Chicago

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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 executed 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

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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.

me and kara

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

Review: Juggernaut Film Festival 2017

Published March 18, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

 

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Perianova’s Snowgirl

For film enthusiasts living in Chicago, the historic Music Box Theatre has been a defining color in the many shades of their film going experiences. On Saturday March 4th, Otherworld Theatre added to this celluloid kaleidoscope, masterfully, with The 5th Annual Juggernaut Film Festival. Wisely curated by the company, which is devoted to performing works of science fiction and fantasy, this event proved, beyond a doubt, that the short film can be a complete and satisfying experience unto itself. Ranging in style, these short works were often visually stunning, and whether you had a preference for the ridiculous or the mystical, you were sure to find a winner here.

For example, the comic Illegal Aliens, written and directed by Justin and Kristin Schaack, was a prescient look at contemporary politics in the guise of a silly space debate. Similar in tone, Steve Gast’s Monsters Anonymous provided a glance into a therapy session with some classic Universal creatures as they, vainly, make their attempts to fit into the 9 to 5 world.

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Fonte’s Roadside Assistance

Roadside Assistance, one of the festival’s best entries, meanwhile, took a surprising look at how women can be treated in this current, often very scary climate. Of course, this revenge thriller turned the tables on surface expectations quickly. Brilliantly paced by writer-director Bears Fonte, it is soon obvious here that every beautiful blonde hitchhiker may not be as helpless as she seems.

Fairy tales, of course, have often produced nightmarish concepts, but their more bittersweet and magical properties were explored in Ilina Perianova’s stunning Snowgirl. A gorgeous look at a lonely couple who adopt a mysterious young girl, Perianova, a Baltic creator, works with a sense of wonder and sadness here, making this another highlight of the 25 works featured . The parents soon discover their daughter is made of some unknown arctic properties and as they eventually lose her to a new love and the dangers of the outside world, the audience soon discovers that new beginnings are always possible.

Of course, to keep discovering the endless possibilities of Otherworld Theatre, and to be kept in the loop about next year’s festival, be sure to follow them at https://www.facebook.com/OtherworldTheatre/ and www.otherworldtheatre.org.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

5th Annual Juggernaut Film Festival

Published March 3, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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I gave up on being cool, long ago. But…I have had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of some terminally arctic sorts. For instance, the folks at Chicago’s Otherworld Theatre Company are pretty fantastic, frequently bringing science fiction, fantasy and the underbelly of mysteriously dark worlds to life on the stages of the Midwest.

Their Juggernaut Film Festival, now celebrating its fifth year, is another one of their amazing activities. Also celebrating works of science fiction and fantasy, this event brings together filmmakers from around the world who share their visions of electric landscapes and ever shifting possibilities. This year the paranormal will raise its ghostly hands in such works as Moth, Shell and The Seal of Corruption, as well.

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Produced as a benefit, allowing this incredibly creative and eternally attractive team, including my forever gay boy crush gal: the divine Mary Kate Arnold, to continue their work throughout the year, The Fifth Annual Juggernaut Film Festival will arrive on Saturday, March 4th at the legendary Music Box Theatre in Chicago. 25 films will be screened from 11:30 am – 6 pm, along with networking sessions and an awards ceremony.

Further information is available at https://www.facebook.com/events/111300332710354/.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Jackson Headlines Musical Horror Story

Published December 15, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

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There is nothing that a gay dude loves more than a diva. Well, maybe there’s…but s-h-h-h…I can’t talk about that here. Anyhow, in my book, if anyone could take on Jessica Lange in the Chicago theater community, it’s the divinely eclectic Caitlin Jackson. Nicely, she seems to be doing just that with her role of Reverend Mother in The Cowardly Scarecrow Theatre Company’s Ryan Murphy send-up Musical Horror Story Exorcism.

From all glimpses, this production promises to offer a bit of blood, a lot of humor and, well, Ms. Jackson (pictured, right, in the photo)! There are only 3 performances left – Thursday, Friday and Saturday, December 15-17th, at the Charnel House, 3421 W. Fullerton, in Chicago. So throw all of your bad habits onto the CTA (or however you get about in this unholy city) and head on over!

More information is available at: https://www.facebook.com/CSTCINC.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan