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About Ricky

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HELLO, SPOOKIES! I’m Ricky J. Duarte, the host of RICK OR TREAT HORRORCAST. In addition to filling your ear holes with spooky interviews and terrifying insight on horror media every other week, I’m also a writer, singer, and actor. (I also bartend and wait tables, but… that’s not the dream.) 

My obsession with horror spans back to the age of 4 or 5-ish when I first watched the 1933 classic, King Kong. For years to come, this horrifying yet sympathetic beast would ignite a passion for misunderstood monsters (as well as an irrational childhood fear of Fatz Geronimo, the keyboard-playing silverback gorilla from the animatronic Rock-afire Explosion house band of ShowBiz Pizza Place… RIP). I saw myself in Frankenstein’s Monster, The Wolf Man, The Phantom of the Opera, and King Kong, himself. These outcast, “othered,” and perhaps even queer-coded characters were cinematic superheroes to me. Such introductory characters lead me to a lifelong passion for the scary and macabre. In time, the likes of Vincent Price, Michael Myers, John Carpenter, and George A. Romero were all I could talk about, eventually leading to the launch of RICK OR TREAT HORRORCAST in 2022.

To me, the horror genre reflects the cultural zeitgeist of history more accurately than any other. Its ability to showcase heightened reality while bringing audiences together by the common denominating sensation of fear makes horror, in my opinion, the most realistic and pure form of storytelling. At its most relevant, it reflects both the best and worst of humanity; at its most insipid, it’s just fun to watch dumb teenagers get slaughtered by a big, scary maniac.

My passion for all things spooky has led to some wonderful opportunities. I’m a contributing writer for Rue Morgue Magazine, focusing on film reviews and interviews with genre superstars including Damien Leone, Eli Roth, and Diablo Cody. Having been a fan of the publication since I was a wee lad, I could just scream every time I see my name in the bylines. I’m also a writer for Spoiler Free Reviews, a website dedicated to reviewing all types of media while preserving a spoiler-free entertainment-going experience.

In 2023 I was afforded the opportunity to cover the opening of the new horror play, Grey House, on Broadway for Rue Morgue. In addition to reviewing the show, I attended the opening night performance and its red carpet, interviewing the show’s cast and creative, including stars Laurie Metcalf, Paul Sparks, Millicent Simmonds, and playwright Levi Holloway. As a result, I was invited to participate as the special guest in the first of a series of post-show discussions, entitled, “Show + Hell,” which has become one of the most popular episodes of the podcast. Being both an actor and a horror journalist, the opportunity to discuss my two biggest passions on a Broadway stage was an absolute dream come true. This experience has lead to covering Broadway’s “The Shark is Broken,” a play about the behind-the-scenes making of JAWS, as well a numerous off-Broadway horror productions. Keep an eye out for my upcoming column, “Stage Fright,” chronicling horror stage productions throughout history! (Book deal, anyone?)

I’m currently working on my first screenplay, a queer/punk/horror musical about substance abuse and processing grief. For more information or to get involved, feel free to contact me. Keep an eye on the website and social media for updates as the production progresses.

Aside from horror, my interests include roller coasters, Disney Villains, taco trucks, musical theatre, running, and crocheting (poorly). 
I live in a super haunted apartment above a cemetery in New York City with my evil cat, Renfield, and the ghosts of reasons I moved to NYC in the first place.

Stay Spooky,

Ricky J. Duarte

FAVORITE HORROR MOVIES: Halloween (1978), The Haunting (1963), The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Bride of Frankenstein, An American Werewolf in London, Fright Night (1985), Black Christmas (1974), The Lost Boys, Black Sabbath, My Bloody Valentine (1981), A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, The Bad Seed (1956), Child’s Play 2, The Wolf Man (1941) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Suspiria (1978), X, Pearl, Trick ‘r Treat, and the Night on Bald Mountain segment of Disney’s Fantasia.