Goth Chick News Checks into The Grand Hotel

Thursday, September 11th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

The Grand Hotel-smallWhen exploring the back roads on the far outskirts of my beloved New Orleans, it is not unusual to spot the occasional decrepit plantation home.  It will be there, nearly out of sight behind the dense, mossy trees, but you can just spot the vine-covered columns barely supporting what was once a magnificent monument to the splendor of the “Old South.”

The sight of such a house, nearly consumed by the wildness lurking just beyond the paved road, always ignites sadness and dread in equal measure; sadness at the idea that this once, much-loved structure has been abandoned to the swamp, and dread at the idea that those who once loved her might still be doing so while peering back at you from behind those rotted lace curtains.

An isolated, deteriorating mansion sitting at the end of an overgrown road triggers something in all of us.  You hear “I dare you” in the back of your mind.  You wonder if there’s a flashlight in the trunk and you start thinking there would be no harm at all in going up one or two of the porch steps, just to see…

Author Scott Kenemore knows exactly how we feel.

He welcomes you to The Grand Hotel, where nobody checks out.

Where the desk clerk invites you into his mysterious and crumbling hotel, then takes you on a little tour to introduce you to the hotel’s “long term” residents who only look like they never call for room service.

As the very proper and solicitous clerk takes you deeper and deeper into the heart of the hotel, secrets that have been hiding for eons begin to show themselves. Although your guide seems quite prepared for this experience, there is some question as to whether or not the rest of the world shares his readiness.

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Goth Chick News Crypt Notes: Holy Millennium Falcon Han Solo!

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Holy Millenium Falcon Han SoloWhere Star Wars is concerned, even a goth chick can go fan-girl.

Just in from the UK today: A pilot taking publicity photos for a flying school accidentally buzzed one of the sets of the new Star Wars movie with pretty impressive, if unintentional, results.

Matthew Myatt originally thought his pictures were of experiment aircraft at the Greenham Common airfield in Berkshire, England. Greenham Common is a former RAF airbase. Myatt was photographing one plane from another and it wasn’t until he got back and started reviewing his images that he realized what he had captured: none other than a partially built Millennium Falcon and an X-Wing fighter.

It appears that, at least in part, director J.J. Abrams will use models for filming rather than pure CGI. As one excited fan wrote on, “Who’d’ve guessed filmmakers still build physical models?” and “Looks like the Falcon got a paint job!”

Star Wars is due out in December, 2015

Goth Chick News: Chicago Comic Con 2014 – Hold Onto Your Spandex… (Part 2)

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

image004Last week and prior to the end-of-summer bacchanalia that is Labor Day weekend, we got half way through telling you all about the adventures kilt-clad Black Gate photog Chris Z and I had at the largest Wizard World Comic Con Chicago has ever hosted.

On the hottest weekend of the summer, with temperatures climbing into the three digits, we arrived at one of the city’s biggest convention centers and waded into a sea of vendors, artists, and cosplayers clad in unbreathing fabric which, in some cases, was stretched to the breaking point.

After agreeing it was about time to ask “The Boss” John O’ for hazard pay, we set about scoping the con’s coolest people and products to tell you about.

So here is part two; and let me say, we’re pretty excited…

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Goth Chick News: Chicago Comic Con 2014 — Hold Onto Your Spandex… (Part 1)

Friday, August 29th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

image002It is hard to believe, but we once again find ourselves in that very special time of year here in Chicago. It’s August, temperatures push well past the 90 degree mark, Labor Day looms just around the corner, and Midwesterners from a 150 mile radius (or more in some cases) descend on the city in unforgiving, unbreathable, highly form-fitting, man-made fabrics.

Yes dear Black Gate readers – its once again time for Chicago’s Wizard World Comic Con.

Though Wizard World never officially discloses attendance numbers, local media reports that the 2014 event has drawn nearly 100,000 visitors to the Rosemont Convention Center during its four day run. And like we have done for the last six years, Black Gate photog Chris Z and I are wading into the fray that has literally backed up traffic almost to O’Hare airport.

With weathermen ominously reporting daytime temperatures would “feel like” 115 or more, Chris shows up dressed for battle in his Black Gate polo shirt and a kilt, commenting about how on this day above all others, a breeze is necessary.

This isn’t the first time Chris’s Utilikilt has made an appearance and it won’t be the last. At least I am happy to report most Hollywood starlets could take a lesson from Chris on entering and exiting a low-riding vehicle without acquainting the free world with what lies beneath – if you get my meaning.

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Goth Chick News: The Zombie Apocalypse Spreads to a $100K Kickstarter Campaign

Thursday, August 21st, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

image006Here in the underground offices of Goth Chick News, the only thing we appreciate more than a blended, adult beverage is an independent film; more specifically, an independent horror film.

So guys like Wyatt Weed from Pirate Pictures and Roze (who like all icons goes by one name only) are serious heroes around here.  And though the whole Pirate Pictures crew have been Black Gate regulars for some time, Roze wasn’t slated to make an appearance until early next year.

If you aren’t familiar with his work, Roze is an Arizona-based writer/director with a passion for the macabre. Roze and his wife Candace co-founded the independent production company Gas Mask Films, which made its debut in 2006 with Denial, a short film screened at the Cannes Film Market Short Film Corner. In 2008, the feature-length film Deadfall Trail was shot and produced entirely in Arizona for less than $80,000. After the success of Deadfall Trail, Gas Mask Films went on to produce the feature horror film, Speak No Evil, slated for wide release by Lions Gate in 2015.

And 2015 is when we expected to tell you about Roze — that is until he floated over an idea that was just too perfect not to pass along.

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Goth Chick News Reviews: Fearie Tales, Stories of the Grimm and Gruesome

Thursday, August 14th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Fearie Tales Stories of the Grimm and Gruesome-smallIf you have had the opportunity to read the original tales of the Brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, then you know that their stories are a far cry from the Disney and Warner Brothers’ versions.

Red Riding Hood and her grandmother are eaten, Snow White’s step-mother must dance at Snow White’s wedding wearing hot, leaden shoes until she dies, and Sleeping Beauty’s mother-in-law tries to eat her along with her two children as soon as her prince turns his back.

Apparently, in-laws were a problem even in 1812…

As an aficionado of all things creepy, Children’s and Household Tales (a.k.a. Grimm’s Fairy Tales) have long since been a staple in my library, which may explain why I don’t get asked to babysit more often. So I was thrilled to open a package from Quercus Publishing this week containing their newest offering, Fearie Tales, Stories of the Grimm and Gruesome.

Fearie Tales is a compilation of stories, entirely in the tradition of the Brothers Grimm, but penned by a thoroughly modern list of storytellers such as Garth Nix (The Seventh Tower series), Ramsey Campbell (most award-winning author in the horror genre), and my personal favorite, the legendary Neil Gaiman. The book is decorated with several disturbing illustrations by Oscar-winning Tolkien artist Alan Lee.

Containing thirty-one tales ranging in length from three pages to over fifty, it was easy to immediately dig in to – so I can give you at least a preliminary report. “Rapunzel” is a direct reprint of the 1812 Grimm tale, which itself is a retelling of the French story of Persinette originally published in 1698. The prince does indeed climb up to Rapunzel’s chamber using her hair, leaving her pregnant with twins and without his last name.

They all do live happily ever after… eventually.

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Goth Chick News: Adam Nevill Knows What Scares Us: The House of Small Shadows

Thursday, August 7th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Anne Rice and her DollsSome years ago, when Anne Rice was still in residence in New Orleans, I had the opportunity to tour one of her Garden District properties. St. Elizabeth’s was a 47,000 square foot Catholic orphanage built in the 1860’s and after it was purchased by Rice in 1993, one of its many uses was to house Rice’s extensive doll collection. A devotee for nearly twenty years, Rice had dolls from all over the world, including one-of-a-kind antiques and commissioned works, numbering over 2,000 individual pieces.

Now, I have been to some decidedly creepy places in my travels. I’ve spent an embarrassing number of hours hunkered down in dilapidated buildings or picking my way through damp, dark places clutching one ectoplasmic sensing device or another.

But in the rooms of Rice’s 19th century New Orleans monolith, crowded wall-to-wall with black-eyed, porcelain-faced dolls, was by far the most skeeved out I have ever felt.

Dolls rank right up there with clowns, which is probably why the movie Poltergeist featured a clown doll.

It knew what scared us, all right.

And so apparently does UK bestselling horror novelist, Adam Nevill.

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Goth Chick News: The King Kong vs Godzilla of Movie Remakes

Thursday, July 31st, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

image006It’s probably time for me to cave and stop complaining about present-day remakes of classic (or at least older) films.

Things have just gone far too far.

According to several movie sites, upwards of 50 (yes, five-zero) movies remakes / reboots have been green-lighted for production between 2013 and 2016. These movies make bank and there’s no use trying to stop Hollywood by crying foul that they’re defacing original works of art by replacing effect makeup and animatronics with CGI.

Blasphemous as it may sound, CGI can indeed take films that were somewhat “conceptual” 30 years ago and make them insanely realistic today. That’s not to say this is better, just different.

And success has landed all along the spectrum; with blockbusters like Star Trek at one end, whose reboot was admittedly cool and embraced by the fans, to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, whose high-tech remake was spectacularly rejected by fans (rightly so) and which slunk off into obscurity in favor of the low tech but brilliant original.

Sometime more just isn’t better.

Which brings us, in a rather convoluted way, to today’s topic.

During the Legendary Pictures panel at San Diego Comic-Con last Saturday, the production company announced plans to bring King Kong back to the multiplex in the form of a prequel.

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Goth Chick News: Movie Release Hell; The Suspense is Killing Me

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

image002Is it possible to wait for something for a very long time and still find it lives up to your expectations? If you’re like me, you probably have some pretty profound examples on both sides of the argument, especially where movies or books are concerned.

This week, there are (finally) updates on two movies that I have personally been anticipating for over a year, with news on one being somewhat of a disappointment.

To start, in January, 2013 I reported Disney had tapped Guillermo del Toro to reboot the Haunted Mansion. In case you haven’t been keeping track, there had been a 2003 attempt to bring the backstory of the popular theme park attraction to the big screen starring Eddie Murphy.

But if you don’t remember it, consider yourself lucky.

Needless to say, the idea that the man behind Mama and Pan’s Labyrinth was taking what could potentially be an R-rated swing at Haunted Mansion gave me chills (in a good way).

However, del Toro had and continues to have quite a lot of irons in the fire, including Pacific Rim 2, Kung Fu Panda 3, and a creepy, animated version of Pinocchio, among others. All this makes me ever-so-slightly worried that del Toro is spread too thin to give Haunted Mansion the attention it deserves.

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Goth Chick News: The United States of Horror: There Is No Escape

Thursday, July 10th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

A few days ago, one of my highly confidential sources shared a map posted on Imgur by a creative but anonymous user. Even if you’re not familiar with Imgur, you’ve likely seen content from it on your social media page. In its own words, Imgur is a warehouse for “the most viral images of today, sorted by popularity.”

You know, stuff like this:


The map in question is a really cool visual representation of my favorite genre’s geography and clearly took a significant amount of research – I mean, a horror movie really took place in Idaho?

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