What we do in the Shadows with Meg from Indoorswomen

This episode I’m joined by Meg from the fabulous pop-culture podcast Indoorswomen. We talked about the 2014 vampire spoof What we do in the Shadows. I love this movie and Meg took part in the Kickstarter to get a US theatrical release of this distinctly New Zealand gothic parody. We completely spoil this movie so if you haven’t seen it before and you plan on watching it, watch it before you listen.

Listen Now

Every few years a secret society in New Zealand gathers for a special event: The Unholy Masquerade.

In the months leading up to the ball a documentary crew was granted full access to a small group of this society.

Each crew member wore a crucifix and was granted protection by the subjects of the film.


The Conversation Review: http://theconversation.com/what-we-do-in-the-shadows-the-nz-gothic-with-sharp-comic-chops-30764

Some History of Gothic Parody: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198119920.001.0001/acprof-9780198119920-chapter-5


Frilled Neck Lucy – Dracula with Erin of SubverCity Transmit

This article accompanies Frilled Neck Lucy by The FrankenPod

For this episode, I talked to Erin who is the host of SubverCity Transmit and voice actor on No Sleep Podcast and Congeria Podcast. She also runs an awesome, spooky online store called Never Not Clever. So I’m incredibly grateful to Erin for making the time to talk to us.

The film we are chatting about is Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) also known as Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula. Erin knows so much more about the movie than I could possibly hope to learn and among the many insights she has to give, she touches on the influence of Winona Ryder in the production, the Academy Award-winning costume design by Eiko Ishioka and the very deliberately rudimentary special effect that can be such an obstacle to new audiences discovering and engaging with the film.

Other subjects we touched upon include:

  • Lord Byron, because he always pops up
  • The Symbolist Movement
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  • Ghost Hunting
  • Urban exploration
  • The 1991 movie Hook
  • and armadillos… because I just cannot get over this

Again apologies for my brevity!


An Interview About Vampires

So this week’s episode of The FrankenPod, features an interview that I (Morgan) recorded with Alix Roberts who has written an amazing thesis on Vampiric women, which I had not read at the time of recording but that I have since read and it is goddamn amazing. Unfortunately, the audio is pretty shoddy. Totally my fault and I’m going to extend the invitation to Alix for her to come on the show again so you can hear how wonderful she is without the clicks and hisses of an angry National Broadband Network.

I have changed the way I do interviews now so hopefully, this will


Alix’s Podcasts: Chasing Tale and Bloody Ripper

Texts Discussed: 

She by H. Rider Haggard can be found on the book depository

Ligeia by Edgar Allan Poe can be found on Project Gutenberg in Volume 3 of the works of Poe

Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu can be found on Project Gutenberg

The Blood of The Vampire by Florence Marryat can be found on book depository

No big long blog posts for me at the moment because between my literature and communications courses uni is really kicking my butt right now. I will write more when I get the chance.

Thank you for listening or reading or how ever it is that you interact with us.

Image By No 1 Army Film & Photographic Unit, Chetwyn (Sgt) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


LORE – Surely I’m getting a little too old for ghost stories


Despite loving gritty and gruesome tales, I am quite easily spooked. My partner seems baffled as to why I put myself through it. Many are the nights that lie awake, on edge after a terrifying podcast. LORE tends not to be one of the ones that freak me out, the factual ambiguity and historical research style of Aaron Mahnke’s narration allows me to maintain some semblance of rationality. Until tonight, when a very silly long forgotten childhood fear came flooding back … and I suddenly remembered being ridiculously, inconsolably terrified of the Gremlin from The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror. Just thinking about it now gives me the heebie jeebies.
I think I was about 10, no longer scared of monsters under the bed, vampires at the window and ghosts in the hallway, but frantically scanning the exterior of the car for signs of small, evil, little creatures, trying to sabotage the family vehicle.
… sigh…
No more episodes on gremlins, please and thank you

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“They be nowt but air-blebs” – Bram Stoker’s Dracula


After the eerie subtlety of Henry James’s Turn of the Screw it has come as quite a shock to be confronted by the chilling, violence of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
A bit of context for this reading:
As a child nothing terrified me so much as vampires. The viewing of a 10 second snippet of Interview with the Vampire at the age of 7 was enough to keep me awake at night, and a Goosebumps book or two had me convinced that vampires were everywhere. I even became convinced on a holiday to visit extended family that our hosts were all vampires, particularly my tiny 4 year old cousin. Because if there was anything that my brief education of vampires had taught me, it was that they had no quarms feeding on the young. Even to this day, and I consider myself to be a skeptic, I still find myself hiding, unusually well for a less than petite, 6 foot oaf, under my doona and looking over my shoulder at night after reading or watching anything involving vampires.
So I may be more susceptible to this particular variety of gothic horror than others. I have tried to read Dracula several times with limited success.
In short I am a wuss so please remember that when reading this.
Back to the novel at hand:
I would describe Dracula as a brutish but inventive example of the genre. The mix of realism and horror, combined with the use of journals and letters rather than a more direct narrative approach gives the impression of the tale unravelling as you read, which is what you expect from a good story, but with Dracula the unravelling is a bit more like barbed wire than yarn cutting and catching the reader as it goes. Flawed metaphor… I totally get that, but hopefully you see where I’m going with it.
One of the revelations upon this reading of Dracula is the strength of the character of Mina for the time Bram Stoker was writing. Actually there are quite a few progressive gems to be found within the text that I only found this time around.

High point: Mina and the strength that she shows and is acknowledged for.

Low point: A few random acts of barbarism that serve no narrative purpose.

Grim moment: Renshaw replicating a sadistic food chain in his cell in the asylum

Funny moment: The old man saying that old legends, ghosts and superstitions are “nowt but air-blebs”

♤♡♢♧ morgan mushroom ♤♡♢♧

“First school then vampires”… and other things I have said to small children

Today I dropped off my friend’s kids as well as my own. I am not the most lucid and competent of supervising adults at the best of times but this morning I was achieving a whole new level of panic parenting. As my eldest had a melt down because he couldn’t find his birthday party invitations, and my friend’s youngest was diving on his bag to stop me from removing a lego vampire he was trying to smuggle to school I found myself saying:
“School first, then vampire”. Obviously taken out of context this is a completely ridiculous statement, but not that unusual when communicating with small people. Here are the 13 stupidest things I have said to my children:

13. “Don’t poo… I’ll be right back” – Said in a moment of sheer desperation and panic, while my 3 year old makes very determined faces in someone else’s house, without a nappy on.
12. “Stop being a dog and eat your breakfast” – Please.. Mum would like I human child today. Get your face out of your cereal, and while I’m on the subject…
11. “Get your foot out of your food” – Why? Strange contortionist child. Very impressive but why?
10. “No Lightsabers before breakfast” – Mum and Dad are trying to sleep and there are only so many 5am, sci-fi sound effects we can handle.
9. “A vagina is not a type of penis” – To which my 8 year old screams at the top of his outraged lungs: “YES LOGAN TOLD ME VAGINA IS A PENIS” *embarrassment*
8. “Stop being a zombie and get dressed” – No really… Nude children walking muttering “brains” when they should be getting ready for bed is annoying and frankly a little disturbing.
7. “The cat is not a robot, please put down the screwdriver” – Poor Gizzy
6. “Stop farting at your nanna”- Or Nanna will start farting back, and nobody wants that.
5. “Ninjas do not get ice cream” – Neither do: samurais, celtic warriors, jedi knights, sith or pirates, anything really that feels the need to bring a weapon to the table.
4. “The cat cannot fly” – So please stop trying to teach her.
3. “Just sit down and feed Mr tickle some sultanas” – Or Mum may never finish her coffee and she may cry.
2. “People are not food” – Please stop trying to eat our toes when we are in bed you strange child.
1. “Please stop licking the cat” – Poor, poor Gizzy
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