Social media has its drawbacks. But if you’re lucky, you can also discover the coolest people, including many who live many miles away.
Speaking to that point, I’ve recently stumbled upon two amazing women, Kelly and Jessica. They are true horror lovers, exciting podcasters and they, sparkle bewitchingly, with a true sense of fun. I really think you need to check them out.
Nicely, not only do they, as the (Ontario based) Spinsters of Horror, produce podcasts that are gleeful, but they also look at gender and other social constructs in the genre with a serious eye and a spot on analytic expertise.
Be sure to find out about everything these two goddesses of cinematic mayhem at
Providing the ‘40s singing voice for everyone from MGM’s Vera Ellen to the stunning Rita Haworth, the versatile Anita Ellis earned her terror pedigree by having her vocals included in the 1964 horror cheese fest The Flesh Eaters. The sister of Larry Kert, the gay actor-singer who found acclaim in the original stage production of West Side Story, Ellis eventually courted success as a jazz singer in her latter day career – even though a particularly vicious form of stage fright often robbed her of her voice.
Still, her talent and skill will forever reverberate in numbers such as this.
Best known for her strong portrayal of Dr. Sylvia Van Buren in the 1954 science fiction classic War of the Worlds, Ann Robinson also proved her versatility in a series of roles in noir films and female focused thrillers.
One of her bigger roles was as Nancy in The Glass Wall. As the concerned girlfriend of a musician needing a break, she radiates with proud concern. Meanwhile, as the wealthy, flirtatious Lucille Grellett (with Charlton Heston, above) in Bad for Each Other, she shows another side of her talents – a strong sex appeal and a talent for comedy. Her capriciousness also resonates magnificently on an episode of the original Perry Mason, as well. Here, as the spoiled daughter of a wealthy businessman she tries her best to charm her military husband into a number of suspect deals.
Referred to as “99 minutes crammed with suspense” by John Douglas Eames in The MGMStory, 1956’s Julie found Robinson co-starring, side by side, with the magnificent Doris Day. As Day’s co-stewardess (left and below), Robinson acts with appropriate surprise as the plane she is assigned to risks crashing unless Day is able to fly it to safety. More of a resilient victim here than some of her more manipulative assignments, Robinson proves she had the versatility and presence to be a major star. It is every celluloid buff’s loss that she wasn’t.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
Best known for her popular run on Days of Our Livesand for her hit single Friends and Lovers(with the late, beloved Carl Anderson), Gloria Loring is a renaissance woman. As an author, motivational speaker and singer-actress, she has been deservedly admired for decades.
But an appearance on Freddy’s Nightmares also makes her a minor matriarch of horror, as well. As Ellen Kramer, the no nonsense editor of a tabloid journal, on the second season episode Heartbreak Hotel, Loring shone with a sense of vibrant power and feministic sassiness. (Interestingly, this episode also features Tiffany Helm from Friday the 13th: A New Beginningand Richard Cox, the killer in William Friedkin’s controversial gay themed slasher-thriller Cruising.)
Among Loring’s greatest work, though, has to be this amazing melody of songs, which tells the bittersweet story of a romance from its hopeful beginning to its heartbreaking end.
Chicago is home to many amazing film events. From the multiple festivals originating from the Terror in the Aisles crew to the Music Box Massacre, there are a wide variety of genre happenings for cinema enthusiasts to embrace. One of the newest and most exciting homegrown productions is The Windy City Horrorama, now entering its second year.
Last year’s activities included an anniversary screening of Jason Goes to Hell, with director Adam Marcus in attendance, along with a multitude of premiere screenings. The upcoming edition will also feature special guests including indie legend J.R. Bookwalter, appearing with a celebratory screening of Robot Ninja, and Rodman Fletcher, the director of the much beloved terror comedy Idle Hands.
But WCH is truly making its mark as being a special place for outrageous indie and foreign splatterfests. If titles like Straight Edge Kegger, The VelociPasterand Mutant Blastcatch your gore seeking eyeballs, then you won’t want to miss this enthusiastic celebration, which begins a three day residency at the historic Davis Theater in Lincoln Square on Friday, April 26th.
The Honey Bees, comprised of Tina Louise, Natalie Schafer and Dawn Wells, may be the greatest fictional girl group of all time. Gilligan’s Island fanatics surely rejoice in this episode of the popular show which finds the cast’s beloved Ginger (Louise), Mrs. Howell (Schafer) and Mary Ann (Wells) forming a musical version of The Honeys in hopes of finally getting off the island that they have permanently been sequestered on.
But the fact that this versatile trio of actresses has been involved in many individual genre projects makes this joyous collaboration of special notice to terror tikes, as well. Schafer, a veteran performer of film and stage, hit the gothic mother lode first with appearances in The Secret Behind the Door…and a beloved episode of the Boris Karloff hosted anthology series Thriller. Louise made the ‘70s and ‘80s particularly enjoyable with roles in the feminist classic The Stepford Wives and the atrociously lovable oddity Evils of the Night. Wells, meanwhile, found herself battling for her life against a water beastie and a violent serial killer in Return to Boggy Creek and the greatly admired The Town That Dreaded Sundown. (Interestingly, it is rumored that Well’s voice was dubbed here by Jackie DeShannon, the writer of the coolly mysterious Bette Davis Eyes.)
On a side note, Schafer, who died in 1991, also appeared in a popular touring production of the lesbian classic The Killing of Sister George with Claire Trevor. Louise, who has quietly tried to move past her seminal work as Ginger, keeps admirers informed of her activities at https://www.facebook.com/pg/thetinalouise. Wells, meanwhile, has long kept the torch of that imaginary island burning. She, happily, keeps up with fans of GI (and her other work) at https://www.facebook.com/therealmaryann/ and http://dawnwells.com/.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
One of my fondest memories of high school – yes, I do have one or two! – was when Kristin, my very blonde and pretty senior prom date, wore the same dress as the very nasty, slightly dog faced class president. I wasn’t very popular (and that moment may have made me even more of a pariah to some) but Kristin definitely won the “Who Wore It Better” poll that night.
The amazing Count the Clock Productions show another, more vicious way to teen victory with the Giallo shaded music video, Who Killed the Homecoming Queen? here. As always, their visual style radiates with LGBTQIA friendly potency and Euro-tinged delight.