Exploitation

All posts in the Exploitation category

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Barbara McNair

Published September 24, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

Photo of Barbara McNAIR

Cult aficionados know the exquisite Barbara McNair from her association with writer-director Jess Franco. Forever tempting in Venus in Furs, one of Franco’s most fully realized fever dreams, she also sang the theme song to 99 Women, one of his more popular (and sleazy) women in prison epics.

barbara venusBut McNair was a maverick on many levels. She was the first black woman to host her own syndicated variety show. She also co-starred on Broadway and recorded for Motown Records, scoring a minor hit or two with them. Appearing on many of the hottest shows of the ‘60s and ‘70s, she always added elegance and flair, as well.

Here, she gives the dapper, joking Dean Martin a run for his money with their take on the standard, The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, an appropriate title for a horror blog if there ever was one.

McNair, who passed away from throat cancer in 2007, lives on in memory at http://www.barbaramcnair.com.

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

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Review: Necroplasmosis

Published June 17, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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In the early ‘90s, long before the days of instant internet accessibility, those who loved their ladies of horror had two places to go: the glossy, more mainstream Femme Fatales magazine and the grittier, homegrown Draculina. Harkening back to that underground Draculina vibe, writer-director-performer Henry Frias Leon and co-writer-lead actress Courtney Perkins create something very visceral with Necroplasmosis, their latest short film.

Perkins plays Lucinda, a photographer with slightly macabre subject matter, and Leon is the obsessed filmmaker who is following her around. Strong and resourceful, Lucinda ultimately finds the most cutting way to deal with an errant beau here. Nicely, unlike the days when Hugh Gallagher seemed to control everything that came out of Draculina, Perkins and Leon seem to be equal partners in Necroplasmosis. Thus, the world they create seems free of exploitation and centered around mutual interest.

Here’s hoping, though, that future installments will show Lucinda taking out her skills of vengeance upon all those right wing bigots and power figures that are still threatening to keep women from their equal rights.

Until then, be sure to check out this initial DIY work at:

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

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Linnea Quigley: Tinker Hell and the Nonexistent Imp

Published June 9, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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Spider and Samantha are the names of the characters that forever charming horror goddess Linnea Quigley embodied in the cult classics Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama. Spider, a hardened thief who takes on a murderous imp, and Samantha, who searches for her missing sister with determined grace, are also true evidence of the inherent feminist themes in B-Movies that have attracted fans, and even scholars like Carol J. Clover (Men, Women and Chainsaws), to these films for decades. On the eve of rare screenings of these fan favorites at Summer Scares in Chicago, Quigley, happily, shared some memories about the making of these mini-masterpieces of divine mayhem.

BGHF: Hey, Linnea! I’m so excited that they’re showing Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama this weekend at Summer Scares. It’s one of my favorites.  Linnea: Me, too!

I think Spider, the character you portray, embodies so much of what is important about the female characters in those direct to VHS years. She’s strong and resourceful and gives off such a feminist vibe. Oh! Yeah. Because a guy wasn’t saving the day, she was. Thank you!linnea sorority

I think that’s why that Scream Queen Era was so important to so many people. Those films gave the actresses great opportunities. You were able to play doctors and scientists and cat burglars. I don’t think you got that in a lot of the mainstream films of that time. Oh, wow! You’re right.  We got to play murderesses and crazy people. The good ones!

Are there any memories that stand out to you about Sorority Babes? Weren’t the performers all housed together on location? Yeah. We were all at a La Quinta. We weren’t too far from the set. I had my own room because I insisted on it. I didn’t want to be in a room with someone who was wild or was staying up half the morning! (Laughs) I say morning because we shot at night. I like my own space.

It was a short shoot, correct? Actually, for a David DeCoteau film, it was a long shoot. It was seven days.

Seven days? That’s nothing! What was the usual time frame for shooting a movie like that? Oh, gee. Three days. A weekend!

Wow! Do you have any fun memories from working on Sorority Babes?  Yeah. There were a lot of weird things. My room was next to Andras Jones (A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: Dream Warriors). I thought he was cute. I had a little crush on him. But he was younger than me and he was in the prime of those hormone years. He was destroying his room and just being wild. I guess he was getting the last of that kid out of him and was being really silly and funny. He and the others would go out into town, which was a sea port, and everyone was just kind of all over the place.

Was there any else that was interesting? Of course, we had to act to nothing. The imp wasn’t there when we filmed and we didn’t know what it was going to look like.

David didn’t give you any clues? I don’t know about other people’s interactions with him, but he didn’t with me. He just let us go and do what we felt was right. If we had to be louder for the camera or if we were out of frame, he’d let us know that. He was really good about just letting us do our thing.

I understand that he let you choose the role that you wanted to play, as well. Yes! He gave the script to me and told me to choose the part that I wanted. It took me like two seconds. I want this part, I want this part!

Who wouldn’t want to be Spider? Of course! I didn’t want the other parts, I wanted that one. …and I had fun with it. I had so much fun. linnea hollywood

Did you have the same kind of fun on Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers? Well, that came about because Fred Olen Ray had a camera for four days over a holiday weekend. He and David DeCoteau would have bets over who could make a movie the fastest. It was funny. It was the first and last time that I worked for Fred. He just called me and wanted me to do the part. I was just excited to get roles. …and I liked the role. It was fun. (Laughs) I got to work with chainsaws.

Was there any kind of protection on set when you were doing your famous chainsaw dance? No! (Laughs) Of course not! Oh, the things won’t be on. It’s okay! Then I’m doing my dance and I felt something like hot oil on me. I didn’t want to stop the take. In my mind I was thinking that my legs were going to be scarred up. I don’t know what it was. It could have been oil. It was a little bit freaky. Fred kept saying, Dance sexy! Those chainsaws are so heavy! I was taking it seriously, too. I was really trying to dance sexy. It was so hard!

Your hardship was rewarded. The film’s a cult classic and I think many people discovered you through it and adore you. So, I guess the work is worth it, occasionally. Oh. Yes! Yes!

You also mentored Gunnar Hansen on that, as well, correct? Didn’t you encourage him to get into the convention scene? Yes! We were standing around waiting for the next shot. I told him that he should be doing the convention scene. He didn’t believe me. He thought The Texas Chainsaw Massacre had happened so long before and that no one would want to meet him or get his autograph. He thought no one would remember him. I said, are you kidding me? I was so excited to meet you. I was a little afraid. But you would be so amazing at conventions. He kind of nah, nah’ed it. Then when I saw him on the convention scene, I was like, okay! He got it. linnea gunnar

A little blonde angel you were, guiding him. Yes, take my hand, Gunnar, and I will lead you to the convention circuit! I was a Tinker Bell.

…Or maybe a bad ass version of Tinker Bell. Yeah, a bad ass Tinker Bell, that’s better.  Tinker Hell!

Yes!  I’m Tinker Hell!

I think that needs to be the subtitle for this interview! Oh, great! I’d love that!

Forget Scream Queen or Goddess of Horror or Femme Fatale. You want to be a Tinker Hell! Yes! We’ll coin a new thing!

We will! Definitely! summer scares

Be sure to join the Tinker Hell Squad by meeting Linnea at Summer Scares on Saturday, June 10th at The Patio Theater in Chicago. Linnea will be joined by fellow guests, Ari Lehman (“Jason”, Friday the 13th) and Mark Patton, (“Jesse”, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2). More information is available at https://www.facebook.com/events/813470602136871/.

Quigley, meanwhile, is always yielding dangerous accessories on the internet at www.linnea-quigley.com.

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

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Hell of a Gal: Rings of Fear

Published March 23, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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(Hell of a Gal explores the films of the ever luscious Euro Vixen Helga Liné.)

The radiant Helga Liné has over 130 credits on her resume. If all of the alternative titles of Rings of Fear, a mid career giallo, were counted among those credentials, she would have quite a number more. Known, alternatively,  as Red Rings of Fear (or Enigma Rosso), Trauma and Virgin Terror, this final entry in an unofficial Italian film series known as the Schoolgirl Trilogy, also found Liné portraying a totally sympathetic character, something that she was rarely given a chance to do.

Helga VK 4As Mrs. Russo, the anguished mother of the film’s first victim, Liné is given just a couple scenes here, but she provides plenty of understated sorrow and maternal strife in them. She also shares a nice connection with fellow Euro superstars Fabio Testi (What Have They Done to Solange, Four of the Apocalypse), as the detective investigating the case, and Nicoletta Elmi (Deep Red, Demons), who plays her youngest, incredibly inquisitive daughter. In fact, her best moments come as she, thoughtfully and quietly, answers Testi’s Di Salvo as he questions her after the funeral of her eldest child. Nicely, she gives these moments a disconnected quality, as well, nodding to her character’s expected melancholy.

The rest of the picture focuses on the unusual friendship that develops between Testi and Elmi as they try to discover what happened to her sister. Bolstered by such genre regulars as Ivan Desny, (Franco favorite) Jack Taylor and Christine Kauffman (Murders in the Rue Morgue), whose kleptomaniac character simply decides to leave Di Salvo halfway through the film, this slow burner is redeemed by an ending with several twists. Director Alberto Negrin also provides some interesting moments like the one where the off-kilter Di Salvo physically threatens Taylor’s smarmy shop owner on a roller coaster.

Helga VK 1Granted, the world probably didn’t need another sleazy film about underage prostitutes being done in by sweaty superiors, but the sight of the exquisite Liné, for even a very short period of time, is always a good reason to let some greasy celluloid settle like red dust around your sagging viewing chair.

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

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Hell of a Gal: Pulsebeat

Published January 12, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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(Hell of a Gal explores the films of the ever luscious Euro Vixen Helga Liné.)

Mother Earth or mother of Daniel Greene…the stupendous Helga Liné is fit to play them all. Of course, in 1985’s Pulsebeat, a gloriously goofy Perfect take-off, she plays the latter with cool ease and directness. pulsebeat

Naturally, the big joke (of sorts) here is that Liné, at 53, is still gorgeous enough to be confused as the younger, muscular Greene’s ex-lover. The scriptwriters definitely spend the first half of the film leading the audience in that direction as Liné’s conniving Marlene tries to undermine the smooth and juicy Roger (Greene), her former employee, as he attempts to save his health club from certain extinction. Of course, Mama Bear is just lonely…and controlling…and wants her son at her side to help run her own oasis of perfection.

helga-2But by the time the two rival clubs are competing against each other in the film’s climatic, unconvincingly strenuous National Aerobithon, Marlene reveals a bulging pair of maternal instincts and urges her flesh and blood onto victory, despite her own business interests.

Unfortunately, sticking to the tried and true, the film, disappointingly yet unsurprisingly, does focus on Marlene’s physical upkeep with Roger, at one point, calling her “embalmed” and warning her about “her face cracking”. Granted this is a silly comedy, but these moments do stick out as another indication of how women, particularly those of a certain age, are viewed in society. Funnily, here, it almost comes off as ironic, as everyone involved treats Roger’s almost freakishly large muscles and slavish devotion to his body as a normal state of being while a middle aged woman’s attempts to grow older, gracefully, are treated with contempt. Thankfully, Liné, like every woman of grace and power, wears the insults well.helga-1

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

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Hopelessly Devoted to: Athena Massey

Published December 10, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

athena-massey

Maria Ford, Jillian McWhirter, Sherrie Rose, Charlie Spradling, Melissa Moore, Joan Severance…These are names that fans of legendary producer Roger Corman’s ‘90s output should be familiar with. The glorious Athena Massey though, was, perhaps, the most exotically mysterious of these women – and, without a doubt, the most Stanislavski-an in her approach to her roles. Whether playing a blood starved alien, an undercover police officer or a bad-ass covert agent, this beauty gave it her all.

star-portalStar Portal, perhaps the most ridiculously fun entry here, finds Massey imbuing her role of Quad Rena/Sarah with both a solemnity and a childish curiosity. Yet another reworking of Corman’s Not of This Earth, this production also benefits from subtle traces of The Terminator and, nicely, places Massey in the alien role usually embodied by a male. Massey’s otherworldly goddess is bloodthirsty – a slaughtered victim or two is hung upside down to be drained of their fluids – but she supplies enough childlike confusion and regret to make this deadly femme qualify as the piece’s heroine. Choppily processed and obvious filmed on the cheap…the love interest, played by Steven Bauer, is almost invisible to the plot…this still provides enough zaniness to qualify as a solid example of the product  that was churned out to meet the demands of the burgeoning cable market in a, regrettably, bygone era.shadow-of-a-scream

Shadow of a Scream (AKA The Unspeakable), meanwhile, truly contains some of Massey’s finest work. The plot, again, is a reworking of everything from Stripped to Kill to (the notoriously protested, Al Pacino fronted) Cruising. But as Alice Redmond, a cop who goes undercover to trap a suspected serial killer, Massey shows a wide range of emotions. Even as her character, predictably, begins to be drawn into the sadomasochistic lifestyle of the man she is tracking, as an actress she colors in all the dots of her character’s personality, showing vulnerability and strength. Despite co-stars from two major television shows, 30 Something’s Timothy Busfield and Baywatch’s David Chokachi, this is definitely her show. It’s too bad, therefore, that the ending comes off so abruptly, almost leaving the audience confused as to who the killer is. The answer may be far too predictable for some, but Massey’s skill here is never in doubt and, as previously mentioned, this serves as an amazing showcase for all of her many talents.

terminationNice believability is also supplied with Terminaton Man, another low budget epic about a commando squad trying to stop a Serbian terrorist from unleashing a deadly nerve gas. As Delilah Shane – great name, no? – Massey provides kick-ass bravado here and truly makes you trust in her character’s flintiness and skill.  Impressively, Massey also makes you believe that the gratuitous nudity that her character is subjected to is all part of her take no shit attitude and not just an exploitive script requirement – true evidence of her compelling acting skills, if there ever was one.

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Be sure to become hopelessly devoted to Athena Massey, yourselves, by following her at https://www.facebook.com/Athena-Massey-128121317206690.

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

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Tom Neyman: An Appreciation

Published November 26, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

tom-neyman

Vanity (Action Jackson), Lucinda Dooling (Lovely But Deadly), Alexis Arquette (Bride of Chucky), Kim McGuire (Cry-Baby), legendary director-writers Herschell Gordon Lewis and Ted V. Mikels…The film industry has lost a slew of its iconic outsiders in 2016. Now the immortal Tom Neyman can be added to that list.

Neyman, who passed away at the age of 80 on November 13th, may be the most unusual of all these creative entities, though. An accomplished stage actor, Neyman is known for only one celluloid outing – a role that took him over 25 years to gain any notoriety for. But, as The Master in Manos: The Hands of Fate, Neyman strikes such a foreboding and impressive figure that he, ultimately, should go down in history as one of the most essential horror antagonists of all time.

Regarded as one of the worst movies ever made, Manos finally found public appreciation, after having been  exiled to oblivion after its 1966 premiere, when Mystery Science Theater 3000 parodied it on a classic 1993 episode. Ever since, Neyman has gained a deserved, ever growing following. In fact, horror icon Elvira is among the movie’s biggest fans and a recent poll revealed the Manos show to be MST3K viewers’ favorite episode of all time.

Therefore, Neyman is so much more than an actor in a singular role. He will always be a prime example of the impossible come to life – of that ray of hope beaming through the tangled corridors of darkness. He found an odd fame, decades after it should have come, from a movie that many would dismiss outright.

He is the role model for everyone who strives, despite the odds, to connect with an unforgiving, uninterested public. He is one for the believers and for society’s hardworking misfits…and his legacy will live on forever!

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Of further note: Neyman, briefly, reprised his role of The Master in the upcoming Manos Returns, the long awaited Manos sequel: https://www.facebook.com/manosreturns.

Jackey Neyman Jones, Manos’ Debbie and Tom’s beloved daughter, maintains a blog, featuring stories of her father, as well. https://www.facebook.com/Debbiesmanos/

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

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