Television

All posts in the Television category

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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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Lisa Hartman (2)

Published January 15, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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It was a femme fatale fiesta over at the USA Network in the early 90s when their television films, draped in genre atmospherics, featured actresses such as Joanna Cassidy, Suzanne Somers, Sela Ward, Traci Lords, Crystal Bernard and Morgan Fairchild getting terrorized and fighting back against psycho stalkers, devilish tots and perverts in dark vans.

The glorious Lisa Hartman joined in with this cosmetic strewn cadre by starring in 1991’s Red Wind, a thriller in which Kris Morrow, the psychotherapist she plays, finds herself involved with a murderous, gender bending patient. lisahartmanredwindgwg24-vi

Of course, if Hartman had been sporting the hair there that she, gloriously, works in the video for I Don’t Need Love, the single released from her fourth LP Til My Heart Stops, she probably could have cut through that deadly situation in a matter of seconds.

Hartman, who is the first person to be featured twice in a row in this column (such love I have!!!), went on to record a number of hit duets with her singer husband Clint Black, and still maintains a deserved and healthy fan base at https://www.facebook.com/Lisa-Hartman-Black-182279741844146.

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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: Lisa Hartman

Published January 9, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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She should have been cowering from that electricity enhanced alien in Not of this World (1991), but instead the exquisite Lisa Hartman decided she would rather be Hiding From Love as witnessed by her 1982 album Letterock, a recording that was even rereleased as a self titled offering, later in the decade, due to her popularity on the nighttime soap opera Knots Landing. MBDDEBL EC003

Hartman, who also provided a killer surprise in Wes Craven’s Deadly Blessing (1981), even performed that popular Bryan Adams tune on an episode of Solid Gold.

Unfortunately, Letterock (and its subsequent reiteration) never really took off with the public. Interestingly, it is one of the perkiest female rock records of that era with some fun new wave and pop numbers and a running time that passes by brightly. It also qualifies as very ahead of its time. The song Johnny’s Always On My Mind details the female narrator’s attempts to steal a man away from his boyfriend –   a bold concept even in today’s music world, let alone in the period of time when it was actually released.

So, bravo, Goddess Hartman….

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Barbi Benton

Published December 26, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

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There are many ways that people get from Point A to Point B, but for those who wonder how Susan Jeremy wound up being threatened at that nefarious, under-populated medical institution in X-Ray (AKA Hospital Massacre), Brass Buttons, the number 5 song by that beleaguered horror heroine’s portrayer Barbi Benton, certainly won’t provide any clues.

Of course, this little country ditty, written by Bobby Borchera and Mack Vickery, does seem to take its inspiration from Benton’s physique and her years as a Playboy model. But why, oh, why didn’t the two ever write about her adventures filming Deathstalker or her days flirting with David Doyle’s Bosley on Charlie’s Angels? Now, that would really be a song!

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

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In Fond Remembrance Of: Joseph Mascolo

Published December 17, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

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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. joseph-jaws-2

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!

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Cheryl Ladd

Published November 27, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

 

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She may be best known as the perkiest angel ever, but the heavenly Cheryl Ladd also lent her acting talents to such horror productions as Gary Sherman’s hidden gem Lisa and such interesting television offerings as Jekyll and Hyde, which found her co-starring opposite the irreplaceable Michael Caine, and The Haunting of Lisa (a theme there, h-m-m-m?). cheryl-ladd-lisa

Proving herself to be quite unstoppable, Ladd even gained a following as a warbler of tunes, releasing several albums, including one that yielded a minor hit, Think It Over. Meanwhile, as a veteran of several variety specials, Ladd, colorfully, covered Tropical Nights, on one such appearance. As the title song of a Liza Minnelli album, it may not contain an inkling of horror pedigree, but it surely applies, mightily, to the gay portion of this enterprise.

Currently, the divine Ladd is offering fun seasonal memorabilia at her website, www.cherylladd.com.

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

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