be afraid to check them out!)
Holy Crap, That's gotta be it, right?
Here's what's worth remembering: This is only one segment of the Horror, Etc. legacy. The podcast featured contributions other podcasts like Dark Discussions and from creators like the Stoker award-winning author Nicole Cushing. More than a year after the show ceased regular updates the Horror, Etc. Facebook group is alive and thriving, with over 3,000 members sharing their takes on horror and other genres. The group admin team of Jules Boyle, Chris Downs, Shar Swartz Tigner, and Jeff Watson keep things civil without stamping out the fun, and many people in the group continue to contribute to the wider horror community. (Chris Downs, for example, is a regular reviewer at Big Comic Page.
There's no doubt that Horror, Etc. is a foundational podcast that broke new ground during its run. The fact that it's still finding new fans and inspiring them to find their own voice is a tribute to the show's creators and its exceptional fan base.
Here's hoping that the future brings more horror, more fun, and more podcasts!