Audrey Totter

All posts tagged Audrey Totter

Retro Sharkbait Village: City Killer

Published February 1, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

City Killer Heather Mad

Naturally, Heather Locklear’s got the perfect feathered hair…the perfect apartment…and her stalker is of the handsome picture perfect variety that ‘80s television executives loved to provide for their perfectly eager audiences. City Killer was probably the perfect title to get audiences watching back in that soap-centric decade, as well. Riding high on the successes of Dynasty and TJ Hooker, here pixie cute Locklear faces down the wrath of a lovelorn demolitions expert while, simultaneously, finding romance with a moustache sporting daddy.

City Killer AudreyNicely, clear eyed viewers will also spot noir icon Audrey Totter as a secretary in Locklear’s office. Here, Totter provides some old school Hollywood rational amongst this television film’s ridiculously over-the-top offerings.

Built around stock footage of major buildings collapsing in unison, things reach a highpoint in this thriller when swarthy Terrence Knox’s deranged Leo Kalb brings an entire urban oasis to its knees with his demands. Of course, Locklear’s compassionate Andrea is one of them and there may be nothing that the concerned Lieutenant Eckford, played with rascally compassion by Simon and Simon’s Gerald McRaney, can do to stop him.City Killer Explosion

Highlighted by an action packed ending and by the awkward visual fact that none of the actors are actually anywhere near the rumbling destruction detailed, City Killer is, nicely, also bolstered by a solid, tempered performance from Locklear. Particularly in her first confrontation scene with Knox, Locklear shows, precisely, Andrea’s fear, frustration and anger. In this #metoo generation, harassment perhaps is no longer a flyaway plot point for cheesy entertainment, but here Locklear is able to show that, even in less aware decades, there were always strong emotional repercussions to this kind of abuse.

City Killer Heather HorrifiedLocklear, of course, made other genre-centric appearances in such projects as the big budget Stephen King adaptation Firestarter and the charming (very low budget) Return of the Swamp Thing. Interestingly, in a complete turnaround from his work here, Knox wound up playing a concerned father in 1992’s Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice. (Heads up: it wasn’t.)

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

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The Gothic Charms of Audrey Totter

Published January 4, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

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Despite the ample number of social security checks that she provides for them, the ice cold black widow, living across the hall, just can’t get any love from her children.

Similarly, the arctic charms of noir gem Audrey Totter were seeming brushed aside the week of her death (in December 2013) to concentrate on the passing of the likes of Peter O’Toole and Joan Fontaine.

audrey-totter-02Totter, who died at the distinguished age of 95, this past December on the 12th (two days before O’Toole and three before Fontaine), brought cool charm to such dark, crime fueled dramas as The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) and The Set-Up (1949). Granted, none of her major projects were specifically terror based, but many glimmered with a sense of gothic doom.

One of her first jobs, out of the gate, was voicing the evil side of Phyllis Thaxter’s multiple personality suffering character in 1945’s Bewitched. Presented as more of a dark, dual sided women’s picture than a true psychological study, Totter’s voiceovers rang with monstrous menace.audrey claude

In 1947’s The Unsuspected, Totter’s manipulative Althea Keane finds herself going head-to-head with Claude Rains’ domineering Victor Grandison. Casablanca‘s Michael Curtiz directs this murder-mystery with the beautiful shadows and textures associated with the classic Universal monster pieces. The notable presence of Rains (The Invisible Man, The Phantom of the Opera and many others), handsome Hurd Hatfield (The Picture of Dorian Gray) and sassy Constance Bennett (the Topper series) add some nice, haunted texture to this fine piece, as well. But with her impervious eyes, haughty heart and regal manner, Totter here proves this she was one of cinema’s most potent, oft unrecognized queens.

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

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