Goth Chick News: Carrie White Joins Twitter and It’s Awesome

Saturday, December 15th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Carrie at the Prom

Let’s be honest, social media can be a serious bummer sometimes. If you’re active on all the various platforms then you know that for every adorable puppy video there’s at least one or more trolls who can’t help but spread negativity. Between mean-spirited memes and the general lack of empathy for fellow human beings it’s enough to make you pack it in and decide it just isn’t worth being that ‘connected’.

But then something like this happens.

Someone in the Twitterverse decided to create an account and assume the persona of Stephen King’s telekinetic, introverted teenager Carrie, made famous in his very first novel and played by Sissy Spacek in Brian De Palma’s 1976 film adaptation.

The account has only been up since December 4, but it went from having 8 followers a few days ago, to 86 as of this morning, and the goal seems to be to give voice to some of Carrie’s inner musings while reminding us all there are still fun people out there.

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Rodan, The 1956 Flying Monster Who Colorized the Godzilla-verse

Saturday, December 15th, 2018 | Posted by Ryan Harvey

rodan-2019-poster

The trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the direct sequel to the 2014 US Godzilla and the third installment in the Warner Bros. “Monsterverse” series after Kong: Skull Island, arrived earlier this week. It’s beautiful kaiju madness, even without Debussy’s dulcet tones rolling beneath it. King Ghidorah appears in all its auriferous splendor, charging into Godzilla in a jaw-dropping final shot meant to bring tears to my eyes. It succeeded. Our own Nick Ozment has some thoughts about it he put up yesterday which you should check out.

I’m tempted to proclaim the wonders of King Ghidorah, but I’ve already given the three-headed space dragon plenty of attention in a post about Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster, the 1964 film that’s essentially the template for the upcoming Godzilla movie. So as an alternate, I’m going to talk about the other monster who has money shots in the trailer: Rodan, one of the oldest of Toho Studio’s monsters. Specifically, I’m going to look at Rodan’s debut, a self-titled showstopper from 1956 and the first Toho kaiju film in color.

Sora no Daikaiju Radon (“The Giant Monster of the Sky, Rodan”), which Toho titled Rodan for US foreign sales to avoid confusion with the chemical element radon,* was released the year after the first Godzilla sequel, Godzilla Raids Again. The second go-around for Godzilla was financially successful, but not the earth-shaker of the original. Toho didn’t think there was more to mine from Godzilla and wouldn’t return to the Big G until King Kong vs. Godzilla eight years later. But Toho executives were willing to bet theatergoers would show up to see a destruction spectacle with an new type of monster … especially if was IN TECHNICOLOR! Or Eastmancolor.

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Why Godzilla is King of the Monsters

Friday, December 14th, 2018 | Posted by Nick Ozment

godzilla_aftershock_lacc_posterThe makers of the forthcoming Godzilla film get it.

None of us have seen Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) yet, of course. But based on the recent trailer — and on the precedent of Godzilla (2014) and Kong: Skull Island (2017), the previous two films in the Legendary MonsterVerse franchise — I can tell you, they get Godzilla. They understand why he is the King of the Monsters, and why he has held that title for six decades. They get why he is both terrifying and inspiring, our worst nightmare and our greatest hope.

Let’s start with a glaring example of what Godzilla is not. Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin, the makers behind the misbegotten 1998 American adaptation Godzilla, clearly did not get it. That film would have been okay — or, at least, received a bit more warmly — if only they had not called the monster in it Godzilla. Because, ultimately, it was just another generic big monster in a movie with a huge budget. The single best moment was not actually in the film, but in the teaser trailer. A group of kids are on a field trip to the science museum. The guide is showing them the dinosaur skeleton exhibit. Suddenly there is a distant rumbling. The whole building begins to shake; the tremors build; is it an earthquake? Then something monstrously huge crashes through the ceiling. Impossibly, a giant, clawed foot stomps on the comparatively puny T-rex skeleton, pulverizing it. Then the tagline appears: “Size does matter.”

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Wordsmiths: Talking Horror and White Noise with Geoff Gander and Tito Ferradans

Friday, December 14th, 2018 | Posted by Brandon Crilly

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There’s been something about this past year – tons of creators I know are doing awesome things, particularly in my Ottawa backyard, nearby in Toronto and elsewhere across Canada. It sounds cliché, but watching these projects come to fruition is one of the highlights of being a creator myself, and I’ve been lucky to chat with a few people and put together interviews to share with all of you – starting today!

Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with Ottawa horror author and games writer Geoff Gander about some exciting news: the purchase of film rights to his 2014 short story “White Noise” (published in AE Sci Fi). The short film of the same name is being written and co-directed by Vancouver-based screenwriter Tito Ferradans, who joined us to discuss the process of converting from short story to film, and the horror genre in general. He also shared some screenshots from the film to give you a glimpse of what “White Noise” will look like.

Hope you all enjoy! And make sure to check out links to the White Noise Indigegogo campaign below!

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Peplum Populist: The Adventures of Hercules (1985)

Saturday, December 8th, 2018 | Posted by Ryan Harvey

adventures-of-hercules-1985-posterThis is a bit more of coloring-out-the-lines for my sword-and-sandal reviews, since The Adventures of Hercules comes from the mid-‘80s, far beyond the classic era of the Italian peplum of 1957–1965. But it is an Italian genre film about Hercules starring a bodybuilder from the US, which is the most sword-and-sandal situation imaginable. Plus, I’ve owed Black Gate a look at this film ever since 2009 when I reviewed the first of this pair of unbelievably goofy Lou Ferrigno Hercules flicks from director Luigi Cozzi. The guy who made that psychedelic version of the original Godzilla — which explains a lot about these Hercules movies.

The short version of the first part of my oration, In Facinorem Herculis: To cash-in on the success of Conan the Barbarian, Cannon Films contracted Italian filmmaker Luigi Cozzi to direct a new Hercules film starring bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno, who was at the height of his popularity after The Incredible Hulk television show. But instead of doing a standard Conan imitation — which the Italian film industry was already churning out — or trying to harken back to the classic Italian sword-and-sandal movies, Cozzi and Co. slapped Star Wars SF gimmickry over everything. According to Cozzi, it was his idea to pitch a Hercules film closer to the recent Superman films after the producers rejected a “sexy” script from director Bruno Mattei. Cozzi crammed the movie with laser blasts, lunar-based Olympians, giant robots, space travel via chariot, and plenty of beeping-and-booping synth noises. Although Cozzi had experience with riffing on Star Wars thanks to his 1979 movie Starcrash, it wasn’t any help overcoming a pinched budget, copious terrible performances, and the general misguided tone of “Who is this for?”

While Hercules ‘83 got a US theatrical release, it wasn’t a hot property in North America except as an object of jeers. But it made enough money internationally to justify Cannon moving ahead with a planned sequel, although with a trimmed budget. The Adventures of Hercules (Le avventure dell’incredibile Ercole, with a Roman numeral “II” added to some video releases) went straight to video and cable in the US and isn’t as well-known as its predecessor.

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My Top Five Con Games

Friday, December 7th, 2018 | Posted by Violette Malan

Sting 3A few weeks ago I was looking at my favourite heist movies, and I was struck by the realization that a heist is not a con. It’s not that the two can’t occasionally overlap, it’s just that there are distinctions with shove each of them into their own sub-genres.

This doesn’t mean that a con game doesn’t result in something – and occasionally someone – being stolen, or taken, or perhaps recovered. The point is that looked at a certain way, a con game isn’t a theft, it’s an act of persuasion. You don’t steal the item, you persuade the owner to give it to you.

There’s a simple element that can make the con game more palatable to audiences in general: you can’t cheat an honest man. The marks are always greedy, and the con artist uses that greed against them. It’s not theft, in a con game, the artist gets someone to give them the target item willingly. In the best examples, the mark never even knows what’s happened. And that’s why a common trope of the con, or sting, is that it involves no violence, often not even pretended violence.

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Goth Chick News: Godzilla and Stranger Things 3 or More Reasons to Love Millie Bobby Brown

Thursday, December 6th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Though there is no shortage of great offerings from the likes of Netflix, Hulu, etc, it’s hard to not heave a sigh knowing we’re still a way off from our favs. Game of Thrones final season has been confirmed for an April, 2019 release, though an exact date hasn’t been announced. We also know we’re going to have to wait until sometime in the summer of 2019 to binge season 3 of Stranger Things, though that is about as much detail as has been let out. There is a very amusing teaser trailer which I’ve included above if you haven’t seen it in all its 80’s mall glory, but other than confirming Steve is awesome, it doesn’t say much about what to expect from our friends in Hawkins, IN.

Word on the underground grapevine is that a substantial trailer as well as the exact release date for season 3 will come out during Super Bowl 53 on February 3rd. We also know filming wrapped in the fall, from the blurb that star Millie Bobby Brown posted on her Twitter feed for the first official Stranger Things Day which occurred on November 6th (the day Will originally went missing).

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The Complete Carpenter: My 5 Favorite John Carpenter Movies

Saturday, December 1st, 2018 | Posted by Ryan Harvey

John-Carpenter-with-axe

Two years ago this week, I posted a review of Dark Star, the first movie from director John Carpenter. Last month, I closed off my chronological amble through his theatrical feature films with a review of The Ward. To celebrate completing this 40,000-word-plus enterprise, I’ve put together a few closing thoughts on my five favorite John Carpenter flicks. Trying to do a complete list of the films from best to worst isn’t an easy task: I’d end up with too many ties, too much second-guessing, too many regrets. Nor do I want to dwell on the negative at the end of this series — dealing with The Ward was negativity enough! So this here is nothing but praise coming from some guy who’s only credential is “posts on a website.”

Since I’ve been asked, I didn’t include Carpenter’s episodes of Masters of Horror on this series, or the anthology movie Body Bags. I won’t rule out writing about these smaller projects in the future, but for the sake of this series, I’ve stuck to theatrical movies. If I did Body Bags, I’d also have to do Elvis and Somebody’s Watching Me, and I just don’t feel like it.

How tough is competition for the top slots in John Carpenter’s career? Halloween didn’t make my list! The director’s most famous and influential movie, an unquestionable masterpiece — and I still couldn’t make room for it among my five favorites.

Anyway, hop aboard the Porkchop Express … here are my Five Favorite John Carpenter films. Have you paid your dues, Ryan?

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He-Man, Nay, Prince Adam is the Hero We (also) Need

Saturday, November 24th, 2018 | Posted by mariebilodeau

she-ra-poster

Dearest readers,

It may have struck you at this point that I am, indeed, a Masters of the Universe / Princess of Power fan. Not just of the show, but of the various incarnations, from golden books to comic books, from newspaper strips to really weird, bad movies.

I love it all. I have many, many, many dolls, nay, ACTION FIGURES (!) to prove it.

The greatest failing of this most wondrous world so far is that there had been no full She-Ra reboot since the 80s. We’d seen her again, of course, brought into her brother’s story lines as creators (male, usually. Always.) saw fit.

But no more.

On November 13, a glorious day that shall forever be marked in history, She-Ra triumphantly returned to the streamed screen. I was excited about the new incarnation, and I already went on about it here (“She-Ra is Now Even More She-Ra“).

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The Complete Carpenter: The Ward (2010)

Saturday, November 17th, 2018 | Posted by Ryan Harvey

ward-2010-posterI started this John Carpenter career overview less than two years ago with Dark Star. Now I’ve come to what may end up as John Carpenter’s final film as director, appropriately a low-budget indie horror film. Carpenter had gone into semi-retirement after Ghosts of Mars flopped at the box office, only directing two episodes of Showtime’s anthology series Masters of Horror over the next nine years. The Ward wasn’t sold as a glorious comeback for the director, but a surreptitious little film that arrived without fanfare in a handful of theaters, a same-day VOD release, and home video a month later.

This isn’t where the Carpenter story ends, thankfully. I doubt he’ll direct another film (never say never), but he’s in a good creative place now. He’s released two superb original albums (Lost Themes, Lost Themes II), tours the country playing shows with his son Cody and godson Daniel Davies, and composed the score for the recent smash-hit installment in the Halloween franchise, which he also executive produced.

This makes me feel a bit better about discussing The Ward, because it’s not the last stop on Carpenter’s career. It won’t be the last article in the series either, since next week I’ll wrap-up two years of the Complete Carpenter with a summary of my five favorite of his movies. I’m not going to list my five worst because I’d prefer to send off this long project — more than 40,000 words — on a feeling of celebration.

But, if you really must know what I movie I’d put at the bottom of the list … it’s The Ward. Easy.

The Story

In 1966, young runaway Kristen (Amber Heard) is sent to a psychiatric hospital in Oregon after she burns down an empty farmhouse. Kristen is placed under the care of Dr. Stringer (Jared Harris), who is looking after five other troubled young women in the hospital’s special psychiatric ward: aggressive Emily (Mamie Gummer), flirtatious Sarah (Danielle Panabaker), artistic Iris (Lyndsy Fonseca), and infantile Zoey (Laura-Leigh). Dr. Stringer believes he can cure Kristen, but Kristen starts to suspect something sinister in the ward is responsible for the disappearance of patients before her. When more vanishings occur, Kristen believes the wrathful ghost of a previous patient, Alice Hudson, is murdering the ward’s occupants. Kristen attempts an escape with the surviving girls before the killer ghosts turns the electroshock therapy machine on her.

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