Monday, November 15, 2010

Tales from Beyond the Pale (Audio Review)

With the amount of digital entertainment in this day and age, you'd think radio would be dead. But it's still alive and kicking though has evolved into something a little more frightening courtesy of Glass Eye Pictures Larry Fessenden and Glenn McQuaid. Tales from Beyond the Pale is the evolution of horror radio. It's also an evolution in the horror genre. It's been a long time since the two have blended but Glass Eye Pictures has created a 21st century audio cocktail that had me on the edge of my seat.

You should already know Glass Eye Pictures as the studio that has brought you I Sell the Dead, The House of the Devil and Stakeland. But this newest project brings horror radio back from the dead and I gotta tell you it's fantastic.

At only half an hour each, each tale is filled with a story that is cunningly enticing and downright macabre. So far only 3 stories have been released and I had a chance to listen to the first two. With the voice talents of Vincent D'Onofrio and Ron Perlman, these aren't your golden oldies. These all have great actors and writers that weave a tale that give you a chill down your spine.

Here are a couple of brief reviews of the first 2 episodes.

Man on the Ledge

Written and directed by Joe Maggio

Vincent D'Onofrio and Larry Fessenden (and others)

As the title says, a man on the ledge thinks about his life as police try to talk him down. D'Onofrio plays John Alba whose life has spiraled out of control. The premise is only the trigger that enables the twists and turns to happen in this twisted tale.

The show is complete with audio stimuli from NYC sounds to police radio. These little touches make you feel like you're there. D'Onofrio is brilliant as a man who not only seems to be in utter despair but disturbed as well. The dialogue is clearly filled with rants of dubious monologue, colorful analogies and conversation that make you think.

It's all of this that makes Man on the Ledge feel oddly real. You will never look at a suicidal man about to jump the same way again after hearing this tale (because I'm sure you all do this all the time :-P)

British & Proud

Written and directed by Simon Rumley

The second episode of Tales from Beyond the Pale takes Western paranoia to a new level. British & Proud follows Sebastian, a British dude who marries Zalika, an African beauty as they vacation to visit her family in Sudan, Africa.

Let me just say the difference between TFBTP and other horror radio is that they don't just rehash old urban legends or horror short stories but we get to listen to NEW stories told in such a creative way complete with sound effects and performances of the highest caliber.

So many different themes are explored in British & Proud. Western imperialism, identity and love. As Sebastian uses his heart rather than his head, you start to empathize with him and his situation. But sometimes, when you keep it real, it can go wrong.

British & Proud is maliciously evil and uniquely mesmerizing. You really start to listen to each word, to each noise and especially to each scream at 100%. You know many of these tales won't end well, but you can't help but listen.

If you want to download something fun and creepy, Tales from Beyond the Pale is pure 30 minutes of wickedness. Larry Fessenden's hosting introduction reminded me of the old Cryptkeeper with a tinge of Rod Serling. You even get an old timey break (it's just promos for a trailer) that makes it feel classically new.

Horror fans and bloggers, this is a must download. So turn off your TV, shut off the game console and before you shut down your computer, download Tales from Beyond the Pale. Horror radio-casting is your new form of entertainment and it's here to scare the hell out of you.

The Vitals


  1. I had no idea that this sort of thing existed anymore. My friends and i have been doing internet radio of a long time for fun and so i know how this sort of thing can be frustrating trying to get an audience. [We've only really done comedy stuff, and not professional quality since we don't have access to a professional studio] It really is a niche market, but I really think it has a lot to offer even if it is only just a change up form the normal visual markets. Im really liking the idea of radio/podcast horror emerging [or re-emerging] as a genre. As it stands, i am really excited to hear this.

  2. Mike - It's a great concept to bring back. I've listened to two episodes and each one is produced with top notch talent and put together so professionally, its uncanny.

    The stories are pretty suspenseful even though the running time is half an hour. Once it gets on iTunes, hopefully it will catch on more.

    Everybody should download an episode and check it out. It's definitely worth it.

  3. How can we hear it outside of ITunes? All I have is a company computer, no Ipod.


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