High school awfulness is just something you seemingly have to live through. Any attempts to balance the scale just end up in Carrie-style mayhem. This definitely proves true for the participants in the upcoming Bad Witch, a fun film written by James Hennigan and co-directed by Victor Fink & Joshua Land.
At first, Roland Grimm (Jackson Trent) thinks Xander Perkins (Chris Koslowski) is a gift, a miracle seemingly delivered from the skies to help combat his teenage awkwardness. But as Perkins’ witchcraft laden solutions to Grimm’s problems begin to backfire, the young man soon regrets his involvement with this handsome, trouble making grifter. In fact, as death and betrayal overtake his world, Roland may soon pay the ultimate price for his association with the dark side.
Anchored around the casual, friendly energy of Koslowski and Trent, Bad Witchdabbles in gooey body horror, male sexuality and willingly explores a culture that is beginning to move away from labels as it restructures its sense of societal taboos. Here, Xander’s insistence that he is a “witch” not a “warlock” will truly make sense to a generation of film lovers who refuse to define themselves within the long accepted pronouns and gender rules. Nicely, the film also contains a very comical, truly gruesome death sequence involving one of Roland’s rivals – a moment that is almost worth the price of admission here alone.
Interestingly, while there is no homosexual tension between the film’s leads, Bad Witchdoes break boundaries by focusing on Koslowski’s taut masculinity. In a world where gorgeous, often traumatized women still serve as the focal point of horror projects, this celebration of male beauty is a novelty in itself. A natural progression from such witch based projects as I Married A Witch and Bell Book and Candle (from the ‘40s and ‘50s) and The Witches and The Craft (from the ‘90s), Bad Witch is sure to find many fans among those who like their terror delivered with a quick chant and an eager spell or two.
One of the most distinctive and skilled of the golden age performers, Barbara Stanwyck excelled in dramas (Stella Dallas, My Reputation), gritty noir classics (Double Indemnity, The File on Thelma Jordan) and comedy (Ball of Fire, Christmas in Connecticut). Several of the films that she embraced with her throaty presence in the ‘40s and ‘50s, including the tautly melodramatic Two Mrs. Carrolls and the chilling Sorry, Wrong Number, also featured significant elements of the horror canon.
Nicely, she fully embraced the genre in such latter day projects as William Castle’s The Night Walkerand ‘70s television films like A Touch of Eviland The House That Would Not Die (above).
As with many silver screen damsels with numerous credits, a percentage of her saucy, hardened characters sang. Occasionally, she was dubbed by more skilled vocalists. But with projects such as the fun and frisky Lady of Burlesque, her own whisky tones were allowed to sell the tune.
That chill is quickly sneaking into the air again. As we file for temporary separation from the summer breezes and marry ourselves to the fall season, a new wardrobe consisting of Art of Ruff designs, featuring the cutely spooky imaginings of artist Bryan Ruff, seems essential.
My favorite image, of course, is Ruff’s cutely domestic take on the Frankenstein Monster and his Bride- now celebrating their 201st anniversary, I hear – but there are plenty of other delightfully spooky options to pick from at https://www.redbubble.com/people/TheArtofRuff, as well!
So make those choices count (and no I don’t have that cute model’s number, so stop asking!!!)…and…
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
Mark Patton encountered one of cinema’s most notorious serial killers, Freddy Krueger, in ANightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. But in the upcoming 1 Dead Dog, he will come face to face with not one – not two…but three notorious murderers! Talk about a step up – or down, depending on your tolerance for the macabre!
In the late ‘80s there wasn’t a more significant way to spend a weekend night in Chicago than dancing at Medusa’s nightclub. Spiraling into the witching hour as techno and new wave tunes throbbed seemed as close to an alternative heaven as any wayward, creative youth could get. Interestingly enough, Japanese CARCRASH, a band based in Southeast Texas, makes music that radiates with the black lashed urban mythology of those times.
Rise of the MACRO-VIXEN, inspired by the beautiful and strong heroines of the Russ Meyer films, seems particularly fit for gothic thrashing in some long lost, three storied warehouse building.
YouTube has become a treasure trove for the cinema enthusiast. Full genre movies abound for free viewing on the service. This gift gives genre devotees an avenue to discover how certain entertainers have bypassed boundaries – working in the worlds of horror, European exploitation and comedy (among many others) throughout different phases of their careers.
The recent discovery of God’s Gun, a unique Italian-Israeli western featuring an eclectic cast (Lee Van Cleef, Sybil Danning, Jack Palance, and Leif Garrett) is proof of this theory. All of these performers have worked in a number of categories. Danning, in particular, has worked in everything from Giallo projects (The Red Queen Kills Seven Times) to thrillers (Bluebeard, Nightkill) to big budget comedy (How to Beat the High Cost of Living) and action adventure franchises (The Three Musketeers, The Concorde…Airport ‘79). Nicely, I was lucky enough to have this eclectic performer share remembrances of her cinema adventures with me in an invaluable interview in this past winter’s edition of Shock Cinema magazine (http://shockcinemamagazine.com/ ). Anyone interested in what it was like to create in a world where Michael and Ilya Salkind hosted huge cast parties and also revels in discovering what it was like to manage life on faraway locations with ever dwindling funds will truly appreciate the celluloid memories that Danning shares in this seven and a half page feature. Back issues can be purchased at http://shockcinemamagazine.com/backissues.html.
Her website is always active at http://www.sybildanning,net, as well…and until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
Hold onto yer wigs!!! Dagger Cast has turned into DRAG-GER CAST!!! Our latest episode features Bev Rage (AKA Josh J. Coles) who, along with her amazing band The Drinks, is truly showing the world what it means to be a potent glitter punk waitress! Bev truly brings the sunny mayhem here while also talking, seriously, about how she sees the drag community fitting into the world of horror in light of the country’s current hate filled climate! You can dive into the mascara strewn mosh pit at https://soundcloud.com/daggercast.
We’ve also added an exciting new addition to the show. As there’s nothing I love more than a classic cinema diva in an old school gothic horror piece, producer Jared Olson and co-host Lindsey Charles are allowing me to indulge my devotion to these grand femmes in a new Dagger Cast segment called Dr. Diva! In the first attempt, I get to sing the praises of the glorious writer-director-actress Ida Lupino and her stunning work in 1941’s atmospheric chiller Ladies in Retirement!
Enjoy!!! …and until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!