Alfred Hitchcock

All posts tagged Alfred Hitchcock

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Doris Day

Published March 12, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

doris day julie 2

The girl next door. The sweetheart of WWII service men. That seductive minx of 60s romantic comedies. The eternally appealing Doris Day is many things. Even gothic songstress Diamanda Galas is a fan. 

But why wouldn’t she be? Day even worked her way, passionately, through a trio of thrillers. The highlight of these might be her collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock, The Man Who Knew Too Much. But in Julie, where Day portrayed a stewardess stalked by her murder happy second husband, a smoothly handsome and totally dangerous Louis Jourdan, she paid full balance to her multiple charms.Mord in den Wolken

Not only does her heroine here save a plane full of passengers by the movie’s end, foreshadowing Karen Black in Airport 75 by decades, but she also sings the film’s lovely theme song. It’s a pretty thing with hints of the turmoil that Julie is about to experience lingering lightly in the song’s lyrics. Day, of course, nails all the moods of the piece with the subtle and true touch of a master at work.

 Of course, Day, who now spends much of her time in the pursuit of care and justice for animals, is always, quietly and happily, reachable at www.dorisday.com.

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

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

Review: Split

Published January 19, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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Don’t Breathe. Lights Out. Occulus. Insidious 2. The Conjuring. Those are just some of the recent horror films that, off handedly, paint their maternal characters, in lead or supporting roles, in a bad light. Perhaps, the fact that these women are failing their children due to emotional issues (Don’t Breathe, Lights Out, Insidious 2) or from a form of supernatural possession (Occulus, The Conjuring) does raise the dramatic stakes for some. But, upon reading that James McAvoy’s character in M. Night Shyamalan’s Split was suffering from dissociative identity disorder due to the severe abuse he suffered at the hands of his mother, I was truly tremulous about another round of matriarchal bashing, celluloid style.

Nicely, despite some issues in tone and pacing, Shyamalan does balance things out in this, his second low budget horror outing since his return-to-form with 2015’s highly recommended The Visit.  By the final moments he is able to show that oppression and violence, unfortunately, exist across all spectrums of parental guidance. The emotional fate of Casey, his young heroine, thoughtfully and quietly played by The Witch’s Anya Taylor-Joy, therefore resonates, profoundly, long after the director-writer provides the audience with his form of a Marvel movie nod as the film moves into its somber credit sequence.

split-annaCasey, as sharpened movie fans know, is one of three girls kidnapped by McAvoy’s Kevin, whose twenty-three personalities are beginning to shift with the more mischievous and violent of them gaining control over the others. Despite their fear, the girls find ways to fight back as Kevin’s various alters warn them about the coming of something referred to as The Beast. (In particular, it is nice to see such a strong reaction from female characters who, in another universe, would be caricaturized as insecure and indecisive victims.) Meanwhile, Karen Fletcher, Kevin’s therapist, who is working on an academic theory that her patients’ severe traumas have actually shaped them into something far outside of the ordinary, begins to suspect that something is not right with Kevin and begins to investigate.

Definitely vibing on Hitchcock by way of DePalma, everything from Spellbound to Psycho to Dressed to Kill might come to mind here, Shyamalan crafts some wonderfully tense set-ups.  Even when things go deliciously astray, he occasionally evokes the fun rhythms of DePalma’s (less well received) Raising Cain. This is in large part due to McAvoy’s enthusiastic mastery. Whether he is embodying the peculiar Hedwig, a nine year old who thinks kissing leads to pregnancy, or the primly efficient Patricia, he supplies the project with nervy energy and a strange, much needed sense of black humor.split-betty

Meanwhile, it is nice to see the divine Betty Buckley with a prominent role in a horror feature, forty years after her film debut as the sympathetic Miss Collins in Carrie. Calm yet passionate, her Dr. Fletcher often floats past in soft, curvy waves, accentuated by large necklaces and gesticulating, jeweled fingers. She is the smart, revolutionary aunt that young feminists (of every sex) would love to claim as their own. Unfortunately, Shyamalan doesn’t quite find a way to balance her scenes with those of the young women in peril. Therefore, momentum is lost and the tension flags.

Still, there are enough wildly eccentric ideas on display, including some the mental health industry might find questionable, and enough of Shyamalan’s astute artistry here to qualify this picture as a particular success. The last look at Taylor-Joy’s haunted eyes might also find a significant entryway into your soul, as well.

https://www.facebook.com/SplitMovie  https://twitter.com/splitmovie

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Sue Thompson, “Norman”

Published September 27, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

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The name Norman may be ubiquitous with Hitchcock and Psycho, but it, also, finds sweet pervasiveness with 60s pop and country star Sue Thompson.

Already in her mid-30s, Thompson’s hits, Sad Movies and Norman, found her competing, successfully, with such teen rivals as Brenda Lee, Lesley Gore and Connie Francis.

Of course, the number we are concerned with here, has nothing to do with Anthony Perkins’ most famous portrayal, but it does put a certain twist on things if we imagine that it does.

Hmmm…so what exactly is that dress you’re making for Norman really made of, Sue?!?

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

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Overview: Days of Our Lives – The Necktie Killerk

Published September 25, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

Serena dead
Josh Griffith, the newly established co-head writer of Days of Our Lives, revealed in a recent issue of Soap Opera Digest that he wants Days to be the “Hitchcock” of daytime television. If that’s the case, then Griffith (and collaborator Dena Higley) must be thinking Frenzy, Hitchcock’s latter day horror effort, which featured a lovely lady victim (or two) being tightly squeezed about their throats. Their first big plotline, effectively erasing some of the previous regime’s newer characters, is a serial killer adventure featuring a creepy strangler known as The Necktie Killer. Chad Serena

First to go was Serena Mason, a diamond smuggling hottie who had demolished the heart of Eric, the local ex-priest. Played by the popular Melissa Archer, known to many as One Life to Live’s Natalie, this character spent many months chasing after a ceramic elephant, which contained the hot jewels. Of course, the viewing audience didn’t know why Serena was chasing after the object, thus one of the more ridiculous (and longwinded) plots in daytime television was born. “I swear I saw two elephants!!”

Archer, of course, committed to the work with skilled passion and truly seemed to be catching her stride as the albatross of her story was slowly being worn away. When Eric was in danger, in a recent plot twist, her horrified concern was palpable, giving audiences a true taste of her talent and making her misuse, by the previous writers, all the more apparent. But her early exit was probably inevitable, from the get go. Instead of a slow build, which all soap fans know is necessary for a new character, within weeks Serena was going head to head with the show’s main vixen, Nicole, a sure death knoll for any foundling mistress of destruction. Archer deserved much better, although she did look glorious in all her final red necked glory!

Paige deadSadly, the next victim was sweet Paige Larson, enacted by the gorgeous True O’Brien, who was growing stronger as a performer, every day. Part of the show’s (sort of) innocent teen romance, Paige had witnessed (the prime suspect) Chad DiMera’s last wrangle with Serena and, as this (slightly less than) proper young gent is being framed for the crimes, she was the next to go.

This gave the divine Kassie DePaiva (Evil Dead II’s sassy Bobby Joe), who plays Paige’s deceitfully stunning mother, Eve; room to truly indulge in her multiple talents. Her anguish over her estranged daughter’s death was full of heart wrenching emotion, but done to subtle effect by the well toned DePaiva, who also spent years as one of One Life to Live’s most popular anti-heroine’s Blair. As Paige’s long lost father, played by another daytime dynamo, A Martinez (Curse of Chucky, Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid, Not of this World), has arrived on the scene, DePaiva has compelled even further. The stunning weariness she is bringing to Eve is a master class in economy and it is a shame, especially now that Martinez’s character is being tied into one of the show’s core families, that the powers-that-be have let her go. This is truly an unfortunate mistake on their part.Eve

Of course, they know better than to play such games with Deidre Hall, who plays the show’s iconic leading lady, Dr. Marlena Evans. Hall was nearly killed off, in a similar storyline decades ago, and the fans took to the streets in protest. So, the attack on her this week by the killer, found this record breaking psychiatrist, breathlessly, surviving her rose hued asphyxiation…after a week of hypnotization attempts on the increasing frantic Chad, who now has reason to believe that he is being set up, but doesn’t have the proof.

Hunky Ben does, though. …and Chad will probably live to regret his eternal love for Ben’s fiancée, Abigail. Thursday’s episode revealed the troubled Ben to be the man behind the recent slayings, an almost unsurprising denouement. Although, red herrings do still abound…the respectable Dr. Dan as a Scream style co-conspirator, anyone?…and the weeks to come are sure to be filled with more suffocating mysteries and muffled mayhem…so, stay tuned!
Marlena
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Sandie Shaw

Published February 22, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

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How about a 60s anthem about romantic disappointment…with a possible sinister edge?

Sandie Shaw’s perky Girl Don’t Come gave a feminist ringtone to the being stood-up quandary, but looking at the lyrics through the eyes of an Alfred Hitchcock or a David Fincher gives this wistful tune a possibly dangerous connotation. Could the reason that the woman in question didn’t show be a bit darker than the simple whiff of whimsy implied?

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Barbara Dane, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”

Published March 9, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

barbara
I’ve tasted the gritty – especially after that psychotic killer clown pushed my face into the ground when I was 10!

But there is nothing as earthy (and fabulous) as the vocals of legendary folk, jazz and blues artist Barbara Dane! Even cinema’s master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, would have to agree with me on that one. (Although, he agrees with me on so little, nowadays. Pesky, I tell you. Just plain pesky!) He included the magnificent Dane in the 1962 episode Captive Audience (starring the distinguished James Mason of Salems Lot and Frankenstein: The True Story fame) on his own Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Don’t believe me? You can check it, here, yourself:

Then be sure to hang with Dane, often, at http://www.barbaradane.net. This politically charged dynamo is still performing and highly worthy of your support.

barbara livin

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

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Valentine’s (With a Twist): Joan Fontaine and Cary Grant, “Suspicion”

Published February 14, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

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The mind-blowingly insecure (myself included) will always relate to the tender hope and brilliant confusion that the divine Joan Fontaine perfectly illustrates as bookish Lina in Alfred Hitchcock’s nicely realized 1941 thriller, Suspicion. As the suave Johnny (played with handsome charm by the legendary Cary Grant) pursues and eventually marries her, Fontaine brims with devoted confusion. Of course, just when she seems sure of his affections, Lina finds herself believing that financially troubled Johnny is capable of murder and presently plotting her death to gain the insurance money.joan2

Hitchcock works with his typical slow boil, here, making marvelous use of shadows and ably coloring ordinary exchanges with a feeling of dread and suspense. Fontaine, who won the Oscar for her portrayal, flawlessly assists him in his goals. Thriller enthusiasts may find disappointment in the ending, as contrary to the source material, Johnny’s innocence is revealed. Pesky studio executives thought that if Grant played a cold blooded killer that his reputation (and box office appeal) would be tarnished. Suspicion-Joan-Fontaine

But, what does emerge is a full portrait of a woman in various (true to life) emotional stages. Nothing is for certain in our existence, therefore Lina’s journey from shy to sure to questioning, results in a suspense filled love story that anyone with (even a dab of) sensitivity can, eventually, relate to.

Happy (Bloody) Valentine’s Day — and until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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