As Big Gay Horror pedals aggressively throughout the streets of the Naked City on his death machine (IE: refurbished white 10 speed, circa 1980 Kmart), he often finds himself outwitting sure destruction in the bike lane –most often in the form of the seemingly blind, maniacally swinging car door. He does this with the constant knowledge that others, in similar circumstances, have not always been so lucky.
For example: With her intense eyes and stiletto cheekbones, late 70’s Euro-Goddess Sherry Buchanan is an easily recognizable presence in foreign cult cinema. But, despite her characters’ inherent scrappiness, Buchanan almost always found herself at the receiving end of very nasty deaths in multiple genre films. Yes, just like the noir vixen, Buchanan’s presence was firmly felt, but she rarely ever survived.
As Delia Boccardo’s flirty sister in 1977’s star studded (Henry Fonda, John Huston, Shelley Winters, Bo Hopkins, Claude Akins) Italian Jaws variation Tentacles, Buchanan quickly finds herself becoming shrieking, hungry, giant octopus bait.
Her most atrocious demises were yet to come, though. In 1978’s Last House on the Beach (a nunsploitation meets Last House on the Left variation); her virginal college maiden takes decisive action, in several scenarios, against the murderous invasion of a trio of bank robbing thugs. Since this makes her the most memorable of the five captured schoolmates, her final bow is also the most grotesque. After fending off numerous attacks, she ultimately meets her end via rape by wooden pole. (Don’t try that at home, kids! Ouch!)
Meanwhile, in 1980’s Zombie Holocaust (AKA Dr. Butcher, MD), her industrious and determined reporter meets her maker at the hands of a mad scientist. Strapped to a gurney, Buchanan’s Susan Kelly is scalped and with vocal cords, snipped, quickly becomes a straining victim of blood infused, skull whacking brain surgery. Now, those are career goals, momma!
Perhaps tiring of vehement disposal, Buchanan’s cinematic reign was brief (1974- 1987 — with often great gaps between projects), but her flinty talent and unique beauty (along with those stomach clutching ends) make her run unusually memorable.
Here’s a groovy clip n soundtrack mash-up video for the juicily ridiculous Tentacles with some nice Buchanan footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9G3aL_oLCs&feature=fvwrel
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And until next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE!!!