It is starting to smell like Halloween in Salem! In the past few weeks, the setting place of (the long running soap opera) Days of Our Lives has had long lost characters rise from the dead while a mad scientist runs amuck, his chemical concoctions exploding around him! One of the show’s major heroines has also just been kidnapped by a silent, shrouded figure.
One recent ghoul stained returnee has even taken a deadly shine to some of her old, mischievous tricks. Vivian Alamain (currently being played by daytime icon Robin Strasser) has always had a thing for burying folks alive…but her latest victim Kate Roberts (the incomparable Lauren Koslow) wasn’t giving up her mortal coil easily. After being shot by Vivian and covered in graveyard dirt, this resourceful anti-heroine crawled out of her makeshift resting place and dragged her nearly expired glam gal self to the local hospital. Naturally, as the writers stretch out this macabre yarn, Kate’s life still hangs in the balance…and Vivian is prowling the hospital corridors, hoping to drag her off of that precarious ledge.
Of course, this is all being done with a sense of grand, over-the-top fun. But more than anything, it’s been a twisted joy watching glamorous, dedicated pros like Strasser, who gets more assured and enjoyably cunning with every appearance, and Koslow go at it with few (if any) holds barred. The producers also, nicely, gave longtime soap lovers a special treat by recently reuniting Strasser and Kassie DePaiva, who plays town pariah Eve with distinctive panache, for a brief scene. For decades these legacy performers went at it with love (and occasional wraith) as aunt and niece, respectively, on the late lamented One Life to Live.
Not many people can say that they were kidnapped by a soap opera king, but Jill Whitlow, who supplied a refreshing presence to a number of television and films in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, can actually lay claim to that cinematic honor. On the Short Walk to Freedomepisode of Airwolf, the popular television show that featured Jan Michael Vincent and Ernest Borgnine, her spoiled Kay Freestone finds herself a captive of John Aniston’s Colonel Arturo Alzar. Aniston, known primarily to network comedy lovers as Jennifer’s father, has spent the last 30 years intriguing daydream believers as the venomous Victor Kiriakis on Days of our Lives. Here, he spreads some of that poisonous energy out onto Whitlow and crew.
Admired, widely, for the sweet courageousness she brought to Cynthia, the heroine of Fred Dekker’s Night of the Creeps, it is fun to see Whitlow portray the more unsavory aspects of Kay’s character here. After being taking hostage during a Latin American excavation trip, Whitlow fully embraces the pouty antics of her role…faking illnesses and taking extra sips of rationed water with a silver glint in her eye.
Whitlow also brought the same kind of expressiveness to the Mother’s Day episode of Freddy’s Nightmares. She gives Barbara Gamble, the troubled character she plays, a jaunty air as she explores the house where Freddy Krueger committed his most heinous crimes. But even more so than Airwolf episode, the script here, by well traveled television writer David Ehrman, allows her some depth.
While her mischievous nature is in fine form when flirting with cute co-star Byron Thames, she supplies true sorrow to her moments with the accomplished Judith Baldwin (The Stepford Wives), who plays Barbara’s successful yet neglectful radio psychologist mother.
These moments here prove that beyond her most popular roles – arguably in Creeps and Weird Science – Whitlow did impressive work that is well worth seeking out. Be sure to check out her other credits at https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0926114/ and….
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
One of my favorite things about soap operas is how they add elements of horror and suspense to their mix – people rising from the dead, gothic vaults filled with kidnapped heiresses and Frankenstein inspired mad scientists either saving or destroying the day.
Thus, I am really excited about the independently produced series Wicked Enigma, a dramatic show based around a slasher film motif and featuring a number of characters that fall within the LGBTQIA spectrum. A first season trailer has recently been released, promising plenty of beautiful people and beautiful kills!
If music really is the food of love then Tuesday Knight is dining happy. The A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master star has released numerous recordings over the years, including her popular ANOES4 theme song. Of course, rhythm lives in her blood. Knight’s father, Baker, was a talented songwriter whose material was covered by everyone from Paul McCartney to Frank Sinatra.
Showing familial pride, Knight covered Lonesome Town, one of her father’s most recognized tunes on The Starlet, a third season episode of the popular detective series Matlock. This fun episode, featuring such stalwarts as Roddy McDowall and Anne Francis, revolves around the murder of a conniving contestant at a beauty contest.
As the perky Abby Smith, a hopeful participant, Knight radiates with sweetness in the background of several ensemble set-ups. That her cohorts here include DeepStar Six’s Nia Peeples (Fame), Rebecca Staab (the Invisible Girl in the Roger Corman produced Fantastic Four) and (long term The Young and the Restlesscast member)Tonya Williams only sweetens the pot.
Nicely, she is finally given primary focus as she, lovingly, performs her father’s lyrics. It’s a brief yet potent appearance and a boon to devoted Freddy Krueger lovers everywhere.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
Move over, Riverdale! The sexy cast of Wicked Enigma is ready to take your place.
Big words, perhaps, but this LGBTQ friendly project, revolving around the gothic, soap strewn craziness that ensues after a tragic onset accident, is full of attractive, well cast people doing their devious best to stay alive….very much like a certain, very popular CW show.
Nicely, queer fans are sure to thrill to the complicated romance of Max (Terrence Edmonds), an out and proud cinematic genius in the making, and Austin (Andrew Etzel), a well known yet extremely closeted actor. Edmonds and Etzel provide nice layers to their characterizations, aligning themselves, sympathetically, with the audience. But directors Edmonds and Jake Doull work wonders with all of the performers, particularly with Charlotte Evelyn Williams, who shines with vibrant defiance as the rejected Sasha, making the first episode a true pleasure to view.
He arose from the dead more times than Jason, Michael and Freddy combined. But the bittersweet reality of fictional characters is that they are played by real people and Joseph Mascolo, the beloved portrayer of Days of Our Lives’ most popular Gothic zombie Stefano DiMera, unfortunately, proved that sad truth with his passing on December 7th, 2017 at the age of 87.
With his smooth (and often winking) delivery, Mascolo made DiMera one of daytime drama’s most popular villains. The bit of acting genius has been rewarded, over the years, by the fact that whether DiMera was kidnapping and cloning his rivals or leaving Marlena, the soap’s eternal heroine, open for satanic possession or even rising from the ashes of a watery grave – his character earned the nickname “The Phoenix” for his seeming ability to regenerate from willpower alone, Mascolo was always embraced, heartily, by the show’s fans.
Horror fans who don’t need a little love in the afternoon and are totally unaware of DiMera’s supernatural villainy, have reason to mourn Mascolo, as well.Notable among his many credits, he brought a nice sense of bravado to businessman Len Peterson in Jaws 2 and he was very popular among fans of that movie, even taking part in the book Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel, in the decades since its premiere.
So let’s wish this legend a fond journey into the unknown. May he ascend, forever, in our hearts.
…and until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
DaPaiva delivered on a recent Castle episode, as well!
What could be better than a hurtling eyeball in the mouth? Well, probably not much. But Kassie DePaiva, whose spunky Bobby Joe in the seminal Evil Dead II suffered such a fate, has just been nominated for a Daytime Emmy for her work as the tragedy strewn Eve on Days of Our Lives. I imagine that honor has to rank pretty high up there, as well!
Indeed, DePaiva, whose other terror credits include 2013’s We Are What We Are, imbued all her storylines from her year and a half run on the show with an honest emotionality and sharp sense of the dramatic. Thus, this industry recognized honor is much deserved.
Nicely, the gorgeous True O’Brien, whom played Eve’s sensitive daughter Paige, was also nominated for her work, as well, in the Younger Actress category. Indeed, the fallout from the reveal of Eve’s affair with Paige’s boyfriend during the spring of 2015 was some of the best entertainment that the 50 year old soap had offered in awhile and kept ardent viewers glued to their television screens.
This year’s Daytime Emmy’s will occur on Sunday, May 1st. Here’s hoping that DePaiva and O’Brien take home the gold!