An edited version of this post first appeared on the Venganza Media Gazette
Now Playing Podcast host Arnie Carvalho once read an email from a listener urging him to review only bad movies because it leads to funnier conversations.
“He said we should just be a comedy show,” the film critic said from his Manhattan hotel room on Saturday, while on a break from covering New York Comic Con.
Did that listener have a point?
“None of us wants that,” Carvalho answered. “We enjoy covering all types of movies, but if we only watched low-rent trash I think our souls would die.”
It’s a marvel he and his Now Playing co-hosts — Stuart Atkinson and Jakob Brewster – even have any life left in them after enduring nine films based on Stephen King’s Children of the Corn.
This week’s review of Children of the Corn: Genesis not only marks the climax of the Corn saga, but also an exhausting exploration of King’s Night Shift collection; more than two dozen reviews of mostly forgettable film adaptations like The Mangler, Graveyard Shift and Trucks.
Few films in the Night Shift series have been worthy of a recommend, but that hasn’t kept hardcore Now Playing listeners from making the show one of the highest rated on iTunes throughout 2014, with seven of the nine Corn reviews appearing in the Top 10 rankings for TV/Film podcasts.
“I really expected listenership to drop off as we got deep in those fields,” Carvalho said. “But our listeners are awesome.”
“I only half-jokingly say more people downloaded our review of Children of the Corn 7 than actually saw Children of the Corn 7.”
With Night Shift in the rear view, Now Playing Podcast launches its next retrospective on Tuesday: A five-episode study of director Christopher Nolan’s filmography, leading up to next month’s Interstellar.
After considering other horror properties to follow Corn — including Hellraiser and The Amityville Horror — Carvalho shifted gears and lobbied hard for a director-focused retrospective, targeting Nolan after Now Playing previously covered his Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception.
“The hosts needed some meatier films to chew on, and I also think listeners want to hear about movies they’ve actually seen,” he joked. “With the good movies we usually can have deeper conversations about filmmaking, themes, and intent.”
“The problem with the Corn series was that by the 9th film there was nothing left to say, it’s like the old joke about the definition of insanity.”
Now Playing Podcast hasn’t released its 2015 schedule, but Carvalho is already teasing a return to King in the New Year, along with some familiar franchises with big sequels in the works.
“It’s a huge year for blockbusters and there’s no way we can get them all in; we’re still discussing which ones we will review,” he said. “And there will be some actually good King movies, like The Dead Zone and Creepshow, to fill the gaps in between.”