Browsed by
Author: Sue Granquist

Goth Chick News: Zombies in Vegas? We Already Sort of Knew That

Goth Chick News: Zombies in Vegas? We Already Sort of Knew That

With regards to movies, my mantra has always been that if you tell me a good story, I’ll willingly suspend my disbelief. I’m not one to pick apart details or demand every plot hole be plugged if, overall, the story is entertaining. For example, I thoroughly enjoyed Wonder Woman 1984, even though critics were all over it for a number of plot-related reasons. However, even I have my limits, such as Godzilla vs. Kong. Since when is King Kong as big as the buildings he used to scale? That said, I was ready to go all in for Army of the Dead, especially as I really love a good zombie movie. I probably did have a bit of lingering doubt as I did not rush out to see this one during its theaters-only first week of release. Instead, I avoided all reviews and spoilers until I could watch it on Netflix where it debuted on May 14th.

The verdict? A firm split decision.

Read More Read More

Goth Chick News: Sharpen Your Pencils, Here Comes Your Summer Reading List

Goth Chick News: Sharpen Your Pencils, Here Comes Your Summer Reading List

The Bram Stoker Awards have been presented annually since 1987, and the winners are selected by ballot from the active members of the Horror Writers Association (HWA). Several members of the HWA were originally reluctant to endorse such writing awards, fearing it would incite competitiveness rather than friendly admiration. The HWA has therefore gone to great lengths to avoid mean-spirited competition by specifically seeking out new or overlooked writers and works, and officially issuing awards not based on “best of the year” criteria but for “superior achievement,” which allows for ties.

Any work of horror first published in the English language may be considered for an award during the year of its publication. The categories for which a Bram Stoker Award may be presented have varied over the years, reflecting the state of the publishing industry and the horror genre and the twelve current award categories are: Novel, First Novel, Short Fiction, Long Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction Collection, Poetry Collection, Anthology, Screenplay, Graphic Novel, Nonfiction, and Short Nonfiction.

On May 24th the HWA announced the winners for the 2020 Bram Stoker Awards.

Black Gate and Goth Chick News would like to congratulate the following authors and editors for their superior achievements and suggest you start loading up your Amazon wish list immediately.

Read More Read More

GOTH CHICK NEWS: ON THE ROAD TO THE HALLOWEEN & ATTRACTIONS SHOW

GOTH CHICK NEWS: ON THE ROAD TO THE HALLOWEEN & ATTRACTIONS SHOW

Frankly, 2020 didn’t look all that different when viewed from the basement of the Black Gate office, which is home to Goth Chick News. The unisex bathroom walls are still plastered with Heavy Metal magazine covers from the 1980’s. The hallways smell like a combination of microwave pizza and Axe, and the furniture… I can’t. As most of my coworkers never got out much anyway, the quarantine was just the legit excuse everyone gave their spouses for hanging around John O’s D&D marathon. Black Gate photog Chris Z. went off to busy himself with whatever it is he does when he’s not sneaking pics of nearly naked cosplayers at our various events, and I hunkered down to write for a long, and frustrating year. The glaring difference of 2020, is that none of these activities were broken by GCN road trips to roughly a dozen conventions, tours and trade shows, which comprise the seasonal run up to the greatest holiday ever – Halloween.

Like you, we where all here and nowhere else – and it sucked.

Bad.

Read More Read More

Goth Chick News: Finally, We Get to Personally Make Vampires Cool Again

Goth Chick News: Finally, We Get to Personally Make Vampires Cool Again

As you know, I’ve been beyond irritated at the trend of changing vampires from life-sucking creatures of the night, into angsty, emotionally tortured emo kids. It started with the Twilight book series of course, which then became excruciating films. But it didn’t stop there. Instead, we were treated to Twilight spawn such as The Vampire Diaries, The Vampire Academy and Fallen, to name but a very few. Vampires lost interest in Victorian costuming, or even leather-clad rock star chic, and instead started looking like L.L Bean models. They agonized over their attachments to their food source rather than eating with erotic abandon like the blood-thirsty creatures of the night that they were.

They went to high school.

wtf.

So, this week’s news could not have come at a better time.

Thanks to Stunlock Studios, we can all finally put this right by becoming the undead bad-asses they were meant to be. The talent behind Battlerite have just announced a new role-playing game entitled V Rising, which allows players to be vampires out to build an empire.

Read More Read More

Goth Chick News: Zombie Takes on The Munsters

Goth Chick News: Zombie Takes on The Munsters

I’m not sure how I feel about this.

Normally there are always mixed feelings when a beloved sitcom heads to the big screen. Will a movie with high production values ruin the original charm? Will what seemed incredibly entertaining on the small screen, come off as cheesy on the big one? And maybe most importantly, what actors could possibly do justice to the characters we grew up with?

And honestly, the results here are extremely mixed. On the positive end of the spectrum, you have the 1964 show The Addams Family, whose movie iterations (1991 & 1995) were very artfully translated, charm intact, from the source material. In the middle you have shows like Lost in Space (1965) and Star Trek (1966) whose big screen iterations were fun, if a bit uneven. But then you have the complete “OMG why???” examples such as Dark Shadows (1966), whose 2012 remake was a hot mess, at least in my opinion.

But this week we learned about a new film adaptation of The Munsters (1964) that comes with a whole lot of mixed emotions. On the one hand, this does seem long overdue. There was a Munsters movie back in 1966 starring the original cast, which was released directly following the cancellation of the TV show. And though there have been three other revivals of the characters, with the last one being in 1996, all were made for television. So, it seems like the time had come to see The Munsters get the Hollywood treatment.

Read More Read More

Goth Chick News: First Up on the Show Circuit – Days of the Dead

Goth Chick News: First Up on the Show Circuit – Days of the Dead

As signs of life begin to emerge following the zombie apocalypse that was 2020, our thoughts naturally turn to the fate of the many trade shows and live events we normally cover for Black Gate. Earlier this year I posted a list of tentative in-person conventions which hopeful organizers were busy planning. Now this week I am nearly giddy to report that the first one, Day of the Dead Chicago, which we have been covering for nine years, successfully occurred last weekend.

As you would expect, things were a little different in this brave new world, but let’s start with what was the same.

Days of the Dead is a horror and pop culture convention that has been around since 2011. That makes 2021 a big tenth-anniversary year for the event which began here in Chicago, and has since expanded to Las Vegas, Indianapolis and Atlanta. This year, DotD was hosted at the same suburban-Chicago hotel where it moved to in 2019. It had far outgrown its previous location where vendor booths and even some celebrity tables had been relegated to the hallways between banquet rooms, making Black Gate photog Chris Z and I repeatedly wonder what would happen if someone yelled “fire!” The new hotel is far better equipped to host the show which in past years has drawn upwards of 4000 guests over the weekend it occurs. But, if you can believe it, the very-scaled-back hotel bar was bereft of Fireball, depriving us of our customary pre-convention shot.

Bloody hell.

Read More Read More

Goth Chick News: Save the Headstone and Go Out Like a Viking

Goth Chick News: Save the Headstone and Go Out Like a Viking

Creative disposal of earthly remains is nothing new. There have been countless examples, especially in the last ten years, as new generations seek ways to distinguish themselves from the mundane-ness of the past. We’ve seen furniture that converts to a coffin (“Chic design for life and death”), an option for turning your loved-one’s remains into a precious stone which is set into jewelry (“One-of-a-kind, just like them”), and organic burial “eggs” out of which grows an oak tree (“Life never stops”). And now there’s a way you can go out in a blaze of glory.

Literally.

The legislative assembly of Maine is currently contemplating a bill which would allow Viking-style funerals.

History tells us that in the days of Viking warriors, dead heroes were laid out in a wooden boat along with their belongings. The vessel was also filled with hay and other flammables, and then put to sea. An archer (whom you hoped had infallable aim) then lobbed a burning arrow at the boat causing it to go up into an impressive pyre which consumed everything, before the charred remains were taken by the sea. An non-profit undertaker service organization in Maine called Good Ground Great Beyond, which is sponsoring said bill, owns 63 acres of property in the state, upon which they hope to offer “open air cremations” including a Viking-style funeral service.

Read More Read More

Goth Chick News: Finally – The Girls Get to Howl…

Goth Chick News: Finally – The Girls Get to Howl…

All the wonderful film fests in the US and Canada have been forced to go virtual over the last year, but that hasn’t stopped them from showcasing a very creative run of new films; and this one might be my favorite.

Fantastic Fest, which normally takes place in Austin, TX, is the largest genre film festival in the US. Specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi and action movies from around the globe, the festival is dedicated to showcasing challenging and though-provoking cinema from new voices in the industry. Like other film fests, the best of the movies which premier here, get picked up for wider distribution.

The virtual version of Fantastic Fest 2020 was home to a new werewolf movie, written by Wendy Hill-Tout along with her daughter, Elizabeth Lowell Boland, known by stage name Lowell, a Canadian singer, songwriter and producer. Admittedly, I had never heard of Lowell until now, though she has released two full-length albums, and her song Palm Trees featured as soundtrack in EA Sports game, FIFA 15. I wish I could say differently about her Mom, Hill-Tout, but alas, I cannot. She has primarily been a producer throughout her career, according to IMDB. But as a writing team, Hill-Tout and Lowell seem to have created cinematic magic in the form of the film Bloodthirsty.

Newbie director Amelia Moses of course gets credit here, as does the acting of star Lauren Beatty (Jigsaw), but to me, all really great monster movies start with a great script. And this one is a doozy.

Read More Read More

Humans Are the Real Horror; GCN Interviews Lt. Joe Kenda, Star of Homicide Hunter and Author of New Release, Killer Triggers

Humans Are the Real Horror; GCN Interviews Lt. Joe Kenda, Star of Homicide Hunter and Author of New Release, Killer Triggers

When the crew at one of my favorite publishing houses, Wunderkind, contacted me about interviewing a former homicide detective about his new book, I had to give it some thought. Long before Black Gate and my current day job, I was working on a master’s degree in criminal psychology with a view to become a criminal profiler. As an undergraduate I became fascinated with the question of what happens in the human mind that tips a person from contemplating violence to committing violence? I wanted to look for patterns and to discover if violent behavior could by typecast.

At the master’s degree level, the weight of what I was studying started to hit me – hard. This was no longer theory, but a pursuit that was bringing me eyeball to eyeball with real violence. As a 22-year-old from a very small Midwestern town, I was in no way mentally prepared for what I was seeing and learning about. I left the program for what I thought was a brief break, but I never went back, changing careers entirely. I feel lucky to have made that decision before my interest in ghosts and made-up monsters was forever ruined by real horrors.

So, when Wunderkind reached out, sending me an advanced copy of Lt. Joe Kenda’s new book Killer Triggers, I thought about whether I wanted these two worlds to cross again. I decided I would read a couple chapters of the book before making a decision. Hours later, with the Killer Triggers completely consumed, the decision was made. Yes, this is a departure from the pretend worlds I normally write about, but the book is just – well – very good. It’s not uncomfortably graphic and Lt. Kendra has a sense of humor that I couldn’t help but fall in love with a little.

Read More Read More

Goth Chick News: That Time Disney Tried Its Hand at Horror

Goth Chick News: That Time Disney Tried Its Hand at Horror

As we well know, Disney is currently focusing a lot of energy on “live action” versions of its animated films, as well as family-friendly live action movies. We’ve seen the likes of Cinderella, Mulan, Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty (aka Malficent), along with Pirates of the Caribbean and the upcoming Jungle Cruise. But what you might not know, is that Disney has visited this strategy before. In the late 70’s and early 80’s, in an attempt to attract a young-adult audience, Disney also produced several live-action movies, though not ones based on previous stories. The Black Hole, Tron and my personal favorite, Something Wicked This Way Comes all harken back to this era in the Walt Disney Productions timeline.

It’s not that Disney had never done live-action movies before. In fact, from its inception in 1937 through the end of 1979, Walt Disney Productions delivered no less than 106 films with real actors. However, these stories pretty much defined the term “family friendly,” with titles such as Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Pollyanna, The Parent Trap, and The Shaggy D.A. Which is why Disney’s departure in 1979 caused such a kerfuffle.

In that year, British film and television director John Hough, who had already worked with Disney directing Escape to Witch Mountain and its sequel, was tapped to lead an idea first pitched by Disney producer Ron Miller. He proposed turning a 1979 novel by Florence Engel Randall, entitled The Watcher in the Woods, into one of Disney’s live-action films.

Read More Read More