Goth Chick News: New Horror Movies and the Oreos to Eat With Them…

Thursday, April 4th, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Goth Chick 2019 movie mashup

With spring having recently sprung and a Chicagoland weather forecast with nary a single-digit temp in sight, we here at Goth Chick News are decidedly giddy. The Big Cheese John O has thrown open the windows of the Black Gate offices letting in a breeze that finally disperses the smell of skunked Molson and Cheetohs, and Howard A. Jones is once again starting to make noises about that damn zeppelin again…

So in celebration of nature’s renewal, here’s a double-dose of goth stuff.

The first item up gets credited to Fandango who did a fabulous job getting us ready for all the 2019 reasons to hold tight to your date in a darkened theater. Feast your eyes on an awesome mashup of upcoming horror movie trailers. Us is in theaters now, and Pet Sematary, which is already getting early raves, opens this weekend but everything else is down range. Previews includes sneak peeks at flicks such as Child’s Play, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, BrightBurn, Hellboy and The Curse of La Llorona to name a few.

Check it.

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Goth Chick News: Kicking Off “The Season” at the HAA

Thursday, March 28th, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Transworld Halloween and Attractions Show 2019-small

Unless you are a regular visitor to the subterranean offices of Goth Chick News, and let’s be honest, no one voluntarily comes down here unless its “The Big Cheese” John O. to yell at us about our expense reports, then you may not know Halloween only takes a short hiatus for Christmas, before ramping right up again. Each year the new “season” kicks off in March with the mother of all industry conventions in St. Louis, MO, TransWorld’s HAA Show, resulting in a sometimes hazardous, 5-hour commute from Black Gate’s home in the Windy City.

The Haunted Attraction Association (HAA) is the only official association for the haunt industry, boasting a worldwide network of members from professional attraction owners, to Hollywood special effects and makeup artists. For the past 30 years, TransWorld Tradeshows LLC has hosted the HAA show where professional haunt content providers come together to show off their new offerings. Though 2019 actuals aren’t yet available, an estimated 9,000 guests from around the world piled into the St. Louis America’s Center, which has hosted the HAA for the past 10 years.  The tradeshow floor space itself has tripled since the show moved to St. Louis from Chicago in 2009, which is understandable when you think about Halloween now being a $9 billion industry with most of that money being made in the month of October.

One would think that being at the forefront of such a lucrative niche would earn us the right to expense a couple of Fireball shots… but alas… no.

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Goth Chick News: The Resurrection of Penny Dreadful

Thursday, March 21st, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Penny_Dreadful_City_of_Angels_poster-small

Three years ago, I primal-screamed at Showtime for not only ending one of my favorite binge series, Penny Dreadful, but for how they ended it. I won’t put any spoilers here in case you haven’t had the pleasure since I still highly recommend it – all the way up until the last episode.

If you have seen it then you know showrunners left the door open just a smidge to allow for the series to possibly pick up where it left off. And now the news is out that Penny Dreadful is indeed coming back, but in an entirely new iteration entitled Penny Dreadful: City of Angels.

First a little background. If you weren’t aware, “penny dreadfuls” were first produced in Britain in the 1830’s and referred to a serial story published in weekly parts, each costing a penny. The content was usually something shocking by Victorian standards, involving characters such as Varney the Vampire and Sweeny Todd and touched on crime or the supernatural. The Showtime series riffed on the same, artfully bringing together a litany of monsters into one storyline. Penny Dreadful showcased Dr. Frankenstein, his creature, his bride, Dorian Gray, vampires, witches and werewolves, to name a few, all set against a backdrop of 1830’s London.

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels is set to begin production “soon,” and creator John Logan describe it as a “spiritual descendant” of the original. As you would guess from the title, the new iteration takes place in Los Angeles and will once again deal with the conflicts between the forces of good and evil – both human and supernatural.

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Goth Chick News: As If Reliving Your Childhood Wasn’t Horror Enough…

Thursday, March 7th, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Goth Chick Banana Splits

Long before doctors decided that television as an electronic babysitter was probably not the best idea, an entire generation of kids grew up thinking Sesame Street was a real place and dreaming of solving mysteries with friends and a Great Dane from the back of a psychedelic minivan. And if you weren’t old enough to catch all this TV goodness the first time around, the after-school reruns continued through nearly three generations via local cable access channels, The Cartoon Network and YouTube.

A particularly trippy offering called The Banana Splits originally aired on NBC from 1968 to 1970 and has since become famous for both being unintentionally creepy and resembling a bad acid trip. The classic children’s variety show, whose full name was The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, teamed executive producers William Hanna and Joseph Barbera with Sid and Marty Krofft, who designed the costumes for the show’s four main characters, Fleegle the beagle, Bingo the gorilla, Drooper the lion and Snorky the elephant. The Krofft brothers then went on to produce other 70’s favorites such as H.R. Pufnstuf and The Donny and Marie Hour along with a host of others. Hanna Barbera were already children’s entertainment icons, giving birth to Hanna Barbera Studios which was ultimately absorbed into Warner Brothers Animation.

Some people suggested that the Krofft brothers were influenced by marijuana and LSD, although they have always denied these claims. In a 2005 interview with USA Today, Marty Krofft said, “No drugs involved. You can’t do drugs when you’re making shows. Maybe after, but not during. We’re bizarre, that’s all.” Referring to the alleged LSD use, Marty said in another interview, “That was our look, those were the colors, everything we did had vivid colors, but there was no acid involved. That scared me. I’m no goody two-shoes, but you can’t create this stuff stoned.”

Okay, we’ll take their word for it but looking back, The Banana Splits was more than subtly frightening, which makes the idea of adapting it into a horror flick quite inspired.

Yep, you read that right – The Banana Splits is being made into a horror movie.

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Goth Chick News: Get Ready, Here Comes Your Summer Reading List

Thursday, February 28th, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

If you live somewhere that, like Chicago, has been experiencing temperatures incompatible with human life over the past couple months, then thinking about a lounge chair, a book and an umbrella drink wearing anything less than a Tauntaun skin is pretty darn appealing. And with perfect timing, here comes the 2018 Bram Stoker Award nominees hot off the press from the Horror Writers Association (HWA), providing a categorized list of reading material.

Now all you need is the lounge chair, an umbrella drink and a space heater.

Named in honor Dracula’s spiritual Daddy, the Bram Stoker Awards are presented each year for superior achievement in writing in eleven categories. It is also the coolest physical award ever. I mean, Oscar is just a naked gold guy while the Stoker looks like this:

Bram Stoker Award

Previous winners include Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, Joyce Carol Oates, and Neil Gaiman.

The HWA is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it. The HWA formed in 1985 with the help of many of the field’s greats, including Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Joe R. Lansdale, and in addition to the Stoker, the HWA is the sponsor of the annual StokerCon horror convention which takes place in Grand Rapids, MI.

So grab a pen Black Gaters and get ready to make your list…

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Goth Chick News: A Nearly Perfect Way to Spend an Evening…

Thursday, February 21st, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Horrified-small

If you haven’t heard, Mother Nature has decided to see if Chicagoans are as hearty as we claim to be. She started by lowering the temperature to a level normally incompatible with human life. She then whacked us with three of the four seasons in one week, placing the “all-weather-shorts-guy” on the endangered species list. Finally, she’s resorted to layering snow, ice, snow, ice until our pets learned to skate and pee simultaneously.

But are we broken?

Are we whining?

Nope.

We’ve simply put parkas on our dogs, laid in a month-long supply of antifreeze in the form of adult beverages, and hunkered down in front of the fireplace for a long session of board-gaming, punctuated by musings of whether or not enough ketchup could be put on groundhog to make it taste like beef.

The little ^$&#*&#^* did predict an early spring after all.

So, the news of this new game was perfectly timed, even if the release date means it will need to go on the agenda for next winter.

Coming with the amusing tagline, “The Stakes Have Been Raised,” Horrified: Universal Monsters brings the whole gang back together in a new board game by Ravensburger. There might be enough motivation to buy it simply for the “high-quality sculpted miniatures” of Dracula, Frankenstein, the Bride of Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon (sorry, Lon Chaney fans, but there’s no Phantom of the Opera or Quasimodo miniatures).

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Goth Chick News: When Pixar Met Christine…

Thursday, February 14th, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Stranger Cars

Okay, admittedly I’m way late on this since it was uploaded to YouTube in October, but as it was just brought to my attention, and killer cars are always in vogue in my world, I had to share.

On the YouTube channel Fabulous Cars VEEVOOO, some complete genius took liberties with the John Carpenter classic Christine (1983) along with other vehicular horrors and “Pixarized” them. As you likely recall, Christine is the movie based on Stephen King’s story about a demonic 1958 Plymouth Fury of the same name, who was hard core in love with her rather backward teenaged owner and went about systematically destroying anyone who mistreated him or took too much of his attention.

If you haven’t read the book, trust me when I say it’s way more interesting than I’m making it sound, and this gem of a movie short has sent me back to read it again. If you ever fell in love with a car, you’ll get it.

The short, called Stranger Cars, has all the magic of Pixar with the imagination of John Carpenter, and blends them into one big Disney nightmare.

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Goth Chick News: Looking Back at a Good Old-Fashioned Exorcism…

Thursday, February 7th, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

The Exorcist poster-small

Long before Emily Rose, or Emma Evans there was Regan MacNeil, a once normal little girl who became quite a handful thanks to an imaginary friend who, as it turned out, happened to be an ancient Mesopotamian demon king. It was just over 45 years ago, on December 26, 1973, movie-going audiences were treated to what would come to be known as one of the scariest horror movies of all time – The Exorcist.

Based on William Peter Blatty’s novel of the same name, The Exorcist tells the story of a little girl possessed by the demon Pazuzu and the priests charged with saving her soul. There are tales of people being so frightened of Blatty’s book that they keep it in a separate part of the house, like a garage, a linen closet, or even a freezer; because it’s common knowledge that ancient demon spirits go dormant in the cold and can’t manage closed doors.

The movie terrified audiences even more so, with some believing there was actual evil contained in the film stock. Looking at the adjusted, highest-grossing film list, so named as all totals are twizzled to account for inflation, The Exorcist bests even Avatar. It racked up $232 million in box office takings, over $900 million by today’s standards. What is even more fascinating is the profound difference 45 years has made in what audiences consider terrifying. In spite of the advancements in special effects technology that make some of The Exorcist scenes borderline comical by today’s standards, no movie since its premier has had such an effect on movie-goers.

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Goth Chick News: The (Hot, Vampire) Boys Are Back in Town

Thursday, January 31st, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Lost Boys for Goth Chick News

Long before new-age, flannel-wearing vampire Edward Cullen pouted and emo’d his way through not drinking blood in the Twilight series, there were the dangerously sexy boys from Santa Carla who introduced the 80’s to motorcycle-riding vampires with incredible fashion sense.

The Lost Boys premiered in the summer of 1987 with the tag line, “Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die,” basically summing up every 80’s kid’s deepest desires. Though The Hunger arguably provided vampires with their first 20th century panache, Jason Patric and Kiefer Sutherland brought us the idea of a teen-vamps in all their dark, leather-clad, bad-boy glory; effectively changing the genre forever by then giving rise to the Joss Whedon-helmed television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its subsequent universe.

Two unfortunate and highly-forgettable sequels followed, neither of which managed to capture the magic of the first. Lost BoysThe Tribe (2008) saw the return of only one original cast member, Cory Feldman, and tried to make up for its shortcomings of pretty much ripping off the original plot, by throwing in a whole lot of skin. Lost Boys – The Thirst followed two years later with Feldman still in tow and fared slightly better with fans, but it was clear the whole concept either needed to be dropped, or get a reboot for the 21st century.

And voila… here we go.

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Goth Chick News: Another Extreme Experience to Quell Our Overstimulated Psyches…

Thursday, January 24th, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Goth Chick News

We’re reported on haunted attractions which have patrons basically paying to be tortured, and we’ve seen an amusement park ride which simulates you being buried alive, both of which make us a tad worried about our fellow human beings and their increasing appetite for ‘extreme’ experiences. Apparently, our collective need to have our overloaded senses shocked even further has given rise to escape rooms that require 20-page liability releases and…

Well, and this…

Beginning January 27th, the annual Goteborg Film Festival in Sweden will be offering up 32 “sarcophagus screenings” of Aniara, a Swedish-language apocalyptic sci-fi film.

What does this entail exactly?

Billed as “The World’s Most Claustrophobic Cinema,” the word “sarcophagus” in this case equals “coffin”. Eight volunteers per screening will be chosen to be shut into specially-made caskets outfitted with screens, speakers and oh yeah, air vents. You can check out the promo reel for this great big bucket of ‘nope’ after the jump below.

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