Political Issues

All posts in the Political Issues category

Review: Fort Doom

Published November 16, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

 

debbie fort doomPost-election week there may, surprisingly, not be a more appropriate horror film to watch than 2004’s Fort Doom. A low budget, seemingly home grown effort, this feature stars the always compelling Debbie Rochon and the eternally gothic Billy Drago, who gives a very disturbing, leveled performance as one of the production’s not so red herring villains here.

The film itself follows the Southern adventures of Lacy Everett (Rochon) and her group of working girls as they set up shop in a seemingly idyllic community. The Civil War has been recently fought and lost, and while there is emotional fallout to be found everywhere, hope abounds, as well. That is until Everett and her ladies discover that a serial killer is loose in their new tightly locked home base. As folks begin to disappear and it looks like all evidence points to the demented town mortician (Drago), it soon appears that a deeper, more deadly conspiracy at hand.

As with many indie terror efforts, there are many passages of stationary dialoging here. One also almost wishes that the producers had picked a different period of time to recreate due to the college theater costuming alone. While some of Rochon’s outfits have a bit of a stream punk effect, more than anything it is obvious that the budget did not allow for a real life recreation of the clothes that the characters would have actually worn in this era. Kind viewers will find that this gives the enterprise an enjoyable silliness, though. Others, well…Fort Doom.jpg

Surprisingly, what is not silly here is how accurately screenwriter Matthew Howe, who developed the story with the film’s director J. Christian Ingvordsen, seemingly predicated our current misogynistic and racist government controlled by powerful white men. Willing to do anything to stay in power, the vengeful founding father types in this film ultimately serve as a chilling prophecy and a reminder of how this destructive mindset has always existed in our culture.

That Rochon, who has survived her own share of personal hardships over the years, is our stand-in here, supplying strength and resolve and sassiness, is also a plus and an assurance that perhaps, like her Lacy, we will truly rise above this current regime, as well.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Hopelessly Devoted to: Morgan Fairchild

Published September 9, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

fairchild-1

“At Ms. Swales’ School for Girls we always strive for perfection!”

She’s one of the world’s most politically aware celebrities, tweeting about foreign policy and war torn environments with frequency and skill. Therefore, it’s totally natural that the exquisite Morgan Fairchild has brought this quality of leadership into many of her performances. Often conniving and frequently dangerous, Fairchild’s femmes have, commonly, seemed like presidential material and, as we dive deeper into a contentious election period anchored by the first female nominee, it seems only proper to highlight a couple of this blonde beauty’s most powerful roles.fairchild-5

In fact, in the late era slasher Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge, Ms. Fairchild emphasized her governmental worthiness by playing the ambitious major of a struggling town. Doing everything in her power to provide revenue to the citizens, her Karen Wilton is guided by one of the actress’ true strengths, a strong yet sympathetic edge. Yet, it is discovered that all ruses are red when it is eventually revealed that Wilton was behind the fiery destruction that led to the main character’s disfiguration and murderous rampage. Thus, she must pay, as all villainesses do.

fairchild-6Often knocked on as a pale Phantom of the Opera imitation, POTM gains significant leverage by featuring a number of genre regulars including Derek Rydall (Popcorn), Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead), Tom Fridley (Friday the 13th, Part 6) and Scream Queen Brinke Stevens. But even with glass spikes sticking through her abdomen, Fairchild is the main attraction here, providing one of modern fright films’ truly emotionally monstrous women.

Her Camella Swales in the 1994 science fiction-comedy Virgin Hunters (AKA Test Tube Teens from the Year 2000) is even more ambitious, though. This strict piece in a very tight skirt has gained universal power by convincing the government to outlaw sex and it is up to a couple of handsome, time traveling test tube collegiate types to stop her before she destroys the future of America.fairchild-4

Featuring elemental strands from projects as wide ranging as The Terminator to Some Like It Hot, Fairchild adds subtle intonations and unexpected growls to her stereotypical yet fun dialogue here. Naturally, her no nonsense warden is eventually softened by a man’s gaze, an insulting but expected result in a T and A farce, and America’s future is soon assured. Still, Fairchild has as much fun as she can with the proceedings, once again maintaining the project’s enjoyably silly focus.fairchild-2

Fairchild, who also gains glitter points for her AIDS activism and for her portrayal of Sandra Bernhard’s girlfriend on Roseanne, can be followed at  www.twitter.com/morgfair and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Morgan-Fairchild/109450415739787.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

fairchild-3

Clemency for David Barren

Published May 14, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

david

Truth: One of my biggest fears is the thought of being locked up in prison for something I didn’t do or for some unimaginably minor offense.

Therefore, I just had to sign the petition for clemency for David Barren, a man given life for a drug conspiracy charge. If you’re someone else who feels a bit of a twinge whenever a cop car slows down in your vicinity or feels compelled towards simple human justice, you might want to take a look at the petition and sign it, yourself.

https://www.change.org/p/president-barack-obama-clemency-for-david-m-barren-serving-life-without-parole-for-a-non-violent-drug-offense

Thanks in advance, and as always, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

 

What to do about Indiana!?!

Published March 28, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

indiana state capital
Got some free time this afternoon and wondering what to do with that rage over Governor Pence passing the Religious Freedom Act in the state of Indiana? Well, you could build a dollhouse out of the bloody shards of your cuticles…or you could make your voice be heard.

Here are some suggestions, passed along the grapevine, by authors/political activists like Kathie Berqquist and Achy Obejas:

“:RE: INDIANA: Outraged?…. Here are some numbers to call…. Were you Greek in college? Call up the Indianapolis-based North-American Interfraternity Conference (317.872.1112) and let them know your outrage. A Pacers fan? Call 317.917.2500. A Colts fan? Call 317.297.2658. Do you use Prozac or Cialis? Call Indianapolis-based drug maker Eli Lilly (317.276.2000) and let them know you’ll be asking your doctor about other options. Maybe you’re celebrity-obsessed and want to call 212.975.3820 and ask Kim Izzo-Emmet, director of publicity for The Late Show with David Letterman, that Dave scold his native state on national television. Or maybe you’re old-school and just want to call the Indiana Office of Tourism (317.602.6641) or the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce (317.464.2222). Or tweet them at @VisitIndiana. But make a call or tweet or two or ten during your lunch break. Do something. The audacity of a state that calls itself “the crossroads of America”!” BOYCOTT: The 2015 Final Four takes place April 4th and April 6th at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. BOYCOTT because Pence signed RFRA.”

Well, get busy!

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

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Rediscovering Stonewall with (Artist) Sasha Steinberg

Published July 1, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

I, recently, had the chance to meet bodaciously talented (NYC based) artist Sasha Steinberg. Here, we chat about his vibrant new comic book series celebrating the glorious personalities that participated in the historic Stonewall Riots:

Further information on Steinberg and his art is available at http://www.ahsasha.com.

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

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Pride Weekend Report: Remembering the UpStairs Lounge Tragedy.

Published June 28, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

rtrFA92
Nobody much looks, anymore, as I swing down the street in razor blade stilettos, howling I Need A Man in a bad Kermit, the Frog voice. Unfortunately, it wasn’t always this way.

This Pride Weekend will mark the 41st Anniversary of what has been labeled one of the deadliest attacks on LGBT people in US history. On June 24th, 1973 in New Orleans, thirty-two people, horrifically, lost their lives when the UpStairs Lounge was set on fire.

Even though all reports suggest that the fire was started by a disgruntled patron of the bar, the city’s lack of response after the attack borders on the criminal. Most news outlets refused to cover the event and when they did, it was merely as a joke. Families refused to identify bodies and one victim, Rev Bill Larson, who perished as he tried to escape through the barred windows, was left on public display for hours, Medieval warning style.

Even now, few know of this heinous incident. But a recent, lovingly detailed article by the Friendly Atheist pays magnificent tribute to those who fell, years ago.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/06/24/remembering-the-upstairs-lounge-the-u-s-a-s-largest-lgbt-massacre-happened-40-years-ago-today/

An upcoming documentary film is, also, a potent reminder of all that was lost that day.

Here’s hoping that as people whisk through this weekend in drunken delight, they take a moment to acknowledge Larson (and all others) who paved the way – – and perished due to much less accepting climes.

Big Gay Horror Fan

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Nora Dunn: Journeys with Comedy’s Eclectic Wonder!

Published September 12, 2013 by biggayhorrorfan

nora die
While she may not be known for her genre work, eclectic comedian-actress-writer Nora Dunn has worked with such amazing alternative talents as Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko) in Southland Tales and Charles Busch (Psycho Beach Party) in Die, Mommie, Die. Here, the compassionate performer talks with Big Gay Horror Fan about those projects (and others) and the state of ‘gay’ in the film world today.

BGHF: Hey, Nora! Can you talk a bit about working with Charles Busch in Die, Mommie, Die!

Nora: There’s a guy! That guy is amazing! That was really fun. When you’re on a movie, you don’t really get to work with everybody. I did get to talk to him quite a bit and also the woman who played the maid in that, Frances Conroy, she was also the mother in Six Feet Under. She was a brilliant actor. She’s great. I didn’t actually get to work with so many people on that. With Charles, when you work with him, it’s not a caricature, it’s a character. She (Angela Arden) just appeared. This other person comes out. It’s kind of scary. It’s great, it’s funny. He is a great actor. And — the end result of that was really fun. I loved seeing the movie. When I was there, I missed so much of it. I didn’t know what was going on.

BGHF: Going in kind of the opposite direction, what kind of energy to do you find when working with Seth Rogen on projects like Pineapple Express?

Nora_Dunn pineapple expressNora: Well, it’s kind of overwhelming for me because I can only take so much of that kind of comedy. I feel like a lot of their comedy is adolescent. They’re men who are not men. And we’re starting to get some of that back in the movies, having grown-ups – having men in the movies. I do think they’re funny. I think Seth Rogen is really funny. I appreciate him in more serious roles, though. I did The Guilt Trip with him. He’s such a really likeable, normal and truly smart guy. He’s wheedled himself into playing serious roles. I mean, he’s playing opposite Barbra Streisand. Quite a feat! But I want him not to be a boy. I want him to be a grown-up and a lot of those comedies play to that element. I don’t need to see The Hangover. I don’t need to see The Hangover 1, 2 and 3! Then you see that actor (Bradley Cooper) in a David Russell movie – The Silver Linings Notebook – and you see a completely different talent there. I thought that was a great movie. I think it’s kind of a waste, a lot of those movies. How much of this stuff are we gonna see, this wastepaper? They’re all kind of jumbled together. It’s not even a genre to me.

BGHF: I went to go see This is the End and while I can’t say I was offended, I was surprised about the amount of humor that revolved around gay themes. Every single major male character wound up in a gay situation of some sort, almost gladly. It’s confusing, in a way. I don’t know what they’re trying to say exactly about homosexuality.

Nora: It’s because their characters are stuck in a time when they are uncomfortable with it. When you are in your adolescence, you don’t know whether you are gay or straight. Like 12, 13, 14. Girls, you know, get crushes on girls. You’re kind of working your way through that. So, their comedy comes from that part of their life. By the time you’re 18, that’s over. You know who you are. Those jokes come out of uncomfortability with it. They’re dealing with it, on some level, and its better that they’re dealing with it in a humorous way…I am very impressed, by the way, with people in their 20’s, now-a-days. They have gay and straight friends. My age group, never in a million years! That was not the way it was. Obviously, everything has improved as far as people understanding that we are who we are. Not only is it a social issue but it’s a constitutional issue. And, you know, let’s move on! But I see so much of that in the movies – that “You’re gay”, “I’m not gay!” stuff. The portrayals of gays are really still stereotyped. But The Hangover does the stereotype of the big, macho guys – so maybe it’s just Hollywood.

BGHF: Exactly!

Nora: Hopefully, that will eventually go away. My best friend’s young son is awesome. He comes to the dinner table as a mermaid. He loves mermaids. He’s always looking for mermaids – and he is gonna be fine because he is never gonna waver. He will never waver. I was shopping with him in this store in LA. We were going to the beach, and he was looking at the dresses. This salesgirl comes up to him and asks him, “Why are you looking at these?!” I was like, oh here she goes, and she was like – “These are evening gowns! Come over here!” She shows him the dresses that are meant to be worn to the beach! And I was like, “Thank you so much!” Because he has a lot of trouble with bullying – the kids his own age don’t see that – but it’s the adults. Some of the parents titter behind the scenes. Then when he goes to the Disney Store, he wants to buy his Disney dolls: the Barbie’s and stuff. The salespeople go, “Oh-h-h! Are we wrapping this for a gift?” I say, “No! It’s for him. We want to open it up!” He visited the toy store in my neighborhood and he got this really cool doll there. They just knew it was for him. They acted totally normal about it. And he said, “I’d like that wrapped up please! I’m gonna open it!” (Laughs) They wrapped it up and he opened it! He went “Oh!” He acted all surprised and he was totally happy!

BGHF: It seems like a sexuality thing is being thrown onto it. That may be the case, but he could be just exploring stuff that interests him.

Nora: Yeah! He’s just being a kid and doing what he wants. All this came together for me because I was looking at my niece’s little girl. She was wearing a Hawks shirt and acting like a bruiser and everyone loved it. She’s very feisty and not a girly girl and they think that is just great. No one is saying, ” I think she needs to go to therapy!” (Throaty laugh), you know. So, when I look back, I realize that is why when I performed in clubs, they didn’t get me. It was Seinfeld back in those days and Dennis Miller. I didn’t know them – but I was around them and I just felt like my style was different. Ellen DeGeneres started around the same time I did at this club called The Other and she used to do piano songs and Doris Day –and she just left the scene. She went into the alternative scene. She does a traditional style of comedy but it’s not like those guys. Whoopi Goldberg was performing at Berkeley at the time. I realized you have to find your own way. You have to go into a different realm. You can’t go to the clubs and be the guy who starts out with a bang and then goes boom, boom, boom! That’s not what I do. I think I apologized to myself for a long time for that.

BGHF: Well, you’re making up for lost time, now! Is there work of yours that you are especially proud of that you would like viewers to take a second look at?nora southland_tales

Nora: I’m always getting character parts and so forth. There have been a few movies that didn’t make it that gave me something different to do. I thought LOL had a really good part in that for me and it was really fun. That’s the thing when you do films, though. I don’t know why it didn’t come out. I don’t think it was in the theaters. If it was, it was a week and now it’s on Netflix! I think I have a series of those kinds of roles that certainly could have meant more to me if the movies were successful. I think Southland Tales was an example of that. A lot of my work got cut out. That character — ah, was very hard to play. She was so — she smoked crack, she drank, she made porn movies. All that got cut out – but that was – – ah-h-h – dark. She was working on a documentary of the treatment of women in Iraq and the Middle East and so forth. To support that, she was directing porno movies. So many scenes in that weren’t in the movie and they were hard to do. I do think that what was left in the movie was good. I had a really, really good scene with John Larroquette and that’s where I shoot him with a taser under the table.

BGHF: Yeah! I love that scene. I liked Southland Tales.

Nora: But that was hard to do. It was hard to be in that dark world. I think probably the best part that I ever had in a movie was Three Kings. And the movie was successful and I had such a good role. After that, I had a really nice part in Runaway Jury. I loved that character! I worked with Dustin Hoffman, but he was mad at me. He didn’t know who I was and he was looking at me during a scene. He said, “I don’t get it, this character. You are really distracting me a lot!” I said, “Well this woman is not from New Orleans, she’s from Lafayette and she doesn’t like Jews.” It was true. I played her like a real racist. She was an alcoholic; she got kicked off the jury. But, she didn’t like him because he was Jewish and from New York. Not him, not Dustin Hoffman, just his character! So, they didn’t use me. They had other characters that they could focus on in the jury. (Laughs, hysterically) So they decided not to focus on me.

Nora_Dunn runaway jury

BGHF: I would think, as a New York stage actor, he would appreciate that.

Nora: Oh, I think that was just a period in time for him. He’s a great actor. But every actor has their moments. I remember on Three Kings, we had to shoot so far away and we were at this really remote, horrible location. Then we would have to go even farther to make it look really flat and desert-like. Then we would have to get in a van and drive all the way back to this other crummy place we were shooting at. There were all these extras in the movie. I didn’t realize most of them had been in Iraq and most of them escaped through Jordan. Many of them lost all their family members before they eventually made it to the United States. I didn’t know that. At the end of the day, myself, Cliff Curtis and Jamie Kennedy, we had our own van to drive back to where we were staying. But these extras ran along the side of the van and jumped in. They were piling in, crushing together inside the van. I got mad. I told the driver, “We have to get these people out of here! I can’t travel like this! We have an hour long journey!” Well, then on that hour long journey I find out that these people had been through hell to get out of Iraq. They had businesses, they had lives. They were killed in Jordan. They were killed in Saudi Arabia. They finally came to the United States. They chose Arizona because it was more like their country. I just felt terrible by the time we got back to the hotel. I said to Cliff, “I am ashamed of myself. I feel like I was acting like an asshole”. He said, “Nope. You were acting like an actor.” (Laughs, wildly) I’ll never forget that.

BGHF: That’s an amazing story.

nora_dunn_three_kings_001Nora: They would do everything they were told while acting on the set. They were sitting in the sun for ages. So, after that day, I would tell them, “Go over there!” and I would make the crew get them an umbrella and a tent. They weren’t being treated very well. Eventually we had to work together so much that I realized the movie was about their exit. How they got out and got into Jordan. That was the story. So they were reliving their real lives. To this day I still know some of them. They are on Facebook with me. We took a lot of pictures. That exodus took us many, many days. So, I guess if you were going to imagine being in a war, that movie was pretty close. I had a scene where they blew things up. I remember they set up for like 10 hours and they told me, you just stand here. This building is going to blow up in front of you, the whole thing! But it’s gonna end 20 feet from you. The director (David Russell) tells me to continue recording, no matter what. That is what the scene is. It doesn’t frazzle you one bit. The only had two cameras on the scene. So they took hours and hours and hours to rehearse it. They didn’t tell me that all this other stuff was going to happen, though. So, they call action. I stand there recording. But — not only did the building blow up but, these tanks came – and they blew up! This guy got out and his back was on fire. Then I see Mark Walberg getting dragged by and he’s all bloody! They didn’t say any of that other stuff was gonna happen. (Laughs) I just started screaming because I thought things had gone wrong. I thought the guy’s back really was on fire. I ran away and I was screaming, “Help, Help!” (Cackling with laughter) And the director was screaming at me, “Get back there! Get back there!” So, then I ran back, but I was such a mess. They couldn’t use that shot. I said, “Yeah, but my character could have run away.” He goes, “No. You weren’t a character at all. You were a complete — (Breaks into loud laughter). It was then I realized, “Nora, you would be terrible at war!” He would tell those guys, try to get that camera from Nora in a scene. They really did work. And I was kicking them and beating them – going what is wrong with you? He used it because it was real. And the scene where the guy puts a gun to my head? The director did not tell me that he was gonna put a gun to my head. The actor they used didn’t speak English and I kept trying to get the video tape. He kept telling me no – then he put the gun to my head and I said “Fuck it!” Hilarious! But I didn’t know what the hell was going on. Then I started screaming for Jamie to get over there! I said, “This guy is taking this way too seriously. He just pulled a gun on me!” (Laughs, loudly).

BGHF: Adventures in filmmaking, my friend! And – what a life!!! Thank you!

Dunn’s one woman show Mythical Proportions is currently running in Chicago until September 22nd, 2013. More information can be obtained at http://www.theaterwit.org.

Big Gay Horror Fan, meanwhile, continually adores the passionately intelligent woman at http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan.

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