A movie podcast that brings the spice with Blake Jackson and Nate Bishop

“One thing that we know as people who love movies is that there’s not a lot of people who look like us that like the same s**t we like.”

Nate Bishop (left) and Blake Jackson, hosts of the Popcorn & Jalapeños podcast and film event ringleaders, inside Fort Greene, the Globeville bar where they'll host a horror movie event. Oct. 5, 2022.

Nate Bishop (left) and Blake Jackson, hosts of the Popcorn & Jalapeños podcast and film event ringleaders, inside Fort Greene, the Globeville bar where they'll host a horror movie event. Oct. 5, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Desiree

Blake Jackson and Nate Bishop met the way friends usually meet, bonding over a seemingly strange and unusual interest.

That interest was movies. Obviously not super strange because most people like movies but the types of movies are usually where the weirdness dwells.

For Bishop and Jackson, there’s also the added layer of what society has presumed they should like from a cultural standpoint.

“Nate is literally the first Black person I ever met that loves David Lynch,” Jackson said. “Literally. First Black person I knew who f***ed with Twin Peaks.”

(For the culture: Lynch has directed classics such as Blue Velvet and The Elephant Man. He also created the show Twin Peaks.)

Bishop added, “One thing that we know as people who love movies is that there’s not a lot of people who look like us that like the same s**t we like.”

So the pair had their, ‘Wait, are you into that too? Did we just become best friends?’ moment a few years back. That turned into having in-depth movie discussions surrounded by friends in the kitchen at house parties, which culminated into the classic suggestion, ‘Yo, y’all should start a podcast.’

Blake Jackson (left) and Nate Bishop, hosts of the Popcorn & Jalapeños podcast and film event ringleaders, inside Fort Greene, the Globeville bar where they'll host a horror movie event. Oct. 5, 2022.

Blake Jackson (left) and Nate Bishop, hosts of the Popcorn & Jalapeños podcast and film event ringleaders, inside Fort Greene, the Globeville bar where they'll host a horror movie event. Oct. 5, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

So, Bishop and Jackson became the movie guys in Denver.

And their podcast, “Popcorn and Jalapeños” was born, along with their semi-regular movie night gatherings.

“We were just talking about the stuff that we like talking about,” Bishop said. “We’re trying to get more people to have an open mind and see some weird s**t they’re not used to seeing.”

Jackson added, “We have a nice balance of really dope white people that follow us and then Black and brown people that are looking for people that are like themselves and like the same kind of stuff.”

During the show, Jackson and Bishop invite their friends over to discuss pop culture as a whole with a focus on movies. At the end, they’d give the movie a rating from one jalapeños (no good) to 10. On average Jackson said most movies get 6 or 7.

For them the podcast goal was three-fold: continue conversing about their movie likes and dislikes, introduce folks – specifically Black and Brown folks – to new movie genres and create a space in cinema and film critique where historically not many Black and brown folk can be found or heard.

Nate Bishop (left) and Blake Jackson, hosts of the Popcorn & Jalapeños podcast and film event ringleaders, inside Fort Greene, the Globeville bar where they'll host a horror movie event. Oct. 5, 2022.

Nate Bishop (left) and Blake Jackson, hosts of the Popcorn & Jalapeños podcast and film event ringleaders, inside Fort Greene, the Globeville bar where they'll host a horror movie event. Oct. 5, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

On the introduction side, Bishop isn’t saying he’s the only Black person who enjoys “Twin Peaks” nor is he and Jackson the only pair to enjoy “weird” movies.

But the “weird” part of it has to do with their upbringings.

Bishop is from Maine and Jackson is from Wyoming. As the pair puts it, they are from very predominantly white areas.

“We were completely surrounded by white culture,” Jackson said. “But the ‘good thing’ about being in a Black family but surrounded by white culture is you get exposed to things your fellow Black people that live in like Atlanta or Chicago aren’t exposed to… We can show you guys that there’s a whole range of content you may enjoy that you might not be paying attention to because you think it’s some white people s**t.”

Blake Jackson, co-host of the Popcorn & Jalapeños podcast and film event ringleader, retells an awful cult horror movie he watched last night at the bar in Fort Greene. Oct. 5, 2022.

Blake Jackson, co-host of the Popcorn & Jalapeños podcast and film event ringleader, retells an awful cult horror movie he watched last night at the bar in Fort Greene. Oct. 5, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

That idea of “white people s**t” goes beyond movies. Not many Black people hike or canoe, Jackson said, because it’s been labeled as a “white activity.” But the label derives from the fact that Black and brown people weren’t allowed in those spaces at one point.

Same thing applies to movies.

Bishop said with movies, Black and brown people can be pigeonholed into liking certain films such as Tyler Perry movies or “hood” movies. Or they are casted in Black trauma films about slavery or crime.

“A lot of movies that feature Black people or talk about Black issues aren’t made for us,” Bishop said. “We’ve already experienced that. Blake and I will never watch another slave movie again. It’s for other people to learn and gain empathy. We just want to see Black people in a movie doing a thing. It doesn’t have to revolve around us being Black. We just want to be Black in a movie.”

Blake Jackson (left) and Nate Bishop, hosts of the Popcorn & Jalapeños podcast and film event ringleaders, sit on the patio at Fort Greene, the Globeville bar where they'll host a horror movie event. Oct. 5, 2022.

Blake Jackson (left) and Nate Bishop, hosts of the Popcorn & Jalapeños podcast and film event ringleaders, sit on the patio at Fort Greene, the Globeville bar where they'll host a horror movie event. Oct. 5, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Jackson said this ideology is what really jump started the podcast. Him and Bishop were going back and forth on what movie should they start with or when to release it. They did a few test runs but weren’t taking it seriously.

Then the podcast launched in 2019 with the perfect movie, “Us” directed by Jordan Peele.

Black representation was on full display and Jackson said it provided a perfect opportunity for the duo to present their perspectives to listeners.

“I don’t think we set out to try and be pacemakers when it comes to Black and brown people and the type of movies that they like. It kind of just happened that way,” Jackson said. “There’s some really dope stuff that you can find if you allow yourself to be open to s**t that isn’t marketed towards us. They don’t want us in the theaters. They want our money but they don’t necessarily want our perspective.”

Jackson said Hollywood has been going through a Black and brown renaissance with shows such as “Abbott Elementary” and “Reservation Dogs.” Simple life shows featuring Black and brown faces.

Nate Bishop (left) and Blake Jackson, hosts of the Popcorn & Jalapeños podcast and film event ringleaders, inside Fort Greene, the Globeville bar where they'll host a horror movie event. Oct. 5, 2022.

Nate Bishop (left) and Blake Jackson, hosts of the Popcorn & Jalapeños podcast and film event ringleaders, inside Fort Greene, the Globeville bar where they'll host a horror movie event. Oct. 5, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

During the height of the pandemic, Jackson and Bishop took a break from the podcast and started focusing on virtual movie nights to keep the momentum going and to continue doing what they love to do, watch and discuss movies.

“We hosted virtual Netflix nights, about 25 to 30 of them and we saw that people were dying for a reason to watch weird yet borderline indie films,” Jackson said. “We decided once the COVID restrictions loosened up we wanted to host them in real life and that’s really been our focus. There’s a wide variety of people that show up to our events and we’re really proud of that.”

Their biggest in-person event so far has been they’re showing of “Akira,” an 80s Japanese animated action film. They held a drive-in show in the parking lot of an industrial building in Sunnyside equipped with a huge screen they draped over the side of the building. Not for the faint of heart but enjoyed by about 100 people.

“The response was crazy,” Bishop said. “That’s a movie Blake and I both love and everybody came out for that one.”

After the success of the drive-in, Jackson and Bishop have hosted other movie nights, including “Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood” at Tetra Lounge.

In the spirit of spooky-season, the pair are hosting “Fear at the Fort,” a four-night horror movie extravaganza. Every Sunday in October, the pair will show one movie on the back patio at Fort Greene Bar in Globeville, starting on October 9. There’s no movie list. Each Monday, the pair will announce the movie of the week. Tickets will go on sale and they will sell out. Sunday’s movie sold out in less than a day. It’s a Bodega, a specialty shop selling overseas snacks and sodas, will be providing the snacks.

A global collection of chips for sale in It's a Bodega's spot in Platt Park. Aug. 16, 2022.

A global collection of chips for sale in It's a Bodega's spot in Platt Park. Aug. 16, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

 

The first movie will be Mandy, a 2018 film starring Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough and directed by Panos Cosmatos. It’s revenge horror featuring a demonic cult on LSD.

Right up Jackson and Bishop’s alley.

“We selected a bunch of horror movies that we love and we feel like people would also f**k with. They match the brand we’ve kind of built over the last couple of years,” Bishop said.

Jackson added, “We’ve never done anything super proper for Halloween and it made sense doing it this year. Especially after these last few years of not being able to do much.”

Before the October 16th movie, head to Fort Greene early for the Sunday Scaries, a pop-up bazaar to support local entrepreneurs. There’ll be tarot readings, tattoos, plants and vintage wares. There will also be a costume contest with a grand prize.

The duo said the podcast may return in the future. Jackson is an up and coming director, so they may lay off the critiques. Whatever the pair decide to do, just know you’ll be laughing along with them.

Blake Jackson, co-host of the Popcorn & Jalapeños podcast and film event ringleader, retells an awful cult horror movie he watched last night at the bar in Fort Greene. Oct. 5, 2022.

Blake Jackson, co-host of the Popcorn & Jalapeños podcast and film event ringleader, retells an awful cult horror movie he watched last night at the bar in Fort Greene. Oct. 5, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

“We’re just trying to do fun s**t for the homies,” Bishop laughed.

“That’s literally it,” Jackson interrupted. “It’s the only thing we ever have in mind. Like, yo, can we do something fun that our friends will come to. We’re successful if we see all of our friends in the house.

“We obviously want to reach new people. Everyone’s welcomed and the goal is to always have a good time.”

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Denverite members have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.