Television

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Robey

Published May 28, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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The scintillatingly singular Robey spent three years in the late ‘80s hunting down cursed objects on Friday the 13th: The Series. Nicely, while Micki, her compassionate and adventurous character, continuously saved the world from mass destruction, Robey was also setting the music world on fire with a number of hummable dance tracks.

Her most popular song, of course, was a cover of One Night in Bangkok from the musical Chess. The astoundingly cool video also features a number of horror tinged references proving that this amber waved lass was always looking out for her favorite horror freaks, wherever they happened to roam.

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

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When Wez Met Jason

Published April 28, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

 

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Wells and Crew attack.

What happens when two titans of injustice and mayhem clash? Well, unfortunately, one is eventually going to have to take a premature visit to that great and grisly powder room in the sky.

Such was the case when Vernon Wells, the massively frightening Wez from The Road Warrior, tangled with Ted White, the ferocious, almost unstoppable Jason from Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, on War Zone, a second season episode of the beloved 80s detective show Hunter.

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White retaliates.

When Wells’ Sonny Zajak and crew invade a warehouse guarded by White’s Manfred T. Royce, explosives detonate, shots ring out and soon Royce goes flying, downward, in a hail of fire. Royce hangs on by a thread, in the aftermath, causing Zajak a moment or two or distress. But, Royce’s balance on the beam of life is too shaky and soon he breathes his last.

Thus, it appears when apocalyptic action meets classic slasher, the former reigns victorious – for the time being, at least.

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: James Coco

Published April 9, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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Best known for character roles with a decidedly comic intent, the sorely missed James Coco (1930 – 1987) also added some much needed presence to horror films like The Chair and The Stepford Children.

Impressively, he provided his own vocals for the 1972 film version of The Man of La Mancha, as well. His vigor and exquisite comic timing add much to the humor of this take on the show’s well regarded Golden Helmet of Mambrino.

Gone too soon, Coco’s presence here (and elsewhere) proves he definitely will never be forgotten.

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

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In Memoriam: Gloria Charles

Published April 8, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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Horror fans are the most loyal in the universe. Take a knife in a terror flick and never work again, you will still be a legend in our eyes. Thus, the news this week of the death of actress Gloria Charles hit the scare community with a profound sadness. Charles not only created a singular badass with her take on Fox in the beloved Friday the 13th, Part 3, but she is also one of the only minority actresses to cause a significant impact in that iconic series. She was definitely the fiercest of that lot, threatening the campers played by Larry Zerner and Catharine Parks with snarling zeal before she found herself on the wrong side of Jason’s wrath, forever earning her a place in our hearts…and horror history. All the others, including (but not limited to) Renee Jones (Jason Lives), Diane Almeida (The New Blood) and Kelly Hu (Jason Takes Manhattan) were stereotypical victim types. gloria brewster

It is also significant to note that, while Fox may have been the role that she was best known for, Charles had a number of other credits to her name. She shared valuable screen time with Richard Pryor in the comedy Brewster’s Millions and added eclectic flair to a variety of television shows. The roles may not have been large ones, but her kindly police officer on a first season episode of the violent cop procedural Hunter is such a far remove from her work in Friday 3 that it seems a shame that the wide variety of her skills wasn’t given a larger play in the often difficult world of entertainment.

Gloria Hunter

Still, one hopes that in the decades to come, the cultural and social impact of her role in the world of horror will keep her beacon forever shining, brightly.

She deserves it.

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

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Horror, She Wrote: Jennifer Runyon

Published April 5, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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Horror, She Wrote explores the episodes of the ever-popular detective series Murder, She Wrote, featuring Angela Lansbury’s unstoppable Jessica Fletcher, that were highlighted by performances from genre film actors.

Blessed with a radiant presence, Jennifer Runyon brought a delightful grace to the screen in such terror themed projects as the girls’ school slasher To All A Good Night, renowned comedy Ghostbusters and the Roger Corman produced Carnosaur. This purity made her a natural to play innocents accused of wrongdoing in two episodes of Murder, She Wrote. jennifer 6

In 1989’s Seal of the Confessional, Runyon is Kelly Barrett, a frightened native of Cabot Cove, the fictional town where many of Jessica Fletcher’s adventures took place. Sure that she has murdered her abusive stepfather, Barrett takes refuge in a church with a handsome priest (soap opera stalwart Hunt Block). Determined to cover up her crime, she ultimately resists the clergyman’s offer of help and runs away. Of course, Fletcher eventually discovers that the culprit is not the frightened young woman, but not before Runyon gets to play, thoughtfully, in the fields of wide emotion, enacting everything from elusive terror to steely determination.

Jennifer 5Scripted by Lynne Kelsey, this storyline actually is one of the long running show’s most poignant. Graced with the series’ usual down home charms and lighthearted mystery, it also reflects, subtly, the emotional damage inflicted by parental misadventure. Runyon’s bruised portrayal aids greatly here, allowing the audience to feel, fully, for her character and proving that she would have been perfect to play tortured heroines in those gloomy noir epics of the 40s.

Nicely, 1991’s Murder, Plain and Simple has more of a soap opera edge. Focusing on an Amish community ruled over by an extremely evil patriarch (Michael Sarrazin), this episode also reunites Runyon and Block. The two play former sweethearts torn asunder by Sarrazin’s devious Jacob Beiler. Naturally, Beiler winds up dead, found by Runyon’s Rebecca, a pitchfork shoved deep in his chest. Jennifer 4

Runyon glows with resigned dignity here, relieved to be out of Beiler’s controlling grasp, but glad, once she is no longer considered a suspect, to be free of him, as well. Sarrazin, who imbued such projects as The Reincarnation of Peter Proud and Frankenstein: His Story with the gravity of his deep set eyes, nearly steals the show, though. He is obviously having a ball being so heartless and the scenes where he twists logic and decorum to get his needs met would make any arch daytime drama baddie proud.

Meanwhile, fans of the series should be sure to check out Murder She Wrote Fans: https://www.facebook.com/Murder-She-Wrote-Fans-120892357995729.

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

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Forever Charmed: A Little on T’Pau, AKA Kara Zediker

Published March 24, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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I’ve never pictured myself as one of the cool kids or one of those guys that everyone is desperate to hang out with. Honestly, I am still a little shocked when people agree to join me on sudden movie going ventures or to celebrate events of any nature. But, as we all do, I’ve learned to push back those disbeliefs and have even found myself becoming friends with people who, at one time, seemed unreachable.

My buddy Kara Zediker is a prime example. We were acquaintances in college, but in many ways, she seemed of another world. She was one of those theater students (at Columbia College in Chicago) who always seemed to be bathed in some kind of electric glow…and, indeed, the world at large took notice of that essence.  Her time in Hollywood gained her prime guest shots on shows such 24, Charmed, The Legendary Adventures of Hercules and Star Trek: Enterprise. She will, rightfully, claim it was hard work and luck. But, those who know her are also keenly aware that her quirky and kindly spirit probably had something to do with her success, as well. t'pau 2

She was drawn back to the Midwest, a number of years ago, and a sudden meeting on an el train drew us back, happily, into each others’ orbits. We’ve seen a lot of theater and films together. (We both even found a way to connect, emotionally, with the technical wonders of a touring production of Ghost: The Musical – the show, itself, was fairly mediocre, maybe even awful, but our childlike response to the special effects still makes it one of my favorite Broadway in Chicago evenings in memory.) We’ve also shared some meals and bar time together and…this Sunday, at the Fantastic Fantasy film festival, we will even be sharing the stage!

In between the illustrious, far flung wonders of films such as Masters of the Universe, Dune, Flash Gordon and Dark Crystal, I will be querying her about what it was like to play T’Pau on Enterprise, a younger version of Penny Halliwell on Charmed and one of her latest projects, Dig Two Graves, a horror film with Ted Levine that has gotten incredible feedback from the audiences that have seen it. This will also be her first appearance at an event of this nature, so those looking for the singular, and believe me, that word describes my friend Ms. Zediker perfectly, won’t want to miss this.

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Fantastic Fantasy will be held at The Vic Theatre in Chicago on Sunday, March 26th. More info is available here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1250287605055922/

Meanwhile, you can keep apprised of Dig Two Graves, which is opening in select theatres and on VOD on March 24th at https://www.facebook.com/digtwograves/.

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

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Retro Shark Bait Village: Five Desperate Women

Published March 16, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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Our childhood vacations consisted of being captured, destination bound, as our parents’ arguments descended into sharp silence…and of my frustrated father stopping, unabated during the night, at points we were warned to avoid. Therefore, my siblings and I met various nervous fingered drug addicts and opposite gendered strangers sitting in the sinks of McDonalds restaurants on our morning adventures. But…we were relatively unharmed.

The saucy quintet that ventures onto an isolated island for a reunion-vacation in the Aaron Spelling produced Five Desperate Women (1971) isn’t so lucky, though. A crazed inmate has escaped and is posing as either the awkward company boat captain or the island’s attractive yet mysterious handy man. As the former collegiates reconnect and tell tall tales of career successes and nonexistent families, the island’s loveable mutt is murdered and soon one of the distressed sorority sisters meets a similarly unpleasant fate, as well. The remaining friends must figure out who the killer really is and fight for survival until help arrives.five 4

Riding high on soap opera antics and mild slasher film esthetics, this telefilm is definitely a showcase for the beauty of Stephanie Powers, who portrayed determined heroines in such Hammer outings as Die, Die, My Darling and Crescendo. Here, she is allowed to branch out into unsympathetic territory. Nicely, this former Girl from U.N.C.L.E. brings an arctic reserve to Gloria, an often shallow and petty character. Powers, simply and effectively, delivers Gloria’s disdain for the weaknesses of her companions in haughty sidelong glances and long, cool puffs of cigarette smoke.  The other women are given a bit more background history, but this is Powers’ show and she runs with it.

five 1Gloria’s fellow cohorts, meanwhile, include Lucy (Anjanette Comer), a well-to-do alcoholic, Dorian (Joan Hackett), an insecure animal lover whose fantasies are her ultimate undoing, Mary Grace (Julie Sommars), a tender soul being held emotionally captive by her invalid mother and the intelligent and determined Joy (Denise Nicholas). Unfortunately, in a wildly politically incorrect move, Joy, the sole black woman of the group reveals, in a bizarrely detailed monologue, that she has blown all her educational and career opportunities through some sort of nonchalance and emotional disregard, to settle for the life of a high class prostitute. There is an interesting Tennessee Williams vibe to the exchange and Nicholas fills it with a coat of truthful bitterness and resolve, finding honesty where another may have just filled it with the anger of a minority actress forced to play another lady of the night. Equally strange, yet not as troubling, is an early scene with Mary Grace and her mother. In a weird twist, the mother communicates only through her nurse who determines what she is thinking through glances and then relays their intent to Mary Grace. It’s a strange and unsettling bit that fills this piece with a bit more artiness and presence than your run of the mill made for television affair.

In addition to this potent moment, director Ted Post, whose other credits include Magnum Force, Beneath the Planet of the Apes and the cult classic The Baby (also with Comer), keeps things moving along nicely and even manages to build suspense as to which of the two men is the killing kind. Both could, seemingly, be the one and Bradford Dillman brings a nervy edge to his seafaring sort while Robert Conrad allows cracks to appear beneath the façade of his handsome and reliable jack of all trades. five 2

Post also handles all the dramatics with a seasoned flair. Particularly enjoyable is a series of scenes where the sodden and hysterical Lucy, collapsed in despair, reveals the details of her unhappy day-to-day existence. The understanding that palpitates from her comrades eventually aids in the believability of the Lord of the Flies denouement that finds the surviving women launching out against their attacker in a choreographed frenzy. Moments like these make this flawed yet truly enjoyable adventure a memorable…and violent one. H-m-m-m… I guess my youthful sojourns weren’t so bad, after all.

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

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