WiHM 2020: Interview with Horror Podcaster, Tammy Turner

Tammy Turner, aka The Taminator, is one of the hosts on the horror movie podcast, The Horrorcast. She is extremely knowledgeable in all things horror and brings a great perspective to the show. She has been a part of the podcast community for a few years now and was also a fan for many more. I was given the chance to interview her for Women in Horror Month 2020 and this is what she had to say.

Tammy Turner

PopHorror: Hello Tammy, thank you for taking the time to do this interview!

Tammy Turner: Well hi there (my Rose the Hat voice) and thank you for taking the time to recognize women!

PopHorror: Before we dive into this interview I would like to get to know you a bit. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Tammy Turner: Alright then. Let’s see, I am currently a fifty one-years-wise, twice-divorced mother of three and grandmother of one. I am a medical transcriptionist by day, which allows me to work from home in my pajamas every day, and I’ve lived long enough to realize how amazing that is, and how lucky I am. I am an artist, started life at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, but then went the way of marriage and kids when my parents decided that people can’t make a living as artists and they weren’t going to pay the hefty tuition anymore. I am an avid reader, especially Stephen King, and a passionate movie watcher. My favorite movie genres are horror, of course, with my favorite being 70s horror, the more obscure the better, followed by spy movies, especially James Bond movies from the 60s and 70s. Oh, and I am also a die-hard Whovian.  I am currently one of the hosts on The Horrorcast: Intelligent Horror Movie Discussion

PopHorror: What got you into the horror genre and what do you like about it?

Tammy Turner: I started sneaking my mom’s Stephen King books when I was probably about ten. Also, the Blackwater serial series by Michael McDowell, much less known but every bit as good if not better than anything Stephen King ever wrote, scariest thing on paper. I was HOOKED. Luckily, she realized I wasn’t going to stop and just gave in to letting me read them all. I would read and win the summer reading contest every single year at our local library.  You’re talking the 70s here, so there were three TV channels, four in the afternoon, and no electronics. I had my friends, the outdoors, and books. I’ve always been very introverted and gravitated toward books. I remember distinctly sneaking my mom’s Stephen King’s The Stand one day at our summer house in Michigan (literally a cabin in the woods) when everyone was gone, and for anyone who’s ever read that, you know what a gut punch that prologue is.  I remember feeling exhilarated, terrified, fascinated…what did I just read?

It was on after that…I was DONE with kid’s books….adult books were obviously where the magic was happening. We also had some absolute horror gems on TV at the time, there was Creature Feature on Friday nights (again, another sneak), and Son of Svengoolie on Saturday afternoons, which I have such fond memories of watching because it was the one thing my dad and I could agree upon and do together. There were never two more polar opposites than my dad and I, but for that brief time, we were on the same page. I think finding your genre is like falling in love…it’s completely out of your control, but when the magic happens you just know.

PopHorror: Being a fan of horror I have to ask, what is your favorite horror film?

Tammy Turner: Depending on which day you ask me, and I know that sounds like a cop-out, but it would be like trying to decide my favorite child, you would get one of the following answers: Rosemary’s Baby, The Thing, or The Sentinel. Technically. If I REALLY had to choose, like a desert island type thing, then I guess its Rosemary’s Baby, as I watch it the most? Usually three or four times a year, if that is any kind of measure.

PopHorror: What inspired you to want to podcast?

Tammy Turner: So way back in the early 2000s I was gifted an iPod, which back then the only things that could go on them were whatever was available on iTunes. Well, these things called “Podcasts” started showing up and I found people who were talking about things that interested me. Podcasts (unless it’s a highly produced commercial one) are like sitting down and having conversations with your friends. You get real people’s honest opinions about things, again not on all but on most, you have to pick wisely. Then horror podcasts started slowly appearing. I knew no one in my real life that was into horror, I was married at the time to someone who was not into horror, or anything for that matter, except himself… a story for another day, so it gave me a chance to escape and enjoy what I loved in private. I was in a blended marriage at the time with five kids, so this new podcasting thing was a great escape for me…you just put your headphones on and voila… I like music fine, but I would much rather be listening to a narrative. I also went back to get my college degree at thirty-three in the medical field so sometimes my brain just needed a break. I used to constantly listen to books on CD in my car or while I walked, but once podcasts came along I used to gobble up any that interested me.

It’s funny nowadays horror podcasts are a dime a dozen, but back then they were a real treat. Then Facebook came along, and suddenly whole communities based around the podcasts I loved started forming. Now I could be part of a whole like-minded community! I found my people! Mark LeHew of the Horrorcast gave me my break in podcasting, after my being a member of the Horrorcast community for a couple of years. Not sure why you’d have to ask him. But I do think there’s a sort of novelty to having a female who could hang with the guys when it came to all things horror, especially in the beginning. Horror is full of amazing, smart, talented, creative women now….in fact, they gave us our own month! But I am not sure how many women of a certain age are as into horror as I am, and who lived through the classics coming out in real time and watched the evolution of horror into what it is today, so I’d like to think I bring a certain something to the table…or the microphone. I’ve been at it for about three years now, having guested on and hosted some other podcasts before settling into my current gig as one of the hosts on the Horrorcast. Because we do pride ourselves on being an “Intelligent Discussion,” A LOT of work goes into it, it’s almost like having a second job, but one I’m so passionate about. You’re supposed to do what you love, right? I love the medical field too, so I’m very lucky in that most of my productive time these days is spent doing what I love.

PopHorror: What is it you like about horror podcasting?

Tammy Turner: Oh, man….if I had to pick one thing it’s sharing my passion, spending my time in deep discussions about the horror genre. Every other week we do what we call a “Rotten Roundtable,” where we let the listeners know everything we’ve been watching, good or bad.  In the immortal words of The Scrubbing Bubbles, “We work hard so you don’t have tooooooooo….”

Each episode you can literally discover at least fifteen-twenty movies and whether or not they are worth your time. That’s how I met you, Scott! We bring in podcasters to guest host on each Roundtable, so its a great way to discover new podcasts to try too. I also love sharing older and more obscure horror and horror adjacent movies…I want to share the love (and a few not loves) I have amassed over the last 50 years. I also want to inspire other girls/women out there who may feel they are alone with their dark side or feel people think their interests are weird…I assure them they are not alone. Yes, they ARE “weird,” but we can all be weird together! And also, I just have to say, the horror community is really one of the most all-inclusive, supportive communities I’ve ever had the pleasure to be a part of.  All the different podcasts truly support each other, which is refreshing. Women struggle in so many other areas…its the recurring buzz around the Oscars and the film industry. But Horror even gave us our own month! Which is not to say all the other eleven months belong to the men… it’s just to say, “Hey, we already realize what an important role women play in our community… let’s celebrate them!” Also, I’ve met so many wonderful people, even globally that I would never know otherwise. I also think what I’m doing will open doors for others. Podcasting is still a male-dominated industry, and its good for them to see us.

Tammy Turner

PopHorror: What is your podcast about and what do you hope people will take away from listening to it?

Tammy Turner: The podcast is The Horrorcast: Intelligent Movie Discussion. We are a weekly horror podcast that truly does strive to be an intelligent conversation. All of the hosts are extremely knowledgeable on all things horror. I am one of six hosts, and currently the only female. My other hosts are Marknado, Walshy, Revenant Vin, Mr. Watson, and Brandon Young….so I am among greats! And I think each one of us brings something different, so as a group we are exceedingly well rounded. We alternate each week between The Rotten Roundtable, which like I mentioned, is we go around the table letting the listeners know what we’ve been watching, what we thought of it, and also what’s coming up in various releases, be it streaming, cinema, blu ray, etc., and what we are looking forward to. We also have fellow podcaster guests at each Roundtable, which is always fun and brings a new voice and perspective. Then the next week we do our more in-depth, “intelligent” discussion on films in the genre. Right now we are working our way through the Hammer Horror back catalog in anticipation of the release of The Lodge this year. Hammer was a blind spot for a lot of us and has proven itself quite endearing so far.

PopHorror: Do you think that there are any challenges for women in horror or podcasting?

Tammy Turner: Being taken seriously, and we probably stand in our own way a lot. I have really great co-hosts now, who are very respectful and truly treat me as just another host…but I’ve been on with some that definitely poo-poo’d my opinions when they didn’t agree with theirs, yet didn’t do so when their male co-hosts didn’t agree with them. There are so many more female hosts in horror today than say even two years ago, and quite a few all-female podcasts, but we’ve always been here. I think we are just finding our voice, a movement that has trickled down to the horror genre due to the relevance of the movement on a more larger scale in today’s society. It’s a great time to be female and hopefully, we get some people in charge soon who aren’t trying to change that fact. But I’m going to state the obvious here, and please don’t take this wrong but I believe its also just as simple as we don’t have the time. My co-hosts are constantly having to schedule around when their wives are home so they can podcast. A lot of us, in fact about fifty percent right? are single moms these days…including me. I don’t have a wife that’s going to come home and take over so I can focus on anything, let alone podcast. I don’t have anyone who can take over so I can have a free hour and a half to watch a movie in peace. I have to work full time, my kids are all older now, but when I started podcasting I was still a single mom with a full-time job and a seven-year-old at home, and no help whatsoever. I usually fall into bed at night with time to watch a movie, and occasionally on weekends, but being an independent contractor who works from home, I work pretty much every day. It can be challenging.  

PopHorror: What impact do women bring to horror and podcasting, that men may not?

Tammy Turner: I think we close the circle if that makes sense. I’ve noticed that on the podcast I see things that the guys just don’t see, especially when it comes to female characters, who let’s face it, pretty much dominate the horror genre. One thing that I think horror moves are getting right today is that women aren’t just dim-witted final girls, we’re actually quite smart and cunning. We aren’t the last ones standing for no reason. But even apart from being female, I think each individual person themselves brings their own experiences to a movie, and women just have different experiences than men, as people of different races and ages do. You are going to see everything through the glasses of your life and horror is probably the most subjective genre next to romance, and how these subjects affect us as women are just going to be different. Everyone is well aware of the female to male difference, so I won’t rehash it here, but all of our lives women are brought up to behave and act a certain way, and liking horror and other “aberrant” subjects…well, society just wasn’t ready for that but I think they’re starting to come around as the upcoming generations take over. I was born in 1968 so I am part of one of the first generations who got the beginning of women’s rights and being able to work and divorce and make decisions. I mean it wasn’t until 1974 when Congress passed the Equal Credit Opportunity Act that women could even have a credit or a credit card…some of the building blocks of independence…and independence leads to free thinking. We’ve been let out of our cage…now just watch what we can do.  

PopHorror: Do you have any advice for women who want to get into horror podcasting?

Tammy Turner: Because I am just a host, and know very little about behind the scenes, it’s hard for me to talk about any of the technical aspects. But I can speak on the experiences I have had hosting. Be sure you are part of a show that is going to lift you up and give you a respected voice. Don’t be afraid to debate your differences. I think if you went back and listened to my shows from a few years ago compared to now, I’m much more outspoken and have found my feet and voice. Always be prepared… it’s very easy to go blank when that record button is hit. Take good notes. Try things you never tried before. Make yourself relevant. Don’t be afraid to speak your truth, someone in the audience will relate even if your co-hosts can’t and guest host if you can….this is only my second “permanent” gig…but I know its a good fit for me.

PopHorror: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me, before we end this tell everyone where they can find your podcast and what other projects you have coming up.

Tammy Turner: The podcast is The Horrorcast: Intelligent Movie Discussion, and I believe we are available anywhere you get your favorite podcasts. This is all I’m doing right now, but it takes up all my time, and I enjoy this podcast so much and am proud of it, so I want to put what time I have into making my time on there the best it can be. Thank you for taking the time to highlight some Women In Horror!


About Scott Crawford

I am an avid lover of horror films ever since I was a little boy. I have amassed a sizeable film collection in my life and it is one of my pride and joy. I also love video games and have been playing them since the days of the Intellivision. I currently play on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch and love all genres of games but mainly play single player story driven games mainly in the fantasy or horror genre. I also host a podcast called The Podcast by the Cemetery with two of my friends and we talk horror and video games.

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