Television

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Hopelessly Devoted to: Jill Whitlow

Published August 2, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Jill Main

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 Freedom episode 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.

Jill KidnappedAdmired, 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.Jill flirt

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!

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Hopelessly Devoted to: Rose Marie

Published July 26, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Rose Marie 1

Beginning her career as an infant in vaudeville, the distinctive Rose Marie was probably best known for her snappy work on the iconic Dick Van Dyke Show in the ‘60s. Thankfully, for horror honeys everywhere, she made a number of appearances in projects that relished terror filled antics, as well.

Her best known work in genre films may her memorable appearance as Mrs. Moses, the inquisitive landlady in Kevin Tenney’s popular Witchboard, but she also found time to appear in 2000’s Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th, a ridiculous parody in the style of Scary Movie. Rose Marie witchboard

Another of her ghoulish outings is 1985’s fun Jack the Ripper inspired Terror at the London Bridge (AKA Bridge Across Time). As Alma Bellock, the curious clerk at a rundown hotel, she interacts with a mysterious tenant – who just may be the world’s most notorious serial killer sprung fully back to life in another century! Ever the professional, Rose Marie imbues her moments here with a suspicious sense of fun.

Rose Marie and guestIn her final moments she even shares the screen with ‘80s era action hunks David Hasselhoff and Randolph Mantooth, giving those (then) famous youngsters a crash course in how to handle a scene!

Nicely, even though this indomitable spirit passed away in 2017 at the age of 94, her family and friends are keeping her memory alive at http://missrosemarie.com/.

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

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Barbara Bingham in Terror At London Bridge

Published July 19, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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My friends Kirsten and Bryan are in the process of making these multi layered candles. In every level, they bury a surprise trinket. As the wax melts, the treat emerges. For me, certain movies contain these kinds of unique gifts, as well. Utilizing my online media memberships for maximum benefit on a recent vacation, I dove into the low budget latter day oeuvre of Eric Roberts and several lurid television films of the exploitation genre. Upon viewing 1985’s Terror at the London Bridge (AKA Bridge Across Time), I anticipated the participation of such performers as Adrienne Barbeau and Rose Marie from the opening credits. But my little unexpected nugget of delight was the unanticipated appearance of actress Barbara Bingham.

Barbara TerrorHere Bingham, best known to terror enthusiasts as the kind Ms. Van Deusen in Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan, appears as Alice Williamson, a wealthy traveler who soon finds that her adventurousness will lead to a bloody end. An accident, as she traipses across the restored London Bridge in a tourist town in Arizona, puts her face to face with the resurrected Jack the Ripper. Nicely, Bingham radiates with a warm presence in her early scenes while providing the requisite terror in her final moments onscreen. Therefore, it is a shame that, despite lead roles in other genre projects such as Claudio Fragasso’s Beyond Darkness, she didn’t go on to become a bigger name in the entertainment industry. Barbara Terror 2

Still, with an eye on longevity (which is certainly the most important thing to a performer), Bingham has become a commercial force in Australia, appearing in numerous ads and pictorials. More info on her career is available at https://barbarabingham.com/.

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Barbara Cook

Published July 7, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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She was one of the queens of the Broadway stage and the cabaret circuit. But the multi-talented Barbara Cook also took a turn towards the gothic as one of Hitchcock’s famously conflicted blondes in the A Little Sleep episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Long considered to possess one of the sweetest, nuanced soprano voices, Cook was a 2011 Kennedy Center Honoree and, appropriately, received many other honors (including a Tony Award) before her death in 2017 at the age of 89.

Barbara Cook Kennedy

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

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Retro Sharkbait Village: Scream, Pretty Peggy

Published June 14, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Scream Pretty Peggy Main

Folks, just listen to Bette Davis. Okay? She’s lived and she knows a lot of shit and she really means it when she tells you to go away! There’s a reason at work there.

Of course, if Sian Barbara Allen’s determined Peggy had listened to Davis’ abrupt Mrs. Elliot in the 1973 ABC Suspense Movie Scream, Pretty Peggy, we would have lost about 60 minutes of film time…and that ridiculous ending carved from the static of Robert Bloch’s mind would have been lost forever, as well! So there is that to say for not listening to a wise traveler’s advice. Scream Pretty Peggy Bette

Indeed, this creepy mansion based time warp, bred from the same cloth as William Castle’s Homicidal and Bloch’s Psycho, may not fly, politically, today. But Allen offers a very determined heroine and while the character’s reckless stupidity is paramount, the enthusiasm with which the actress attacks the role almost verges on making Peggy a feministic heroine. Doubtless, this character’s strong willed nature was surely what drew this busy actress, who also enacted the rites of fear in the psycho-chiller You’ll Like My Mother, to the role. Well, that and the pay check, of course!

Scream Pretty Peggy SianMoodily directed by Gordon Hessler (Scream and Scream Again, The Oblong Box, Cry of the Banshee), this sadistic potboiler, focusing on Peggy playing housekeeper to a distinguished yet mysterious artist and his secretive family, is obvious enhanced by Davis’ presence. But eagle eyed partiers will also recognize Tovah Feldshuh (as the first victim here) and Claude Rains’ daughter Jessica as an snarky employment agency worker.

Readily available on YouTube, this twist back in time is definitely worth a rainy afternoon (or morning) of any happy nostalgia buff’s time.

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Jack Jones

Published June 2, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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Renowned, worldwide, for being the smooth crooner behind the unstoppable The Love Boat theme, the soulful Jack Jones officially made an entry into the horror world with Pete Walker’s 1978 slasher The Comeback.

Playing a faded pop star whose career and life are threatened by a homicidal maniac here, Jones triumphed. Of course, this veteran performer had already dealt with many powerful villains throughout his multi-faceted career. Perhaps, though, none was more vicious than that unrelenting entity known as The Love Bug!

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Bette Davis and Andy Williams

Published May 26, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Davis and Williams

Bette Davis threw herself, gamely, into whatever opportunities came her way. Whether shaving her head, elongating her eyebrows or adding padding to her frame, there was little that she wouldn’t do for a role. Fully embracing her horror queen mantle, Davis even recorded a rock and roll number celebrating Baby Jane, one of her most endearingly acclaimed gothic portrayals. Here she performs that (culturally fascinating) number on The Andy Williams Show.

Interestingly, Davis ended her career with a role in genre icon Larry Cohen’s Wicked Stepmother, a zany look at witchy (and bewitching) women – qualities that this erstwhile adventuress always possessed.

Meanwhile, Williams, whose reputation was always a bit sunnier than diva Davis’s, has found his music also being used in such darker projects as The Shape of Water and The Zodiac. Most effectively, perhaps, his beaming version of Happy Heart was used to incredible effect in Shallow Grave, a violent thriller that, culturally, announced actor Ewan McGregor as a force to be reckoned with.

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

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