Published July 23, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

Recently, I had the chance to interview astounding artist Corinne Halbert whose art comic Hate Baby is an uninhibited delight.

Simply put – Halbert is one of my favorite artists of all time – and I genuinely LOVE this interview!

Be sure to keep up with all of Halbert’s face snapping activities at http://www.corinnehalbert.com.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!


Retro Shark Bait Village: Isn’t It Shocking? (1973)

Published July 23, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

The disgruntled, time biding killers of slasher classics like Prom Night and Terror Train have nothing on the very creepy, incredibly patient Justin Oates of 1973 telefilm Isn’t It Shocking? 45 years after his then girlfriend humiliated him during a naked tumble with another gent, Oates returns to his small home town to enact his revenge – using a jacked out defibrillator that causes quite a jolt!ShockingKiller2

As enacted by veteran tough guy Edmund O’Brien (DOA, The Killers), Oates is a sweaty, candy inhaling freak. O’Brien’s commitment to this odd creature, ultimately, helps secure Oates’ place as one of the more notable villains of the small screen’s golden age of TV movies.

Working with quaint and quirky charm, director John Badham (Dracula, Blue Thunder) ekes pleasantly effective performances from his entire cast, though. Granted, many of the feature’s older generation end up on the cold end of a slab. But as the beleaguered and bewildered sheriff, Alan Alda cuts a completely sympathetic figure and he blends effortlessly with the perkily unusual energy of Louise Lasser, playing his efficient, crime solving secretary.

Isn't It Shocking 16Ruth Gordon as the saucy Marge, the last name on the madman’s list, supplies the expected zesty fabulousness, but true pleasures are, also, derived from Dorothy Tristan (Suspended Animation) and Will Geer as a daughter-father doctor team who help Alda and Lasser solve the case. These two are so unexpectedly enjoyable that they almost steal the show from the rest of the very, very fine cast.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!


Overview: Terror in the Aisles presents Short Cuts

Published July 22, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

terror marquee
Money was raised (for AIDS charity Vital Bridges), chills were induced and laughter resounded throughout the theatre during Terror in the Aisles’ latest movie event Short Cuts. Taking place at the historic Davis Theatre in Chicago, Short Cuts featured the mini-masterpieces of over a dozen Midwestern filmmakers. Introducing the audience to works of humor, homage and serious horror, this one-of-a-kind event, ultimately, offered up a program that I was truly honored to serve as host of.

Introducing the directors!

Introducing the directors!

With many of the artists on hand to celebrate, each abbreviated feature contained true points of interest. Industrious Tony Wash (Its My Party and I’ll Die If I Want To) even utilized the event to promote his anticipated upcoming compiliation World of Death, featuring many of the selections submitted to last fall’s ABC’s of Death competition. John Pata, coming off the high of his critically acclaimed feature Dead Weight, also, choose Short Cuts as the Chicago premiere site of his latest (poetically macabre) effort Pity.
Clark & Pata chatting

Clark & Pata chatting

Personal favorites included Red Clark’s fun The Pool. Detailing the comeuppance of a bratty sibling, this charming throwback ends with some nifty camera work and a startling monster reveal. Lowcarbcomedy’s hysterical 4th Rule of Gremlins, meanwhile, offers up a very naughty take on what not to do with everybody’s favorite furry monsters. David Schmidt’s mock trailer for House on Nightmare Lane, also, hit the mark. Here, Schmidt combines the atmosphere of such classic flicks as The Haunting with the acting style of such drive-in favorites as Frankenstein’s Daughter. Overall, it’s like opening the (rusting) gates to a real winner!

Keep up with World of Death at https://www.facebook.com/worldofdeathfilm and Pity at https://www.facebook.com/PityFilm . Lowcarbcomedy rules the roost at http://www.lowcarbcomedy.com and Vital Bridges is always keeping up the good work at http://www.heartlandalliance.org/vital.

Meanwhile, you can keep updated with Terror in the Aisles at https://www.facebook.com/terrorintheaisles and me at http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

Blood Stains on Their Hands: The Killer Queens of Top 40 By Owen Keehnen

Published July 21, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

cher dl
In my formative years I always went to sleep with my radio on, listening to Top 40 music on WROK in Rockford, and sometimes WLS in Chicago.

On a recent road trip I began thinking about these catchy tunes of my youth and after further research was startled to realize that in the two year stretch of 1973-1974 the pop charts were dominated by a plethora of strange and tragic tales which included Seasons in the Sun; Billy, Don’t Be a Hero; Bad Bad, Leroy Brown; The Night Chicago Died; and I Shot the Sheriff, – all #1 songs! A jaunty melody combined with a tragic scenario was a winning combo in that two year window.

During that same 1973-1974 stretch I was especially intrigued with a sub-genre in this oddly violent period of bubblegum pop with the appearances of not one, not two, but three murderess ballads that went to #1 on the Billboard Top 40 charts.

Vicki_Lawrence-The_Night_The_Lights_Went_Out_In_Georgia_The_Complete_Bell_Recordings-CdIn April 1973 the bayou ballad The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia was the #1 song in the country. In her only top 40 hit, impish Vicki Lawrence sings in hushed tones (one small step away from auto-tune) about her brother, his cheatin’ wife, Andy, and “that Amos boy Seth.” In just 3:40 the listener is treated to a tale of infidelity, murder, false arrest, creeping through the backwoods quiet as a mouse, Andy lying on the floor in a puddle of blood, tiny footprints, a hanging, and a judge in the town with blood stains on his hands. Whew! In the final confessional stanza the formerly whispery heroine boldly proclaims that the body of her sister-in-law will never be found and that “little sister don’t miss when she aims her gun,” her proclamation followed by a sassy guitar riff as if saying “Yeah, I did it … and I got away with it too.”cher-dark-lady-mca-4

As fate would have it, Cher turned down the opportunity to record The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia… actually Sonny turned it down “for her.” Cher topped the charts in 1972 with the bad girl ballad Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves and the following year with Half Breed (“she’s no good they warned”). She had a #1 song again in March 1974 with Dark Lady. In her low-vibrato Cher croons the slightly sinister sounding ballad of a double murdering heroine driven to blind jealousy when she visits “the fortune queen of New Orleans” who she finds “brushing her cat in her black limousine.” Hmm. The protagonist follows Dark Lady back to her place for a reading. After dealing two cards, a queen and a three, Dark Lady turns up a two eyed Jack and warns our heroine of her man’s infidelity. She tells her to leave this place and forget she ever saw her face. When the vengeful miss recognizes Dark Lady’s strange (aka skanky) perfume she returns (in a Bob Mackie) and catches the seer (obviously not a very gifted one) laughing and kissing her lover. That is, until they saw the gun in her hand. Nobody does that to our Cheroine. Dark Lady will never turn a card up anymore. Bang bang she shot them down.

helen-reddy-2And lastly, after topping the charts with the female empowerment ballad I Am Woman in 1972, Helen Reddy quickly seemed to backpedal into murkier waters. Her next #1 song was Delta Dawn in 1973, a tale of male rejection and subsequent insanity, and that was followed by the lesser 1973 sociopath hit Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress). However, in December 1974 Helen Reddy outdid herself with the crazy pop song and released the #1 WTF is going on hit, Angie Baby, in which the (yes, sociopathic) title character, a young girl who lives for her radio, kills a neighbor boy with evil on his mind. (‘Cause he’s been peeking in Angie’s room at night through her window blind.”) The song isn’t clear about what goes on, so a simple synopsis of the crime is tricky and open to interpretation. The stanza reads: “When he walks in the room, he feels confused Like he’s walked into a play And the music’s so loud it spins him around ‘Til his soul has lost it’s way And as she turns the volume down He’s getting smaller with the sound It seems to pull him off the ground Toward the radio he’s bound never to be found.” Umm. Death by volume control? Murder by metaphor? “It’s so nice to be insane, no one asks you to explain, radio by your side Angie Baby.” It’s all poetic license I suppose. Besides, during this stretch in pop music there was no need for lyrics to really make sense when the melody was catchy enough.helen-reddy-angie-baby

The reign of mayhem on the top 40 charts seemed to end as abruptly as it began. Everything began to change in 1975. That was the year The Captain and Tennille, Barry Manilow, the emergence of disco, and The Bee Gees reborn. The #1 songs were suddenly very different. Olivia Newton John was in her Have You Never Been Mellow phase, John Denver was singing Thank God I’m a Country Boy, and Neil Sedaka was back with Laughter in the Rain. Prostitution was as wild as the #1 songs got that year, but at least there were two of them – Lady Marmalade and Island Girl.

However, consider the possibility that although this violent and murderous phase of pop music vanished after only two years, perhaps this period planted some seeds. Is it mere coincidence that the 8-16 year olds who were weaned on pop music during 1973-74 were also the demographic who brought back horror entertainment in a big way with the bloodier/nastier/crazier slasher movement which dominated cinemas in the late 1970s/early 1980s? Things like this make me curious. Is it a matter of chance or a continuum? Like Dark Lady’s cards, the charts don’t lie. – Owen Keehnen

Grand thanks to Owen for writing such an amazing first guest column for Big Gay Horror Fan (www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan). Be sure to follow him at:

Facebook: OwenKeehnen

Twitter: @OwenKeehnen


Defending Jaws 4: The Revenge!

Published July 19, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

Frequently, I have been referred to as all wet! While this may certainly be true in some cases, it does not apply when considering the fact that I believe the widely reviled Jaws 4: The Revenge is actually a pretty fun, vaguely feminist romp.

Recently, the distinguished gents of Astro Radio Z (including jocular host Derrick Carey) took a moment to examine their favorite films (including such titles as Firewalker, Staying Alive and Megaforce) that, currently, have a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

You can hear all about them and discover why I think Jaws 4: The Revenge is a perfect 50% at the link, below:

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!


Bad CGI Fridays: 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea (2007)

Published July 18, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

If television action mainstay Lorenzo Lamas has made a boring film (and, naturally, I’m not saying he has) – then 2007′s 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea would certainly qualify for that honor.

30000 posterFeaturing lots of footage of Lamas and the actors playing his crew wandering around the floors of the ocean depths (and not much else), 30,000 does feature a couple of sequences involving a very unnatural looking squid.30000 2

In fact, the squid’s second appearance is almost laughable – coming off as almost a mechanical style comic book design.

Oh, well. Where’s Stan Lee when you need him?

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!


G-FEST 2014: Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion

Published July 17, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

gamera poster
A recent showing of Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion (1996) at G-FEST 2014 in Rosemont, IL proved that while Americanized dubbing may occasionally miss the mark, it can often produce truly hilarious results. (Especially, if like me, your sense of humor hasn’t regressed much beyond the 5th grade!)

This tale of everyone’s favorite avenging turtle facing down sprawling tentacle creatures, that just happen to be waging mass destruction for a huge alien invader, featured such comical readings as:

“The second it flowered, we were completely helpless!”

“We cannot afford another Sendai!”

“He’s going straight for the Big One!”gamera watching

“Gamera is alive. He will come back for us. Gamera will not let the Legion win!”

“I don’t have time to argue with you! Give me every ounce of your power!”

“The Big One is right on top of us”

gamera“The Big One has something new up its sleeve!”

“It’s the Big One! He made it past the last barricade!”

Still hurting from that last one… and with hopes that you brought your own double entendres (because mine are all used up), Big Gay Horror Fan!

Still giddy from Gamera!

Still giddy from Gamera!

PS: G-FEST is held every July in Rosemont, IL. For more information, take a look at http://www.gfan.com.



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