Title: Dead Line Anthology / Shorts (series)
Producer: Jack Ward
Production Company: Electric Vicuña
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Length: Anthology episodes – about 25 minutes; Shorts – 5-15 minutes
Rating: AD-PG* (psychological horror, mortal danger/fear)
Availability: Free – Electric Vicuña
Greetings, Audionauts! Captain Radio here with a visit to Electric Vicuña’s Dead Line Anthology, from Electric Vicuña, made possible by RØDE Microphones.
And so the mysterious disembodied Dead Line telephonic voice ushers listeners into another dark journey through mystery, horror, and, usually … murder.
As might an old Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, each macabre tale begins mundanely enough, perhaps like a pair of generationally-alienated businessmen getting away on a hunting weekend, as in Clay Pidgeon Shooting …
Soon, though, things begin to seem out of place as dialog exchanges or character actions build up viscerally uncomfortable apprehension:
Then, suddenly, the dark journey twists violently off into stark and irrepressible horror as, here, a stunned husband listens to his doomed mistress plead desperately for help over voice mail:
From 2003-2005, pioneer audio drama podcaster Jack Ward aired The Shadowlands old-time radio series from a public radio station in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Having authored and produced over a dozen originals among these shows, Ward joined forces in 2005 with Shannon Hilchie to host the Sonic Society, which focused on original audio drama from independent producers. Initially, associated Sonic Society producers included Jerry Robbins of Colonial Radio Theatre, Jonithan Russell of DreamRealm Enterprises, and Gregg Taylor of Decoder Ring Theatre.
In 2009, Ward formed Electric Vicuña to branch into audio cinema, voice acting, audio books, and audio anthologies. Regarding the latter, his colleagues encouraged Ward to develop a horror/mystery anthology that would more immediately fulfill evolving audio drama listener taste than would science fiction or fantasy equivalents.
He responded with the Dead Line Anthology that opens and closes on the slightly menacing telephone narrator signaling a warning or challenging the listener to explore the subtle edgy inner significance, or occasionally the message, revealed by the chilling story.
Later, Ward added the Dead Line Shorts as vignettes of evil that cut to the chase of their story, tossing listeners immediately into “the dark moment”, often requiring them quickly to suss out from the contracted plot and dialog what precisely is happening.
[Dead Line theme music]
Despite having already turned in over a half decade of continuous original creative production, Ward’s Dead Line tales, long or abbreviated, come across as refreshingly original with plenty of spine tingle, more plot twists than a Celtic pretzel, and plenty of unexpected moments when you may suddenly and instinctively wish to cover your ears, as horror movie viewers might shield their eyes, from the fearful scenes unfolding within your imagination.
Listen to the Dead Line Anthology and Dead Line Shorts at Electric Vicuña.Com.
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Until next time, Audionauts, this is Captain Radio™, signing off!