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Goth Chick News: Days of the Dead – Season Greetings from Our Family to Yours

Goth Chick News: Days of the Dead – Season Greetings from Our Family to Yours

That time of year has once again rolled around. “The Season” is officially over. Black Gate photog Chris Z has thrown a tarp over the Hummer and sent his kilt to the dry cleaners. We’ve emptied the final airplane-sized bottles of Fireball, and filed our last expense report with BG’s financial fun police. Because on the weekend before Thanksgiving we attended the final convention of our annual show circuit, Days of the Dead.

It certainly doesn’t feel like nearly ten years since we attended our first DotD convention at its sophomore outing in the Chicago suburbs. I readily admit that Chicago isn’t Los Angeles or even New Orleans when it comes to sub-cultures, though the elements that do exist are certainly worth wading into — if you know where to look. But when DotD came to Chicago for the first time in 2011, its home was the Schaumburg Marriot of all places.

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Goth Chick News: Showtime’s New All-Girl Survival Drama Yellowjackets Promises to Be a Wild Ride

Goth Chick News: Showtime’s New All-Girl Survival Drama Yellowjackets Promises to Be a Wild Ride

Mike Bockoven’s book Fantasticland is one of my favorites. It takes the concept of Lord of the Flies and plops is right down in an imagined Disney World competitor theme park whose employees get cut off from civilization due to a hurricane. It explores what happens when once normal college-aged kids divide into Mad Max-esque factions to fight for survival. I’ve long thought that, in the right hands, this story would make for an incredible movie. But though an ambitious theater company in California took it on as a play earlier this year, there have been no murmurs about Fantasticland making it to the big screen.

However, it seems like Showtime is going to take up the concept with their new series Yellowjackets, and it looks like this could be the savage girl thriller we all need.

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Goth Chick News Polls: Do You Believe in Ghosts?

Goth Chick News Polls: Do You Believe in Ghosts?

Now that my favorite “season” has passed for another year, and the Black Gate interns keep making attempts to hang holiday twinkle lights on my office skeleton, I am left with time to ponder the attraction many humans have to all things scary. Consumer spending on Halloween exceeded $10 billion in 2021; an all-time high. Horror movies continue to be the top revenue generators for the Hollywood machine when production costs are compared to box-office takes. And if you believe in ghosts, you are far from alone. In 2019 the magazine Scientific America stated 45% of Americans believed in, and as many as 18% of people will go so far as to say they have had contact with, ghosts.

A few months back I told you about my personal ghost adventures. How I have sat up all night, surrounded by EVP recorders, EMP detectors, spirit boxes, full spectrum POV cameras and EDI meters. How I’d done this in places like the catacombs under the streets of Edenborough, Scotland, in the burial chambers beneath St. Martin-in-the-Fields church in London, Waldfriedhof Cemetery in Munich, Germany and the battlefields of Gettysburg. I consider myself an open-minded skeptic who would love to believe that spirits walk among us, or at least that the shadowy imprints of past events are occasionally visible. However, the most consistent thing I captured on the numerous outings to these damp, chilly places, was a cold.

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Goth Chick News: Netflix’s Night Teeth is a Surprisingly Fun Vampire Thrill Ride

Goth Chick News: Netflix’s Night Teeth is a Surprisingly Fun Vampire Thrill Ride

As “the season” came to a close for another year, so did my 31-day binge of all manner of scary movies. I had been saving Night Teeth on Netflix for Sunday afternoon before the official trick-or-treat hours kicked off. I wasn’t expecting much so I was prepared to bail on it and watch something more traditional. Instead, what I got was a very pleasant surprise.

The premise shown in the trailer is what first got my attention. I love a good vampire tale, especially when it has a unique spin (like Midnight Mass). Night Teeth tells the story of Bennie, an aspiring young musician from East L.A. (played by Jorge Lendeborg Jr. – Spiderman: Far from Home) who takes his brother’s limo shift to earn some extra cash. He winds up hosting two swanky young ladies on what looks to be an all-night party hop. What he doesn’t know is that the two are vampire assassins sent by their boss to wipe out his rival, blood-sucking gang leaders in a bid to take over Los Angeles.

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Goth Chick News: The New World That Is Wizard World Chicago

Goth Chick News: The New World That Is Wizard World Chicago

As life cautiously assumes a stance something close to, if not entirely, “normal,” some of the most anticipated events are finally sliding back into the Goth Chick News calendar.

It’s no surprise that pop-culture conventions took an especially hard hit in 2020, which saw large, in-person events cancelled across the globe. Wizard World put on some of the biggest conventions in the US, hosting annual cons in six cities; Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Portland, Cleveland, and St. Louis. This year, Wizard World Chicago was back, albeit later that its usual September dates, but with another significant change. Fan Expo, which already runs almost a dozen events across North America, has just acquired the rights to Wizard World conventions.

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Goth Chick News: Netflix Original Series Midnight Mass Is the Perfect Halloween Offering

Goth Chick News: Netflix Original Series Midnight Mass Is the Perfect Halloween Offering

Admittedly, the numerous streaming services make the month of October a whiplash of incredible viewing opportunities. Gone are the days of rehashing classic horror movies on commercial TV. In October 2021 you can navigate to “horror” or “Halloween Favorites” on everything from HBO Max, to Netflix, to Amazon Prime and find movies from Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) to brand new original series such as Jason Blum’s Welcome to Blumhouse horror anthology.

Dedicated goth chick that I am, I’ve committed myself to watching some version of horror every day (sometimes more) in the month of October. It was important to include classics while liberally peppering in new works as well. October 1st kicked off with Young Frankenstein (what else?), and thus far I have worked my way through Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), Kenneth Branagh’s Frankenstein (1994), all the original Universal Studios monster classics (which I own in multiple formats), Brendan Fraser’s Mummy (1999), Johnny Depp’s Ed Wood (1994) and several of the “firsts” such as the first Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and Halloween. However, I simply couldn’t ignore the new entries in the binge-watchable series, of which there are a plethora to choose from.

Enter Midnight Mass, an original from Netflix.

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Goth Chick News: I Finally Made It to the Stanley Hotel, and It Was Perfect

Goth Chick News: I Finally Made It to the Stanley Hotel, and It Was Perfect

The Stanley Hotel

Personally, I have two bucket lists. One is filled with experiences that sound familiar like “learn a new language” or “ride in a helicopter.” The other is my goth bucket list, filled with things that cause my parents to ask, “why can’t you just go to Vegas like a normal person?” Quite high on this particular list was a visit to the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO. I say “was” because due to attending a wedding in Boulder, I was less than an hour away. That meant a gracious “no” to the invitation to a ladies brunch the day after the nuptials, and a great big “yes” to a giddy 55-mile drive.

Stephen King’s book The Shining is one of my favorites, and the Stanley Hotel was King’s inspiration. That much I knew, but exactly how much of an inspiration I was about to find out. To clarify one thing, the Stanley has no connection at all to Kubrick’s film. The hotel which represented the exterior shots of The Overlook Hotel in the movie, is actually the Timberline Lodge in Oregon. All the interior shots were filmed at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, outside London.

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Goth Chick News Reviews: My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

Goth Chick News Reviews: My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

My Heart is a Chainsaw (Saga Press, August 2021)

Over the Labor Day weekend, I got to do something I have literally not been able to do for close to four years. And before you ask, it had nothing to do with goat leggings or full moons.

Having been trapped in academic hell since January 2018 when I made the questionable decision to pursue a doctorate degree, I have had zero time to enjoy simple pleasures. Like sleeping, or having a weekend off. However, the thing I missed most was devoting an entire day (or two) to devouring a good book. To me, there is nothing quite as awesome as parking myself with some snacks and a cold drink, then tucking in to a novel from cover to cover. Due to a series of fortunate events, that is precisely what I was able to do this last Sunday and Monday.

Knowing I would have this extremely rare extravagance, I did another thing I haven’t done in ages:  spend a few hours at my local Barnes and Nobel choosing the perfect title. In the “new releases” section I found My Heart is a Chainsaw by prolific horror writer Stephen Graham Jones, which had just hit shelves on August 31st.

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Goth Chick News: Jack, London’s Most Famous Unsolved Mystery, Is Still a Thing

Goth Chick News: Jack, London’s Most Famous Unsolved Mystery, Is Still a Thing

A search for “Jack the Ripper” in Amazon books results in over 2,000 titles, 77 of which were released in the last 90 days — and 19  “coming soon.” London’s most famous unsolved serial-killings are still a draw 132 years after the last victim was found on November 7, 1888. The story of five horrific murders in the Whitechapel neighborhood first appeared in sensationalized newspaper articles, eventually moving to Victorian “penny dreadfuls” before being chronicled in every medium imaginable. From poems to plays, music to movies and board games to video games, the world never seems to tire of “Gentleman Jack,” the faceless slasher who lurked in the foggy alleyways of bygone London.

The history of the “Jack the Ripper,” a name which the killer gave himself in one of the taunting letters delivered to the police, reads like fiction. In Victorian England, London’s East End was a teeming slum occupied by nearly a million of the city’s poorest citizens. Many women were forced to resort to prostitution, and in 1888 there were estimated to be more than 1,000 prostitutes in Whitechapel.

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Goth Chick News: Game Over Man! Let Me Introduce You to the M41-A

Goth Chick News: Game Over Man! Let Me Introduce You to the M41-A

It was July 18, 1986 in the movie Aliens (where the year was 2122), when Ellen Ripley told Corporal Dwayne Hicks to “show her everything.” Ripley was actually referring to the totally badass M41-A pulse rifle, standard issue for the Colonial Marine Corp who is defending space at that time. Ripley ultimately weaponed up and used an M41-A to wreak alien carnage in what has become one of the most iconic combat scenes in cinema history.

Fast backward 101 years minus a month, to August 2021, where we just passed the 35th anniversary of Alienstheatrical release. Here, the Earth is overrun with a different bug for you to hunt, and now you’ve just been given the best belated gift ever…

Behold… the Hasbro Nerf M41-A pulse rifle.

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