We’re less than halfway to Halloween but Now Playing Podcast can’t wait that long to get back to horror. In June, the show is serving up all new episodes in two long-running horror (or horror-adjacent) retrospectives alongside a real-life murder mystery, a patron-supported tale of terror, and more zombies. There’s also a return to movie theaters with one of the year’s most anticipated blockbusters on the menu, and an all-new bonus retrospective series.
Here’s everything coming to Now Playing Podcast in June 2021.
June 1 – Dolores Claiborne
Kathy Bates scored an Academy Award for her first role in a Stephen King thriller, and the Misery star returns on June 1 for the Now Playing Podcast review of Dolores Claiborne. Director Taylor Hackford’s 1995 adaptation of King’s novel finds the titular character accused of murder, with all kinds of secret to be revealed once she’s reunited with estranged daughter Jennifer Jason Leigh.
June 4 – Zodiac
Now Playing’s David Fincher Thrillers retrospective continues on June 4 with a review of the director’s 2007 epic Zodiac. With a large ensemble cast that includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr. starring as a few of the real life journalists and police investigating the Zodiac killings of the 1960s and 70s, Fincher combines his trademark suspense and pristine camera work with a deeply researched script that will thrill true crime fans and even those with little knowledge of the case.
June 8 – The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It
After a lengthy pandemic delay, the third and possibly final entry in the Conjuring series (though surely not the last entry in the Conjuring Universe) will finally be released on HBO Max and in movie theaters on June 4. This time, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, respectively) are on the case of murder suspect using demonic possession as a defense.
June 11 – The Vanishing (1988)
Dutch filmmaker George Sluizer’s acclaimed 1988 mystery The Vanishing gets the Now Playing treatment on June 11 – an episode sponsored by one of the show’s Podbean patrons. The Vanishing follows a young man, Rex, obsessed with wanting to know the truth about his girlfriend’s disappearance. After years of investigating, he meets a man who claims to know what happened, but Rex won’t be happy when he’s forced to confront the truth. An American version of The Vanishing was made by Sluzier in 1993, but the original is considered a suspense classic, and the review is not to be missed.
June 15 – Dead Rising: Watchtower
Now Playing continues its long running video game retrospective, while adding a bit of zombie gore to the mix, with the June 15 review of Dead Rising: Watchtower. Adapted from the video game series, the film was released on streaming service Crackle in 2015, a move that was unusual at the time (who knew, right?). Dead Rising: Watchtower stars Jesse Metcalfe, Virginia Madsen, Dennis Haysbert, and Rob Riggle.
June 18 – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2009)
With most of Fincher’s thrillers reviewed, Now Playing kicks off its long-requested The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series on June 18. The retrospective will begin with a review of the 2009 Swedish-language film, the first in the Millennium series, starring Noomi Rapace. The Prometheus actress plays hacker Lisbeth Salander, who must aid an investigative journalist with a missing person-turned-murder case.
June 22 – Dead Rising: Endgame
The Dead Rising sequel, released on Crackle in 2016, picks up the action with several original characters returning – plus Billy Zane this time -- and more zombies to fight with any weapon possible. To date, Dead Rising: Endgame, is the last film to tie into the video game series.
June 25 – The Girl Who Played With Fire
Lisbeth Salander and her friend/lover Mikael Blomkvist return in the sequel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The film finds Salander, again played by Noomi Rapace, under suspicion of murder. All three films in the Millennium series – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – were released in 2009.
June 29 – F9: The Fast Saga
The ninth (10th if you count spinoff Hobbs & Shaw) film in the Fast & Furious franchise hits U.S. screens on June 25 – more than two years after it was originally planned for release. This time, 53-year-old Vin Diesel and his team of car enthusiasts-turned-action-heroes go up against assassin John Cena, who plays Diesel’s younger brother, Jakob. That we’ve never heard of Jakob in the last 20 years is irrelevant, as the series will surely find a way to weave this new villain into not just F9’s plot but possibly the plots of every Fast movie. It’s really not that hard to believe.