Goth Chick News: Tempting Fate with Gravedigger Unholy Rye

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Goth Chick Rye

Tamworth Distilling Company in New Hampshire has a limited addition rye on offer just in time for Halloween, which has very season-appropriate story behind it.

Tamworth, like other distilleries, uses maple syrup as an ingredient in some of its whiskies. Tamworth master distiller Jamie Oakes was onsite at a local farm observing the tapping of maples trees early one spring, when a local man on the crew stopped the other men from tapping one of the oldest trees on the farm. All he would say was, “We don’t tap that one.”

Turns out that particular tree sat smack in the middle of a small plot of ten, very worn-down headstones. Out of curiosity, and due to its extremely old appearance, Oakes undertook research to try to find out who was buried in the small plot but came up pretty much empty-handed. None of the tattered headstones showed names or dates, but property records indicated the graves belonged to early settlers from around the mid-1700s.

Like the plot of any respectable horror movie, there’s always that one guy who just can’t leave well enough alone, and Jamie Oakes is that guy. It took him a few years to convince his colleagues at Tamworth that what they really needed to do was tap that tree. And in September 2019, Tamworth Distilling released its first small batch of Graverobber Unholy Rye, a whiskey flavored with maple syrup made from the tree growing amidst those graves.

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Goth Chick News: Revisiting Hemlock Grove for Halloween

Thursday, October 15th, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Hemlock Grove-small Hemlock Grove-back-small

Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy (FSG Originals, April 16, 2013)

When Netflix first premiered Hemlock Grove back in April 2013, it was originally aimed at an audience of teenage horror fans. The cast was ridiculously good-looking, twenty-somethings playing high schoolers living in an insanely quaint and beautiful New England town. It might have been The Addams Family meets 90210, or at the time, a darker alternative to the anxiety-ridden vampires du jour of the Twilight series.

What we got instead, at least in Season 1, was an intricate and blood-soaked modern retelling of pretty much every classic monster imaginable. Hemlock Grove is a tale well worth you visiting (or revisiting) this Halloween season.

An American horror/thriller from executive producer Eli Roth (Grindhouse and Hostel) and developed by Brian McGreevy and Lee Shipman, Hemlock Grove is based on McGreevy’s 2012 novel of the same name. It examines the strange happenings in a fictional town in Pennsylvania where a teenage girl is brutally murdered, sparking a hunt for her killer. Roman Godfrey, heir to the town’s wealthy Godfrey family, befriends the town’s newcomer and gypsy outcast, Peter Rumancek and the two work together to shed light on the case while also concealing their own dark secrets.

I managed to find Hemlock Grove’s one and only red band trailer which should make you at least a little curious to check it out.

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Goth Chick News: Frankenstein Spinature; I Don’t Need It, But I Want It Anyway

Thursday, October 8th, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Frankenstein Spinature box-small

If you collect anything, then you know the feeling. You see a something which speaks to your obsession and you must have it. Forget whether or not you need it (or even if you can afford it); the fact is, you have found an unspeakably wonderful treasure which must be yours. For a timely example, check out Haunted Mansion Fan Page or Mansion Addicts on Facebook and you will find huge communities of people who will snap up anything even vaguely related to Disney’s Haunted Mansion attraction. I’ve seen people proudly post pictures of red glassware they found at a local resale shop which “has the look of” the table settings in the ride’s ballroom scene. Even that isn’t as collecting-obsessed as I’ve come across. If you have ever seen Black Gate boss John O’s basement, then you know The Library of Congress doesn’t have a book collection that big.

Though I’m not quite that obsessed, I do have a thing for the original Universal Studios monsters. You know the ones; Frankenstein, Wolfman, Dracula, Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc. I have figurines, Christmas tree ornaments, stuffed toys and a life-sized standee of Bela Lugosi as Dracula; who, as for any normal Goth Girl, was my first crush. Afterall, these black and white movie treasures are where it all began for me.

But of course, I’m justifying…

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Goth Chick News: The Craft Gets a Surprise Sequel

Thursday, October 1st, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

the-craft-legacy-movie-HD-poster-small

We here at Goth Chick News would normally begin this time of year doing two things: checking out what’s new on the local haunted attraction scene, and spending hours in a darkened theater taking in the new seasonal offerings. However, as we explained last week, Halloween seems very well positioned to reinvent itself amidst the B-movie plotline we’re current living in, and the horror film scene is no exception. Though streaming services are busy dropping or about to drop quite a lot to be excited about (Ratched, The Haunting of Bly Manor, Lovecraft Country), it takes my horror-film-director-crush to show up bearing the epitome of surprise Halloween treats.

Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Production announced this week that they have been sneakily working on a sequel to the 1996 cult favorite The Craft, schedule to drop directly to your living room this month. “We’re thrilled that our partners at Sony Pictures are looking at the landscape opportunistically this Halloween, for audiences to watch at home in the U.S.,” Blum said in a statement.

Entitled The Craft: Legacy, the story is a continuation of the original, with a new cabal of girls experimenting with supernatural powers. Here’s the official synopsis.

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Goth Chick News: When Halloween Lives Out One of Its Own Plot Lines

Thursday, September 24th, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Goth Chick Go Home Boys

A global pandemic with no known cure rages across the globe claiming lives, forcing people to shelter in place, and turning main streets into ghost towns. Is this the plot of the movie 28 Days Later, Patient Zero or even World War Z? Nope, welcome to the reality of the year 2020. We have already seen our vacations ruined, our social lives decimated and several holidays lost. However, the onset of Fall has us contemplating a new set of challenges, compounded by the prospect of s time of year generally marked by parties and celebrations; starting for me, with Halloween.

Now before you get totally bummed out, consider this. If the movies have taught us anything, its that we humans are resilient and adaptable. We can figure out a way around just about any obstacle, especially when it comes to having fun. So even though the CDC has warned against parties and traditional door-to-door Trick or Treating, I found it hard to believe we were going to collectively give up on Halloween this year.

What I discovered is, we are definitely not.

Like everything else in 2020, Halloween is going to look different. But the innovations are impressive. Here are a few ways how “normal” October activities have evolved.

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Goth Chick News: The (Trend-Setting) House on Haunted Hill

Thursday, September 17th, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

House on Haunted Hill-small

House on Haunted Hill (Allied Artists, 1959)

In 2019 (aka “the Time Before”) one of the quintessential horror movies of our time celebrated its 60th birthday. The House on Haunted Hill (1959) starring Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart, Alan Marshal and Julia Mitchum was not only critically acclaimed in its own time, but still has an 88% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes today. Filmed for $200K over the course of 14 days in 1958, the film has netted over $1.5M and counting, thanks to video rentals and streaming. Ironically, its 40th anniversary remake in 1999, starring Geoffrey Rush and Famke Janssen cost $37M to make and has only netted $43M to date worldwide, making the original House proportionally the clear winner with fans.

What you may not know is the many ground-breaking elements of the film which still influence entertainment and promotion today. To start, director William Castle was the original master of guerilla marketing. His technique first appeared with his movie Macabre (1958) but due to its success, it was replicated with House a year later. Mr. Castle offered $1,000 Lloyd’s of London insurance policies for those brave enough to watch his horror film. However, if anyone with the policy by the died of fright during the movie, that person’s next of kin would be paid $1,000. In addition to this, Castle had select theater owners station nurses in their lobbies and park hearses outside. Castle himself said it was a shame no one actually expired during his movies as it would have been exceptional publicity. Today, directors such as J.J. Abrams (Super 8) and J.A. Bayona (Jurassic World; Fallen Kingdom) have taken such gimmicks even further to promote their films. Just Google the name of the movie and “guerilla marketing” to see the examples.

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Goth Chick News: The Beautiful Horror of Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Pan's Laybrinth poster-small

I could not leave the topic of early aughts nightmare-inducing films without bringing up this one. As rife with symbolism as it is horrors, Guillermo Del Toro’s 2007 dark fantasy, Pan’s Labyrinth is a simple story which explores complex and sometimes violent themes about human morality and free will. When I Googled “symbolism of Pan’s Labyrinth” I literally got back 35K responses, including several university thesis papers.

If you skipped this one because it is filmed entirely in Spanish, with English subtitles, I urge you to give it a go. Del Toro went to great lengths to avoid making this a main-stream English language film, including turning down several big-budget studios. He personally created the subtitles to ensure his meanings were translated perfectly, and gave up his entire salary, including back-end points, to see this film make it to production. The result is a visually stunning fairytale, which has been twisted for an adult audience. For example, after the first week Pan’s Labyrinth played in theaters in Mexico and Spain, signs were put outside the venues warning the audience about the graphic violence and urging parents not to bring children to see it.

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Goth Chick News: Throwback Thursday: The Disturbing Insanity of The Cell

Thursday, August 27th, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

The Cell movie poster-small

Last week’s robust discussion about the 2002 horror flick Ghost Ship, got me to thinking about the look of the genre in the early 2000’s. A peruse through Rotten Tomato’s top horror movies of the 90’s reveals a trend toward monsters in all their iterations. Werewolves, vampires and demons were primary themes, so it is interesting to see the change brought on by the new decade. With the new millennium came introspective horror of the psychological kind. Collider’s list has titles like Saw, American Psycho and The Orphan where the frights came from our fellow humans. Even Ghost Ship had the mortals onboard being the victims of their own human failings. Maybe what we learned by the end of the 20th Century is that the human psyche is the scariest monster of all. So, when The Cell popped up on one of my feeds on its 20th anniversary this month, I thought it was worth looking at it again – especially if you haven’t seen it.

When The Cell hit theaters on August 18, 2000, audiences either loved it or hated it. There was literally no middle ground. On one hand Roger Ebert awarded The Cell four out of four stars, while dozens of other critics took issue with the subject matter and violence, not to mention the sympathetic slant the plot has toward an entirely deranged serial killer.

Now, 20 years later, The Cell, with its insane costume design, over-the-top production values and an Oscar-worthy performance by Vincent D’Onofrio, is well worth a look.

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Goth Chick News: No Vacation This Year? Get Back Onboard Ghost Ship

Thursday, August 20th, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Ghost Ship poster-small

Call it a phobia, but I am completely creeped out by things which seem too big to be allowed. I have no explanation for it, but as an example, I nearly drove off the road on a rainy night when I looked up to see a huge satellite dish looming over the intersection from behind the walls of a military installation in California. My heart also leapt out of my chest when I got an up-close look at a Kimoto Dragon (stuffed of course). And because this is something that unnerves me in real life, it stands to reason it is one of my favorite frights on the big screen. It’s probably why I liked Cloverfield, and Kong: Skull Island, and its most certainly part of the reason I liked Ghost Ship (2002) when it pretty much sunk at the box office.

If you haven’t seen it, a salvage crew discovers a cruise ship, lost for over forty years, floating lifeless in a remote region of the Bering Sea. When they attempt to bring it back to shore, they begin to discover there may still be “passengers” on board. Without spoiling anything, I will tell you that as horror movies go, it’s fairly predictable, though the twist at the end is pretty clever.

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Goth Chick News: My On-Again, Off-Again Relationship with Ridley Scott Continues…

Thursday, August 13th, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Ridley Scott vs Goth Chick

There is no director for whom I have more mixed feelings than Ridley Scott. On one hand, he is responsible for some of my favorite movies of all time such as Alien, Blade Runner, and Gladiator. On the other, he is also responsible for several films on the rock bottom of my list such as Kingdom of Heaven, Exodus; Gods and Kings, and the two Alien prequels, Prometheus and Alien Covenant – neither of which I will likely ever forgive him for. I wish I could easily delineate and say as long as Scott sticks to science fiction, he’s generally good, but no joy.

So, it is with mixed feelings that I dig into his latest project, Raised by Wolves.

Originally created for Turner Network Television (TNT) the project was recently moved to the streaming service HBO Max as a 10-episode miniseries. This marks Scott’s debut on the American small screen as he is personally directing the first two episodes, while acting as executive producer for the rest.

Scott has done a fair job of keeping the plot of Raised by Wolves a secret. From what I’ve learned, you think you’re getting the gist from the trailer and the official synopsis, but from what I can piece together, the storyline goes much deeper and darker.

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