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Zombie Bathhouse Chronicles: Paging Dr. Martino!

Published October 21, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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Hmmm…That old performing truism about not writing something for a cast member that you wouldn’t do yourself has come back to haunt me, as of late.

For years, I’ve been working with composer-lyricist (and Chicago institution) Scott Free on a project called Zombie Bathhouse: A Rock Musical. After a number of readings (and lots and lots of rewriting and reimagining and… well, you get the picture), we were ready to hit those Midwest stages, last week, for a professional run. Naturally, our amazing and dedicated cast was firmly in place, when circumstances twisted, as they are want to do, and I found myself recruited – or ham that I am, did I offer myself up willing!?!? – to take over the role of the mysterious Dr. Martino, the man responsible for the many nightmares endured by the show’s tortured romantic hero, Michael.

Honestly, it’s the last position that I expected to find myself in…but after some inner grumbling and heavy sighing, I’ve actually found myself immensely enjoying being one of the many creepy cogs in a creative machine again. My artistic journey began in the theatrical trenches and I had forgotten how amazing backstage comradery can feel. It’s been very satisfying being part of a unit working for a common goal…and the fact that this, (quite possibly) my final theatrical stage appearance, is in a work of horror makes it all the more satisfying.

More than anything, though, this experience makes me respect artists everywhere all the more. There are so many beautiful things involved with creating something, but so many risks and heartaches, as well. Sometimes those negatives can even outweigh the positives…and, damn, don’t those failures fucking burn?!? But, still we persist. Therefore, I want to send up a salute to my fellow cast mates and to all who dare to risk, to dream and to falter, on a daily basis. We’re warriors, folks, and even the mysterious and totally unsavory Dr. Martino would probably have to bow down to that.

Zombie Bathhouse runs until October 29th at The Center on Halsted. Further information is available at

https://m.facebook.com/ZombieBathhouse/

Until the next time, Sweet love and pink Grue, Big Gay Horror Fan!

https://m.facebook.com/BigGayHorrorFan/

 

 

 

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Great Performances: Linnea Quigley in Night of the Demons

Published October 6, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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All horror fans bemoan the lack of respect that their favorite performers receive in the world at large. For every Frederic March (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), Kathy Bates (Misery) and Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs), there are hundreds of wonderful performances overlooked.

What is even more amazing is when one of these incisive portrayals comes from an unexpected place. One may expect a lot of fun and vibrant energy emanating from the young actors in Kevin S. Tenney’s beloved original Night of the Demons, but for the sharp eyed, the legendary Linnea Quigley actually gives a masterful, dual toned performance as the flirty Suzanne here.

Quigley, in her mid-twenties at the time of her casting, has admitted to feeling uncomfortable with playing another teenager – especially as she was surrounded by cast mates that were barely out of high school themselves. But in this tale of a group of friends encountering demonic mayhem at a Halloween party, Quigley delivers with confidence and a surprising duality. In fact, her reluctance in playing another stereotypical sexpot actually gives her work here an almost Meta quality.

She hits all the right comic notes, for sure. Her flirtatious dialogue is delivered with aplomb. But her heightened real life awareness also brings a sense of commentary to her work. She does everything the role requires while giving it a wink. She seems to know that her lines are ridiculously sexual and that, while her character is the ultimate, over-the-top male fantasy, she is not buying into herself. Thus, she almost delivers a dialogue on the predictability of the role while staying true to it, as well. It’s a remarkable feat and one she, seemingly, accomplished unknowingly. She simply followed the mark of her true instinct and natural artistry.

Nicely, those in Chicago will be able to experience this phenomenon on the big screen on Friday, October 6th. Quigley, herself, will be present for a showing of the film at the Davis Theatre in Lincoln Square at midnight. More information on the free event is available at https://www.facebook.com/events/1418103908296624.

Naturally, I hope to see you there…and until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE,

Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Bucket O’ Blood Recovery Sale

Published September 21, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

 

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In 1975, Jaws proved it wasn’t safe in the water. In 2017, the water did a 180 and decided that Bucket O’ Blood Books and Records’ stock wasn’t safe from it. Yes, unfortunately, Chicago’s premium spot for horror books and used vinyl suffered from some flood damage last week. 

Rallying, as independent businesses must, the store is hosting a Flood Sale and Party this Friday from 12 pm to 9 pm. They will have some of their damaged product on sale at slashed prices. Other independent artists and businesses are offering exclusive merchandise and cut rate vinyl for sale, as well, with all of the proceeds going to the recovery effort.bucket 2

More information is available on the exclusive page for the event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/475132829525773/

As always, it is awesome when philanthropy and shopping go hand in hand. So, I hope to see you there…and until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE,

Big Gay Horror Fan

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

On Set Memories – Hollywood Warrioress: War of the Gods

Published August 17, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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You spend your 20s doing your morning workouts while watching the exploitation films you’ve taped off of cable the night before. Time, as it does, swirls by and, one day, you find yourself acting in a movie with one of the actresses that you adored during those AM stretching sessions. It’s surreal. It’s a bit mindboggling. It’s also vital proof that life is full of surprises and asserts the fact that even when certain dreams crumble, other unexpected ones can replace them.

Indeed, during a summer when Wonder Woman and (to a lesser degree) Atomic Blonde proved that female action blockbusters were important, both socially and financially, I found myself performing in a femme based comic book film myself. Created and executive  produced by beloved scream queen Deborah Dutch (Hard to Die, Sorority Girls and the Creature from Hell), Hollywood Warrioress: War of the Gods explores the continuing adventures of a West Coast actress who has been imbued with the powers of Athena. (Note: The first Hollywood Warrioress film is available to rent on Amazon and has just received national distribution.) FW5

Nicely, Dutch’s goal of bringing a sense of justice and harmony to the screen was amplified on the Chicago set. Firstly, in a moment of supreme camaraderie, she flew into Chicago to make sure that we were sharing the same space as performers instead of connecting through green screen magic. Supportively, our mutual friends at the award winning AlleyCat Comics allowed us to film in their open courtyard space while director Chad Hawks returned (from the original  production) to guide us, with caring conciseness, through our paces. Granted, my role as interviewer to Dutch’s heroic interviewee felt pretty natural…but I still had to, metaphorically, pinch myself from time to time. Luckily, I was also aware enough to appreciate the significance of the afternoon. I was surrounded by loved ones and positive energy (and beautiful weather) doing something creative and incredibly fun.

This joyous enthusiasm wasn’t contained to just the set either. A trip to a local ice cream shop, during a break, brought out a new sense of excitement as Deborah, still in costume, got quite a response…not only for her ensemble, but for the film, as well.

Of course, you, too, can keep apprised of everything that is happening, goddess-style, at https://www.facebook.com/hollywoodwarrioress/.

… and until the next time…appreciate all the unexpected wonders that life offers you…and SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Hard to Die Screening

Published August 2, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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Freddy, Jason and Michael may get the lion’s share of horror loving, but the thing that I have always loved about the terror genre is how it has given women such a fertile ground to explore multiple characters. Even when the odds are against them and extremely exploitative elements present themselves as hindrances, strong portrayals can emerge.

Such is the case of Hard to Die which, if the world is fair, will one day be acknowledged as the Queen Mother of All B-Movies. Featuring a bevy of beauties who lit up the screens in a plethora of grindhouse projects, this Roger Corman produced quickie allows the (admittedly) scantily clad heroines to exert themselves in Amazonian manners. Here Deborah Dutch (Graduation Day, Sorority Babes and the Creature from Hell), Melissa Moore (Sorority House Massacre 2, Repossessed, The Invisible Maniac), Toni Naples (Death Stalker 2, Dinosaur Island), Karen Mayo Chandler (Stripped to Kill 2, Out of the Dark), Gail Harris (Curse of the Komodo, Forbidden Games), Monique Gabrielle (The Return of the Swamp Thing, Transylvania Twist) and Kelli Maroney (Night of the Comet, Chopping Mall) are featured in tale about a group of hard working retail princesses whose late night inventory shift turns into a deadly game of survival. After opening up an ancient text, the beauties soon find themselves either being possessed by an evil spirit or finding Rambo-like sensibilities within themselves as they take down their out of control colleagues. This gives the actresses plenty of emotions to play with – fear, rage and, finally, exhausted triumph. Tying into Slumber Party Massacre, another Corman property, through flashback sequences and the reuse of the Sorority House Massacre 2 character of Orville Ketchum, a scary looking yet sympathetic foil played with beleaguered dignity by Peter Spellos, adds many levels of genre joy to the film, as well.

Nicely, Midwest residents will get to catch a free screening of this micro epic on Saturday, August 5th at AlleyCat Comics, 5304 N. Clark, in Chicago. Dutch, who will be in town filming scenes for the sequel to her beloved The Hollywood Warrioress project, will be in attendance, talking about the film and taking photos and signing memorabilia for fans. Therefore, if you haven’t seen the film before, this will be a truly unique way to experience it for the first time.

The links to the official page for this event, presented by AlleyCat Comics and myself, are https://www.facebook.com/events/1428358453925943 and https://www.facebook.com/events/827187454117069. Be sure to check those out for more information.

Hope to see you there!

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

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

 

 

Linnea Quigley at Summer Scares

Published May 20, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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This may not qualify as a horse of a different color, but it certainly is unique! Well known for attending celebrations of such ‘80s classics as Return of the Living Dead and Night of the Demons, horror’s goddess of the divine, Linnea Quigley, will be in Chicago on June 10th for rare screenings of two of her other cult classics. Both Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-a-Rama, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, will be shown at Summer Scares, an exciting appreciation of the celluloid culture that excelled in offing nubile teens in warmer climes. linnea sorority

With that thought, 1980’s Friday the 13th, the film that is the wicked granddaddy of the genre, will also be shown, with that project’s Ari Lehman (“Jason”) on hand to offer an introduction, as well. In an interesting side note, both Quigley and Lehman recently appeared together in The Barn, an acclaimed slasher throwback that has been making the rounds of conventions and fests, as of late.

To sweeten the pot, Quigley and Lehman will be joined by Nightmare on Elm Street 2’s Mark Patton, who will be interviewing Quigley about her illustrious career. Talk about a trio of camp counselors that you could trust your life with! H-m-m-m – or maybe not.

Anyhow, the fun begins on Saturday, June 10th, at 7pm at the historic Patio Theater in Chicago. More information is available at https://www.facebook.com/events/813470602136871/.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Forever Charmed: A Little on T’Pau, AKA Kara Zediker

Published March 24, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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I’ve never pictured myself as one of the cool kids or one of those guys that everyone is desperate to hang out with. Honestly, I am still a little shocked when people agree to join me on sudden movie going ventures or to celebrate events of any nature. But, as we all do, I’ve learned to push back those disbeliefs and have even found myself becoming friends with people who, at one time, seemed unreachable.

My buddy Kara Zediker is a prime example. We were acquaintances in college, but in many ways, she seemed of another world. She was one of those theater students (at Columbia College in Chicago) who always seemed to be bathed in some kind of electric glow…and, indeed, the world at large took notice of that essence.  Her time in Hollywood gained her prime guest shots on shows such 24, Charmed, The Legendary Adventures of Hercules and Star Trek: Enterprise. She will, rightfully, claim it was hard work and luck. But, those who know her are also keenly aware that her quirky and kindly spirit probably had something to do with her success, as well. t'pau 2

She was drawn back to the Midwest, a number of years ago, and a sudden meeting on an el train drew us back, happily, into each others’ orbits. We’ve seen a lot of theater and films together. (We both even found a way to connect, emotionally, with the technical wonders of a touring production of Ghost: The Musical – the show, itself, was fairly mediocre, maybe even awful, but our childlike response to the special effects still makes it one of my favorite Broadway in Chicago evenings in memory.) We’ve also shared some meals and bar time together and…this Sunday, at the Fantastic Fantasy film festival, we will even be sharing the stage!

In between the illustrious, far flung wonders of films such as Masters of the Universe, Dune, Flash Gordon and Dark Crystal, I will be querying her about what it was like to play T’Pau on Enterprise, a younger version of Penny Halliwell on Charmed and one of her latest projects, Dig Two Graves, a horror film with Ted Levine that has gotten incredible feedback from the audiences that have seen it. This will also be her first appearance at an event of this nature, so those looking for the singular, and believe me, that word describes my friend Ms. Zediker perfectly, won’t want to miss this.

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Fantastic Fantasy will be held at The Vic Theatre in Chicago on Sunday, March 26th. More info is available here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1250287605055922/

Meanwhile, you can keep apprised of Dig Two Graves, which is opening in select theatres and on VOD on March 24th at https://www.facebook.com/digtwograves/.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan