It is starting to smell like Halloween in Salem! In the past few weeks, the setting place of (the long running soap opera) Days of Our Lives has had long lost characters rise from the dead while a mad scientist runs amuck, his chemical concoctions exploding around him! One of the show’s major heroines has also just been kidnapped by a silent, shrouded figure.
One recent ghoul stained returnee has even taken a deadly shine to some of her old, mischievous tricks. Vivian Alamain (currently being played by daytime icon Robin Strasser) has always had a thing for burying folks alive…but her latest victim Kate Roberts (the incomparable Lauren Koslow) wasn’t giving up her mortal coil easily. After being shot by Vivian and covered in graveyard dirt, this resourceful anti-heroine crawled out of her makeshift resting place and dragged her nearly expired glam gal self to the local hospital. Naturally, as the writers stretch out this macabre yarn, Kate’s life still hangs in the balance…and Vivian is prowling the hospital corridors, hoping to drag her off of that precarious ledge.
Of course, this is all being done with a sense of grand, over-the-top fun. But more than anything, it’s been a twisted joy watching glamorous, dedicated pros like Strasser, who gets more assured and enjoyably cunning with every appearance, and Koslow go at it with few (if any) holds barred. The producers also, nicely, gave longtime soap lovers a special treat by recently reuniting Strasser and Kassie DePaiva, who plays town pariah Eve with distinctive panache, for a brief scene. For decades these legacy performers went at it with love (and occasional wraith) as aunt and niece, respectively, on the late lamented One Life to Live.
Not many people can say that they were kidnapped by a soap opera king, but Jill Whitlow, who supplied a refreshing presence to a number of television and films in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, can actually lay claim to that cinematic honor. On the Short Walk to Freedomepisode of Airwolf, the popular television show that featured Jan Michael Vincent and Ernest Borgnine, her spoiled Kay Freestone finds herself a captive of John Aniston’s Colonel Arturo Alzar. Aniston, known primarily to network comedy lovers as Jennifer’s father, has spent the last 30 years intriguing daydream believers as the venomous Victor Kiriakis on Days of our Lives. Here, he spreads some of that poisonous energy out onto Whitlow and crew.
Admired, widely, for the sweet courageousness she brought to Cynthia, the heroine of Fred Dekker’s Night of the Creeps, it is fun to see Whitlow portray the more unsavory aspects of Kay’s character here. After being taking hostage during a Latin American excavation trip, Whitlow fully embraces the pouty antics of her role…faking illnesses and taking extra sips of rationed water with a silver glint in her eye.
Whitlow also brought the same kind of expressiveness to the Mother’s Day episode of Freddy’s Nightmares. She gives Barbara Gamble, the troubled character she plays, a jaunty air as she explores the house where Freddy Krueger committed his most heinous crimes. But even more so than Airwolf episode, the script here, by well traveled television writer David Ehrman, allows her some depth.
While her mischievous nature is in fine form when flirting with cute co-star Byron Thames, she supplies true sorrow to her moments with the accomplished Judith Baldwin (The Stepford Wives), who plays Barbara’s successful yet neglectful radio psychologist mother.
These moments here prove that beyond her most popular roles – arguably in Creeps and Weird Science – Whitlow did impressive work that is well worth seeking out. Be sure to check out her other credits at https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0926114/ and….
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
Best known for her popular run on Days of Our Livesand for her hit single Friends and Lovers(with the late, beloved Carl Anderson), Gloria Loring is a renaissance woman. As an author, motivational speaker and singer-actress, she has been deservedly admired for decades.
But an appearance on Freddy’s Nightmares also makes her a minor matriarch of horror, as well. As Ellen Kramer, the no nonsense editor of a tabloid journal, on the second season episode Heartbreak Hotel, Loring shone with a sense of vibrant power and feministic sassiness. (Interestingly, this episode also features Tiffany Helm from Friday the 13th: A New Beginningand Richard Cox, the killer in William Friedkin’s controversial gay themed slasher-thriller Cruising.)
Among Loring’s greatest work, though, has to be this amazing melody of songs, which tells the bittersweet story of a romance from its hopeful beginning to its heartbreaking end.
Rachel Melvin’s tenure on the soap opera Days of Our Livesis put to good use in the indie horror film The Rake. As much of a monster flick as an exploration of the emotional fallout of damaged childhoods, this horror exercise doesn’t overstay its welcome and emerges as a nice addition to the creature feature genre.
Clocking in under 80 minutes and featuring smart direction from Tony Wash, the primary running time of the film is focused around a weekend get together hosted by Nicole (Melvin) and her husband Andrew (Joey Bicicchi). As past hurts are examined and new hopes emerge, it appears that someone (or something) is hunting the couple and their family and friends. Soon reconciliation and redemption are replaced by grievous bloodshed…and death.
The script by Wash and Jeremy Silva doesn’t necessarily explain everything. One doesn’t totally grasp what the rake of the title is or gather all the details of how Nicole is connected with the others, but the final 30 minutes of the film is a beyond enjoyable stalk n slash. Melvin and her co-stars also deliver the dramatic goods, a testament to their impressive talents and Wash’s keen ability to work with them.
He arose from the dead more times than Jason, Michael and Freddy combined. But the bittersweet reality of fictional characters is that they are played by real people and Joseph Mascolo, the beloved portrayer of Days of Our Lives’ most popular Gothic zombie Stefano DiMera, unfortunately, proved that sad truth with his passing on December 7th, 2017 at the age of 87.
With his smooth (and often winking) delivery, Mascolo made DiMera one of daytime drama’s most popular villains. The bit of acting genius has been rewarded, over the years, by the fact that whether DiMera was kidnapping and cloning his rivals or leaving Marlena, the soap’s eternal heroine, open for satanic possession or even rising from the ashes of a watery grave – his character earned the nickname “The Phoenix” for his seeming ability to regenerate from willpower alone, Mascolo was always embraced, heartily, by the show’s fans.
Horror fans who don’t need a little love in the afternoon and are totally unaware of DiMera’s supernatural villainy, have reason to mourn Mascolo, as well.Notable among his many credits, he brought a nice sense of bravado to businessman Len Peterson in Jaws 2 and he was very popular among fans of that movie, even taking part in the book Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel, in the decades since its premiere.
So let’s wish this legend a fond journey into the unknown. May he ascend, forever, in our hearts.
…and until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
DaPaiva delivered on a recent Castle episode, as well!
What could be better than a hurtling eyeball in the mouth? Well, probably not much. But Kassie DePaiva, whose spunky Bobby Joe in the seminal Evil Dead II suffered such a fate, has just been nominated for a Daytime Emmy for her work as the tragedy strewn Eve on Days of Our Lives. I imagine that honor has to rank pretty high up there, as well!
Indeed, DePaiva, whose other terror credits include 2013’s We Are What We Are, imbued all her storylines from her year and a half run on the show with an honest emotionality and sharp sense of the dramatic. Thus, this industry recognized honor is much deserved.
Nicely, the gorgeous True O’Brien, whom played Eve’s sensitive daughter Paige, was also nominated for her work, as well, in the Younger Actress category. Indeed, the fallout from the reveal of Eve’s affair with Paige’s boyfriend during the spring of 2015 was some of the best entertainment that the 50 year old soap had offered in awhile and kept ardent viewers glued to their television screens.
This year’s Daytime Emmy’s will occur on Sunday, May 1st. Here’s hoping that DePaiva and O’Brien take home the gold!
Men, women, renowned, unknown, rich, poor…Tobin Bell’s legendary Jigsaw in the popular Saw series chose his victims without prejudice.
Tobin Bell, Jigsaw’s acclaimed portrayer, is bringing that same undiscriminating nature to his current role of the murderously misguided Yo Ling, the father of longstanding hero John (Drake Hogestyn), on the Gothic, crime tinged soap opera (and my personal favorite) Days of Our Lives.
Suffering from some mysterious illness that is turning his insides to mush, Yo Ling has kidnapped John and his son Paul (Christopher Sean), who just happens to be a homosexual, to provide him with a variety of antidotes. John’s blood will hopefully cure him while Paul’s strength, once the youth is brainwashed, will aid him in his predatory schemes.
Here, working with a quiet and precise calm, Bell perfectly enunciates Yo Ling’s preposterous plans while bringing them an air of credulity and menace that a lesser actor would never have been able to manage. The intense and emotional underplaying of Hogestyn and Sean has also helped to sell this (frequently ludicrous) tale, but patient viewers may ultimately be most glad that Paul, whose double minority status as a gay Asian (along with Sean’s compelling sensitive work) has endeared him to many, has finally been given something substantial to do after months of relative inactivity.
Meanwhile, terror freaks better hurry to get their taste of danger in the afternoon as Bell is, unfortunately, wrapping up his Days appearances on March 22nd.
Until the next time…SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!