Do you mark your calendar with the release dates of certain films? Are you as conversant in Oscar-nominated composers as you are in untangling the many threads of the MCU? Can you name all of the A-list actors and directors who got their start in a Roger Corman film? The life of a movie buff is one of exploration and discovery, and it doesn’t end at the big screen. These insightful, entertaining, and illuminating podcasts cover classic films, cult favorites, and everything in between.
If you’re expecting a Wikipedia-style account of how movies like The Garbage Pail Kids or Gigli were made, keep looking. But if hilarious, bewildered, and often expletive-laced commentary on bad/good, bad/bad, and just plain awful movies like Con Air and Grease 2 is what you’re after, you’ve hit the jackpot. Since 2010, hosts Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas have watched over 150 awesomely terrible (and terribly awesome) films and invited guests like Nick Kroll, Patton Oswalt, and Jessica St. Clair to join in the fun. There’s no continuity to the show, save for when Jason or Paul references one of June’s legendary one-liners, so pick a movie (I’d recommend the “Monkey Shines” episode) and dive right in.
Engaging commentary and a simple but ingenious format make InSession Film a movie-podcast must-listen. Every Monday and Friday, JD Duran and Brendan Cassidy discuss a new movie out in theaters, then talk about a roundup of related older films; past pairings have included Ready Player One/Top 3 Nostalgic Films and The Nice Guys/Top 3 Buddy Cop Films. Their comprehensive end-of-year/Oscars coverage is pretty great too, and they frequently crowdsource ideas and recommendations from their Twitter account (@insessionfilm). Use it to stay current on what’s new in theaters or catch up on an old favorite.
This spin-off of the popular Filmspotting podcast is a biweekly series that focuses on the ever-growing landscape of streaming options. Hosts Alison Willmore, a film critic and culture writer for Buzzfeed News, and Matt Singer, editor-in-chief at ScreenCrush, talk about the newest additions to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other services, and bookend each episode with a themed discussion of related films and TV series. There’s also a Listener’s Choice poll, where they ask listeners to vote on a film or TV show for the next episode. Perfect for staying up-to-date on the quickly shifting streaming landscape.
What happens when a bunch of San Francisco-area film and theatre artists get together to do a podcast about midnight movies, cult classics, and other independent films? You get Splathouse, where hosts Mike Delaney, Sarah Coykendall, John Terrell, and Jim Rock Schiller mix live skits and performances, interviews, and commentary on films like the 1977 Japanese cult masterpiece Hausu and Ed Wood’s legendarily terrible Plan 9 From Outer Space. It’s fun, informative, and a creative take on the genre. Like How Did This Get Made, there’s no bad place to start, so find a movie you’re interested in and buckle up.
Since its debut in 2008, the official podcast of the site /Film (also known as Slashfilm) has been a place to discuss breaking news in the world of film and TV. Every Monday night, hosts David Chen, Devindra Hardawar, Jeff Cannata, and Kristy Puchko break down the latest Marvel movie, wonder about Westworld, and take on what’s new at the box office and Netflix. There’s also a call-in line where you can leave a voicemail to add your voice to the conversation.
These podcasts are great for listening to even if you’ve never seen the movie in question, and who knows, you just might discover a new favorite film.