Goth Chick News: Tim Burton’s Used Napkins… Yes, Please

Thursday, January 28th, 2016 | Posted by Sue Granquist


When I got hold of this news, I was about to type “pinch me!” But then I realized that phraseology would not end well here.

Suffice to say, this is at the “epic” end of the coolness scale.

On Tuesday, Steeles Publishing announced their new title, The Napkin Art of Tim Burton; Things You Think About in a Bar. Which is literally what the title claims. The book is a collection of doodles Tim Burton has done on napkins… in bars.

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Goth Chick News: J.J. Abrams Sneaks Up On Us Again

Thursday, January 21st, 2016 | Posted by Sue Granquist

10 Cloverfield Lane posterThe story I’m about to tell you gets a little confusing, but it contains J.J. Abrams, one of my all-time favorite modern-day monster films, Cloverfield and an entire movie filmed right under the noses of the people whose business it is to keep tabs on this sort of thing. So stay with me, I think it will be worth it.

Our tale begins early last week when the internet exploded with the news that a new Cloverfield film was not only confirmed, but that it was already filmed and would be coming out in just under two months. Titled 10 Cloverfield Lane, the film is a. “…blood relative of Cloverfield,” according to J.J. Abrams, who produced the original film, and stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and John Gallagher, Jr.

Before we go on, let’s take the way-back machine to 2008 in the months before the release of the original Cloverfield, which was also kept very much under wraps and was credited with being the object of a new concept in millennium marketing; “guerilla campaigns.”

The film appeared to feature a mysterious monster of unknown origin ravaging a large city in the style of Godzilla movies from decades past, but what really made it notable as far as big-budget movies are concerned, was its seeming lack of any promotion at all. The film was ushered into theaters with an incredibly simple teaser trailer that didn’t even feature the title of the film. It only contained the release date – 11/18/08. Beside the fact that it starred a cast of unknown actors and featured a monster doing something in a city that had yet to be identified, almost nothing was known about the film prior to its release. It initially wasn’t even clear if Abrams himself was even involved.

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Goth Chick News: Surviving the Long, Cold Winter, or Life Hacks for the Horror Fan

Thursday, January 14th, 2016 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Netflix Hacked-smallHaving visited Iceland last summer, I am here to confirm that Reykjavik has nothing on Chicago when it comes to the cold. Only this morning, CNN gleefully reported that the capital of Iceland was actually warmer today than my beloved windy city.

Still, I credit growing up in minus-double-digit wind-chills for creating my love of the horror genre. What else was there to do on the numerous snow days — home from school with the temperatures outside incompatible with human life, so forget sledding or walking to a friend’s house – but flip through the cable access channels while the P’s were at work, and develop a life-long obsession?

Flash forward to a shiny new 2016, where snow days are a thing of the past, but the temperature for the weekend is predicted to be minus 26.

I mean seriously, wtf?

Thankfully we aren’t left without a couple little somethings to take the chill off. So grab an adult beverage, put some Velveeta in the micro and pull up a chair – you’re going to love this.

First up – a Netflix hack for the horror fan, courtesy of my friends at Dread Central.

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Goth Chick News Reviews: The Box Jumper by Stoker Award Winner Lisa Mannetti

Thursday, January 7th, 2016 | Posted by Sue Granquist

The Box Jumper-small

‘Magic’ is the operative word for this moody novella. The magic of Harry Houdini serves as an overriding backdrop here, but another kind of magic permeates these pages — the magic of fine writing. Don’t expect the usual linear plot, because there is no direct narrative. Vivid dreams, surreal images, hypnotic memories, all serve to flesh out an unsettling tale that sweeps us into a new fictional dimension.
— William F. Nolan, author of Logan’s Run

If those words from one of my favorite authors weren’t reason enough for me to immediately seek out The Box Jumper, then the prospect of Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle together again in the golden age of 1920’s séances would certainly have done the trick.

I am surprised I didn’t hurt myself in the dash.

In her latest, engagingly disturbing novella, Bram Stoker Award Winner Lisa Mannetti transports us to the post-WW I-era where Spiritualism was one of the fastest growing religions, and tricksters knew no bounds when it came to roping in the willing, the gullible and the curious.

There Mannetti introduces us to Leona Derwatt, one of Houdini’s (fictional) mistresses who was also his assistant onstage and off. Houdini takes Leona into his confidence, teaching her the intricacies and secrets of his magic, and teams with her as they confront and expose the many fraudulent psychics and mediums of the time.

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Goth Chick News: Universal Studios Goes Back to Its Roots and I Should Be Excited, But…

Thursday, December 17th, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Sofia Boutella as the Mummy of Cleopatra
Sofia Boutella as the Mummy of Cleopatra, perhaps?

This is the sort of news that should actually make me smile… a bit.

Instead, I’m pouring myself an adult beverage and doodling the word “why” all over the back of my 2015 Edward Gory calendar.

Before I explain cause of all the sadness, let’s peer into the black depths of Hollywood history…

As a fledgling movie studio in the early 1920’s Universal began to gain real public attention with its first two horror films The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and Phantom of the Opera (1925).

But it wasn’t until 1928, when studio founder Carl Laemmle made his son, Carl Jr. head of Universal Pictures as a 21st birthday present, that the studio found what became its most popular genre. Carl Jr. took his childhood taste for the “penny dreadfuls,” mixed it with Daddy’s money and created a niche for the studio, beginning a series of horror films which extended into the 1950s, affectionately dubbed Universal Horror.

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Goth Chick News: Ohio vs Zombie Nativity – Yes, We’re Going There…

Thursday, December 10th, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Zombie Nativity 2

File this one under “reasons to avoid the outside world” or maybe just “reasons to avoid Ohio.”

A citation for a zoning violation is expected to be issued to a local homeowner, for a zombie nativity scene in Sycamore Township, OH, in an attempt to force its removal.

According to, Jasen Dixon is facing citations upwards of $500 per day as city leaders are labeling Dixon’s nativity scene an “accessory building” per Sycamore Zoning Administrator Harry Holbert.

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Goth Chick News:  Stop Your Grinnin’ and Drop Your Linen – This is the Holiday Gift You’ve Been Searching For

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Alien Helmet

Alien Helmet

Some years ago, a previous profession put me in gruesomely close proximity to the outcomes of even “minor” motorcycle accidents. And though I’ve since moved on to focusing on movie corpses, this is likely due to the fact that the real things are just so…well… icky.

Therefore, though I’d never tell anyone else what they should do, I for one do not saddle up my sexy little blood-red 250 without donning every bit of safety gear first. And believe it or not, this makes me terminally uncool in Illinois where we have no mandatory helmet law for motorcyclists.

You know that cute little wave we bikers are supposed to give one another to acknowledge our mutual bad-assed-ness?

Nope, me either – because unhelmeted riders do not consider me in my helmet and Kevlar in 90 degree Chicago heat to be anything close to bad-assed.

That is – until now.

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Goth Chick News: Dashing Through the Snow to the Days of the Dead Show

Thursday, November 26th, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Chicago Days of the Dead

Granted, snow in the windy city in November is not exactly unexpected. But it is a bit surreal to be making our way to the last horror show of the year in white-out conditions.

And yet this is precisely the situation Black Gate photog Chris Z and I found ourselves facing last Saturday morning. Thankfully, the Chicago BG office is well equipped for such emergencies, though attempting to get John O out of bed before noon to requisition the keys to the company urban assault vehicle turned out to be only the first of many challenges we faced that day.

Still, we trundle into the unplowed parking lot of the venue in our jacked up Jeep Wrangler precisely at 9:45, to find roughly 500 other hard-core horror fans bent double against the howling wind, making their way through 18” of snow to pay homage to the season’s last genre-specific event.

Was it worth it?

Oh, hell yes.

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Goth Chick News: A Final Report of the Commercial Starship Nostromo, or The Alien Saga Continues…

Thursday, November 19th, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Alien Covenant poster-smallNormally, I have a personal rule against covering the same topic twice in so many weeks. Primarily this is because I have an extremely short attention span and I assume you do as well.

But I just couldn’t let this go.

Last week we joined together to lament the assumed loss of a true Aliens sequel directed by Neill Blomkamp and ignoring the mediocre efforts that were Alien 3 and Alien 4. We also shook our collective fists as the mercurial Ridley Scott who, after foisting Prometheus upon us, originally threatened to continue the torture with Prometheus 2, but instead took a hard left turn and commandeered the Aliens sequel by turning it into connective tissue between the Prometheus and Alien storylines.

We knew this from reading cryptic Ridley Scott quotes during which he referenced if not clarified his new project entitled Alien: Paradise Lost.

However, no sooner had we begun to get our brains around this when last Friday the newswire was abuzz with fresh Scott quotations, stemming from his Thursday evening appearance and the AFI Festival (American Film Institute).

According to IndieWire, Scott remarked that the project formerly known as Alien: Paradise Lost will now be called Alien: Covenant.

But buckle up, because there’s more.

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Goth Chick News: No Happy Ending for Ripley, But Hope for Prometheus Franchise

Thursday, November 12th, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Thankfully this all happened when I was deeply immersed in “the season,” so the enormous sadness was delayed in favor of scaring the snot out of the neighborhood youngsters.

But now the news has finally had a chance to sink in, and I am forced to seek comfort in well-blended adult beverages and berating the interns.

On October 29th, writer / director Neill Blomkamp took to Twitter to shatter our hearts:

Neill Blomkamp Alien cancelled

In the two weeks since, word is that the Alien sequel is even less than “holding” and more like entirely nuked.

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