Welcome to “HORROR!”, a podcast by the researchers of the charity University of the Underground’s Horror Programme. This tuition free programme was led by speculative designer Agi Haines from November 2021 to March 2022, as a critical exploration into illicit societal fears and a dive into horror as a complex tool and genre. In every episode of this series we will explore research topics from our projects, with the help of experts, practitioners, artists, and much more. Our host throughout this podcast series will be Necro, our cheeky demonic guide on a nightly journey full of ghosts, shadows, and inexplicable monsters…but no need to worry, as all our guests, human and non-human, have promised to stay in the studio. Be prepared, though: these encounters might easily transport into your homes some uncanny perspectives on our present. Find the full HORROR! playlist here on soundcloud.

In this episode, Agi Haines gives us some suggestions about body horror or animal-human hybrid, our researcher James Nola sits down with the designer Victoria Firth-Smith, whose work and research centers around queerness,  to talk about the horror of being a rural queer. Our host Necro is joined for an exclusive interview by Boar Beast. Your musical accompaniment includes an uncanny country-inspired rhythm as well as dearly missed queer pioneer SOPHIE.


James Nola, performance artist and makeup artist based in New Zealand. Studying spfx in Auckland majoring in sculpture and design, and later training as a professional makeup artist, his practice plays on the relationship between horror and humor, referenced in the gender fluidity of his characters that questions how we perform and respond as people.

Agi Haines, speculative designer. Her work is focused on the design of the human body as a malleable object through which she explores how far we can push our living flesh while still being accepted by society.

Victoria Firth-Smith, pākehā lesbian experience designer, autoethnographic researcher and doctoral educator. 

Hamish McGregor as the Boar Beast, a demi god from ancient Greek, whose mission is to hunt the country destroying farm machinery and farmers

James Nola as Necromantique or Necro, our demonic host who pays homage to 80s cult horror, that will get your bones giggling.

Thank you for listening. We hope that this series will contribute to inspire, to communicate powerful messages, to expose enduring dynamics of the contemporary world and to challenge our understanding of its structures and taboos. If we didn’t scare you enough, and you want to know more about our projects, join us for more episodes or visit https://universityoftheunderground.org!

Coordination, proof-listening: Veronika Hanáková, Ludovica Battista

Scripting: Veronika Hanáková, James Nola

Production, editing, music selection: Ludovica Battista

Hosting: James Nola


CNN Predicts a Monster Storm – Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet

Thank God I’m a Country Girl – Oneohtrix Point Never

Pulveris Fossa – Nocturnal Emissions

Gorillaz – Intro

Faceshopping – SOPHIE