It’s been nearly a year since we wrote about M. Night Shyamalan leaking a few cryptic Tweets about his double-secret “micro-budget” film called Sundowning – or at least that was what it was titled on the clapboards.
To clarify, “micro-budget” is the latest, sexier term Hollywood has assigned to “indy” films, or rather films made outside of the studio system and without their financial backing. Then all you have to do it take a quick look back at M. Night’s last few outings to know that making a film inside the studio system is probably not a viable option for him at the moment (see After Earth and The Last Airbender: though personally I had a ton of fun with Devil).
Back in February, 2013 M. Night was sequestered somewhere in snowy Pennsylvania with a paltry crew of ten, cast included. Considering the setting, the title and the fact that some fairly significant horror movies have been filmed on shoestring budgets, we here at Goth Chick News along with our favorite fan boys had our money on a vampire movie.
I mean even a good set of fangs are fairly reasonable cost-wise, and everyone in New England is pasty this time of year anyway…
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It’s been over a year since we first got a peek at an upcoming zombie-killing, gaming extravaganza entitled Dying Light. Back in August, 2013, Dying Light’s creators Techland hinted that the game would be released in all formats somewhere around May, 2014.
Several months (and delays) later, we finally have a firm date of January 27, 2015 and a lot has changed – not the least of which appears to be the angle of the storyline, though officially the delays were due to the extreme complexity of development.
A year ago we were told this:
Dying Light is a first-person, action survival horror game set in a vast and dangerous open world. During the day, players traverse an expansive urban environment overrun by a vicious outbreak, scavenging the world for supplies and crafting weapons to defend against the growing infected population. At night, the hunter becomes the hunted, as the infected become aggressive and more dangerous. Most frightening are the predators which only appear after sundown. Players must use everything in their power to survive until the morning’s first light.
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Back in 2010 at the Chicago Comic Con, we had a chance meeting with the creators of what was then a new comic series entitled Bad Kids Go to Hell. This was mainly due to their booth being manned by several young ladies in skimpy Catholic school uniforms, which Black Gate photographer Chris Z seemed to find immensely camera-worthy.
However, after speaking with creators Matthew Spradlin and Barry (Bazz) Wernick, who came up with this idea during the 2007 Hollywood writer’s strike, I had to admit they were onto something. Four years on, I was clearly not the only one who thought the Bad Kids Go To Hell graphic novel was disturbing and hysterical in equal measure.
What was created during the pair’s relentless promotional tour of comic-fan conventions and in-store signings during the next year, was nothing short of a juggernaut cult following. The touring allowed Spradlin and Wernick to improve their pitch and ultimately gave them their shot at turning the comic into a movie.
Which is precisely what they did in 2012.
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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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