When you find yourself driving into a town that is dark even in daylight, a town that could be the demon spawn of Night Vale and Innsmouth except with werewolves and vampires instead of hooded figures and Deep Ones, you’re in Kirlian — and you may be staying awhile.
Ghost Radio emerged from the nightmarish visions of Argentinian filmmaker Christian Ponce, whose midnight talk show is accompanied by glowing eyes, tentacles, and things with way too many teeth. Kirlian is a town on the outer edges of nowhere that is overshadowed by the pre-apocalyptic anxiety of a comet that will inevitably crash to Earth in the frighteningly near future. There is no mention of an observatory or even a single backyard telescope, but images of the impending catastrophe can be seen in the disturbing crayon art of local kids.
What differentiates this from other podcasts is that Ghost Radio has the creepiest 2D animation that makes every character look like a shadow passing through Kirlian’s creaky doors and gloomy alleys. Cain Eldritch, the mysterious quasi-celebrity who arrives at the radio station, is faceless except for his Einstein-ish hair, mustache, and nervous round eyes that almost glow in the murk.
You can see little more than the eyes of the little girl who is hiding from vampires in the closet. Some, like the disembodied spirit of a boy named Miguel who thinks every body bag he sees has his body in it, actually are ghosts, but that is to be expected.
Ponce’s references to the monsters of horror only make his series more chilling. It doesn’t get more Lovecraftian holding a conversation with a huge green tentacle creature that only speaks in that blasphemous language that bubbled up from R’lyeh. The most recent episode was a Creepmas gift of Stephen King echoes, from the flash of that iconic bloodsoaked redhead standing in a high school auditorium that is burning down to the vampire boy from Salem’s Lot floating outside the window instead of Santa Claus.
A new episode of Ghost Radio arrives every three months, and with hints at the comet-pocalypse, I can’t wait to turn it on again and lose my sanity in total darkness.