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Author: Sue Granquist

Goth Chick News: Letting the Right One in Again

Goth Chick News: Letting the Right One in Again

Let the Right One In (Showtime Original)

With the Fall comes all manner of scary goodness to watch on both the big and small screens. As I’ve mentioned, vampires seem to be the monster-du-jour for 2022, though one might have expected zombies, with C19 still in the news. Still, I’m not complaining one bit, even when the offerings are less than stellar, as was the case with The Invitation. We can still look forward to the Interview with the Vampire series coming soon to AMC, and (maybe) House of Darkness, which started streaming this week on YouTube (if you’ve already seen it, don’t tell me anything).

And then there’s this.

Thanks to Stoker’s Dracula, one could argue that all the vampire stories that have come after are simply different takes on the same core idea; and you wouldn’t be far wrong. For instance, The Invitation was pretty much a modern take on Dracula’s brides. But to me at least, things are getting weird in the entertainment industry, when vampire tales begin… well… eating themselves.

Case in point is the vampire story, Let the Right One In.

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Goth Chick News Reviews: The Invitation

Goth Chick News Reviews: The Invitation

First, everything you’re about to read contains spoiler after spoiler. So, if you’re planning on seeing the new vampire flick, The Invitation, stop now – then again, maybe you should actually keep reading.

I pretty much love any story containing a vampire, so it was with a huge amount of anticipation that I first told you about The Invitation back at the beginning of August. All the better that I hadn’t heard of the stars or the director as it didn’t require me to suspend any disbelief about the characters. Though the trailer took some flack on the horror forums, I thought it looked fabulous. Sony Pictures clearly didn’t skimp on the production values. And yes, it was rated PG-13, but as a fan of classic horror films, I personally don’t think an R-rated blood bath equals a fabulous movie. So off I went to see The Invitation on the night it opened. I was even excited enough to drop some coin to see it in a swanky theater with waiter service, reclining lounge seats and craft cocktails.

If you’re still reading and haven’t seen it, here’s a quick synopsis.

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Goth Chick New: A Grady Hendrix Novel (Finally) Makes It to Film

Goth Chick New: A Grady Hendrix Novel (Finally) Makes It to Film

In April 2016 my strange and unusual friends over at Quirk Books introduced me to one of their newly signed authors via a copy of his first book Quirk Books publication, and a pre-publication copy of his next one. At that time, Grady Hendrix already had four novels under his belt, including his first with Quirk, Horrorstör, a horror novel which takes place in an Ikea-like establishment and is documented inside an Ikea-like catalog. And though Hendrix already had a following due to his very unique approach to storytelling, Quirk was certain that his next novel with them was going to be the one that made him literary famous. The name of that novel was My Best Friend’s Exorcism, which was released in May 2016.

Grady released two more books with Quirk before decamping in 2020, but his book sales have continued to climb until his 2021 release which premiered on the New York Times best seller list, The Final Girl Support Group. I found a statistic stating only .0001% of all published books become movies, and those that do take an average of 10 years to get to the screen. With that in mind, Hendrix has bucked the odds on both accounts.

A movie adaptation of My Best Friend’s Exorcism is on the way, debuting on Amazon Prime Video on September 30, 2022.4

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Goth Chick News Interviews: Stephen Tramontana, Writer/Director of Killer Piñata and Bride of the Killer Piñata

Goth Chick News Interviews: Stephen Tramontana, Writer/Director of Killer Piñata and Bride of the Killer Piñata

As someone who loves indie film makers, I’ve sat through a lot of independent films. And though I admire the tenacious, passionate and fearless way all of these artists approach their craft, the outcomes, as you would expect, display varying degrees of talent. The films which stood out in some way, at least to me, I have shared with you here. But honestly, most of the time because I can’t honestly say something nice, I just don’t say anything.

So, when a friend excitedly told me her nephew had starred in an indie horror film and that it would be a perfect topic for GCN, I received the news with some trepidation. I mean, if the movie was good, no issues; but if it wasn’t…?

When I was presented with Killer Piñata, the name alone seemed promising. Clearly this was going to be humorous horror that didn’t take itself seriously. What I discovered was an absurdly funny, low-tech story that put me in the mind of Second City TV’s Monster Chiller Horror Theater; totally entertaining in an “omg I can’t believe they actually did that,” kind of way. When I then discovered a sequel, Bride of Killer Piñata, was in the works, it was time to track down the person from whose mind this all came.

Enter writer, director and producer Stephen Tramontana. As I have so many questions, let’s jump right in…

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Goth Chick News: Cosplayers, an Author Exclusive, and a Zombie Tramp, or Our Trip to C2E2 2022

Goth Chick News: Cosplayers, an Author Exclusive, and a Zombie Tramp, or Our Trip to C2E2 2022

Two weekends ago, Chicago’s largest convention space, McCormick Center, played host to over 100K attendees to the 12th annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2 for you cool kids), and I am once again reminded why Chicago ranks in the top cities for people-watching. Amidst the oodles of MCU, Star Wars, and anime merchandise, aisles of comic illustrators (many of whom appeared to have a near cult-like following) and celebrity autograph queues, mingled individuals who seemed to have ample expendable income for use on high-end costumes.

Though the mother of all cosplay costume contests occurred on Saturday (the Cosplay Central Crown Championships), it didn’t stop the Friday attendees from turning out. In fact, we learned that plenty folks have 3-day passes and appear in a different persona each day. And though I could have easily grabbed a spot on the floor opposite the entrance and spent the day people-peeping, Black Gate photog Chris Z and I waded in with the rest of the press at the opening bell on Friday morning.

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Goth Chick News: Get Ready Vampire Fans, this is Our Year

Goth Chick News: Get Ready Vampire Fans, this is Our Year

It might be due to this being the 125th anniversary of Dracula, written by Bram Stoker and published in 1897. Or, it could be because it has taken 10 years to fully cleanse our collective pallets of emo, flannel-wearing vampires following the movie version of Stephanie Meyers’ Breaking Dawn (Part 2) hitting theaters in 2012. Whatever the reason, the second half of 2022 is about to play host to a plethora of traditional vampire entertainment; meaning if you’re a fan of vampires actually doing vampy things like sucking blood and dressing well, then readers – this is our year.

Below are the three offerings I’m most excited about. This would also have included a theatrical remake of Salem’s Lot had production delays not bumped it to April 2023. Still I’m quivering beneath my bodice and the thought of all the vampire goodness we have to look forward to.

Check it.

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Goth Chick News: X Marks the Spot for Another Entertaining Outing from Ti West and A24

Goth Chick News: X Marks the Spot for Another Entertaining Outing from Ti West and A24

In March of this year, I told you about what was the latest offering from A24 entitled X. Though I love Ti West as a director/writer, I honestly wasn’t expecting too much from this film; after all, the movie title said it all. X combined the cheesy porn movie scene of the late 70’s with the hack-and-slash of Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Not precisely a description that would normally get me to the theater.

But color me shocked when I walked out thinking about how entertaining X turned out to be. West did a masterful job telling a story that had humor, characters that I actually cared about, and a nice level of knuckle-biting suspense. It also wasn’t the senseless bloodbath I completely expected and this was thanks to the unconventional character who turned out to be the killer. Which brings me to the prequel I’m about to tell you about.

**Note: If you haven’t seen X and want to be surprised, stop reading now as I’m about to drop some serious spoilers…

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Goth Chick News: Halloween Ends Is Likely Not the End

Goth Chick News: Halloween Ends Is Likely Not the End

Last week I dropped a little truth on how box office take determines which movies and movie makers continue to get funded, or not. Using the example of Rob Zombie’s forthcoming The Munsters movie, I laid out the financial equation which allows films such as this to be foisted on an unsuspecting audience, whether the audience wants it or not. Now, keep that in mind while we examine this phenomenon from a different angle.

The very lucrative Halloween franchise, birthed by John Carpenter in 1978, has since had many foster parents, including Rob Zombie who cranked out two Halloween movies of his own in 2007 and 2009. Perhaps it is no coincidence that after those two efforts, death-defying slasher Michael Myers had the longest hiatus of his bloody career, as it would be nine years before anyone took another stab at a Halloween movie.

Enter GCN favorite Jason Blum and Blumhouse Productions. Blumhouse, who has been the driving force behind quite a few horror movie successes, partnered with Malek Akkad, the son of the late Moustapha Akkad, executive producer of the original Halloween franchise. In theory, their goal was to produce a 3-movie bookend to the franchise by bringing back scream queen extraordinaire Jamie Lee Curtis to reprise her role as Laurie Strode, the quintessential “final girl” from five of the prior films. This partnership gave us Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills (2021), returning 17x and 6.5x profit to operating budget respectively, virtually ensuring Blumhouse would get another $20M to create the final film in his trilogy.

Which brings us to the thirteenth installment of the Halloween film franchise, Halloween Ends, whose first-look trailer was released this week.

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Goth Chick News: Why Comments About Rob Zombie’s Munsters Are (Likely) Far More Entertaining Than the Movie Will Be…

Goth Chick News: Why Comments About Rob Zombie’s Munsters Are (Likely) Far More Entertaining Than the Movie Will Be…

I’ll start this by saying I have nothing against Rob Zombie in general. As a musician, he has sold millions of albums, had Grammy nominations and sold-out concert venues for the past 20 years. Though I am not a fan of his movies, a little research explained why he keeps getting funding to make them. In general, a movie is considered a success if it makes a minimum of 2x its overall budget, but in reality, this is more like 3x or above. I actually researched all of Zombie’s theatrical releases and on average, his movies make 3.21x their budgets. So, though they are not considered blockbusters (for example, Top Gun: Maverick is currently at 7x its operating budget and counting), Zombie’s films definitely do well enough to keep getting made. Which brings me to Zombie’s latest film: The Munsters.

According to various interviews, Zombie like many of us, grew up watching reruns of the original Musters TV show, whose 70 episodes ran from 1964-1966. Zombie’s most famous song, “Dragula,” is named after the Munsters’ car built by Grandpa to win a drag race, and the chorus of the song quotes Grandpa directly. I get it, Zombie loves The Munsters. The question was whether or not a self-taught filmmaker whose prior films have been described as “grotesque,” “violent,” and “one giant loogie” was capable of creating a true homage to a cult classic like The Munsters?

Apparently, and unsurprisingly, the answer is no.

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Goth Chick News: Taking a Trip Back to Jerusalem’s Lot

Goth Chick News: Taking a Trip Back to Jerusalem’s Lot

Though Lapvona, a historical fiction tale by Ottessa Moshfegh, tops thirteen separate summer reading lists, it was not one of the books I took with me on a recent two-weeker through South America. Tropical blue waters and umbrella drinks in no way dissuaded me from delving into my favorite genre, and though I’ll be getting to Lapvona eventually, I opted for some classics on this trip: namely Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and dare I say it, Stephen King.

If you haven’t heard, part of King’s current monopoly on movies, limited series and episodic juggernauts, is a remake of ‘Salem’s Lot. The original screen adaptation of King’s 1975 vampire story was a made-for-TV, two-episode mini-series released in 1979, directed by Tobe Hooper and starring David Soul and James Mason. Reviews were largely positive, with critics praising the film’s atmosphere, cinematography, Hooper’s direction, and scares. As of today, ‘Salem’s Lot the mini-series still holds an approval rating of 89% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. I tell you this, because in my humble opinion, like many of King’s books, the translation to screen missed the mark back in 1979.

Now, forty plus years later, we’re getting a theater remake, and given what was done to the remakes of Pet Semetary and IT, my personal expectations are pretty low. Which brings me to why I chose to reread ‘Salem’s Lot after revisiting Dracula for the hundredth time.

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