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Goth Chick News: An Anniversary Edition of the Ultimate Novelization

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

Alien Alan Dean Foster-smallI’ll never forget my first time.

I was a very young Goth Chick, spending a typical Saturday combing the used paperbacks for sale at my local library. It’s hard to feed a literary addiction on a six-grader’s salary, as I know every last one of you understand.

And there it was.

Dog-eared and minus its back cover, but with that impossible-to-miss front cover art. It was based on the movie I wasn’t allowed to watch, the one with the R-rating, which obviously meant it was the best movie ever committed to film. Or at least the scariest.

My parents clearly had not considered the library a place to land contraband of this magnitude.

I bolted for the front desk, threw my two quarters at the librarian, waved the yellowed, pulpy tome in her general direction, and exited the library to the adjacent park where I sat planted for the remainder of the afternoon – transfixed.

That was where I fell in twisted, grossed-out love with the movie Alien – and the man who told me the story (which is better than seeing it anyway), Mr. Alan Dean Foster.  It was the beginning of a long and intense relationship, at least by sixth-grade standards.

Back then, a used-book seller would have been the most likely place to have found a copy of Alien, a book which has been out of print since 1992. A pity, since it is widely considered the defining testament to how a novelization can complement an already-great film.

But this week, all that changed.

On Tuesday, April 15th, in honor of its 35th anniversary, Titan Books released a new printing of Alien: The Official Movie Novelization.

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Goth Chick News: Comic Book Fan Boys on the Big Screen (Fan Girls Rejoice)

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

Four Color Eulogy-smallThis is as excited as I get about anything.

Back in February, I told you about a new project by our favorite indy film geniuses at Pirate Pictures, in which comic collectors finally get to be the film heroes — far overdue if you ask me.

And yes, the Black Gate crowd went wild over the idea – or as wild as you all get about anything.

So a couple weeks ago, I undertook a road trip to visit the creative team and ask them some questions about the inspiration for Four Color Eulogy; like how it happens that a bunch of comic fans were able to turn their passion into an actual movie?

I figured we’d sit around in a slightly grungy coffee shop and I’d capture all their witty banter on my handy digital recorder, then hustle home to Chicago and type it up for you.

But no. We’re way beyond grungy coffee shops now…

Instead, they suggested we meet “at the studio.”

And oh, by the way, why don’t we just roll out the actual movie cameras and film the interview instead?

Lighting? Sure! Sound guys? We’ve got plenty of them.

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Goth Chick News: My Halloween & Attractions Show 10th Anniversary

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

image002That headline alone probably qualifies me for Black Gate’s employee assistance program – the one where you sit in a calming space and talk about your feelings with no co-pay.

Unbelievable as it may sound, at least to me, I have been dragging around the Midwest for 10 years chasing one of the largest collections of disturbing paraphernalia to be bought and sold under one roof.

Yes, it’s time once again for Transworld’s annual bacchanalia – The Halloween and Attractions Show – and the official kick off of Goth Chick News’ “season.”  This is the show’s 19th year and it is officially the largest of its kind in the world focused on the haunt industry, packing over 300 exhibitors into the America’s Convention Center in St. Louis, MO.

If you ever wondered where all the “professional” haunted attractions get their gear, well now you know.  From The Travel Channel’s top picks to Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights, all those realistically gross props and blood-soaked latex ‘appliances’ have to come from somewhere.

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Goth Chick News: Something Wicked Is Coming Back This Way…

Thursday, March 27th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Something Wicked this way comes poster-smallOkay, at this point it’s pretty clear that Hollywood is out to remake every story that ever freaked us out as kids.

Last month, we heard Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) is finally set to direct an IT remake after five years in development hell. That was OK, since it’s not like clowns were ever going to be funny and harmless again anyway.

But this week, we learn that Disney is taking another run at their 1983 film version of Something Wicked This Way Comes and once again I heave that sigh which basically says ‘there they go f’ing up another classic.’

Not that the movie version of Something Wicked is entirely a “classic” that did well the first time around – because it didn’t.

Bradbury actually scripted the original film, but he and the director Jack Clayton had a difference of opinion over the tone of the movie. Clayton wanted something more “family-friendly” and Disney had a revised draft produced without Bradbury; but the first cuts of the film tested poorly. Additional effects and a new score were added and Bradbury was brought back in to write new material.

But it was too little too late. Bradbury always claimed much of his intentions for the movie were destroyed and Disney barely broke even.

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Goth Chick News: Walker Stalker Con Drags into Chicago

Thursday, March 20th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Walker-Stalker-Con-2014“It’s some kind of zombie convention, did you know about this?”

This is GCN photog Chris Zemko calling me last Friday night with a hot bit of industry news. Apparently a very significant event in the Chicago horror scene had eluded us (let me show you my shocked face) and Chris had just done a diving catch.

A little bit of digging turned up the information that yes indeed, Walker Stalker Con was taking place in Chicago, at one of the larger convention centers, that very weekend.

Walker Stalker Con is the brain child of podcasters James Frazier and Eric Nordhoff, who at one point apparently road tripped to Senoia, GA, where they were able to view the set of The Walking Dead and meet the actors from the show. As a result of this experience, they began The Walker Stalkers podcast to discuss the show twice weekly during its seasonal runs – and from that sprouted the inspiration for a convention.

Kicking off first in Atlanta last year, the convention focused on recreating James’s and Eric’s original experience with The Walking Dead’s cast and crew, along with actors and artists from other zombie shows, movies, and art. Due to the overwhelming response it received in 2013, James and Eric decided to host an additional annual event beginning in Chicago this year.

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Goth Chick News: For Love or Money? Anne Rice Resurrects the Vampire Lestat

Thursday, March 13th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Anne Rice

Anne Rice

Long before Edward, Angel, or Erik; before vampires owned bars, fell in love with humans, or (heaven forbid) sparkled in sunlight – there was The Vampire Lestat.

Anne Rice single-handedly catapulted vampires into vogue in 1976 with her debut novel Interview with the Vampire. Until then, vampires hadn’t been cool since Bela Lugosi brought Dracula to the Broadway stage in 1927.

Rice’s characters and subsequent novels spawned nothing less than a new vampire sub-culture in the early 80s, giving rise to clubs, music, clothing lines, and more copycat literary off-shoots than can easily be counted.

As a native of New Orleans, Rice made the city itself one of her main players, creating a tourism boom. To this day, and much to the chagrin of the neighbors, Rice devotees continue to flock to First Street in the Garden District to view Rice’s former house, which was the setting for several of her novels. Fans from around the globe follow top-hat-wearing guides around the French Quarter on “vampire tours” and come October, every corner tchotchke shop is sold out of plastic fangs and dental adhesive in preparation for the annual Vampire Ball.

And for many years, I too donned velvet and lace, making an annual pilgrimage to partake in the most interesting masquerade ball you could ever imagine. At that time, Rice herself participated in these events, reigning as the Grande Dame of Darkness over her loving throngs.

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Goth Chick News: Coveting Bram Stoker – 2013 Award Nominees Announced

Thursday, March 6th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Bram Stoker AwardRegarding the actual item you get to put on your mantel; as awards go, forget the Oscar statue and give me a Stoker any day. You have to admit – it’s pretty darn cool.

The Horror Writers Association (HWA), who have been honoring the premiere writers in horror and dark fiction since 1987, announced their nominees for the 2013 Bram Stoker Awards last week.

So if you don’t have time to sit cross-legged in the horror section of your fast-dwindling local bookseller to get a bead on the best new writers in this genre, then the annual Stoker nominees announcement could be a shortcut to creating your reading list for the next twelve months — if you’re so inclined.

And I am.

So without further pontificating, here are the 2013 Stoker Award nominees.

Superior Achievement in a Novel

NOS4A2, Joe Hill (Morrow)
Doctor Sleep, Stephen King (Scribner)
Malediction, Lisa Morton (Evil Jester)
A Necessary End, Sarah Pinborough & F. Paul Wilson (Thunderstorm)
The Heavens Rise, Christopher Rice (Gallery)

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Goth Chick News: M. Night Shyamalan Gets Small

Thursday, February 27th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

M. Night on the set of Sundowning with his production designer

M. Night on the set of Sundowning with his production designer

Okay, don’t immediately blow past this post because your eye caught the name M. Night Shyamalan – this is actually encouraging news.

The last time I wrote something about M. Night (as they call him in the biz that once thought he was the next Spielberg, but then mercilessly crucified him), he had left his tomato-covered director’s chair and returned to writing. M. Night completed the script for Devil back in 2009 and relative newcomer John Dowdle brought it to the big screen with a modest $10M budget. It grossed nearly $340M worldwide, definitively proving that M. Night is a masterful storyteller, but an inconsistent front man.

Case in point: in a rush of optimism following Devil, the Hollywood moneymen turned around and gave M. Night $130M and Will Smith (plus child) to write, direct and executive produce After Earth, which was an apocalyptic film in more ways than one.

So it is either by choice or necessity that M. Night’s latest project is very small and hasn’t been getting a ton of press beyond what M. Night himself has been dolling out; oh, and it’s being called a micro-budgeted horror film.

“Micro budget” is the latest, sexy term for independent films, or films not financially supported or promoted by a large studio or big-budget investors. If you want some examples of micro-budget films that went platinum, IMDB has compiled a handy list (ironically a good percentage of them are horror movies), and in the number 1 slot is The Blair Witch Project.

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Goth Chick News: Comics Collector as Movie Hero; Or A Valentine From My Favorite Indy Film Crew

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

As you well know, we here at Goth Chick News are mad supporters of the independent film industry.  This is mainly because we’re obsessed with anyone who has the courage and determination to pursue their passion and are willing to let us watch.

That and I’m a sucker for brooding artistic boys…

And no one epitomizes these traits better than my friends at Pirate Pictures, who gave us a peek into the world of real movie magic by allowing us to ride along with their production of Shadowland.  Now, Shadowland star Jason Contini and director Wyatt Weed have teamed up on a new project that isn’t exactly a typical GCN subject matter, but does involve a topic that is near and dear to most Black Gate fans… comics.

Four Color Eulogy is a drama/comedy revolving around the world of comic books and self-publishing. But rather that tell you any more, take a gander at this clip that not only explains the movie, but some of the process of getting a concept from script to big screen.

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Goth Chick News: Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll by Marilyn Manson – WTF?

Thursday, February 13th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

image002When I first heard about this, I thought Marilyn Manson was taking on one of my favorite computer games.

In case you don’t remember, Phantasmagoria is the 1995 interactive movie horror adventure game created by Sierra for the PC.

Made at the height of the “interactive movie” boom in the computer game industry, Phantasmagoria is notable not only for being one of the first games to use a live actor as an on-screen avatar, but also for being banned by some retailers due to its fairly graphic depiction of violence.

What I didn’t know until now is that Phantasmagoria is also a famous collection of Lewis Carroll’s poems, as well as the name for live horror shows involving projection onto smoke screens that were invented in the 18th century France.

Oh, and it’s also the title of Marilyn Manson’s first foray into film.

Yes, you read that right. Marilyn Manson, the horror rocker cum performance artist is the writer, producer, and director of this $4.2M venture that has been trying to get legs since 2005.

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