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Holiday Horror History (Valentines Day) : Dead Men Walk

Published February 15, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

31BEF7EC-BD66-4D7F-8228-EBCFC8ACEF66.jpegDead Men Walk was released on Valentine’s Day in 1943. It features a skilled dual performance from refined terror legend George Zucco. Other significant participants include Frankenstein’s Dwight Frye and under appreciated character actress Fern Emmett, who turned up in many minor roles in the classic Universal horrors. For a poverty row production, there is plenty of misty moodiness and fun vampiric action here. Thus, this easily accessible public domain title is well worth checking out.

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

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Retro Sharkbait Village: Death at Love House

Published February 14, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

 

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Mysterious houses have not been kind to the fragile male ego in horror films. James Brolin and Ryan Reynolds both succumbed to the madness of the Amityville house in different versions of The Amityville Horror while Jack Nicholson and Steven Webber spiraled into insanity, decades apart, while attending to The Shining’s Overlook Hotel. Similarly, novelist Joel Gregory in 1976’s Death at Love House finds himself transported to the brink of erotic hysteria by the lingering essence of a former movie queen in her long shuttered abode. Dorothy Death

Efficiently helmed by veteran television director EW Swackhamer, this telefilm is perhaps most notable for its use of such Golden Era greats as Joan Blondell, John Carradine, Dorothy Lamour and Sylvia Sidney. That they all play former rivals of or associates to the glamorous Lorna Love, a kind of Jean Harlow-Marilyn Monroe-Jayne Mansfield hybrid, makes this quick primetime horror a truly fun experience for those lovers of ‘30s and ‘40s cinema. Sidney, as Ciara Joseph, the mansion in question’s caretaker, definitely has the most interesting role, but one has to wonder how this frequently cantankerous presence felt about playing the film’s silly twist in the project’s final reels.

Joan DeathOf course an argument could be made that DALH, piloted around the disintegration of Gregory’s marriage to his wife/collaborator Donna (Kate Jackson) as they work on a project about Love, truly comes alive when LaMour, as coffee commercial queen Denise Christian, reminisces about Love’s evil deeds. Blondell devotees are also sure to admire her hysterical break from reality during the heat of the film’s fiery climax. Whatever your preference, DALH is ultimately high on mysterious mood and thoroughbred nostalgia.

Dorothy Trio Death

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Ute Lemper

Published February 10, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

 

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Kurt Weill, Lotte Lenya and their ilk are almost the definition of punk thought – creative, darkly sexy and anti-establishment. Distinguished cabaret legend Ute Lemper knows the gothic heart of those artists’ intentions, often bringing a nourish fever to her performances of their works.

Of course, Lemper has always commanded attention whether in concert halls, Broadway stages or playing a scheming ad agency owner (in cahoots with a pre-Bond Daniel Craig) in Smoke Wrings, a seventh season episode of Tales From the Crypt. Ute 2

Meanwhile, Information of Lemper’s other more personal and revolutionary projects, including tributes to life changing poets like Charles Bukowski and Pablo Neruda, is available at www.utelemper.com.

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

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Review: Black Button Eyes’ Evil Dead the Musical

Published February 8, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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Cheryl Williams is the specter that forever haunts my friend Kirsten. The classic image of that Evil Dead character’s zombiefied face peeking through a crack in the cellar door endlessly chills her. Thus, we have a proud woman of horror being successfully thrilled by another proud woman in horror.

This cycle continues with Black Button Eyes Productions current mounting of Evil Dead the Musical. Enacted by an incredibly talented ensemble of eight, this Midwest event is proudly presided over by actress Caitlin Jackson’s often ecstatic take on Cheryl. Her energy and skill, coincidentally, make this role a true celebration of one of my favorite yearly events, February’s Woman in Horror Month. Jackson’s ability to present multiple shades of one individual in a comedic terror piece proves that the eclecticism and uniqueness of the macabre arts are often most truly presented in a feminine form. Indeed, suffering and the humor needed to overcome certain tragedies are an essential part of her take on this shy, often abused wallflower who finally finds the devilish power within. Cheryl_Possessed_by_the_Demons

Of course, this is a rather heady take on a show that promotes goofy, blood stained shenanigans. Combining plot points from Sam Raimi’s first two Evil Dead films, EDTM finds proud S-Mart employee Ash Williams breaking into a woods strewn cottage with his closest family and friends. The discovery and subsequent reading of a skin stained, rustic book soon finds him surrounded by possessed, tune humming demons. Therefore, even with the help of an accomplished, talkative scholar, Ash may soon find himself dead before dawn!

Nicely, by hiring a diverse ensemble and toning down some of the more obvious frat boy antics of the original material, director Ed Rutherford presents one of the more balanced productions of this beloved and zany show. Jon Beal’s fight choreography presents all sexes in a strong light and the live band, led by Oliver Townsend, gives audience members an immediate, joyful feel for the limb flinging proceedings.

Evil Dead Jordan

But this would all be for naught, perhaps, without the proper take on Ash, a character adored by scare fiends, far and wide. Fortunately, the handsome and charismatic Jordan Dell Harris nails it here. Coming off like Bruce Campbell’s younger doppelganger, Harris sings and dances with charming aplomb. Nicely, he intuitively adds an uncomplicated honesty and heart to Ash’s often over-the-top bravado, succeeding in winning the crowds of people, whom have been rightly flocking to this show, over entirely.

Evil Dead the Musical runs through February 16th at The Pride Arts Center in Chicago. Further information is available at https://www.facebook.com/blackbuttoneyesproductions/.  Tell ‘em Kirsten and Cheryl sent ya!

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

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Director Profile: Tiffany Warren

Published January 31, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

 

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Her production company might be Stupid Idea Films, but there is nothing as smart as a cool and creative woman and that definitely defines Dallas based filmmaker Tiffany Warren. A gay, horror loving auteur, Warren’s recent shorts Kill Me Under the Mistletoe and Run are currently on the festival circuit and hitting various conventions and horror events.

Warren also recently participated in the Women of Independent Horror panel at the Atlanta Days of the Dead convention, proving that she is truly a talent to look out for.

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Be sure to keep up with all of her uncompromising adventures at https://www.facebook.com/StupidIdeaFilms/

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Diahann Carroll

Published January 27, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

diahann carroll

She supported the beleaguered Lindsay Wagner as a supernatural force hunted her in the fun From the Dead of Night. The magnificent Diahann Carroll also excelled as mysterious neighborhood woman in the excellent, haunting Eve’s Bayou, as well.

Thus, it can’t be any surprise then that this consummate performer beguiled talents like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra with her powerful witchcraft.

Those looking for further evidence of her compelling power can find it at the fan run www.diahann-carroll.com, as well.

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

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Review: Camp Death III in 2D

Published January 24, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

 

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The summer between my freshman and sophomore year of high school, Friday the 13th Part 3 played on HBO on heavy repeat. I watched it every time I could, cementing my love not only for horror but making the slasher film my genre of choice. That Matt Frame’s frequently ridiculous yet often inventive Camp Death III in 2D plays specific homage to that sequel does my slowly rotting heart well.

After convincing his foul mouthed, extremely abrasive uncle to reopen his beleaguered campground as a summer oasis for the physically and mentally handicapped, the eager Todd Boogjumper soon finds his livelihood in jeopardy. Both staff and guests begin meeting their ends in sadistic ways and even his traumatized yet supportive girlfriend Rachel may not be able to help him survive.

Of course, the plot points here play out with sophomoric and excessive humor which is met enthusiastically by Frame’s truly talented cast. The characters do begin to slightly wear out their welcome, consisting more of tics and over the top comedic notions than depth (much like the participants in the Scary Movie series and their ilk), but Frame does surprise with creative chase scenes, unexpected denouements and a sense of professionalism and skill that many independent, low budget horror films lack.camp death 1

Of the cast, Darren Andrichuk belligerently attacks Mel, the aforementioned crusty patriarch, with something bordering on compulsive charm. His foul mouthed tirades such as “Fork fuck my ruby red asshole” are almost astounding in their frequency and originality, providing some of the film’s happiest moments. Meanwhile, Angela Galanopoulos and Dave Peniuk utilize an energetic charm to enliven Rachel and Todd. But it is Chris Allen as Barry, the often bombarded wheelchair bound counselor, who is sure to steal most viewers’ hearts with his honest enthusiasm and refusal to be anything but perky even when Andrichuk’s Mel becomes physically abusive with him. Caroe Sandoval as Mel’s frustrated wife and Katharine Alpa as the most spastically animated of the campers also steal the screen whenever they appear and one wishes, especially in Alpa’s case, that their characters had commanded more plot time.

Naturally, Frame throws in many references to Friday 3 with Rachel’s frequent mentions of a past trauma nicely mirroring the ordeal that Dana Kimmell’s Chris anguishes over in the original. Thoughts of Sleepaway Camp and (even) Scream may enter into the audience’s terror worshipping minds, as well.

Of course, the forthright Mel would have obliterated any of this reviewer’s points with a loud “Fuck your sharing, you fuck-nut asshole!” So, it may be best for you to decide for yourself at https://www.facebook.com/campdeath/.

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

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