Poltergeist then and now
Poltergeist might have been the first time I was ever truly scared by a movie.
Of course I grew up on a solid diet of Universal Studios movie monsters along with an array of black and white horrors from Hammer shown on late-night TV. But in all of those, no matter how high the creep factor, it was fairly clear that these stories depicted reel reality, not real reality.
But then along came little Carol Anne Freeling and her off-air television.
Suddenly, all “real” scary stuff was up there on the screen; the craggy dead tree knocking against your bedroom window, lightning storms looming ever closer, the half-open closet door…
And the clown… under the bed.
I mean come on, Vincent Price as The Fly was enough to make you watch at least part of it through splayed fingers, but deep down you knew a fly with a human head was pretty darn unlikely.
But an evil clown under your bed? Entirely plausible.
To this day, even as low-tech as it now appears, Poltergeist still gives me a shudder. It knew what scared us alright.
So it is with some trepidation that I remind you that a reboot of Tobe Hopper’s original fright fest is due to hit theaters on July 24th, in 3D no less.
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Back at the 2013 Haunted Attractions Show we met the very talented and creative folks at AtmosFearFX Digital Decorations. These are the people responsible for the digital loops of various horror scenes which can be projected on any surface with stupendously unnerving results.
At this year’s Goth Chick News Zombie Apocalypse Party, Black Gate photog Chris Z., who does double duty as the resident technology guru (necessary due to John O’s regular “blue screens of death”), used AtmosFearFX’s Zombie Invasion loop to create a Hollywood-worthy effect.
Covering a large window with rear projection cloth, he projected from the outside of the room. The result was life-sized zombies beating against the window leaving bloody hand prints before dragging themselves out of view.
The loop repeated with a timed frequency and with enough slight differences to be nothing short of perfect.
You know it’s a good effect when a guest asks where you hired the “people dressed as zombies hanging around out on the terrace and banging on the window.”
And just like a gift that keeps on giving, there’s no end of fun to be had once you make the nominal investment in a project (available on eBay) and the fabric which is available at most stores selling home theater equipment at around $10 a square foot.
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We first introduced you to Dirk Manning way back in 2011, courtesy of his nationwide tour promoting Nightmare World, his horror comic series.
As someone who spent a significant amount of my childhood reading contraband horror stories by flashlight under the covers, Manning’s work struck a chord with his vintage-look illustrations and old-school storylines.
So it’s no surprise that his work holds a place of honor on the bookshelves in the underground offices of Goth Chick News. Nor is it probably a shocker that due to his genre of choice (not to mention the black top hat), that he’s become a personal favorite as well.
When I learned about Manning’s latest installment of his paranormal Mr. Rhee series, I had to ask him to spill some double-secret details just for you. And being my favorite goth guy, horror-comic crush, he graciously complied.
Let’s wade in shall we?
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Goth Chick News fav, director Eli Roth, has been a very busy gent lately. And even if he didn’t look like that, we still wouldn’t be able to tear our eyes away from his latest lineup of projects.
First off, there the third and final season of the supernatural, hottie-monster-ridden joy ride that is Roth’s Netflix series Hemlock Grove. If you haven’t caught up with this yet, there is still time to binge watch Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgard and Landon Liboiron tear through a small, New England town that is home to everything from vampires and werewolves to witches and mad doctors – and still have time to pine away that the next ten episodes will be the last.
Says the man himself:
We are so grateful to the fans of Hemlock Grove who have championed the series so intensely over two seasons. We are looking forward to taking the last and final season into some dark and unexpected places, and to giving viewers the killer finale.
Oh Eli, you know just what to say to a girl. But when exactly?
Season 1 premiered in April and season two showed up in July. A January 1st post on the HG Twitter feed said only that season three was “so close you could almost feel it” which means who-knows-what, but could indicate another full season landing in the early spring.
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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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