Over the last five years I’ve co-hosted two classic film podcasts and been a guest on countless others. But my favorite chats have always been with Miguel Rodriguez, host of the Horrible Imaginings podcast.
Miguel and I have only met in person a handful of times at the annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, but I feel like we’re kindred spirits. We share a deep commitment to classic media of all types, and love to talk at length about its past and future. And Miguel’s knowledge of, and commitment to, both classic and contemporary horror and genre films is unmatched.
He also reminds me how many movies I haven’t seen and need to, which makes me vaguely anxious. But that’s a topic for another day.
The occasion that brings me to Miguel’s show this week is a sad one: the death of legendary horror movie host John Zacherle at age 98 on October 27. (I wrote about his life and career here.)
As often happens when Miguel and I get together, our conversation started with Zacherle and expanded in other directions, including: the history of classic film on television; the role of on-camera hosts as horror film “ambassadors” to a generation of young fans; how the horror boom on TV in the 1950s reinvigorated the careers of icons like Boris Karloff; the horror hosts of our own youth in the 1980s; and how a straight line can be drawn from the hosts of half a century ago to Mystery Science Theater 3000 and even Turner Classic Movies.