You don’t have to hang around Black Gate for long to know that The Shining is my favorite horror movie of all time. So it goes without saying that today’s news is proof positive that Santa is real, I’ve been really good, and he wants me to be happy.
Indy film writer Joe Lovero, a former auto insurance salesman who sold a full-length screenplay to Universal Studios, began work on a musical parody of The Shining entitled REDRUM: The Unauthorized Musical Parody of ‘The Shining,’ back in 2009. After several years developing the show with composer Jon Hugo Ungar, they decided it was time to put the concept to the test by recording song demos and film a scene to promote the project.
They landed Broadway actor and three-time Tony Award nominee Marc Kudisch to play Jack Torrance in musical short film of REDRUM, which was released in October of last year. The short parodies the scene from the film version of The Shining between Jack and Delbert Grady in The Overlook Hotel’s red bathroom and features the original songs “Correct Them” and “You’ve Turned On My Light.”
I nearly killed myself laughing.
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Back at the end of October, we here at Goth Chick News wrapped up “the season” by reviewing a new release The Sword of Michael, written by a truly unique author, Marcus Wynne. You see, apart from being ex-military and the current CEO of a military consulting firm, Wynne is a “depossessionist” (not to be confused with an exorcist, so my bad in the original write up).
Now before I start getting jokes about working with the government and casting out demons, know that Wynne is dead serious. Since beginning his spiritual career, Wynne has dealt with (offed? banished? eradicated?) over 1,000 entities all over the US. When coupled with his job in the US Air Marshals, that pretty much constitutes covering our backsides on multiple fronts.
It’s probably pretty obvious why we all needed to know more about Mr. Marcus Wynne, so allow me to introduce him:
Everyone, this is Marcus – Marcus, meet everyone.
With the pleasantries out of the way, let’s get down to the serious questions…
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I’m often asked how one goes about getting their stories published — or even talked about — in Black Gate.
This generally leads to a somewhat uncomfortable conversation about the various viable options for attracting the attention of our Editor and Chief (aka “The Big Cheese”) John O’Neill – beyond never, ever forgetting to capitalize his various monikers when corresponding.
To get mentioned in Goth Chick News, the criteria for entre is less strenuous, if somewhat more narrow: do something uniquely creepy, but never gratuitously violent (anyone can throw blood around, after all). If you are going to tell me a story, make it a good one. Because there’s nothing worse than willingly following someone into a tale, only to be “shaken awake” by meandering plots, vampires who sparkle or, of course, a pointlessly high gross-out factor.
Or you can just deliver me a coffin – every girl has her weakness.
That’s precisely what author Charles M. Kline chose to do in promoting his upcoming ingenious title, Tales of the Grotesque and Felinesque by Edgar Allen Paws.
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This all seems kind of inevitable when you think about it.
Here in the good ol’ US of A, superheroes have been reigning supreme on the big screen for some time, while zombies are unstoppable on the small. So if you’re a British television executive gazing longingly across the pond at the entertainment bank being made over here, you’re probably also thinking how to capitalize on it at home without seeming so…well, American.
That’s when you decide to take a very English literary character (no ghastly dime-store comics here, I can tell you) and make him into a superhero – well sort of. But he’s not going to be happy about it because by God we are British after all. So he’s going to be rather tortured and guilt-ridden and all that – none of this happy swinging from spider webs or flying around in iron suits. Oh, and there will be monsters mixed in there too.
And this is how we get a new television series starring Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, commissioned by the oldest commercial network in the UK.
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Normally, I do my darndest to avoid topics that aren’t entertaining, at least on some level. I mean, anyone who has ever dropped by the Black Gate headquarters knows we’re nothing around here if not fun. In fact, I’ve heard tell that somewhere in the fine print of the Black Gate bylaws, our leader John O has expressly forbade the broaching of subjects such as politics, religion, or the addictive properties of Robotech.
Then again, you need only be a regular reader here to know anything with the faintest odor of a “rule” amounts to an open invitation to take copious liberties – just ask serial violator Scott “Art” Taylor.
Which is why when I got wind of this little gem, I literally had no choice but to share.
You may have already seen it elsewhere – since it was posted on Youtube November 9th, it has received over 5 million hits. It was clearly filmed at some sort of convention (not the sort Goth Chick News would be invited to cover) and the presenter was an exhibitor who was offering a “show special” for $10. What that special actually was is kind of haunting me in light of the presenters’ subject matter.
There really isn’t anything more to say in way of introduction, mainly because I still remain a bit speechless. So go ahead and watch…
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Let’s go ahead and admit it – fairy tales are creepy.
I’m not talking about the rosy-cheeked Disney versions that ultimately end in royal weddings. I’m referring to the Brothers Grimm versions which were gathered from fireside tales dating back to Middle Ages, where the children sometimes get eaten and happily-ever-afters are a rare thing indeed.
Back in August, I had the pleasure of reviewing a revisiting of the Grimms’ work with Fearie Tales: Stories of the Grimm and Gruesome from Quercus Publishing. In it, modern writers were invited to take up the “voice” of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm to pen new tales mimicking their style, which were then mixed with a selection of the original works. The result was a must-have edition for fairy tale lovers and fans of the macabre in equal measure.
So where is all this leading?
Straight to Quercus’s latest US publication, Path of Needles.
This is the third novel by British author Alison Littlewood, and her second since I introduced you to her with her first book, A Cold Season. All indications are that Littlewood has outgrown some of her “freshman-itis” and transformed into a definitive female voice in the horror genre.
Yay for us girls!
And where does the fairy tale stuff come in? Read on…
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When a publicist contacts me in October to see if I’d like to review a new novel with demons and zombies, written by an exorcist, I think two things. First – monsters? Perfect timing; it is October after all. And second – do exorcists actually have publicists?
The answer apparently is yes, and good ones at that.
The publicists are none other than our friends over at Wunderkind PR, who have always been excellent sources of Goth Chick News material. The novel in question is The Sword of Michael, book one in a new contemporary fantasy saga. And the author is Marcus Wynne, a trained depossessionist.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure where to look first. The book certainly caught my attention, as the Wunderkind team knew it would. But as a devotee of such things, it was the word depossessionist which drew my attention immediately, as I had never heard the term before. What I learned was this:
Depossession is the act of exorcising attached discarnate human spirits and nonhuman spirits, allegedly attached to living people, causing a host of physical, mental, and emotional ills. Various types of depossession are practiced throughout the world and are different from exorcisms which refer to demonic possession.
Okay, click “add to dictionary” on the word depossession — now I’m extremely interested. But before we explore Marcus Wynne and his fascinating vocation, let’s start with a look at his book, The Sword of Michael.
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Waiting for a sequel for nearly two decades could be considered one of Satan’s personal jokes, were it not for the fact that in this case the irony would be too blatant even for the Prince of Darkness himself.
Clive Barker’s The Scarlet Gospels has been teased for so long, and in so many incarnations, that it was beginning to look like one of the worst publicity stunts in publishing history. As far back as 1993, Barker talked about a new book of short stories that would include a sequel to The Hellbound Heart, the novella that introduced the world to the Cenobites.
Those rumors soon morphed into scuttle about a potential short novel pitting the most famous Cenobite, Pinhead, against another iconic Barker character, the occult detective Harry D’Amour.
However, as the story developed over the course of several years, Barker decided to expand the concept into a novel and the unrelated short stories were put aside.
Rumors of a release date were bantered about, sending Barker fans into repeated frenzies of speculation. But delays came in the form of Barker’s several throat surgeries, and in 2012 his lapse into a coma for eleven days following a trip to the dentist that led to blood poisoning. Barker recovered, but his near-death experience left him with “many strange visions” (which may or may not have found their way into his work).
Finally on Sept 9, 2013, Barker announced via social media that although no date has been set for release, “The Scarlet Gospels are finished.”
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When we first told you about it, the seriously creepy novel The Woman in Black by Susan Hill had already been a long-running play in London’s West End, a made-for-TV movie in the UK, and barely a rumor from Hammer Films about a theatrical remake starring Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter); which turned out to be true after all. The WiB with Radcliffe in the lead role hit theaters in February, 2012.
Almost immediately, Hammer Films made the announcement of its intent to pursue a sequel – which was kind of a no-brainer considering they grossed $112 million globally on a $17 million investment.
Love it or not, the old girl made bank.
The first film saw Radcliffe as lawyer Arthur Kipps, who travels to Eel Marsh House on an assignment, only to discover the house belonging to his client is haunted by the ghost of a woman who is determined to find someone and something she lost.
The film was Hammer all the way, intending to shock and in many scenes being quite successful. The atmosphere is moody and brings to mind the old Roger Corman movies based on Edgar Allan Poe stories. The movie version won’t go down as a personal favorite, mainly because the play was just so darn awesome. Still, it’s worth a look if you haven’t seen it.
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As if in response to the modern day bastardization of the vampire image (flannel shirts, shunning blood-drinking, etc., etc.), Dracula himself has started popping up everywhere.
Pardon the phraseology.
First, in June come the report from the University of Tallin that Vlad Dracula’s final resting place was likely not in the ruins of a Romanian monastery, but was instead in a Neapolitan chapel.
And now, just in time for Halloween, the UK’s Daily Mail reports more archaeological history about the real man Vlad Dracula.
A winding maze of secret dungeons and tunnels has been discovered beneath Tokat Castle in Turkey during restoration work on the site. The ruins of the castle are located in the northern town of Tokat and these hidden cells may have been where Vlad Tepes himself was held hostage during the 15th century.
“The castle is completely surrounded by secret tunnels. It is very mysterious,” says restoration archaeologist İbrahim Çetin, who is working at the site. He went on to tell the Daily News that one tunnel found is believed to have been used to reach nearby Roman baths. The dungeons, Çetin told the paper, were “built like a prison.”
“It is hard to estimate in which room Dracula was kept,” he said, “But he was around here.”
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