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Had enough of “Downton Abbey”? Maybe it’s time for a cheesy horror film

A connoisseur of B-movies is here to help

PORTLAND, Maine — When a recent interview came to an end, the person I’d been talking with did something that no one featured on 207 has ever done before. He held up a VHS tape of “Kingdom of the Spiders,” a grade-B horror movie from 1977 starring William Shatner as a small-town veterinarian who tries to fight off 10,000 hungry tarantulas. The authoritative “Encyclopedia Shatnerica,” with tongue firmly in cheek, calls the film “one of Shatner’s finest cinematic accomplishments.”

This is the kind of movie that the guy I was interviewing, Matt Gagne, finds irresistible. A longtime employee at NEWS CENTER Maine, Matt directs newscasts, but on the side he co-hosts “Fun Box Monster,” a podcast devoted to cheesy horror movies. It would be hard to find someone better qualified for the job.

To begin with, Matt loves these schlocky films and has since he was a kid prowling the aisles of the best video store in Sanford. Video stores have all but disappeared, but for Matt their influence lives on. In his home you will find about 1,000 movies, virtually all of them horror or comedy, and they’re all on…VHS. How, you wonder, does he even play them? “It’s surprisingly easy to find VCRs in thrift shops,” he told me.

In these unsettled times, we could all use a break from reality, and Matt is happy to be our guide. Watch our interview for insights into deliciously bad movies featuring Stephen King, Patrick Dempsey and more. And here’s the nice thing. Unlike Matt, you don’t have to worry about the old reminder: Be kind…rewind.

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