Tag: Strange but true

Let’s twist again

Run, Hide, Repeat review

Production company – CBC

Rating –

run, hide, repeat logo

As you may no doubt have noticed, I’ve been on something of a true crime binge recently. This one cropped up and the trailer sounded interesting, so off I went and subscribed. What I got wasn’t anything like what I was expecting though. Despite how I have tagged this post to improve those dastardly SEO algorithms, I wouldn’t call this a strict “true crime” podcast. By the time I was about halfway through the series, I knew that this review was jumping the queue of half written ideas in Google docs, and being the next post on this blog.

So what’s it about?

Run, Hide, Repeat is a true story told by CBC journalist Pauline Dakin. Told over five episodes, this is a small yet perfectly formed series you could binge in a day easily.

The situations she experienced during her childhood were almost beyond belief. I would go so far as to say “singular”, but by the time the series ends, it seems to be a more common occurrence than anyone could guess.

After her parents divorced, Pauline’s mother met a preacher called Stan Sears. A man who seemed to offer comfort and counsel to the family. Before long though, things change and Pauline’s brother and mother, together with Stan are moving across the country, never staying in one place very long.

While young kids are quite happy to go along with whatever their parents say without question, after a while questions are asked, particularly when things stop adding up, and the answers are shocking. The reasons given are enough to shake the family to its foundations, and nothing it turns out is as it seems. That is twist number one. At this point in the story it is a very gripping tale of cat and mouse, and stress levels on the family are obviously very high indeed.

You may notice I said “twist number one”. Believe me there are more twists to come. Yes, I am being deliberately vague here. I don’t want to give anything away at all, not that you’d believe me if I told you.

Is it any good?

Absolutely. If this was a work of fiction, it would be brilliant, and yet unbelievable. The fact that this actually happened is both gripping and tragic. Not tragic in the way you may be imagining as you read this, but I can’t think of a better way to describe it. Each twist brings its own tragedy, and yet Pauline and her brother made it through. 

Final thoughts

As I write these blog posts, I’m not sure how many people actually go and listen to podcasts based on my reviews, or whether they read these after listening so they can scoff and call me a moron. By rights, this review should be about 150 words longer than it is, but I don’t want to give any clues or spoilers at all.

If you haven’t listened to this one yet, then do so. Immediately. It’s an outstanding story and I guarantee you’ll love it.

You can get Run Hide, Repeat here:

https://www.cbc.ca/listen/cbc-podcasts/1340-run-hide-repeat

Or wherever you get your podcasts.

Stranger than fiction

Radio Rental review

Production company: Tenderfoot TV

Rating:

radio rental logo

This podcast was recommended to me by a work mate, so thanks Sam! To be honest it had been languishing in my “unplayed” list for a while now (as so many shows ultimately do). A few weeks ago I needed a change though. I decided to take the plunge into the strange and spooky tapes of the Radio Rental video store.

So what’s it about?

Radio Rental is a series of true stories sent in by listeners. Now don’t for one moment think that these are the same tired old ghost stories that get trotted out elsewhere. These are some very strange stories indeed. I think I had to get halfway through season 3 before I actually heard a “proper” ghost story. That said, there are stories that would be decidedly less scary if it was an actual ghost responsible! There are tales of odd timeslips, deja vu, close calls with murderers, and a few stories of a very particular fear of mine (but I’m not telling you what they are!)

Each episode is introduced by the brilliant Rainn Wilson as his character Terry Carnation. He is a delightful blend of Al Ridenour from Bone and Sickle (who isn’t a fictional character), and Dr. Malcolm Rider from Voice from Darkness (who is). His dulcet tones and curmudgeonly manner add some comic relief to the rather dark content of the episodes themselves.

Unlike other similar (albeit fictional) series out there, there is no main story arc or even a Terry Carnation meta plot here. I mean, all the stories are from different people, and Carnation is simply a host. It’s a grab bag of stories, some that beggar belief.

Is it any good?

Absolutely. I LOVE THIS SHOW! Terry Carnation is a brilliant host, and has some real laugh out loud moments. So much so that as soon as I’d finished this series, I immediately subscribed to his other podcast Dark Air. This will also be getting reviewed here very soon indeed. Next week in fact.

The stories are all very diverse and it seems that the producers try not to have lots of similar stories cropping up in each episode, so they always feel fresh. The production quality is also high, and each tale gives the impression of one of those spotlit talking head type interviews so beloved of paranormal TV shows.

Having Terry Carnation present each story, and adding his own little skits between really helps too. He’s like a less cadaverous (though no less humourous) version of the Cryptkeeper from Tales From The Crypt.

A (very minor) criticism is that the concept of a video rental store is a weird one. Each story is a “video tape” played by Carnation, and these tapes are the “under the counter” type illicit tapes not shown the the general public. I wonder if there would have been a better way of doing it, especially as Terry Carnation is a radio host. I suspect that the only reason is to use the cockney rhyming slang of the title (radio rental = mental). I’m not even sure if there were “radio rental” stores in America like there were here in the UK.

Final thoughts

My only problem with this show is whether some of these stories are actually true or not. These people either get in touch with the podcast directly or are found on Reddit. Now I can believe that someone had a close call with a murderer, or met some creepy person, but my Skeptic-O-MeterĀ® starts to beep when people have the stranger, matrix like glitches in reality. None of these particular stories can be proved one way or the other and so have to be taken on face value.

Don’t let this put you off though. I don’t think there’s a single story that hasn’t totally gripped me, and now I’m caught up I really can’t wait for the next episode to launch.

You can get Radio Rental here:

https://radiorentalusa.com

Or wherever you get your podcasts.

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