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.

Read More »


With Dark and Twisted Turns: Bad Times at the El Royale

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 | Posted by Tina Jens

Bad Times at the El Royale

I just watched Bad Times at the El Royale and really liked it. It was clearly influenced by the best of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez.

The cast is an impressive one, including Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Chris Hemsworth (giving a remarkable messianic performance worthy of Jim Morrison), and Nick Offerman (in a small role). Cynthia Erivo also does her own singing. Her voice, like her acting, is stunning, and she provides the soundtrack to much of the movie.

Dakota Johnson, Cailee Spaeny, and Mark O’Brien also turn in top-notch performances. All the actors are excellent, and I do mean that. I’ve never seen a movie that was more perfectly cast and perfectly acted.

It toys with who the protagonist or point of view character is, slipping in and out of each character deftly. Each is revealed to be not who we thought they were, and then when we think we know who they really are, that’s proven wrong, too. With dark and twisted turns it explores the question of what is good and what is evil. It posits that there’s more than a little of each in all of us.

The movie handles time slips really well, which allows us to see scenes from different perspectives, turning our understanding of the events upside down.

The pacing is unusual, which is probably why the movie wasn’t a bigger hit. In the beginning, particularly, you have to settle in and not try to rush it. It starts out at a low simmer, lulling you into a false belief that you know what’s coming next. That makes the reveals that are coming far more powerful.


The Poison Apple: Mr. Sci-Fi: An Interview with Marc Zicree and the Future with Space Command

Monday, February 18th, 2019 | Posted by Elizabeth Crowens

Poster-ComicBook-720px

Crowens: I wanted to interview someone whose focus was not only the entertainment industry but also science fiction. Previously, almost everyone I’ve interviewed has been involved in fantasy or horror. After following you on Facebook I really wanted to interview you. Right away, I’ve been able to pick up on your “contagious enthusiasm” and high energy.

Zicree: Glad I could do it.

What was your very first job in the entertainment industry, and how did you get your foot in the door?

I grew up reading in the genre watching the original versions of Star Trek, The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, and I started going to science fiction conventions when I was a teenager growing up here in LA. My heroes were the writers. There was a lot of crossover from the stories I read and the writers from those three shows: Richard Mathieson, Theodore Sturgeon, Ray Bradbury, George Clayton Johnson, Harlan Ellison… they were all doing books and TV shows. When I was ten, I heard Ray Bradbury speak at a local library — a huge influence, and I became a big fan. When I was around fifteen or sixteen-years-old I started going to conventions and meeting them, and from there they became mentors.

There was also a radio show on KPFK in Los Angeles called Hour 25, and they interviewed all the great science fiction writers. Around 1973 when I was eighteen, I wrote a half hour radio play that was a satire of science fiction conventions, TV shows and movies called Lobotomy. So, I wrote, directed and acted in it with three of my friends and it aired on KPFK. On that same show, I heard Harlan Ellison talking about the Clarion Writer’s Workshop. When I was nineteen and an art student at UCLA, I attended Clarion that summer. It was at Michigan State University. The students included people like Kim Stanley Robinson and Robert Crais, who became well-known science fiction and mystery novelists, respectively. Our teachers were Gene Wolfe, Roger Zelazny, Samuel R. Delaney, Kate Wilhelm, Damon Knight and Joe Haldeman – all very famous and accomplished science fiction writers. It was a great lineup.

Read More »


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.

Read More »


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.

Read More »


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.

Read More »


Godzilla: 3, Castles: 0 – The History of the Castles Godzilla Wrecked

Saturday, January 26th, 2019 | Posted by Ryan Harvey

godzilla-model-over-castle

The city of Washington, DC has taken occasional issue with production companies shooting large-scale action and science-fiction movies in the National Mall. As one government official explained, in regards to a planned shoot for the third Transformers film, “The National Mall is not an area in which Americans come to see high-tech action movies being made.”

What? That’s one of the reasons we have national monuments! This is not a defense of Transformers 3: We Won’t Get It Right Until Bumblebee, but a reminder that one of the core purposes of great landmarks across the globe is so they can be destroyed by aliens, robots, and giant monsters on the big screen.

Giant monsters in particular love wrecking landmarks, or at least getting good spectacle use out of them (such as Kong and the Empire State Building). Watching a titanic creature devastate a familiar cultural object provides a sinister thrill for viewers; it makes the monster that much more intimidating. Your human-sized buildings, no matter their age or importance to national psyche, mean nothing to these beasts.

The Japanese breed of giant monsters, kaijus, have devastated bridges, skyscrapers, dams, baseball stadiums, and almost anything else built in contemporary Japan. But one landmark has a special place in kaiju disrespect for infrastructure and culture: the feudal castle. The first castle Godzilla destroyed was in the second movie of the series, Godzilla Raids Again. This worked so well that the next two movies also had castle destructions that have turned into some of the most famous Godzilla moments.

Most folks outside of Japan are unfamiliar with the history of these castles, let alone know them by name. In my love of cross-disciplinary exercises, I’ve put together a history guide to those first three castles to fall under the force of the Big G, either solo or while beating up another monster. This is one of my personal loves about Godzilla: using the monster as a springboard to other subjects I might not have gotten around to otherwise. Like origami.

Read More »


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.

Read More »


Godzilla Raids Again/Gigantis the Fire Monster (1955)

Saturday, January 19th, 2019 | Posted by Ryan Harvey

godzilla-raids-again-japanese-poster-1It was disheartening to sum up the recent Godzilla anime trilogy, the only Japanese Godzilla films I never plan to rewatch. Even with the Hollywood mega-millions epic Godzilla: King of the Monsters only a few months away, the feeling of deflation within my favorite movie franchise made it necessary for me to plug a bit of hope into my schedule immediately. Not by watching a great Godzilla film, mind you, but by watching a mediocre Godzilla film. Why? Because it’s the best way to remember how even lesser entries in the series can offer some enjoyment. Like watching Godzilla actually move. This is a radical concept the anime filmmakers let slip past them.

Thus I present Godzilla Raids Again, a middle-of-the-road G-movie that’s mostly faded into obscurity despite its prime position as the first Godzilla sequel.

To date, Toho Studios has released thirty-two feature-length Godzilla films. In any series with such longevity, a few installments slip off the pop culture radar. But it’s almost never the second movie that suffers this fate. The first sequel to a smash hit, regardless of quality, is a major event. The many films that come after are where the grayness of oblivion sets in.

Yet Godzilla Raids Again, released in 1955 only six months after the original, is one of the least seen of the Showa Era Godzilla movies. Many viewers outside Japan are unaware it exists. If they are, they may not know it’s a Godzilla film at all because it was released in the US and much of the rest of the world as Gigantis the Fire Monster. Godzilla’s name not only vanished from the title, it vanished from the dubbing. Not until 2006 did a North American DVD containing both the Japanese and US versions bring the film out with the classic monster’s name reattached. The DVD producers digitally superimposed the title Godzilla Raids Again over the spot where Gigantis the Fire Monster once appeared … although the dubbing with the name “Gigantis” remained.

How Godzilla became Gigantis and then pulled a cultural vanishing act is quite the tale. But let’s first look at the actual Godzilla Raids Again, which is its own strange story and a stopgap moment in the early history of the Japanese giant monster (kaiju) film.

Read More »


Goth Chick News: Filed Under “Is This Necessary?”

Thursday, January 17th, 2019 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Goth Chick Ghostbusters

As you might recall, in 2016 Sony Pictures decided the time was right to reboot the 1984 classic Ghostbusters using all female leads.

Oh, you don’t recall that?

That’s okay, because those of us who do would like to forget it.

But here we are, having barely shaken off the bacchanalia of the holidays, when BOOM, Variety hits us with this gem. Sony Pictures is having another go barely two years later.

News broke this week that Jason Reitman, son of Ghostbusters 1 & 2 director Ivan Reitman, is officially attached to direct a new Ghostbusters sequel. The film is said to be taking place in the original universe, and Reitman, like the rest of us, is ignoring the 2016 reboot entirely.

Reitman is also co-writing the screenplay with Gil Kenan (Monster House, Poltergeist), and Ivan Reitman’s Montecito Pictures is set to produce so we’re at least keeping this all in the family. Filming begins this summer and summer 2020 is targeted for release.

Read More »


« Later Entries   Earlier Entries »

This site © 2019 by New Epoch Press. All rights reserved.