Seeking a different flavor to your film fanatic experience? Look no further than these podcasts that focus on specific genres within the world of cinema. From horror to science fiction to documentaries, Vurbl has you covered with insightful broadcasts that bring history into the equation—all while entertaining as well as enlightening.
These 9 film genre podcasts may celebrate different factions of the cinematic arts, but they share one thing in common. Every single one of these podcasts’ hosts not only brings a rich background in that area but a passion and an encyclopedia-like command of their various subject matters.
Warning: After experiencing these 9 film genre podcasts, your loved ones might not see you for a while as you dive down the rabbit hole of genre cinema.
1. Podcast: Unspooled
What if you took one movie-savvy individual with a penchant for having missed the classics, coupled with a film critic whose knowledge into film genre and history could not be more expansive and paired them together for a podcast? What you get is Unspooled. They’re fixing that film lover’s problem by going through the AFI top 100 movies of all time, one by glorious one. Let the discussion commence …
The Hosts: Amy Nicholson has been writing about film for publications as varied as Variety and The Washington Post and was the chief film critic for MTV. She’s also a published author and a Los Angeles Film Critics Association member. Meanwhile, her great-film-holes-to-fill podcast co-host is Paul Scheer. He wears many hats professionally, including comedian, writer, actor, producer, and director.
The Guests: Have included Spike Lee and Matt Walsh (Veep, Ted).
Why You Have to Listen: As the duo work the AFI list, one by one, listeners get an inside scoop on what makes a film a genre film as they not only dissect the story but how the entire piece of cinematic artistry came to fruition.
Listen to Unspooled
2. Podcast: The Projection Booth
Are you one of those film fans who think that featured commentary tracks and behind-the-scenes bonus features on home video don’t go far enough? Check out The Projection Booth for a look back at some of the most beloved cult films ever made in a manner that shows that in-depth is putting it mildly.
The Hosts: Mike White and Rob St. Mary are our titanic-tongued leaders on this journey. The latter was exposed to film at an early age, such as witnessing Star Wars at 2. Don’t worry, he was OK. He would later see A Clockwork Orange at nine. A love of the cult of cinema commenced. White, meanwhile, has written for a myriad of publications, including Detour, CinemaScope, and Detroit’s Metro Times. He’s been a film festival juror across the country, such as at the beloved Slamdance.
The Guests: Frequent guests each week add color to the conversation, including recent visitors filmmaker Jess Byard and Heather Drain, a “fringe film and music writer.”
Why You Have to Listen: There are many cult movie podcasts, but do any devote an entire multi-hour episode to 1971’s Viva La Muerte? How about The Hourglass Sanatorium from 1973? Yeah, didn’t think so.
Listen to The Projection Booth
1. Don’s Plum
3. Podcast: Switchblade Sisters
Looking at the genre films of Hollywood history from another perspective is what sets Switchblade Sisters apart from other genre podcasts. This finds the ladies giving viewers their insight into why they believe certain genre films elevate over others, as well as introducing their audience to some flicks that are new to them.
The Hosts: April Wolfe is a film critic and screenwriter, and in a vocation that has been largely male (it is slowly changing), her solely female perspective enriches every show.
The Guests: A varied bunch, including Killing Eve director joining Wolfe to talk Spring Breakers and actor, comedian, and writer Mitra Jouhari to chat up Earth Girls Are Easy.
Why You Have to Listen: The pairing of host and guest is pitch-perfect. The varying landscape of films is impressive, as are those whom she has selected to explore those filmmaking efforts with her.
Listen to Switchblade Sister
4. Podcast: Shock Waves
For horror and genre fans, Shock Waves is a don’t-miss. Presented by the one and only Blumhouse and FANGORIA, each episode provides news, exclusive insight into Blumhouse pictures’ slate of pictures, and discussion of all things that thrill and terrify when the lights go down and the projector turns its magic on.
The Hosts: Ryan Turek is the VP of Development at Blumhouse (he was one of the producers of the new Halloween, and much more) and has been a horror connoisseur since childhood. He has worked as a movie journalist, and now in development, he has seen all sides of the horror world. Rob Galluzzo serves as the Acquisitions & Development for FANGORIA, while Elric Kane is the voice behind Inside Horror and the Pure Cinema Podcast. And then there’s Rebekah McKendry, who is a writer-director and a professor. All told, their insight is vast and couldn’t be more front row to what’s going on in horror today and, most importantly, deep into the past.
The Guests: Their access to the news of the horror world is merely beginning. These insiders get guests such as Kevin Williamson (the Scream franchise), who made his podcast debut with the gang from Shock Waves. Another great guest was Bill Lustig, director of the Maniac Cop series and a slew of other horror flicks. Lest we forget the actors out there who bring these horror-ific characters to life, David Dastmalchian guested back in April of 2020.
Why You Have to Listen: Each week, listeners enter the Shock Waves world eager for one of the most intelligent and informative podcasts in the genre world due to the fact that it comes from the people who actually write, create and put out the movies that horror and genre fans adore.
Listen to Shock Waves
5. Podcast: Fog of Truth: A Podcast about Documentary Film
Documentaries have come a long way and now are embraced by as wide of an audience as the narrative realm of film. Fitting then that there is a podcast solely devoted to the format, and its insight will turn on listeners to a treasure trove of doc films that do such a stellar job of chronicling the human condition.
The Hosts: Christopher Llewellyn Reed wears many hats in this milieu—professor, film critic, and filmmaker. Meanwhile, Bart Weiss is an award-winning filmmaker, serves as the founder/director of the Dallas VideoFest, which produces DocuFest, and works to educate the next film generation in the art of cinema at the University of Texas, Arlington.
The Guests: Include Sedika Mojadidi, an award-winning documentarian (Motherland Afghanistan, Facing the Dragon), Dr. Betsy A. McLane, a film studies writer, educator and author (A New History of Documentary Film), and Patricia Aufderheide, who serves as a professor of Communication Studies in the School of Communication at American University and also helped found American’s Center for Media & Social Impact.
Why You Have to Listen: The medium that is documentary films is a vast, unending source of informative film production that has put a mirror to our society since the camera was invented. Having such experts in that craft—specifically, the unique and important genre that is the documentary—Fog of Truth concludes every single one of its episodes with its audience never able to see society clearer.
6. Podcast: The Last Action Podcast
The entity that is the action movie gets its podcast due with The Last Action Podcast. As a genre within the cinematic arts, the action movie has come so far in a relatively short period of time. It went from being a favorite of a certain segment of the moviegoing population and now has become a majority of the top 10 films at the box office in any given year. Luckily for the legion of fans of action flicks, there exists a broadcast that celebrates the greatest slices of the action cinema pie.
The Hosts: Jason Knopsnider and Nick Fotiu are old friends whose shared passion for the action movie genre spurred them to dive into that world in the podcast landscape. They are well-versed, and in fact, if there was ever a need for an action movie encyclopedia, simply turn to these two.
The Guests: Occasional action movie-loving friends join the show.
Why You Have to Listen: The hosts bring a lifelong utter adoration for all things action to every single episode and enrich the experience with trivia, behind-the-scenes tales, and what it took to make some of the most beloved flicks in this canon.
Listen to The Last Action Podcast
2. John Wick
7. Podcast: Fatal Attractions
Now here’s a film genre that has one passionate group of fans! The erotic thriller has aroused and struck fear in the hearts of audiences for decades. Something about the scintillating tease of sexual energy coupled with traditional thriller tropes adds up to some serious sizzle, and Fatal Attractions is all about that molten movie heat.
The Hosts: Matthew Turner, Leslie Pitt, Amelie Thomas, and Paul Costello and film critics and “film fans.” Collectively, their passion for this milieu knows no bounds. Prepare to visit with some favorites, such as the film that inspired the podcast’s moniker, Fatal Attraction, as well as Basic Instinct and so much more.
The Guests: None to speak of …
Why You Have to Listen: These fab four of erotic thriller film fans break down each entry to this unique genre and bring it to life in a fresh manner with a quartet of opinions that utterly enhances the listening experience exponentially. Their knowledge base when it comes to this lusty cinematic slice is expansive and most importantly, their shared joy with the format is contagious.
Listen to Fatal Attractions
2. Dead Calm
3. Body Heat
8. Panel Pictures Podcast
The comic book movie genre has exploded over the last decade, specifically with the so-called Marvel Cinematic Universe. But comic book movies have been a part of our lives for years, like when Christopher Reeve donned the famous tights and became Superman. Panel Pictures is a podcast that not only discusses current comic book movie projects but goes back into the past to see how we got to the present.
The Hosts: Zack and Cody’s shared joy over not only the comic book but the comic book movie genre is so magnetic, it’s easy to see that their superpower is sci-fi film fandom. It’s electric.
The Guests: Occasional fellow film friends pop by to add another layer of comic book movie expertise and opinion.
Why You Have to Listen: The show gets its name from the single “pane” that exists in comics, i.e. the “panel” that is brought to life from comic book to the big screen. That history of comic books is what these two hosts bring to every broadcast, and their insight into the future, past and present of comic book movies is priceless, informed, and always entertaining.
Listen to Panel Pictures
Rating: All Audiences
9. Podcast: Journey Through Sci-Fi
Science fiction fans have treasured the movie medium since 1902’s A Trip to the Moon wowed audiences. Having a podcast that centers its entire universe around the milieu is the gift that keeps on giving. Science fiction fanatics come from all corners of the universe, and their adoration for the genre is limitless. That element permeates through Journey Through Sci-Fi and will leave listeners scouring various video sources for a bevy of bodacious sci-fi titles.
The Hosts: James and Matt joined forces and, in the process, put a blinding spotlight on the genre of sci-fi that has such an expansive history. Strap in and prepare for this rocket ship of sci-fi cinema to blast off with each episode.
The Guests: None to speak of …
Why You Have to Listen: History and forward-thinking from hosts that live and breathe science fiction. Not only are they well-versed in the art of sci-fi on-screen but possess a background in the genre that includes other mediums and thus, further enriching the podcast experience.
Listen to Journey Through Sci-Fi
Rating: All Audiences
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