Film

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Lizabeth Scott

Published June 17, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

Lizabeth Scott

Best known as one of the true goddesses of film noir, the divine Lizabeth Scott got to show off her goofier side in the fun horror spoof Scared Stiff, a virtual remake of the Bob Hope-Paulette Goddard classic The Ghost Breakers.

Scott, whose smoky vocals practically make her kin to Julie London, has often been classified in groups with other such illustrious scene stealers as Tallulah Bankhead and Greta Garbo due to rumors of her Sapphic interests. But ever the committed performer, you believe her when she declares her devotion to a mere masculine mortal with her take on He is a Man.

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

Lizabeth Scott Scared Stiff

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Cesar Romero in Happy Landing

Published June 15, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

Cesar 2 on.jpg

Best known to many generations as the penultimate Joker (from the Batman television series), the elegant Cesar Romero actually began his career co-starring against the likes of such golden megastars as Marlene Dietrich, Betty Grable, Shirley Temple and Alice Faye. His midrange career, meanwhile, added some megawatt luster to such horror offerings as Two on a Guillotine (above), The Spectre of Edgar Allan Poe and (silly spoof) Mortuary Academy. He even applied his smooth charisma to a take on Count Dracula for Rod Serling’s Night Gallery in the early ‘70s.

Cesar Happy Landing 1But the scariest force that Romero came up against may have just been booming theater goddess Ethel Merman. In 1938’s Happy Landing, a vehicle for perky Olympian skater Sonja Henie, Romero plays the smarmy Duke Sargent, a bandleader with a woman in every port. Ultimately, the roving Sargent meets his match in Merman’s Flo Kelly. Kelly spends the last half of the movie beating Romero’s calculating operator into romantic submission and the two emerge at the finale as a devoted (if slightly bruised) couple.

Interestingly, while the scenes where Merman clobbers Romero over the head with hotel room lamps (and the like) are supposed to read as humorous, this aggressive slapstick actually has the opposite effect. Often these encounters read more as domestic violence than comedic gold.Cesar Happy Landing 3

Despite this, the suave Romero practically steals the show here. Her majestic routines on the ice notwithstanding, Henie as a leading lady mugs her way throughout her intimate moments and tends to gaze, off camera, with moony eyed dreaminess at every fade-out. Merman, meanwhile, is a bit too forceful, the power of her stage presence not fully transferring to film. Thus, Romero commands this (rather flimsy and stereotypical) story with an easy flow and an undeniable photogenic presence.
Cesar Happy Landing 2

Rather bravely, considering the era in which he was popular, Romero, known as a lifelong bachelor, officially acknowledged his homosexuality in an interview with writer Boze Hadleigh for his 1996 book Hollywood Gays. Done towards the end of his life, this honesty may be just as significant as any of his beloved screen roles.

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Kitty Wells

Published June 3, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

 

Kitty Wells

She, rightfully, became one of the queens of country music due to her feministic response song It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels. This majestic call to arms has been featured in such diverse horror projects as Needful Things, The Devil’s Rejects and Wicked Lake.

But the divine Kitty Wells knew what the true terror was to many a game of romance – a younger woman.

Wisely, Wells also seemed to know just what to do when confronted by a supernaturally inclined, unstoppable killer — Step Aside!

A favorite of Rob Zombie, who also used a track of hers in 31, this iconic performer received many lifetime achievement awards before her death at the age of 92. She continues to be honored, daily, at www.kittywells.com.

kitty wells heartbreak

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

Lon Chaney, Jr. in Happy Landing

Published June 2, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

Lon solo

Truly one of the oddest stardom stories must belong to Sonja Henie. A world famous Olympian skater, Henie made a huge mark on Hollywood in the 1930s. Providing an exuberant presence with modest acting skills, she appeared in vehicles that revolved around her ability to perform in huge Busby Berkeley style numbers on acres of ice. Many of these spectacles made tons of money, meaning Henie became one of the most poLon grouppular stars of her time…albeit in some of the strangest cinema ever produced.

Nicely, in 1938’s Happy Landing, Henie shares a brief scene with a future horror icon. Appearing here as Trudy Ericksen, a small town Norwegian hopeful who has started to make good in the Big Apple, Henie impulsively declares that she is going to marry a playboy, enacted smoothly by Cesar Romero (Two on a Guillotine, Batman), to an overeager reporter – –  played with gusto by none other than Lon Chaney, Jr. ! Nicely, Chaney’s goofy everyman energy is in full if modest supply here. For terror fans, it is a truly pleasant surprise, and one of the many things that makes the viewing of these old black and white programmers such a pleasure.

Sonia HenieNaturally, Henie, who spends much of the movie in close-ups featuring an approximation of thoughtful whimsy, finds her true love by the film’s spectacular finish. Chaney, of course, would go on to classic monster status with his appearances in such films as 1941’s The Wolf Man, 1943’s Son of Dracula and 1944’s The Mummy’s Ghost.

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Betty Buckley

Published May 27, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

Betty Carrie

She’s one of Broadway’s reigning divas. Fans of Carrie and Split also claim her as their own. But there are probably few as singular and solitary minded as the exquisitely talented Betty Buckley.

Interestingly (and in a twist of fate as unusual as herself), Buckley who played the kindly Miss Collins in Brian DePalma’s classic adaptation of Stephen King’s novel also played Carrie’s deluded mother Margaret in the widely panned, short lived Broadway adaptation of this beloved horror shocker.

Recent reexamination has given this work a renewed appreciation. But, as evidenced in the video below, Buckley always seemed to know the piece’s worth. Her performance here is deliberate, delicate and captivating.

Buckley, meanwhile, who is releasing a new recording called Hope in June, is always bringing heart and soul to www.facebook.com/BettyBuckley/ and www.bettybuckley.com.

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

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Horror Mash-up: Gloria Grahame and Dorothy Lamour

Published May 26, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

Greatest - Dorothy & Gloria Worried

One of the prime forces behind the event film, Cecil B. DeMille claimed his 1952 opus was The Greatest Show on Earth because he, grandly, showed audiences the glorious (and sometimes gritty) behind the scenes mechanics of the working circus.



Greatest - Dorothy and Gloria FightHorror freaks, meanwhile, may call it the greatest show, because it matches up two spectacular presences. Here, Gloria Grahame and Dorothy Lamour play Angel and Phyllis, two sassy performers who antagonize each other with their wordplay, but actually share a true bond due to their deep love of the life of the traveling show. Greatest - Dorothy and Gloria Mouth

As many actresses before (and after) them, Grahame and Lamour appeared in a number of terror flicks as their careers waned. Grahame enlivened 1971’s Blood and Lace, 1976’s Mansion of the Doomed and 1981’s The Nesting with her Academy Award winning presence. Lamour, meanwhile, added star power to such offerings as 1976’s Death at Love House and 1987’s Creepshow 2.

Greatest - Gloria Costume

As fun as those latter day gothic projects are, it may bring true fans more pure joy to beam back in time and see them here, wrapped in DeMille’s loving gaze, being treated like the extraordinary and otherworldly talents that they truly were.

Greatest - Dorothy

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Dorothy Lamour

Published May 20, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

Dorothy Lamour -1939

The glorious Dorothy Lamour was probably best known for the multiple Road pictures that she did with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope (and for the vibrant wraparound dresses that she wore in them) in Hollywood’s golden age. There, and in other brightly filmed projects, she often burst into inventive song. Anthology buffs, though, probably know her best as the doomed Martha Spruce in the Old Chief Wooden’head episode of Creepshow 2. Thankfully, she had a much more colorful (and happier) role in Cecil DeMille’s grandiose The Greatest Show on Earth.

Lamour, who also appeared in the fun  1975 television terror Death at Love House also showed some new generation teens how to sell a production number in 1964’s Pajama Party.

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

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