Goth Chick News: Let’s Get ‘The Season’ Started with The Devil All the Time

Thursday, August 6th, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

The Devil All the Time

Before I tell you about this, I need to make a couple of pre-emptive statements:

Yes, I know it’s only August.

You’re right. Halloween isn’t for weeks and weeks.

Yes, I’ve actually left the house when the sun is up / it’s warm / it’s summer, etc, etc.

Now that we have those items out of the way, I can gleefully report Netflix is definitely with me when it comes to launching their fall lineup, the moment there is a whiff of 70-degree temps in the air. And their first offering of the scare season is a doozy.

Premiering on September 16th, The Devil All the Time is based on a book by the same name, by author Donald Ray Pollack. Telling the story of a religious community who takes their faith to often horrific extremes in rural Ohio, it was actually shot in Alabama over a short, but apparently very intense 10 days. Filmmaker Antonio Campos (Simon Killer, 2016’s Christine) is a little secretive about the nature of the film’s plot, but there is no hiding the star-studded nature of the cast. The film is brimming with big names including Spider-Man‘s Tom Holland, It Chapter One and Two‘s Bill Skarsgård, The Lodge‘s Riley Keough, and Pet Sematary‘s Jason Clarke with Robert Pattinson (The Lighthouse, The Batman) and Mia Wasikowska (Stoker, Crimson Peak).

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Goth Chick News: Think 2020 is Bad? Check out Cursed Objects

Thursday, July 30th, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Quirk Books Horror Preview Fall 2020

Quirk Books, publishers and seekers of all things awesome, more than live up to their self-proclamation.

They have been my personal source of quirky awesomeness since I was first introduced to them in 2013 via The Resurrectionist, a quintessentially odd bit of literature indeed. Following this came a litany of titles, all of which were so decidedly strange, so that I could not help but assign all Quirk publications a place of honor on the shelves of Goth Chick News.

It follows that in order to be the source of peculiar books Quirk must court very unusual authors, who by design, must be up to the task of… well… being quirky. This was made clear when I sought out the publisher’s booth at last year’s C2E2 event in Chicago, where I inquired whether or not The Resurrectionist would ever be followed by second book. I was informed the author had not submitted anything quite “strange enough” to date, but they would keep me informed.

I really do love these people.

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Goth Chick News: A New Monster from Harry Potter Creator J. K. Rowling

Thursday, July 16th, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

The Ickabog

Shortly following the advent of the zombie apocalypse which caused us all to seek shelter in our homes and increase our body fat to survive potential food shortages, Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling had an idea. Back in 2012 she began writing a new kind of children’s story which she read to her two younger kids, then aged 7 and 9 respectively, a chapter at a time as she created it. However, when it was done, she decided to publish the first of her adult mystery series, The Cuckoo’s Calling instead, and the completed children’s story went into the attic.

However, when the zombies came and we all went into hiding, Rowling understood the situation was particularly difficult for children. She went to the attic and dusted off her story and decided it might be a good way to provide some entertainment for the kids, who would otherwise have been finishing school, then enjoying their summer. She decided she would publish the story online for free, as so many parents were experiencing financial hardship, and new books might be pretty far down the line of priorities.

So, in May of this year, the first two chapters of The Ickabog appeared on its own, brand new website. Rowling then released a chapter or two every few days over the next seven weeks, and a week ago, the final chapter (number 64) was posted. In addition, Rowling provided her young readers with suggestions for illustrating her story. She invited them to send her their artwork, from which would be chosen a series of pictures to be included in the print version of The Ickabog, set to be released in November 2020.

And of course, I read it. No actually I devoured it, like the Ickabog devoured…

Never you mind, no spoilers here.

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Goth Chick News: Who Doesn’t Love (Halloween) Legos?

Thursday, July 9th, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Haunted Legos

Nothing is quite as satisfying as a good Lego project. It must be a hold-over feeling of accomplishment from childhood that has caused a serious surge in Lego fandom in the last ten years, boosted still further these days by the fact we’re mostly stuck at home. Lego credits its recent success to adult fans who find building Lego projects relaxing, which I can personally vouch for, at least until you step on one.

Lego is still privately held by the Kristiansen family in Denmark, but recently released financial info has Lego sales up $5.5 billion in the first half of 2020. Difficult as it is to imagine, the company was on the brink of ruin about 15 years ago, but today is cited a one of the biggest turnarounds in corporate history due to embracing themed tie-in sets and a multi-generational fan base.

Speaking of themed tie-in sets, I’m always on the lookout for a new Legos, telling myself I’ll eventually turn my collection over to someone’s child (unlikely). And Lego, like me, considers any time of year fair game for a Halloween offering which is why I’m particularly excited about their announcement this week.

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Goth Chick News: A Plea for Classic Horror

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

They Live poster-small

Black Gate photographer Chris Z and I have the pleasure of meeting horror enthusiasts year-round at the various events and trade shows we attend. Though this year is definitely different is some regards, it thankfully has not interrupted the connections we continue to make in this fascinating industry. I had the pleasure of meeting Scott Elichek in person, prior to the shutdown. He is not only a horror connoisseur, but an indie film writer and most importantly, a fan of Black Gate. It is therefore with great pleasure that I introduce you to him via his guest post for this week’s Goth Chick News.

Scott, meet everyone.

Everyone, meet Scott.

A Plea for Classic Horror

By Scott Elichek

Many legendary horror directors provided the foundation for the movies which came with the turn of the millennium. Trail-blazers such as John Carpenter, Wes Craven, George Romero, Tobe Hooper, Lucio Fulci, Clive Barker and Sean Cunningham, created films that not only entertained, but provided horror fans a mental escape. However, with the turn of the century the genre appeared to shift gears.  Many of these directors exited the industry for a variety of reasons, and a new generation took the helm.

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Goth Chick News: Anne Rice’s Vampires and Witches Get a Final Resting Place on AMC

Thursday, June 25th, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Gotch Chick 1

To say I was a fan of Anne Rice’s stories is to under-report the nature of my obsession. Not only do I have all of her work in multiple formats (at least all of it up to 2005), I have hardcover first editions of many, signed by the lady herself. These were the results of multiple pilgrimages to New Orleans to attend her book releases at the Garden District Book Shop as well as her annual Vampire Ball which used to be held every October. These trips lead to my own love affair of NOLA which remains to this day, all thanks to the incredible mystery, terror and romance Rice conveyed in her works, most of which were anchored in the city time forgot.

So, what happened in 2005 that changed everything?

Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans that year. Rice had decamped in 2002 when her husband passed away, selling all her properties and moving to California to join her son Christopher, a successful author in his own right. However, her leaving the city had not stopped the tourism generated by Rice’s stories. Following Katrina, city leaders appealed to Rice to come back to New Orleans to host an event or two and help get the city back on its feet. Unfortunately, Rice declined, which was understandable if it had been too hard to return to the place where her husband’s memory was everywhere. But Rice’s stance went much deeper.

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Goth Chick News: Game Night Reinvented for the Horror Fan

Thursday, June 11th, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

The Shining Board Game-small

The Shining Board Game

I was once a digital game enthusiast.

In the ‘before times’ when we were allowed to physically be in the company of other humans, I often found myself far too immersed in humanity, however unthinkable a state that is today. I sat in an office with other people, ate with other people, sat for hours in traffic with other people and came home to other people. It was therefore a welcome escape to place that VR helmet over my head and get away from everyone, often doing very geeky alone-things like touring virtual museums or take a virtual climb up Mount Rainer.

Today, in the upside-down, we’re going to great lengths to create those human interactions which I, at least, used to try and escape. We now have video meetings and Zoom cocktail parties, and frankly, spending time alone as entertainment is no longer as appealing as it once was. Instead, virtual game nights have become so popular that there are now online services you can hire to host them for you. According to a May article in USA Today, Walmart has seen their sales of board games double since March, and Amazon sales are up 4,000% in the same timeframe. The article specifically called out the game publisher Ravensburger, as having seen a 370% jump in sales since March.

Which brings me to the topic du jour.

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Goth Chick News: The Shining Opera. And No, I’m Not Joking…

Thursday, May 28th, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

The Shining Opera poster-small

As much as I love the movie The Shining, I never thought I’d ever see that title in the same sentence with the word ‘opera;’ and yet here we are.

Turns out the Minnesota Opera, located in Minneapolis, has become known for showcasing rare and unusual operas. For instance, they’ve performed operatic versions of Where the Wild Things Are, Frankenstein, and The Handmaid’s Tale. They’ve even done one called Nixon in China. Admittedly, I’m not much of an opera fan. However, I understand there are those aficionados who make it a hobby of ‘collecting’ performances of strange operas and if this happens to be your thing, keep reading.

The Minnesota Opera’s head musical director, Eric Simonson and the artistic director Dale Johnson, came up with the idea to turn Stephen King’s novel into opera. They contacted Pulitzer Prize winning composer Paul Moravec, and Grammy Award winning lyricist Mark Campbell, and three years later The Shining opera premiered at the Ordway Music Theater in May 2016.

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Goth Chick News: Sigourney Weaver is Back Kicking the Snot Out of Aliens – Right Now

Thursday, May 21st, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Get Away from Her

Socially distant Zoom call. Earlier this week:

Black Gate Photog Chris Z: Do you think they’ll ever fix the Alien franchise?

Goth Chick: By ‘fix’ do you mean ignore the hot mess of Aliens 3 and 4, along with the travesty that was those Prometheus movies?

BGPCZ: Though I’m clearly not as emotionally scarred as you, basically yes.

GC: I am still holding out hope for the Neill Blomkamp / James Cameron reboot that picks up Ripley and Hicks’ characters after Aliens 2. You know, the one Ridley Scott utterly destroyed with his announcement he was coming up with something better?

BGPCZ: The ‘something better’ that gave us Prometheus.

GC: (gagging noise) Yes. Cameron was hinting it was a go early last year, so there’s still hope.

And that, dear BG readers is what caused me to go hunting to see if there were any new developments on that front, which is when I discovered this – embarrassed as I am to be so late to this party.

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Goth Chick News: Watch Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis this Saturday? Yes Please!

Thursday, May 14th, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Halloween Twitter Watch Party-small

Just when we thought the boredom might overtake us, Universal Pictures comes up with the best idea with the crappiest amount of promotion behind it. When this came to my attention from another industry writer, I actually had a heck of a time finding the details on directly from Universal. Which in a way makes it all the cooler and more exclusive.

The studio has come up with a way to promote existing movies with an added twist, and this Saturday’s offering is about the best news I’ve heard since I found out I can work in sweatpants for two months. Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has announced plans to host interactive watch parties on Twitter each weekend, featuring some of their most iconic films. This Saturday (May 16), Jason Blum of Blumhouse will play host to David Gordon Green, joined by Curtis, John Carpenter, Judy Greer, James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle, to watch the 11th installment of the Halloween franchise, while providing live commentary.

According to Universal’s event website:

No one does horror quite like Blumhouse and Michael Myers. Join the production company that specializes in horror as they watch the return of Halloween along with the cast. Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago. #HalloweenAtHome

So, how does this magic happen?

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