Television

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Edie Adams

Published January 12, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Edie Adams

I often hit upon a performer I want to write about for this feature and then I have to scramble to find if they have any kind of horror connection. Sometimes I luck out and there is a direct link to the genre. Sometimes I only manage to pluck out a tenuous thread. Occasionally, there is no link at all and I have to move along with a slightly heavy heart. Thankfully, the delightful Edie Adams, my latest obsession, was featured in a 1961 television production of The Spiral Staircase, one of several adaptations of the classic Ethel Lina White story about a handicapped woman being pursued by a fetishistic killer. This particular production was also notable for featuring such performers as Elizabeth Montgomery (Bewitched) and Lillian Gish (Night of the Hunter). (Adams played Blanche, the role that Rhonda Fleming had originated in the original screen version.) Spiral Ethel

For those who know about her career, though, it isn’t surprising that Adams has this eclectic entry on her professional resume. Almost chameleon like in her approach to her art, she was known as a comedienne, singer, impressionist, spokesperson and actress. Here’s Edie, her variety show, in which she showed off all those skills in premium, is still considered one of the greats of that particular world of entertainment. Here, her take on More Than You Know provides a nice look at her unique way of handling a classic composition.

Nicely, www.edieadams.com and https://www.facebook.com/realedieadams/ keep all the many aspects of this valuable performer, who died at the age of 81 in 2008, thoroughly alive and kicking!

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

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Hopelessly Devoted to: Randall Edwards

Published January 10, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

RandallGorilla.jpgA mad man was threatening to freeze frame the world. Fair ingénues were being buried alive. And over at Ryan’s Hope, the comically conniving Delia was kidnapped by a gorilla in a daytime television take on King Kong’s love struck antics. Such was the world of the early ‘80s soaps and the game and lovely Randall Edwards was a huge part of that zany atmosphere.

Taking over the role of Delia from the incredibly popular Ilene Kirsten, Edwards eventually made the role her own while simultaneously thrilling old school horror lovers with her best Fay Wray impression. Purposely grabbing a lion’s share of publicity, this attention seeking storyline surely prepared Edwards for some theatrical scrutiny that was soon to follow.RandallPeople

After a successful showing in Neil Simon’s critically acclaimed Biloxi Blues, Edwards was cast as sassy showgirl Kiki Roberts in the 1988 Broadway production of Legs Diamond. The show, nicely, gave her an ample chance to show off her singing and dancing talents in numbers such as I Was Made for Champagne and Only Steal From Thieves. Expensively produced and starring popular singer-songwriter Peter Allen, this production eventually went down in history as being one of show business’ most notorious flops, causing the permanent closing of the theater in which it debuted.

RandallLegsOf course, time has thankfully brought out kinder reactions to the project. Allen’ score has been favorably reexamined and several of the songs were included in The Boy From Oz, the popular retelling of his life starring Hugh Jackman. Nicely, a 30th anniversary concert recreation of the show even featured a still beautiful, dizzily potent Edwards.

Reportedly now a psychologist, it would definitely make her many fans “go ape” if this talented woman would continue to make occasional appearances in creative situations.

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Lorna Luft

Published December 22, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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Best known for her enthusiastic portrayal of Pink Lady Paulette in Grease 2 and for her famous lineage, Lorna Luft also joined the ranks of horror goddesses with her role in the Tales of the Darkside episode The Shrine.

The veteran of countless musical theater productions, Luft also knows her way around a torch song as evidenced by her take on The Music That Makes Me Dance:

Of course, New Wave enthusiasts are aware that she also backed up the likes of Debbie Harry, most notably on the popular Eat to the Beat track Slow Motion, and Hilly Michaels in the early ‘80s, making this performing dynamo a true delight in almost every entertainment medium imaginable.

https://www.facebook.com/LornaLuftOfficial/

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

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Sharkbait Retro Village: Road Rage

Published November 29, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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Seemingly made as a knockoff of Joy Ride, which reached audiences in the fall of 2001, Road Rage was actually a television film, released theatrically in South Korea and direct-to-DVD elsewhere in 2000. Thus, this Sidney J. Furie helmed action-terror hybrid was actually filmed a good year or two before Paul Walker and Steve Zahn ever contemplated that very revealing walk into a roadside diner.

Road Rage cover.jpgFortunately for fans of grilled cheese, as action orientated as this piece tries to be (with vigorous chase scenes occurring both on major thoroughfares and dusty country lanes), what may be most notable about this stalk and crash epic is the truly inappropriate casting. Lead Casper Van Dien was at least 30 years old at the time of filming – thus way, way too old to play the endangered college student that he portrays here. But he attacks his role with professional enthusiasm and, faint praise resonating, is actually probably the youngest looking of his co-stars. This includes heroine Danielle Brett, whose film career would only last another year or so. Van Dien also does a heroic, if losing, battle with the neon crayola dye job someone gave his professionally pompadoured hair.

Nicely, Catherine Oxenberg, famously the star’s wife at the time, shows up as a noticeably glamorous forest ranger who, unsurprisingly, meets a violent end at the wheels of the characters that are vengefully pursuing Van Dien’s Jim Travis. Catherine O

Lest one thinks these are damning points, these often ridiculous circumstances are actually the reasons why films like this are so enjoyable, making them worth a look or two on those nights of relentless sleeplessness and morbidly existential despair.

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

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Va-Va-Villainess: Linda Hayes

Published November 14, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Linda Hayes

Decades after her cinematic reign, the irreplaceable Linda Hayes was featured in the popular art house film Brooklyn. While that was definitely a tribute to her talent, Hayes made an even more potent impression as the duplicitous Margaret Forbes in 1941’s The Saint in Palm Springs.

Here George Sanders’ adventure seeking Simon Templar (AKA The Saint) is momentarily lured in by Forbes’ beauty and grace. But with a sense of soft intrigue, Hayes soon reveals Forbes’ true intent. While trying to steal a priceless stamp from Sander’s suave adventurer, she meets a deadly end. But until then, Hayes is obviously having a good time playing all the flirtatious, two sided aspects of her character.

Unfortunately, Hayes left the world of performing behind in 1942. But eagle eyed cinema buffs are sure to recall her grace and glamour in the glowing embers of the midnight hour, as the shine of late night television wavelengths lulls them off to sleep.

Cathy Lee Crosby.pngHorror Hall of Fame:

While Hayes had no horror credits on resume, her daughter Cathy Lee Crosby, with whom she shares a great facial resemblance, starred on an episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker and the 1979 creature feature The Dark.

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

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Sharkbait Retro Village: Mysterious Two

Published November 7, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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If the idea of having the aristocratic Priscilla Pointer (Carrie, Nightmare on Elm Street 3) as your Alien Queen appeals to you, the 1982 television of the week film Mysterious Two will be right up your alley. Always adding social flair to his material, here writer-director Gary Sherman (Death Line, Poltergeist III, Vice Squad) took the dangerous reality of the Heaven’s Gate cult and gave it some otherworldly twists. Founders Bonnie Nettles and Marshall Applewhite are reimagined as true planetary presences, embodied by the soft speaking Pointer and the eternally recognizable John Forsythe. 

Popping in and out of the action, these two lure a group of disillusioned seekers to a small desert town to await their eventual ascension to another world. Of course the loved ones of those following He and She, the characters portrayed by Pointer and Forsythe, are none too happy and try desperately to interfere with those plans with increasingly futile results. Mysterious Desert scene

Ultimately more of strange character study with Asmovian elements than out and out science fiction, Sherman still works creepy magic here. The scene of a senior male wandering worriedly through a dusty oasis of fallen bodies is beyond chilling. Dread also seeps in through the frames as one realizes that none of He and She’s determined followers are going to escape their shadowy fates.

 Adding to the effectiveness, Sherman also gets multilayered performances from such character actors as horror giant Robert Englund, with whom he also worked with on Dead and Buried, Robert Pine and Vic Tayback, who offers up a portrayal that is far removed from the antics of Alice’s Mel, his definitive role. 

Mysterious RobertAs more and more obscure projects are finally seeing the light of day on DVD and Blu-ray, one hopes that Mysterious Two will eventually get a decent release. Until then the too dark copy available on YouTube and other outlets will have to suffice.

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Virginia Mayo

Published October 27, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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One of the first to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk Fame, the dazzling Virginia Mayo added gleeful zest to such projects as White Heat, (the award winning) The Best Years of Our Lives and (the truly fun) She’s Working Her Way Through College. Her finely tuned acting antics also found spooky purchase in a diverse array of macabre settings. Her performances in Castle of Evil, Haunted, Evil Spirits and an episode of Night Gallery understandably brought her great acclaim.

Some lucky appreciators also got a chance to see her perform onstage in such shows as No, No Nanette, Good News and, perhaps most importantly, Stephen Sondheim’s Follies.

The Follies clip is especially notable as it gives people a chance to actually hear Mayo’s singing voice. While her characters often silkily warbled tunes in her movies, she was almost always dubbed, allowing people to concentrate fully on her smooth dance moves as opposed to favoring her dulcet tones.

Mayo, who died at the age of 84 in 2005, also made appearances in such cult films as Midnight Witness, the notorious Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood, and The Silver Chalice, which featured an oft-robed Paul Newman in his first major role.

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

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