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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Goth Chick News: Why the Yeti Needs a Good PR Firm

Thursday, November 5th, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Where are the Yetis-smallAs a former Londoner of the ex-pat variety, I still regularly peruse the BBC web site for the morning news. Normally this consists of a rather broader version of world events than can be had from CNN, but rarely anything earth-shatteringly different.

Until this week when I came across an entirely legitimate article entitled:

Why Don’t People See the Yeti Anymore? by Candida Beveridge

Alright… Now I’m wondering too.

Before I relay Ms. Beveridge’s hypothesis, I need to explain that a yeti and Bigfoot are not the same thing. For this I turn to Quora, a less foot-noted more emo version of Wikipedia:

The difference between the yeti and Bigfoot is regional. The mythology surrounding the yeti comes from the Himalayas near Tibet. Bigfoot is primarily based on North American native folklore.

More importantly, where Bigfoot currently has his own reality show on Animal Planet as well as his own Facebook page, and therefore presumably has a more of-the-moment public relations team, the yeti, who technically doesn’t even qualify to have his name capitalized, has largely dropped into the realm of fireside stories told to frighten the grandkids.

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Happy Halloween from Goth Chick News!

Saturday, October 31st, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Happy Halloween from Goth Chick News-small

Art by

Goth Chick News: Pride, Prejudice, Zombies and Seth Grahame-Smith

Thursday, October 29th, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies poster-smallAs you probably know by now, the author-side of Seth Grahame-Smith is fond of taking classic tales and turning them into horror stories. And if you’ve ever read one of those stories you might be of the mind that he’s a better screen writer / producer than he is an author.

Or at least I am.

Case in point: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was one of those books I couldn’t get my hands on fast enough back in 2010, having been previously gifted with a copy of SGS’s book How to Survive a Horror Movie (which to this day never fails to make me chuckle). But in spite of the fact it debuted at number four on the NYT’s Best Seller List, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter felt a little like SGS had conscripted a public-domained biography of Abraham Lincoln and stuck in some paragraphs here and there about vampires.

No – it actually felt a lot like that.

Which is primarily why I never backtracked and read SGS’s previous foray into this reworked genre, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Published in 2009, the idea for the novel came from SGS’s editor at Quirk Books. Using Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice as a platform, it was suggested that SGS mix a zombie plot into the novel; which is precisely what he did, comparing the entire creative process to doing “microsurgery” on Austen’s original text.

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Goth Chick News: Sony Dumps Freaks of Nature All Over Us Next Week

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Freaks-of-Nature-Poster-smallTalk about throwing in everything but the kitchen sink…

This little gem caught my attention just like anything else with a “red band trailer” – which is probably the point. But unlike most of the gore-fests that are NSFW, this just might be the most brilliant bit of film making I’ve come across in recent memory.

First off, a big studio is dropping it. Not to be outdone by Columbia (which had Zombieland) or Universal (which had Shawn of the Dead), Sony is now apparently stepping up to bat with its own not-sure-if-I-should-laugh-or-gag offering, Freaks of Nature.

Second, the cast is massive and includes Nicholas Braun, Mackenzie Davis, Josh Fadem, Joan Cusack, Bob Odenkirk, Keegan-Michael Key, Ed Westwick, Patton Oswalt, and even Vanessa Hudgens and Denis Leary for crying out loud.

I mean, these are all people who fans are actually still looking for.

Okay, maybe not Joan Cusack so much… but you know what I’m getting at.

Considering the stars involved, Freaks of Nature still managed to fly under the radar, possibly because the title was only just announced this week, even though it hits theaters next Friday. In case you’re keeping track, that’s a pretty clandestine approach for a horror movie with a Halloween release.

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Goth Chick News: The Overlook Gets a Starring Role

Thursday, October 15th, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

The Stanley Hotel

The Timberline Lodge

If you had asked me, when a prequel to The Shining was first green-lighted in July of last year, I’d have said it didn’t sound like such a hot idea.

Initial plans suggested the storyline would center on events leading up to Jack, Wendy and Danny Torrance’s arrival at the remote and ominous Overlook Hotel; and though fans of the book know there is a substantial amount of pre-Torrance material to work with, it just didn’t seem on the same terrifying level as the ultimate fallout of those events.

That early opinion of mine (may have) changed when Mark Romanek became attached to the project this week — a real-deal director with an edgy artistic vision.

Film will be called… wait for it…

The Overlook Hotel.

The premise is based on a deleted prologue written by Stephen King. “Before the Play” is about:

The origin story of the Overlook Hotel through the eyes of its first owner, Bob T. Watson. A robber baron at the turn of the 20th century, Watson scaled the remote peaks of the Colorado Rockies to build the grandest resort in America, and a place he and his family would also call home.

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Goth Chick News: Christmas at Beetlejuice’s House – Midnight Syndicate Does It Again

Thursday, October 8th, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Midnight Syndicate's "Christmas: A Ghostly Gathering" album coverAs you are all likely aware by this point, I go all fan-girl when it comes to my goth-boy-band crush, Midnight Syndicate.

From way back when they were providing the soundtrack to the Playboy Mansion’s Halloween bashes to the music they produced for movies like The Dead Matter, I’ve hung on their every note; and no fantasy game night or Halloween season would be complete without them.

So when Ed Douglas contacted me to say Midnight Syndicate had recently completed something really special that would be right down my under-lit, cob-webby alley, I promptly began stalking the mail carrier until the package arrived.

And once again, the boys deliver – in a wonderfully different and unexpected way.

A Christmas album.

Yes, you read that right. Midnight Syndicate has just released Christmas: A Ghostly Gathering.

How, oh how to describe this to you?   Let’s just say that if Beetlejuice invited you over to the Maitlands for a holiday Zagnut, he’d be playing this collection on all speakers.

Midnight Syndicate has taken your favorite holiday tunes and added in their unique mixture of dissident chords, eerie harmonics and original craftsmanship to deliver charmingly haunting fare that will take you from October straight through December.

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Goth Chick News: The Best Scares Are Made In America Scares…

Thursday, October 1st, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Tony Zagone and Franco Pacini

Tony Zagone and Franco Pacini

Over 40 years ago, Chicagoland brothers Phil and Bob Zagone realized that nothing ruined the chances of picking up a date on Halloween with a fantastic costume, faster than the sweaty mess you became under a rubber mask.

That — and there was no way to consume adult beverages while wearing one.

Committed to solving this age-old dilemma the brothers started working on several solutions which they eventually proposed to the Godfather of Halloween himself, Don Post of Don Post Studios in California.

Unfortunately (or rather fortunately), Mr. Post was too busy to consider their ideas, but advised the Zogones that if they were so keen to improve the mask industry, they were welcome to start their own company and have at it.

Which was precisely what Phil and Bob did in 1974, right here in their hometown of Chicago.

Welcome Black Gate readers, to the famous Zagone Studios Mask and Costume Company.

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