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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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Goth Chick News: Dracula Meets Game of Thrones

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

image004There is no denying the juggernaut that is the HBO series Game of Thrones.

As the BBC pointed out in a recent article, GoT has whipped its 18.4 million viewers into a lather about an entertainment category we hadn’t seen to this magnitude in some time.

In appealing to its audience’s need for escapism, Game of Thrones revitalized a genre that few knew needed revitalizing: the sword-and-sandals saga, a once-hardy movie sub-species that gave us serious-minded epics like Ben-Hur, as well as primitively-animated Ray Harryhausen monster movies.

So with that many eyeballs pointed toward the screen for GoT’s season four, and with seasons five and six already green-lighted, it was inevitable that other filmmakers would be inspired to break out the leather strapping and chainmail.

But I did not see this one coming…

This week Universal Studios posted the first trailer for their upcoming release Dracula Untold, led by freshman director Gary Shore (and I do mean freshman: his only other directing credit, since graduating from film school in 2006, is a short film). So either Short is a film school prodigy or someone has some naughty pictures of someone at Universal.

Dracula Untold stars Luke Evans (Fast & Furious 6) as “Vlad Tepes” and Sarah Gordon (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) as Vlad’s first wife “Mirena.” It also stars Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter hottie Dominic Cooper as Vlad’s Turk nemesis, “Mahmed.”

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Goth Chick News: A Review of The Heavens Rise

Thursday, June 26th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Christopher Rice The Heavens Rise-smallIn May, the 2013 Bram Stoker award-winners were announced, creating a nice summer reading list for us genre enthusiasts. The Bram Stoker Awards were instituted in 1987 by the Horror Writers Association and cover eleven literary categories, recognizing “superior achievement” in dark fantasy and horror writing.

Though he didn’t ultimately win the category “Superior Achievement in a Novel” in which he was a finalist, Christopher Rice’s work The Heavens Rise piqued my interest. I’ve been keeping an eye on Rice since his first novel A Density of Souls appeared back in 2000. He has since published three other New York Times bestselling thrillers, and if his name rings a bell, it’s because he is the son of legendary vampire chronicler Anne Rice.

Honestly, until this year I hadn’t actually read any of Rice’s works end-to-end. I tried because I wanted to like him, probably due to spending so many hours with his mom’s books. But like many new, young authors finding their story-telling voices (Rice first published at 22 years of age), he often went over the top with his characters and plot lines.

He hadn’t yet learned to trust his readers, and allow their imaginations to immerse them in the story and fill in the tiny details. Instead, I found Rice’s self-indulgence, generalizations, and in-your-face descriptions made me feel like I was riding along on a story he was telling himself, rather than pulling me into a tale he was telling me.

The Heavens Rise marks a different direction for Rice. It’s his first foray into supernatural suspense. Perhaps because it is difficult to over-describe something you’ve never witnessed, his writing style has shown a marked evolution, helped along no doubt by interaction with his audience via his blog and weekly radio show. The upshot is that his style has become more confident and more interactive, which means it was time for me to tuck in and read one of his tales cover to cover.

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Goth Chick News: Nice Souvenir – Dracula’s Tomb Found in Italy (Maybe)

Thursday, June 19th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

image008The Goth Chick News office has been closed for the last two weeks while I did a bit of globetrotting to dig up some interesting gothy bits of news from elsewhere in the world.

And this one is a doozy.

While I was visiting Italy, a picture in one of Rome’s newspapers caught my attention. I mean, Vlad Tepes is recognizable in any language, but it was necessary to employ some translation software to figure out why he was rating coverage in a city paper not exactly known for subject matters like Dracula.

What I learned was this.

Estonian researchers apparently believe they may have finally discovered the whereabouts of the grave of Vlad Tepes III, which is in Italy and not the Romanian Alps as first thought.

In case you’ve forgotten the background, Vlad was the 15th century Prince of Wallachia in Eastern Europe, known posthumously as Vlad the Impaler and the inspiration for a countless (and growing) number of books, movies, plays, comics, etc, etc.

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Goth Chick News: Jurassic World: Hold On To Your Butts…

Thursday, May 29th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Jurassic World-smallWith Godzilla now in theaters and our appetites all juiced up for giant reptilian destruction, it seems like the perfect time to let loose with the latest rumors about the upcoming fourth installment in the Jurassic Park franchise: Jurassic World.

What we know up to this point is that Jurassic World is due to hit theaters June 12, 2015 and that relative new-comer Colin Trevorrow is at the directorial helm.  We also know it stars Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation), Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help) and Vincent D’Onofrio (Law and Order), as well as Omar Sy, Ty Simpkins, Irrfan Khan, Ty Simpkins, Judy Greer, and Nick Robinson.  And last, we know the plot centers around a fully functional JP theme park.

What we did not know is the direction Colin Trevorrow, who is also one of the writers, would be taking the story.

Much of what I’m about to tell you is rampant Internet rumor, substantiated by more than one source, so if you’re spoiler-averse when it comes to JP4, you may want leave now.

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