Hell of a Gal: Nightmare Castle

Published January 26, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

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(Hell of a Gal explores the films of the powerful, ever luscious Euro Vixen Helga Liné.)

Jealous looks good on Helga Liné. Of course, it should be noted, that almost everything looks absolutely fabulous on this devilish wonder. But most fans would probably agree that her dual role in the classic Nightmare Castle shows her off best of all.

As Solange, the devoted companion to the crazed Dr. Stephen Arrowsmith (Paul Muller), Liné makes her first appearance in this black and white gothic adventure as a withered crone. But, when we see her next, this gorgeous creature’s true beauty is shining through. (Hmmm…I just had to work a Melanie Griffith title into the proceedings, didn’t I?) It seems that Arrowsmith’s experiments have given the aged Solange the glow of youth…and a bit of possessiveness, as well. Solange is definitely not happy with the arrival of Jenny, played by the irreplaceable Barbara Steele. Jenny is the exact replica of Arrowsmith’s late wife and although she may hold the key to their fortune, Solange would, from all appearances, like her dispatched as quickly as possible.helga 1

Of course, all does not go according to plan in the world of villainy and the arrival of Jenny’s handsome and kindly doctor (Marino Mase) and a couple of vengeful ghosts soon spell doom for Arrowsmith and Solange.

But despite the corrosiveness of her character, Steele and director Mario Caiano have nothing but praise for Line’s beauty and talent on the special features of Severin’s beautifully restored copy of the film. Indeed, Liné is, nicely, given more range to play here than is normally required of her and while Ms. Steele, rightfully, has claimed the top spot in my many terror lovers’ hearts, Line’s take on Solange here proves that, in a fair world, she would be right up there with her.

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Those interested in the restored version of this film should definitely check it out at https://severin-films.com.

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

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Soska Sisters on The Core

Published January 23, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

Soska The Core 2

If you needed any more reasons to love the Soska Sisters, their appearance on the fun Shudder series The Core will give you an ample supply.

Here, the lively, genre twisting twins spend their segment happily discussing their favorite castration sequences in horror films. They even end their time on the show in front of table that is laden with prosthetic cocks. Seemingly reveling in the (possibly humorous and uncomfortable) reactions that might arise from horror’s extreme bro culture, the filmmakers are again subverting the parameters of the world of terror.

Just as with films like Dead Hooker in a Trunk and American Mary, this appearance helps to carve out alternative, namely queer and feministic, creative territory. One might even propose that by putting a focus on violence against men, particularly on where they are most vulnerable, they are altering an entertainment landscape that has balanced too long upon the subjugation of women, both physically and emotionally. Hopefully, in 2018, with their help, we will be able to prove that, however you identify, we are all in this together and that we can put the final nail in the coffin of the thought that torturing a half naked female for an hour and a half qualifies as proficient genre cinema.

Stranger things have happened, no?

Soska Sisters The Core

https://twitter.com/twisted_twins  www.twistedtwinsproductions.net  www.shudder.com

https://www.facebook.com/shudder/

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Lainie Kazan

Published January 21, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

Lainie album.jpg

More than blood and gore, horror films survive on their sense of dramatic stakes. Similarly, theater diva Lainie Kazan, who has graced a number of horror themed projects, has as much drama in her voice as the best of them.

 

First coming to prominence as Barbra Striesand’s understudy in the original Broadway run of Funny Girl, Kazan may be better known as a comedienne in projects such as My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Lust in the Dust. But she’s added sass and vibrancy to Out of the Dark, a late ‘80s slasher featuring a golden cast of stand-bys including Karen Black, Tab Hunter and Geoffrey Lewis, and an episode of Tales From the Crypt that featured other notables such as Bill Paxton and Brad Dourif…who did away with her overbearing office manager character in a very gruesome manner.

Lainie

www.lainiekazan.com

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

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Review: Malafafone

Published January 20, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

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I can’t keep anything sweet in my apartment. A bag of chocolate chip cookies or red licorice that is meant to last a week (or two) is always gone in a single evening. Naturally, others have different types of overindulgences.

The heroine of writer-director Jono Freedrix’s bright yet powerful horror comedy short Malafafone is such a case. Her pre-date beauty regimen soon takes a turn for the excessive. Of course, while this is presented in fun, Freedrix also makes a powerful point here about society’s rigorous beauty standards and their effects on the people, mainly women of all backgrounds and types, who have no hope of truly being able to prescribe to them.

Accented by excessively cheery lighting and vibrant music by Scott Hampton, Malafafone is also helped immeasurably by the perky, slightly demented performances of Lesley Shannon and Andy Baldeschwiler. Alan Rowe Kelly’s grizzly special effects and make-up, meanwhile, add just the right amount of unbridled horror to the proceedings, as well.

Malafafone is currently available for free viewing at:

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

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Helping Brad

Published January 19, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

 

Brad

Brad

 

Last Sunday, I went to visit my friend Christine. She was house and dog sitting for a couple of energetic mutts and I was excited to meet them. Usually pups love me. But alas, these two could have cared less about my presence. Naturally, I was a little sad.

Of course, the mild melancholia that I experienced then is nothing close to the true sorrow faced by a pet owner whose animal is really sick. Such is the case for the owners of Brad. Business associates of scream legend Linnea Quigley, an incredibly vocal animal rights activist, Brad’s stomach has flipped, a la the animal in Marley and Me, and he has a long road of recovery ahead of him.

Thus, if they like, concerned (and generous) canine lovers can raid their piggy banks and help Brad out at:

https://www.gofundme.com/bcm9dt-brad-needs-your-help

 

linnea with dog

Linnea and friend

 

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Alice Faye

Published January 14, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

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Beautiful. Violent. A showcase for the brilliance of Doug Jones. Yes, Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water is many things. But, as an ode to the cinema of old it, nicely, also introduces modern audiences to the majesty of such golden age troupers as Alice Faye, Carmen Miranda and Betty Grable.

As a prominent part of the soundtrack, Faye’s husky, thoughtful version of You’ll Never Know definitely mimics the emotional lives of the outsiders at the film’s core.

Not surprisingly, Del Toro hasn’t been the first genre specialist to recognize Faye’s brilliance. Eagle eared viewers may remember her signature stylings from Innocence, a Season Two offering from Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, as well.

Auteurs recognize. Now, it’s your turn.

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

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Days of Horror: The Thrillers of Doris Day

Published January 12, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

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Known primarily as a musical comedy star and cotton candy-like romantic siren, film legend Doris Day also managed to work up a nerve wracking scream or two when the screenplay required it. In fact, her startled yelp in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much should, justifiably, be considered one of film land’s most iconic moments. Still, Day (ascertained to be one of the most naturally proficient un-trained film actresses by many scholars) often got so emotionally involved with her character’s inner lives that she limited her thrilled based appearances to just a few.

day julie posterHer entrance into the scare sweepstakes was in a 1956 wife-in-peril feature called Julie. The film opens up with Day, frantically, running from danger. Nicely, the film’s lush yet pulsing theme song, naturally sung by Day, plays in the background, as she sprints for her life. Unfortunately, Day’s Julia is soon nabbed by the suave Louis Jourdan, who plays her conniving husband. Taken on a ride from hell, Julia barely escapes with her life. Of course, Jourdan’s villainous Lyle is far from done with her. By the production’s end, Day’s plucky stewardess heroine, foreshadowing Karen Black by twenty years, must help land the aircraft she is stationed on as Lyle has emasculated all of the crew.

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 In The Man Who Knew Too Much, filmed in the same year as Julie, Day is placed in familiar territory, character wise.  Here, she is Jo, a former singing sensation, living a low-key life with her doctor husband (James Stewart) and their lively son. While on vacation in Morocco, Stewart’s character receives details of an assassination plot from a dying acquaintance. Soon the duo’s son is mysteriously kidnapped to buy a measure of silence. Unaware, Day’s character is drugged into calmness and then told of her son’s disappearance. Day’s multi-leveled portrayal in this scene is matched only by her subtle reactions in the film’s final sequence. Here, Jo has to play piano and sing for a gathering of London diplomats while simultaneously trying to rescue her son with nothing more than the sound of her voice. This is almost inconceivably amazing performing on Day’s part. Along with Hitchcock’s storytelling skill and the quirkily enjoyable performances from genre icons Reggie Nalder (Mark of the Devil, Zoltan) and Carolyn Jones (The Addams Family, House of Wax), it is the primary reason for indulging in this suspenseful, beautifully photographed picture.

day lace posterIn 1960’s Midnight Lace, Day actually became so involved in the travails of her wealthy Kit that she was rumored to have had a nervous breakdown on the set. In fact, several acquaintances (and a gossip columnist or two) reported that Day did not want to do the picture, but was strong armed into doing it by her then husband, the film’s producer Marty Melcher.

 While Lace (unreasonably dismissed by several Day biographers) centers around a fairly standard Gaslight plot, it is also lushly filmed and contains many moments of true suspense.  In fact, anyone who has been spooked when walking alone in the dark or has felt the claustrophobic fear of being caught in an enclosed space will have much to relate to in the film’s tensest moments. While the opening credits pass by, Day’s Kit is stalked down a foggy London street. The dense cinematography and Day’s realistic reactions make it a strikingly suspenseful sequence…and an electric start to the feature as a whole. Day’s escalating terror as Kit is eventually trapped in an elevator and frantically fights for her life, leaves no doubt to her attentiveness to detail as a performer and, on a more lurid note, is strong evidence for the multiple reports of Day’s subsequent collapse on set. day lace

Worthy of multiple viewings for its atmospheric attention to detail alone, this film also features John Gavin of Psycho fame, the legendary Myrna Loy (Ants) as Kit’s kindly aunt and Roddy McDowall, whose many genre credits include the original Planet of the Apes films and the blackly disturbing (and often ridiculous) killer baboon project Shakma.

day man poster

All of these Day dominated films feature subtle elements of terror and are definitely recommended for those rare nights when another bloodbath just seems too much for your system to take or when your non-horror loving companion needs a little break from all those scenes of relentless gore.

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

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