- Mail Order Zombie
Mail Order Zombie is an award-winning zombie movie podcast. In addition to featuring reviews of and commentary on zombie films, Mail Order Zombie, or MOZ, also features coverage of zombie and post-apocalyptic literature; interviews with writers and filmmakers; recordings from zombie media-specific panels and events from various horror and genre fan conventions; and reviews of zombie movie scores, video games, comic books, musicals and other zombie media. Also, every episode of MOZ includes a recap of current zombie media-related news from around the world. Mail Order Zombie's website has been called one of the "20 Best Zombie Sites on the Web" and is regularly updated between episodes. MOZ Presents: The Monthly Munchies was a side podcast focusing on non-zombie horror genre topics, and was also released through the same feed used to distribute Mail Order Zombie. Both Mail Order Zombie and other special "MOZ Presents" podcasts are made available through Mail Order Zombie's website, iTunes, and Zune.
Originally, Brother D launched Mail Order Zombie to cover straight-to-DVD zombie movies. The show quickly expanded its focus to include coverage of more mainstream zombie films, and eventually zombie and post-apocalyptic novels as well as other facets of zombie media. With this expansion, Brother D's wife Miss Bren joined the show as a co-host, accompanying Brother D in discussing some mainstream zombie films and answering listener email and other feedback; Miss Bren would later launch the Post Script book review section of the show. Even though MOZ has evolved to include coverage of more mainstream zombie media, Brother D still enjoys "digging for the obscure zombie movies that may have slipped through the cracks and presenting them on the show."
A typical episode of Mail Order Zombie includes an introduction by Brother D, news in a segment called The Zombie Beat, The Zombie Aptitude Test, one to three reviews and the Feedback Discussion.
The Zombie Beat
When the show was launched, Brother D would open every episode of Mail Order Zombie with The Zombie Beat, a review of zombie media news from around the world. Eventually, show contributor Scott Morris, also known as Need-a-Nickname Scott, would take over production of this segment, with contributors Tracey Morris and Jay Emmitt occasionally assisting. Every news story discussed during The Zombie Beat is referenced in the shownotes of the episode in which the story appeared. Since Episode 115, Charles Craig, the newscaster who appears in Night of the Living Dead, introduces The Zombie Beat.
The Zombie Aptitude Test
The Zombie Aptitude Test, or ZAT, is the question-of-the-month on Mail Order Zombie. Originally, the ZAT question was a bi-weekly question; the ZAT question would be posed to listeners one week, answers would be collected by email and voicemail for two weeks when the answers would be reviewed on the show. The ZAT went monthly in 2010, and in early January 2011, Brother D announced that he would put the Zombie Aptitude Test question on hiatus. During Episode 155, it was announced that the ZAT would return with a new producer running the segment. Professor Chad (formerly of the A Welcome Invasion of Privacy podcast) took over this segment in March 2011.
MOZ features two different kinds of movie reviews produced in-house. Most reviews feature Brother D synopsizing the zombie movie in question, and audio clips from the movie are used to illustrate his points; music from the movie is used as bed music throughout the review. Occasionally, Miss Bren, Need-a-Nickname Scott or others may join Brother D for a movie review, and in these cases, the review is more discussion-based; while there may still be music from the movie used, typically audio clips do not interrupt the discussion. Occasionally, a movie review will be produced by other contributors to the show.
In most cases, the movies are given a rating of 1 to 5 Headshots. Brother D has given the rating scale is as follows:
- 5 Headshots. A receiving 5 Headshots gets the Mail Order Zombie stamp-of-approval. It's highly recommended and definitely deserving of space on your DVD shelf. The movie will hold up to repeated viewing and is well worth tracking down. Buy a copy for your mother for Christmas.
- 4 Headshots. This movie is worth renting through Netflix, Blockbuster Online or some other mail service. You may end up liking the movie enough to buy it yourself. It's technically a well-made film, but there might be one or two things that keep it from being considered perfect.
- 3 Headshots. 3 Headshots means the movie is all right. It's not spectacular but it's not horrible, either. The movie is strictly middle-of-the-road. There might be one or two entertaining elements of the flick but these elements aren't enough to warrant actually buying the movie.
- 2 Headshots. A movie receiving 2 Headshots might be worth a rental once. It doesn't really warrant watching more than once. For whatever reason, more than half of the film's components get in the way of the film's merits.
- 1 Headshot. Mail Order Zombie cannot recommend a movie receiving 1 Headshot. You're better off spending your time and money on something else.
If the movie is somehow billed as a zombie movie (e.g. the movie appears under the Zombies category at Netflix) but does not actually contain a zombie element, the movie may still receive a review, but will not receive a Headshot. Instead, the movie will receive one of the following ratings.
- Helmet. This rating is reserved for a movie lacking a zombie element, but is still worth viewing and is therefore spared a Headshot through the wearing of a helmet.
- Trioxin Gas (sometimes simplified as Gas). This rating is reserved for movies that desperately need an injection of zombies to make the movie worth watching. (The Trioxin Gas is a reference to the reanimating agent from the Return of the Living Dead (film series)).
The name of this segment was determined after MOZ ran a contest for its listeners to suggest the name of the show's book review section. Originally, Miss Bren used this segment to review and discuss post-apocalyptic literature, but as the show continued, this segment became a home for any book review produced by any Mail Order Zombie contributor. A rating scale of 1 to 5 Bookmarks has been created for the Post Script book reviews.
Dead Letter Awards
Every year, Mail Order Zombie celebrates its anniversary by announcing the nominees for the Dead Letter Awards. The Mail Order Zombie Dead Letter Awards are a yearly awards show in which the best of zombie movies and media are honored in categories like Best Movie; Best Actor; Best Actress; Best Book, Fiction; Best Book, Non-Fiction; Best Videogame; etc.
Once the nominations are announced, the winners of most categories are determined by popular vote.
MOZ Presents: The Monthly Munchies
Originally, MOZ Presents: The Munchies had no set release schedule. In June 2011, Brother D rebranded this supplemental podcast as a monthly release, changing the name of the show from The Munchies to The Monthly Munchies.
Reception and Awards
In 2009 and 2010, Mail Order Zombie was nominated for a Dead Lantern Splatcademy Award (Best Horror Podcast). In 2010 and 2011, Mail Order Zombie was nominated for a Parsec Award (Best Speculatic Fiction Fan or News Podcast, Specific). In 2010 and 2011, Mail Order Zombie was nominated for a Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award (Best Horror Audio or Video Podcast).
- ^  - 2011 Podcast Podcast Year In Review Award Show Spectacular Spectacular!, Best Apocalyptic Musings
- ^  - http://egotvonline.com/2010/06/07/20-best-zombie-sites-on-the-web/
- ^  - Derek M. Koch at the Internet Movie Database
- ^  - Derek M. Koch at the Zombie Movie Database
- ^  - http://horrorcommentary.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=72&Itemid=47
- ^  - Brain Picking: Interview with Derek M. Koch (Mail Order Zombie)
- ^  - Mail Order Zombie: Episode 155
- ^  - Mail Order Zombie: Episode 157.5
- ^  - MOZ Presents: The Monthly Munchies: Episode 001
- ^  - The 2nd Annual Splatcademy Awards
- ^  - The 3rd Annual Splatcademy Awards
- ^  - 2010 Parsec Awards, Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (Specific)
- ^  - 2011 Parsec Awards, Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (Specific)
- ^  - Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards, Best Horror Audio or Video Podcast
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