Two amateur podcasters start investigating a murder in their hometown only to become wrapped up in a terrifying adventure full of supernatural threats.
We all need at least one “ride or die” friend. That friend that is always there for you no matter what and is down for whatever. The buddy that says, if you get caught, I’m getting caught with you. The homie that whomever you are dating has to get along with or it’s not going to work. The one you call family and really mean it. Now, I’m not sure how friendships are unfolding with this new generation. Most of my friendships predate social media so we didn’t have the same potential issues. Nonetheless, my advice to everyone is to be real, supportive, available, and dependable. Also, be the friend that you want to have.
“I don’t have time for your backstory. This ain’t Dragon Ball Z, bitch.”
What happens when you mix two small-town stoner podcasters, multiple murders, the supernatural, and an unhealthy affinity for Ramen noodles? You get the horror comedy you didn’t know you needed. Directed by William Bagley in his feature-length directorial debut, The Murder Podcast is a hilariously spooky good time. Occupying the same comedic wave and friendship dynamics as Super Bad and Pineapple Express, this charismatic frightful frolic has a near-perfect balance of scares and laughs. This is a film that you can have a lot of fun with and easily picture yourself and a friend in the same scenario. With its mystery, personal beefs, bloodshed, and Bongye West, the story has plenty to offer.
Anchored by great writing and a terrific performance by Andrew McDermott, the film grabs your attention quickly, taking you on a ride you won’t want to exit. Not only does it rife with humorous banter as well as some funny-sounding names, but Bagley also made sure that the horror elements got just as much attention. Playing with classic tropes, the story takes place in the sleepy town of Harvard Falls where a murder hasn’t happened in over 2 decades. The scene is set when a man is found dead and lazily ruled a suicide. After watching the incident be reported on the news, Chad Thadwick convinces his Shaggy-like podcast partner that they should pivot away from their not-so-popular Ramen noodle-focused show and become a true-crime podcast. Wanting to live up to the memory of his father and prove that the conspiracies were true, the story becomes about goals, friendship, legacy, and trying not to die. While the story does have heart and growth in its characters, what makes it really special is that you don’t have to find some deep meaning in the story nor is it trying to have one. It’s simply a fun, outrageous, and highly entertaining story. And in a world where everything has become increasingly divisive, it’s a great escape from it all. Featuring some impressive practical setups, creepy lighting, great gags, exploding bodies, and an awesome score, The Murder Podcast can turn into your go-to film with ease. I laughed throughout the entire film. Premiering in 2021 at the Nashville Film Festival and now making other festival rounds, it’s definitely a film to look out for. I thoroughly enjoyed The Murder Podcast and can’t wait to see what William Bagley creates next. Its rewatchability is high.
Pacing & Pop
The film is excellently paced as it balances its horror and comedic aspects. The film feeds you morsels of each every few minutes resulting in zero stale moments. What popped for me was the witty writing coupled with the lively delivery of said writing. I was both amused and intrigued from beginning to end.
Characters & Chemistry
Starring: Andrew McDermott, Cooper Bucha, Levi Burdick, Logan Mariner, Brian Emond, Scott Hawkins, Jomaa Mohamad, Philip Spartis, Nicole Tokunaga, Luke Michael Williams
I absolutely loved the chemistry between Chad (Andrew McDermott) and Eddie (Cooper Bucha). While most of what I loved about the chemistry is the charisma of McDermott, it wouldn’t work as well without Bucha to play off of. The duo reminds me of Rogen and Franco, Wilson and Vaughn, or Hill and Cera. The person attempting to stop their rise to glory is Officer Stacheburn (Levi Burdick). He is a small-town police officer with a not-so-secret drinking problem. He is also unknowingly a psycho. Anyone who eats unseasoned baked chicken that is covered in ketchup can’t be trusted. The back-and-forth uncle-nephew-type of relationship he has with Chad is very entertaining. Brian Emond delivered a great performance as Stephen because I too wanted to punch him in his face as well.
The Murder Podcast is currently played at the Atlanta Film Festival and is continuing to make its rounds at various other festivals. Stay safe and enjoy.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Runtime: 1h 31m
Director: William Bagley
Writer: William Bagley
Producer: Luke Dodd, Andrew McDermott, Luke Michael Williams
Executive Producer: William Bagley
Editing: William Bagley
Observing the human race since 1988.