All posts tagged Chicago

Meet Sybil Danning!

Published March 16, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

Sybil Danning

Sometimes you’re Danning if you do. Other times, you’re Danning if you don’t. But on Saturday, March 17th, lucky Chicagoans will actually get to meet exploitation icon Sybil Danning at the Sci Fi Spectacular. Danning will be in attendance to talk about Battle Beyond the Stars, the cult classic Roger Corman production that she co-starred in, which is being shown at the event.

Other stratospheric guests for this annual festival include Victoria Price and Noah Hathaway (The Neverending Story, Battlestar Galactica). Held at the historic Davis Theater in the beautiful Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago, more information on this one-of-a-kind movie extravaganza is available at

Spacesuits, naturally, are optional. I hope to see you there! 


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

Review: Lakeshore Drive

Published January 4, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

lakeshore drive

We make certain choices when we’re drunk or dead tired…others come about from unexpected happiness or over excitement. In the tight mini noir Lakeshore Drive, Peter Bowse and Tyler Eden’s script finds hardened rideshare driver Roger (a cucumber cool Darren Smith) making one choice out of compassion. He then may be forced to make another more consequential one out of pure fear.

Naturally, like most of the flawed heroes in those ‘40s detective stories, one feels for Roger and the tight spot that he is put in. Viewers here, though, will probably walk away from this taut exercise feeling the most sympathy for Kim (a grittily honest Lila Star), Roger’s troubled transgendered passenger. Facing the violence that many marginalized people do, Kim decides to take matters into her own hands…and may end up facing the deadly realities that haunt all too many in the trans community.

Directed with a poetic yet very true sense of danger by Bowse, Lakeshore Drive also features an understated yet devious performance from Frank Ondorf as the man who just might control the destiny of both Roger and Kim. Bowse and all three of these performers are truly deserving of all the respect that they are sure to receive as this short piece enters the festival circuit.

Be sure to keep up with all the upcoming screenings at

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

Zombie Bathhouse Chronicles: Paging Dr. Martino!

Published October 21, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan


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

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




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Great Performances: Linnea Quigley in Night of the Demons

Published October 6, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan


linnea night

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

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

Big Gay Horror Fan!

Bucket O’ Blood Recovery Sale

Published September 21, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan


bucket o' blood.jpg

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:

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

On Set Memories – Hollywood Warrioress: War of the Gods

Published August 17, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan


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

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

Hard to Die Screening

Published August 2, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

Hard to Die debbie

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 and 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!