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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A (Black) Gat in the Hand: A Hardboiled August on TCM

Wednesday, July 29th, 2020 | Posted by Bob Byrne

Bogart_TwoCarrollsEDITEDHopefully you’re used to my monthly look at some hardboiled/noir coming up for the month over at TCM. August is a little different. There is no Star of the Month. Instead a different person is featured every night for a ‘Summer under the Stars.’ I’ll include the star of the day, as it’s almost a day-long tribute to that star. As usual, the month features some hardboiled and noir:

SATURDAY AUGUST 1 (Barbara Stanwyck)

4:00 PM – The Two Mrs. Carrolls
This is a creepy Humphrey Bogart movie, with Stanwyck as his second wife. It also features Alexis Smith, who had a key role in the underrated Conflict. Nigel Bruce, Basil Rathbone’s Dr. Watson, plays a bit of a doofus (that was a real stretch for him). I find all the scenes with Bogart’s daughter annoying. Worth seeing once, but not in my top half of Bogart flicks.

10:00 PM – Double Indemnity
This was just on back in June. One of the greatest noirs of them all, with Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray and Edward G. Robinson all terrific. Great movie. Great novel.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 2

6:00 AM – Winchester ‘73
Since I’m the one writing this post, I add in movies from other genres that I think are good to watch. This is a different kind of western from director Anthony Mann, starring James Stewart, Shelly Winters, and noir star Dan Duryea. I don’t list this in my Westerns Top 10, but it’s a good one in the field.

MONDAY, AUGUST 3 (Rita Hayworth)

8:00 PM – The Lady from Shanghai
Orson Welles directed, wrote the screenplay, and costarred in this Hayworth vehicle.

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It Has Everything I Hate. And Yet…

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020 | Posted by S.M. Carrière

inuyasha banner 2

I find it delightful. Though so much about it means I shouldn’t.

Good afternoon, Readers!

I have been, for the past week and a bit, binge-watching InuYasha (English subs, as I much prefer the voice acting in Japanese). It is a series I began long ago, then just stopped watching. When I saw that Netflix had it, I decided to give it another go. After all, I had vaguely fond memories of it. Let me tell you, I am finding it absolutely delightful, even though it is choc-full of all the tropes that I generally despise. I’m struggling to figure out why I like the series so damned much. Make no mistake. I do. I have finished all the episodes in the original seasons, watched all of the movies, and am not far off finishing The Final Act, where the story is finally, after a long break to permit the manga to catch up, coming to a close.

There is so much about this show that I shouldn’t like. Yet somehow… well, I absolutely love it. To the point where I’m considering buying the whole lot on Blu Ray to binge whenever I please without fear of my streaming services dumping the series after a while (as they so often have with various shows).

First, let’s start with the trope I despise the most in any medium. The love triangle.

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19 Movies Goes to the Movies with Perry Rhodan

Saturday, July 25th, 2020 | Posted by John Miller

Mission Stardust-small

We’re going to do something a bit different this time and focus on a single movie, 1968’s (US release), Mission Stardust, starring sf’s longest continually published fictional character, Perry Rhodan.

I just discovered this film quite recently. It’s not like I’ve seen every movie ever made, or even every sf movie, but the fact that there was a Perry Rhodan movie in the 1960’s totally surprised me. First, though, a bit of a disclaimer. Detailed knowledge of the Perry Rhodan phenomenon entirely escaped me. I’ve never read any of the 126 books or so Rhodan books published in the U.S. Don’t know why, actually – it’s not like I was boycotting them, I just missed them. Part of the reason is that a good portion of the time they were on the bookshelves here (1969-1978) I was in college and grad school, and my sf reading was probably at the lowest point in my entire literate lifetime.

For those of you who might be unaware (and I was astonished by these figures when I wiki-pediaed them), Perry Rhodan is a German sf series that has been published weekly between September 1961 and February 2019 (when the wiki article was written) for over 3000 issues. Now, these are “booklet novels” usually sixty-six pages apiece, but still. This publication history makes my brain cramp. And that doesn’t even take into account the 850 spin-off novels of the “sister-series” Atlan or the 400 paperbacks and 200 hardcovers releases which I gather from the wiki article were in addition to the weekly series.

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Goth Chick News: The Orca Sails Again…

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Return of the Orca-small

Through the years I’ve never missed the opportunity to write some interesting tidbit about one of my favorite movies of all time, Jaws. However, I was a bit freaked out to discover that my inaugural opus about all things Jaws, appeared here at Black Gate 10 years ago this month.

Really… July, 2010.

Sigh.

Anyway, that article packed in quite a lot of trivia I had collected over the years, including this: the actual “Orca,” Captain Quint’s boat in Jaws, used to be moored on the lake in the Universal Studios California Jaws ride. There’s a story that Spielberg used to sneak into the park when he was working on the lot, and have his lunch sitting in the hull of the Orca, I guess as a way of keeping in contact with a physical relic of the movie that made his name in Hollywood. One day, Universal employees decided that the boat had rotted too much to remain in place, and it was removed and destroyed. Spielberg was understandably irritated.

However, 45 years later, Spielberg is (probably) heartened to know the Orca will sail again.

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Vanguard Dream! A Sampling of Bushiroad Media, Part III

Monday, July 20th, 2020 | Posted by John MacMaster

Bandori!TV LIVE-small

In Part I and Part II, we looked into the real-life/anime bands Roselia and RAISE A SUILEN, as well as the franchises with which they are most specifically associated — Cardfight!! Vanguard and BanG Dream! Here we round up a number of other media selections, newer and older and variously related, within the Bushiroad universe.

There are many more things coming from Bushiroad than we’ve examined here, or even mentioned in passing, really — so, definitely lots going on! Even in regards to the two main franchises we’ve focused on, there is plenty more to uncover — including a treasure trove of older theme songs for Cardfight!! Vanguard, for instance… and also the other groups from BanG Dream!, beyond the three actual concert-performing bands.

Well, I’m going to toss at least one of those into the fray here, before we’re done. But first, no look at the ‘Bandori’ universe can claim to be even halfway complete without taking a closer look at the number one main band of the entire series — which of course, is the inimitable Poppin’ Party!

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Knight At The Movies: Ice Cold In Alex (1958)

Sunday, July 19th, 2020 | Posted by eeknight

Ice Cold In Alex poster

Every time I tell Brit friends I’m a big fan of the “stiff upper lip” British war films of the 50s like Sink the Bismark and The Dam Busters they always, *always* want to talk about Ice Cold In Alex. I had to confess that I’d never seen it. For some reason it was simply unavailable over here.

Having rectified that today, thanks to Amazon Prime, I can see why. I was riveted.

It’s the story of a group of UK medical officers assigned to pull out of Tobruk and retreat to Alexandria as Rommel makes his last, fateful drive to history at El Alamein. But for a war film, there isn’t really even a battle, this is more of a “man vs. nature” movie of four people — and one tough ambulance that’s the real star of the film (an Austin K2 ambulance lovingly referred to as “Katy,” who you end up rooting for much like the motorboat in “The African Queen”) — against the desert. If “Katy” didn’t inspire Werner Herzog in Fitzcarraldo I’ll eat both of my dad’s old sun hats, the big ones my mom sent me.

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Low-stakes Fiction in a High-stakes World: A Quiet Afternoon, edited by Liane Tsui and Grace Seybold

Monday, July 13th, 2020 | Posted by John ONeill

GV Quiet Afternoon image 1-smallIn their recently released anthology A Quiet Afternoon, Canadian micropress Grace&Victory offer calm and gentle SFF tales for the reader who would rather curl up with a mug of tea and an afghan (or a slushie and a hammock, depending on the weather) than dart about the cosmos with lasers blasting.

Grace&Victory team members Victoria Feistner (co-founder and graphic designer), Laura DeHaan (slush reader and morale officer), Liane Tsui (chief editor), and Grace Seybold (co-founder, second editor and legalities wrangler) get together today to share their thoughts on low-stakes fiction in a high-stakes world.

You’ve talked about low-stakes fiction, which you call “Low-Fi.” What does that mean to you?

LD: Stories that are comfortable to read, that don’t excite feelings stronger than warm fuzzies or faint melancholy. Which might not sound terribly flattering, I know. I imagine most authors want their stories to sear a flaming brand across the brains of the readers and leave them shaken and awed by the majesty of the prose, but really what I’m looking for is instant nostalgia. I want to think back on the story fondly, I want to revisit it in the way you enjoy pulling on an old sweater or a tatty pair of shoes.

VF: When I am stressed out, sometimes relaxing with a good book – if the book is full of action, violence, tension – only serves to stress me out more. In such times I often turn to different genres – literary, travel memoir, biography, and the like – for escape into gentler adventures. And yet, when I do, a part of me misses my spec elements. Low-Fi is about bringing the mundane and slice-of-life stories prevalent in other genres into the SF fold. SF has long been about larger-than-life heroes and do-or-die plots, but here and there are stories where the stakes are much lower. Ursula LeGuin’s Changing Planes comes to mind, as does Natasha Pulley’s The Watchmaker of Filigree Street.

So how is Low-Fi different from existing subgenres? Should it be considered its own sub-genre or merely a “tag”?

LD: I think it’s more about tone than anything else. A queen is near death in “An Inconvenient Quest,” there’s deadly traps and adventure in “Hollow,” “Of Buckwheat and Garlic Braids” has a potentially murderous strigoi, but because of the tone we never feel like anyone’s really in danger. I think as well there’s a definite refusal of violence as a solution and an emphasis on conversation as the way to problem-solve. Again, “Hollow” is an adventure story where the characters cast spells and shoot arrows, but in the end it’s a conversation that resolves the situation.

It’s not something we actively set out to enforce, but it seems fitting that Low-Fi also avoids salty language. And while we have a couple smooches, anything beyond that probably wouldn’t be appropriate for Low-Fi.

So I’d say sure, make it a new sub-genre!

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A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Hardboiled July on TCM

Tuesday, July 7th, 2020 | Posted by Bob Byrne

Cagney_DawnDie“You’re the second guy I’ve met within hours who seems to think a gat in the hand means a world by the tail.” – Phillip Marlowe in Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep

(Gat — Prohibition Era term for a gun. Shortened version of Gatling Gun)

So, TCM was afloat in hardboiled/noir/crime flicks, with Edward G. Robinson as the May Star of the Month. June was at least as good, with Ann Sheridan in the spotlight. Alas – July’s Star is Tony Curtis. Good actor, who made some fun movies. But there’s less of our favored genres with him in the spotlight. Fortunately, TCM is still an excellent network, and we have some things to look forward to:

MONDAY, JULY 6

9:00 AM – Jailbreak

Also called Murder in the Big House, this 1936 crime film is about a reporter who goes inside a prison to solve a murder. And the lead is Barton MacLane, who is probably my favorite Warners supporting actor in the gangster/crime heyday. He popped up in good movie after good movie, such as The Maltese Falcon, High Sierra, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Manpower, and All Through the Night. He was the second-lead in the Torchy Blaine movies (his character was actually the main one in Frederick Nebel’s short stories). He did get the lead in some B-movies, but they’re not around much. So tune in and see him out front for a change.

2:15 PM – Each Dawn I Die

Quite a performance by James Cagney as a crusading reporter who undergoes quite a personality change when he’s framed and imprisoned. This was George Raft’s first movie after signing with Warners. The first thing he did was bump Bogart from the part of Hood Stacey.

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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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