Horror

All posts in the Horror category

Vincent Price and Pride

Published June 23, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

vincent price

Its Pride Week here in Chicago and my mind keeps going back to Vincent Price.

On a press tour a couple of years ago, his daughter Victoria told reporters that she was certain that this macabre matinee idol had sexual relationships with both men and women. Honestly, it’s not something I really care about one way or other. But anytime an icon of horror is put in proximity with the queer community, there is reason to celebrate. The terror crowd, by and large, is still a very straight and, even more surprisingly, an often right wing one. More than anything, though, it is a silent one.

This makes me love Vincent Price even more. Not because of his bedroom proclivities, but because, even in an era when it was much more dangerous to do so, he spoke out. In that (fairly recent) round of press statements, the thing his daughter stressed more than any romantic suppositions was that Price was a true activist for the LGBTQA community. He spoke out against Anita Bryant’s anti-gay platforms in the ‘70s. He joined PFLAG as an honorary member and did an AIDS PSA in the ‘80s.

 

Vincent Price Oscar Wilde

Price as Oscar Wilde

This makes me sad about some of the people I know (and don’t know), though. A few years ago, I was asked to write for a site, but was told that they didn’t do “gay” content. This, in essence, meant that I was supposed to take a straight white perspective when composing for them. What the person who contacted me didn’t realize was that, even with news items and film reviews, he was reacting to them with his own learned insights and background and interests. Of course, that was the style I was supposed to adopt. He thought it was a neutral one. It isn’t. How could it be? He will always react to things the way a straight male would. A Latinx woman will react to them another way. A transgender person, meanwhile, will focus on another aspect of the same story. As will I.

That was more about quieting my true voice, though. What concerns me here is that, as rights are threatened more and more by the current powers-that-be, I still have ‘friends’ in fright circles that look at me and tell that they are “fiscally conservative, but socially liberal”. They say they will speak out when the time comes. Instead, I see them sharing news items from Breitbart that mock celebrities for speaking out on social justice issues. Breitbart, by the way, is run by Stephen Bannon, a man who would like to obliterate me (and so many others I know) from the planet. So…thanks!

But they are giving a nod to something, at least. There are others who say nothing, at all. Perhaps, they believe human rights are politics and that where one stands on that side of the curtain is a private affair. Maybe they are afraid. Maybe they have become resigned and wearily complacent like me. I couldn’t tell you the last time that I picked up the phone to protest something to some senator or public official. But 40 years ago, Vincent Price, a hero for many of us, wasn’t scared or tentative or let his thoughts grow muted. He got down in the trenches with the underdogs and stood proud. Let’s hope that his truly distinctive voice raised, all those years ago, can bring others out into the open now. Let’s hope it can reawaken mine. We need it.

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Josie Cotton

Published June 18, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

josiecotton-jimmylovesmaryann

Johnny Are You Queer? put her on her on the map, but the fabulous Josie Cotton actually released a couple of albums in the ’80s, chock full of gorgeous New Wave tunes, that were worthy of equal attention. Nicely, she also applied a distinctly creepy vibe as she and Adam Ant stalked Pierce Brosnan and Lesley-Anne Down throughout the LA underground in the dreamy horror flick Nomads.

Interestingly, in her own right, Cotton is a lover of B-Movies and odd cinema. Thus her 2007 recording Invasion of the B-Girls, containing the theme songs to various drive-in classics, was born.

Here, though, she supplies a spooky carnival vibe, years before Ryan Murphy went there with American Horror Story, with the video to Jimmy Loves Maryann. It’s a highlight from 1984’s From the Hip, her excellent second album.

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

josie cotton nomads

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Witchcraft Series: The Final Adventure?

Published June 16, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

witchcraft

Some folks dip their toes in the pool. Others dive in, body first.

Derrick Carey of the sick cinematic podcast Astro Radio Z belongs to the latter category. He and various other mutants, myself included, have been immersing themselves in the deep end by analyzing the low budget soft core horror series Witchcraft – for…gulp…years now!

Naturally, now that Witchcraft 14: Angel of Death, Witchcraft 15: Blood Rose and Witchcraft 16: Hollywood Coven have been unleashed upon the world, we had to take a look and give our (sometimes) zany, (occasionally) well modulated opinions on them. Nicely, we are joined here by Dustin Hubbard, an accomplished filmmaker and, perhaps, the greatest Witchcraft fan ever.

You can listen to the episode here:

https://archive.org/download/ARZ98/ARZ_98.mp3

…and if you survive…be sure to visit Dustin’s Witchcraft tribute site, as well:

https://www.facebook.com/Witchcraft-The-Longest-Running-Series-in-Horror-318730181661944/

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Linnea Quigley: Tinker Hell and the Nonexistent Imp

Published June 9, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

linnea fun

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!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

The Queer Power of Alien: Covenant

Published May 29, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

alien-covenant

The slithering, orifice bursting monster babies of Alien: Covenant definitely rate high on my gore pleasure meter. But I will be viewing Ridley Scott’s second prequel to (his original masterpiece) Alien in the theater again for another reason: its strong queer pedigree.

Scripted by the openly gay John Logan, Covenant also features Empire’s sexually fluid Jussie Smollett as a decidedly straight crew member and two married male characters among its many hardy and adventurous potential victims.

Granted, it would be nice if the relationship between Demián Bichir’s Sergeant Lope and Nathaniel Dean’s Sergeant Hallett was more fully explored. Their true feelings for each other only surface during an intense crisis and, stylistically, their relationship feels dictated more by contemporary ease than as being a true part of the Alien universe. No LGBTQ relationships were presented in the original films and as this is a precursor to those stories, it makes it odd that the other films don’t have queer partnerships, the strong Sapphic following of Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley, this classic series’ toned and powerful heroine, aside.  

jussie alien

Still, the success of this relationship with viewers might make strides in compelling Hollywood executives to feature more homosexual bad asses in their action and terror outings and assure that they will continue to cast actors like Smolett, who have admitted their physical attraction to other men, a chance to play more than fey best friends and harried wedding planners.

Naturally, I am willing to concede that this is nothing more than wispy, celluloid pipe dream. But I am going to apply my hard earned dollars, another time or two, in the generous hope that it is not.

I hope you will join me!

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

 

Linnea Quigley at Summer Scares

Published May 20, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

linnea hollywood

This may not qualify as a horse of a different color, but it certainly is unique! Well known for attending celebrations of such ‘80s classics as Return of the Living Dead and Night of the Demons, horror’s goddess of the divine, Linnea Quigley, will be in Chicago on June 10th for rare screenings of two of her other cult classics. Both Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-a-Rama, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, will be shown at Summer Scares, an exciting appreciation of the celluloid culture that excelled in offing nubile teens in warmer climes. linnea sorority

With that thought, 1980’s Friday the 13th, the film that is the wicked granddaddy of the genre, will also be shown, with that project’s Ari Lehman (“Jason”) on hand to offer an introduction, as well. In an interesting side note, both Quigley and Lehman recently appeared together in The Barn, an acclaimed slasher throwback that has been making the rounds of conventions and fests, as of late.

To sweeten the pot, Quigley and Lehman will be joined by Nightmare on Elm Street 2’s Mark Patton, who will be interviewing Quigley about her illustrious career. Talk about a trio of camp counselors that you could trust your life with! H-m-m-m – or maybe not.

Anyhow, the fun begins on Saturday, June 10th, at 7pm at the historic Patio Theater in Chicago. More information is available at https://www.facebook.com/events/813470602136871/.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Michael Parks

Published May 14, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

Michael Parks Tusk

He was marketed as the ‘60s heir to such rebels as James Dean and Marlon Brando. Despite multiple credits, the truly eclectic Michael Parks didn’t really find true fame until a role in From Dusk to Dawn revitalized him for a new generation, though.

Parks, who passed away at the age of 77 on May 9th (2017), also recently did amazing, soulful work in such genre projects as We Are What We Are and Tusk. As many potential heartthrobs before him, Parks released a number of albums in the early ‘70s, as well. Although, his quiet country and folk anthems will probably have a more enduring resonance than the pop styles of so many cute one hit wonders that came before and after him.

Nicely, Long Lonesome Highway, perhaps his best known number, seems to have a particular meaning now as he, quietly and peacefully, goes on his final, most enduring journey.

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

michael bus

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan