Television

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Julie Wilson

Published December 3, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

Julie_Wilson

Elegant yet slightly naughty, the legendary Julie Wilson enlivened Broadway stages, nightclubs and some minor Golden Age of Hollywood productions with her always divine, truly eclectic talents. Her electric presence was, perhaps, best met with one of her signature numbers, the fun and bawdy I’m a Bad Woman.

While, naturally, adored in the refined climes of the cabaret scene, Wilson also gave a little something to the Frankenstein Kids with her appearance on the A Face for Radio episode of Monsters…proving she was not only an eternal beauty, but a truly generous soul, as well!

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

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Hopelessly Devoted to: Mary Wickes

Published December 1, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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Mary Wickes was well known for adding a bit of dour (and occasionally judgmental) hilarity to many television shows and classic films. Her appearance as a frustrated, world renowned choreographer on The Ballet, a first season episode of I Love Lucy, for example, helped make that show one of the legendary series’ most hilarious offerings. Mary W4

Best known to many modern audiences as Sister Mary Lazarus in the Sister Act movies, cinema sleuths drawn to the darker side may be fonder of her quirky appearances on such shows as Kolchak: The Night Stalker and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, though.

The Baby Sitter, a first season AHP episode, actually found Wickes in familiar comic territory. As Blanche Armstaedter, the best friend of Thelma Ritter’s love lost Lottie Slocum, Wickes adds plenty of humorous appeal. In fact, as she offers up tempting ice cream treats to Lottie, Wickes often comes off as a monument to devilish frivolity. Her delight in the fact that her fondest companion may be a cold blooded murderess makes Wickes’ Blanche the story’s standout, with this one of a kind performer  stealing scenes from her co-star, the well seasoned, virtuosic Ritter. Mary W6

Toby, on the anthology show’s second season, provided a more somber character for Wickes to attach her skills to. Working with a bit of a Tennessee Williams’ vibe, this production concentrates on the arrival of a fragile old maid type to a rambling boarding house. As Edwina Freel, the land lady of the establishment, Wickes provides plenty of heart and weathered kindness here. She seems to know that the romance between this crumbling flower and a long term resident is doomed to failure and her scenes resonate with both wearied hardness and a bit of tender concern.

Nicely, her tart edge is in full effect again with They Have Been, They Are, They Will Be offering on The Night Stalker. As Dr. Bess Winestock, a zoologist that Darren McGavin’s always curious Kolshak interacts with, Wickes delivers her lines with a tangy twist, often providing laugh out loud results. This particular venture is more science fiction in nature than some of this iconic show’s more horrific offerings. But Wickes does get to reveal the truly chilling fact that the bone marrow of the animals in her character’s care has been devoured then rejected by the hungry aliens that dominate this output’s proceedings here.

Mary W1Exposed as an often rigid and uncompromising force in Steve Taravella’s well researched biography I Know I’ve Seen That Face Before, these three varied appearances (among so many others) prove that Wickes will forever be one of the world’s premium actresses of any (and every) variety.

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

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Horror, She Wrote: Alice Krige

Published November 17, 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.

Show business is full of complications…professional jealousies, Napoleon complexes, cold blooded killers. The sweet Nina Cochran (Alice Krige) definitely discovers this to be true on Murder in the Afternoon, a second season episode of Murder, She Wrote.

Alice K2The niece of the series’ stalwart Jessica Fletcher, a mystery writer who continuously finds herself solving real crimes, Cochran is accused of offing Joyce Holleran (Jessica Walter, Play Misty For Me), the evil head writer of the soap on which she appears. Of course, Cochran isn’t the only suspect for doing away with this callous doom bringer. Holleran has threatened the jobs of many of the show’s beloved cast, including the indulgent, adulterous Bibi Hartman (Tricia O’Neil, Piranha II: The Spawning).

Capped by a double red herring, this episode, nicely, allows Krige to display a full range of emotions. Fear and anger, naturally, figure prominently here. But true movie buffs may delight most to Krige’s sweet scenes with Lansbury and golden age character actress Lurene Tuttle (Psycho, Niagara, Don’t Bother to Knock), who plays Krige’s devoted grandmother with a daft charm.

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Krige, who gave sophisticated and passionate performances in such horror offerings as Ghost Story, Sleepwalkers, Silent Hill and Stay Alive, also works well amongst the vindictive environs of  Walter and O’Neill. She, wisely, plays off their characters’ inherent selfishness with a firm and determined resolve of her very own. …and while that surely doesn’t provide much love in the afternoon, as those daytime ads in the flashy ‘80s always proclaimed, it most certainly allows for plenty of delicious, lightweight fun!

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

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Brooke Bundy Fan Page

Published November 4, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

Brooke Charlies

She played Elaine Parker, the mother that you love to hate, in the A Nightmare on Elm Street series, but true celluloid buffs know that the versatile Brooke Bundy played a wide variety of roles throughout her career. Like her doomed Diana on General Hospital, whose murder has long been considered one of the greatest crime mystery plotlines of the golden age of the soap operas, many of these credits took place on a variety of popular television shows.

Perhaps most notably, the first season of Charlie’s Angels found Bundy interacting with Farrah and crew as an ex-street walker turned Las Vegas chorus girl wanna-be. Her character, filled with both a sense of street smarts and sweetness by this layered performer, was even romanced here by David Doyle’s goofily lovable Bosley. Brooke Chips

Of course, Parker was not the only troubled mother in Bundy’s arsenal. Not as famously, perhaps, she played another matriarch on the final season of CHiPS. Here, as the emotionally unstable parent of a young girl played by Halloween’s Kyle Richards, she nicely shows a lot of subtlety and depth even though she is only featured in a couple of scenes. The quiet seriousness she adds also brings a bit of believability to this jump the shark episode that focuses on a space alien that is trying to bring Richards back to its home planet.

Brooke Circle of Fear

Bundy also appeared on a variety of interesting yet more obscure television shows, as well.  A 1973 episode of Circle of Fear, an unusual and short lived horror anthology series, found her playing a member of an artists’ colony who is suddenly sucked into an ancient bottle by a vengeful group of pagan gods and goddesses. That same year, her sensible character was unable to save her man from the sensual lure of Lesley Ann Warren’s vampiric succubus on the Death on a Barge entry of Night Gallery, a vignette that was directed by none other than Star Trek’s most legendary Vulcan, Leonard Nimoy.

Nicely, now you can celebrate all of these interesting credits and so many more at Bundy’s recently created fan page: https://www.facebook.com/brookebundyfanpage/. Her activities, such as con appearances, will be noted there, as well.

So, as the shout of “Kristen!” whistles through your brain…until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Horror, She Wrote: Lisa Wilcox

Published August 4, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

Lisa solo

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.

Beware the snakes and spiders that slither within the psyches of young maids. Granted, that’s a line that Shakespeare never composed, but he might have if he was around to write about the fair Lori Graham, as initially enacted with sweet as pie energy by A Nightmare on Elm Street veteran Lisa Wilcox, on the Murder on the Thirtieth Floor episode of Murder, She Wrote.

On this 10th season outing of the estimable series, Wilcox plays the recently discovered niece of a successful book publisher, Edward Graham (Robert Desiderio). Graham is in the process of editing the latest mystery of Jessica Fletcher (the legendary Angela Lansbury), the focus of the series, and he is also slowly losing his sanity to frequent nightmares revolving around the beckoning voice of his recently deceased wife. Familiar territory for certain cast members, huh?  Lisa and Angela 2

Naturally, Graham winds up dead and Jessica immediately begins her comfortable brand of prying. The gentle Lori seems far off the seasoned sleuth’s radar until the final moments when it is revealed that she may not only provide the clues to all that has happened, but be much more sinister than originally expected.

Nicely, Wilcox gets a number of scenes here with Lansbury. She also gets to apply a little vinegar and spite to the confident tones she supplied as Alice took charge of her life and brought down the insidious Freddy Krueger in both A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master and A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: Dream Child.

Even the Bard might be impressed!

Lisa and Angela

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Laura Branigan

Published July 16, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

laura monsters 2

Power ballad diva Laura Branigan almost got sold into slavery on an episode of CHiPS, but her greatest acting role had to be the mysterious Amanda Smith-Jones on the A Face for Radio episode of the syndicated ghoul fest Monsters. There she confronted an obnoxious radio host played by Morton Downey, Jr. – no surprise there, huh? – and turned him into a hideous monster-puppet.

Of course, Branigan was much better known for her smoky and truly unique renditions of popular pop songs. Among her best loved numbers, which include Gloria, Shattered Glass and The Lucky One, Hot Night from the Ghostbusters soundtrack is probably the one that will get most terror lovers bopping.

Meanwhile, Branigan, who died at the age of 52 from a cerebral aneurism, is always being remembered, fondly, at www.laurabraniganonline.com.

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

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Julie Wilson on Monsters

Published July 13, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

 

Julie Angry

Sultry cabaret legend (and Broadway performer) Julie Wilson joined the ranks of such acclaimed stage doyennes as Vivian Blaine, Gisele McKenzie and Patricia Morison when she appeared on the 1991 Monsters episode, A Face for Radio. All these grand dames of the dusky boards had horror credits to their names and Wilson was a welcome addition to the club.

Julie MortonHere as the clairvoyant Cassandra, Wilson tries to warn Morton Downey,  Jr.’s obnoxious Ray Bright about impending danger. Of course, Bright treats Cassandra with nothing but skeptism and scorn. Despite this hateful onslaught, Wilson allows her character to maintain the cool regality that made her a wonder of the song set and establishes Cassandra as someone with both compassion and a rigid will. Naturally, Bright’s cynicism eventually relegates him to the clutches of a Dick Smith inspired creature in the episode’s penultimate awakening. Still, the finest moments here, for terror freaks who like the horror mixed with a cup of class, belong to Wilson.

Julie Monster

Interestingly, the smoky Laura Branigan, a singer who possessed a much different style yet equally passionate fan base, also appears here as the woman who helps spell Downey’s doom.  All in all, it’s a twisted music lover’s wonderland.

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

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