Friday the 13th

All posts tagged Friday the 13th

When Wez Met Jason

Published April 28, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan


Hunter 4

Wells and Crew attack.

What happens when two titans of injustice and mayhem clash? Well, unfortunately, one is eventually going to have to take a premature visit to that great and grisly powder room in the sky.

Such was the case when Vernon Wells, the massively frightening Wez from The Road Warrior, tangled with Ted White, the ferocious, almost unstoppable Jason from Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, on War Zone, a second season episode of the beloved 80s detective show Hunter.

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White retaliates.

When Wells’ Sonny Zajak and crew invade a warehouse guarded by White’s Manfred T. Royce, explosives detonate, shots ring out and soon Royce goes flying, downward, in a hail of fire. Royce hangs on by a thread, in the aftermath, causing Zajak a moment or two or distress. But, Royce’s balance on the beam of life is too shaky and soon he breathes his last.

Thus, it appears when apocalyptic action meets classic slasher, the former reigns victorious – for the time being, at least.

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

In Memoriam: Gloria Charles

Published April 8, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

gloria charles fox

Horror fans are the most loyal in the universe. Take a knife in a terror flick and never work again, you will still be a legend in our eyes. Thus, the news this week of the death of actress Gloria Charles hit the scare community with a profound sadness. Charles not only created a singular badass with her take on Fox in the beloved Friday the 13th, Part 3, but she is also one of the only minority actresses to cause a significant impact in that iconic series. She was definitely the fiercest of that lot, threatening the campers played by Larry Zerner and Catharine Parks with snarling zeal before she found herself on the wrong side of Jason’s wrath, forever earning her a place in our hearts…and horror history. All the others, including (but not limited to) Renee Jones (Jason Lives), Diane Almeida (The New Blood) and Kelly Hu (Jason Takes Manhattan) were stereotypical victim types. gloria brewster

It is also significant to note that, while Fox may have been the role that she was best known for, Charles had a number of other credits to her name. She shared valuable screen time with Richard Pryor in the comedy Brewster’s Millions and added eclectic flair to a variety of television shows. The roles may not have been large ones, but her kindly police officer on a first season episode of the violent cop procedural Hunter is such a far remove from her work in Friday 3 that it seems a shame that the wide variety of her skills wasn’t given a larger play in the often difficult world of entertainment.

Gloria Hunter

Still, one hopes that in the decades to come, the cultural and social impact of her role in the world of horror will keep her beacon forever shining, brightly.

She deserves it.

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





Tom McLoughlin: Friday’s Eclectic Mastermind

Published October 19, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan


Director-writer (and all around man about town) Tom McLoughlin may be best known for bringing a little humor to the Friday the 13th universe with his inventive take on Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. But, his career has encompassed everything from romantic comedies (Date with an Angel) to television films (Sometimes They Come Back) to stunt and creature work (Prophecy, The Black Hole). Here, on the eve of his appearance at Chicago’s much loved, annual Terror in the Aisles event, which will feature a 30th anniversary showing of Jason Lives, McLoughlin talks about his creative beginnings, the inspirations for his first horror feature (One Dark Night)and the wonderful, unstoppable legacy of the Friday empire.

BGHF: Were the arts something that you were always interested in pursuing, Tom? Or did you just fall into it? Tom McLoughlin:  I kind of was… I hate to say…born in a trunk, that old show business saying. But, I was. My dad was a magician and a fire eater. He also went to film school. The whole thing of wanting to do things that astounded people, as well as wanting to make movies, which was his passion, kind of came in my life, almost instantly. By the time I was 7, I was living in Culver City. The MGM studios were there with the old back lots. I had an 8 millimeter camera and I’d climb under the fence with my friends and make films. As a young child on, I always wanted to make movies. It’s a passion that I have, fortunately, gotten to live out.



Many of your first jobs in the business were portraying creatures and robots in various projects. You were like the Doug Jones of your day. How did that come about? When the ‘60s hit, I got sucked into the wonderful rock and roll world. I was influenced by The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, all the English groups. I put together a group, myself, in Los Angeles. We opened for The Doors and all those groups who were huge then. At a certain point, I wanted to be a better lead singer and performer. I met Mercel Marceau. He invited me to Paris. He had a school there. So, at 19, I went to Paris and studied with Marceau and all these other teachers. I got different types of physical training…dance and acrobatics. When I got back to the states, I became a street performer. One thing led to another and I got a meeting with Woody Allen. I worked with Woody on the movie Sleeper on the robot stuff. I kind of became the person that you went to if you needed robots, humanoids or monsters. Part of that was meeting John Frankenheimer. He was doing this movie, Prophecy. They needed some crazy person to get inside this mutated bear costume. There were 150 lbs of hydraulics to move the head and all that. I had to run on all fours, as well. It was a great three or four month gig and an opportunity to be on a movie set and be around top of the line craftsmen. A lot of my film education came from working on movies in these weird capacities. I was Captain S.T.A.R. in Disney’s The Black Hole and the Jabberwocky in Alice in Wonderland. It was a strange career that my mime training allowed me to do. I could do all these movements, had these different skills.prophecy

The bear suit must have been incredibly difficult to control. It was quite a few months of physical training to do that. I had to stay in shape, hitting the gym on a daily basis, just to get inside that thing.

I understand you shared those duties with Kevin Peter Hall, who you worked with on your first feature as a director, One Dark Night. Yes. That was how I met him. They needed one of us to be inside the more articulated bear costume. That was me.  Then they built one that was as big as the bear was supposed to be. It was about 8 feet. It didn’t have the hydraulics in it, but it was a much larger costume. It was used for the scenes with the SWAT members or when they had a jeep going by the creature or what-have-you. That was what Kevin was in. We became good friends off of that.

Did working in that field help you in instructing CJ Graham in his portrayal of Jason on Friday 6? That and my whole background…with the mime training…studying pantomime…studying the films of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin…being a great lover of Frankenstein and Dracula, The Wolf Man…those are all very physical type roles. I wanted Jason, even though he didn’t speak, to still be able to express certain things. A tilt of the head when the motor home is bouncing, up and down, during the sex scene… Or the way that he would turn, quickly, to be a little more aggressive or the different pacing he would use when he would pursue someone…He could be slowly relentless or he could be quicker. I never wanted him to run. I wanted him to be like The Mummy, just unstoppable. He didn’t run to get you. You knew, eventually, he was going to get you. It played into the whole psychology. We showed it, physically.friday-6

We have Jason and Michael and Freddy. There have also been things like Sleepaway Camp and Night of the Demons with their powerful villainesses, but we’re never had a female monster grab the public’s interest like those characters. I’ve discussed this so much over the years. It is interesting. Technically, the alien in Aliens is a woman. She’s a mother. So, you’ve got that. But, part of what made her scary, too, is that she is protecting her own. It’s a big battle between the two women…Sigourney Weaver’s character and her. It’s the classic bitch fight. But, literary-wise and in society, males are more aggressive. Males are known as being much more violent. It’s a wife-beater not a husband-beater – although there are plenty of abused husbands out there. You just don’t hear about it. Overall, I think women are more subtle about evil. There is the classic image of the Black Widow, a beautiful creature that you don’t see coming. The male, meanwhile, is very clear. He comes lumbering along like Frankenstein or all aggressive like a wolf. In the terms of the more protective beings, though, the ones who will fight to the death – it’s the female.

Hence, the popularity of the final girls. There is a true psychology behind that. Yes.  But, in reference to the other spectrum, I am working on something that I can’t talk about too much. It does deal with a female character. It deals with her being very much part of a specific culture. It hasn’t really been explored yet. But, I’m doing it because I felt the same way as you.

I’m thrilled about that. It’s always bugged me that, Mrs. Voorhees and a few others aside, we really haven’t had that iconic female monster. You normally go to a woman for mothering and such. But what happens when they are the ones that you can no longer trust? It really does shake you up.

Agreed! I also think it just a question of time, for the tides to turn.

one-dark-nightWell, I, for one, am impatient for that to happen. Let’s go back a bit. What was your inspiration for One Dark Night, your first horror film which has a pretty strong cult following. It’s always amazing how one’s path connects. When I went to Paris to study mime, I went down into the catacombs of Paris. That probably had the greatest impact on my love of horror and the supernatural than anything else. I broke away from the tour group with the little candle that they gave you. Now, they have illumination down there. I wanted to see what it felt like to walk down those dusty tunnels. They were wall to wall bones and skulls from centuries of the dead. It really did raise the hairs on the back of my neck. That really had an impact. Wondering what it would be like if some of these things came to life or if something was in there with me that was supernatural. That combined with the circumstances of my work on Disney’s The Black Hole gave me the idea. When we were filming The Black Hole, we were right across from Forest Lawn. I was looking at the mausoleum. So, those two ideas come together. Someone being down there with the dead and someone being trapped inside a mausoleum, all night…I needed to find a story point to pull those two things together. Well, I also had a great love of the psychological as well as paranormal sciences. I, somehow, thought that I could get a psychic vampire in there, too. It was kind of pulling different inspirations into this one story – a girl pledging into a club and having to spend the night in a mausoleum, with all hell breaking loose, at the end.captain

It has such a great cast…Meg Tilly, Adam West, EG Daily. Then there’s the character of Kitty, brilliantly played by Leslie Speights. My friend Kirsten is fascinated by her. What was the impetus for her to be always chewing on a toothbrush? A friend of mine in the LA Mime Company had a girlfriend who used to carry a toothbrush in her mouth. It’s sort of the symbol of the girl with the sexy lollipop that you always see, but it was a toothbrush. At one point, I asked her why she did that. She said, “I don’t know, I guess I like the taste!” Who knows? It was sort of like a pacifier. I’m sure it also kept certain guys away from her because she looked crazy. She was a good looking girl. So, I just put that element into the Kitty character. When she’s asked about it in the film, I had her use pretty much the same response. “I don’t know. I like the way it tastes!”

I love that story! I’m working on a re-envisioning of that script. I’ve also felt, after making over 40 movies at this point, that the first one had things that I wasn’t able to do or didn’t know how to do…so, it’s not remaking it to remake it. I want to give it a prequel quality. You’ll met Rhamar at the beginning and see him trying to connect with his daughter. You’ll see how he actually does his psychic vampirism. It’ll actually connect the girls in the mausoleum and the character of his daughter a little more. There will be a deeper story, but it won’t lose the claustrophobic quality. I think there is so much more that I can do, now, with the corpses and some of the effects with a little bit better of a

That movie is what got you noticed by the Friday the 13th team, correct? Frank Mancuso, Jr., who is the godfather behind all those things, was looking for a new director, along with the folks at Paramount. They weren’t happy with the results of Part 5. People were pissed that, at the end of the day, it wasn’t Jason. They wanted somebody who could come in and reinvent the series. Part of what I wanted to do was to add a dark sense of humor to it. I also wanted to make the characters likeable. Essentially, my marching orders were to find a way to bring back Jason from the dead. I, immediately, jumped into what I knew best. That was the Universal horror films, particularly Frankenstein. I decided to go with the old lightning bolt. I just had to figure out – A: How that actually could occur and B: How to pick up with the Tommy Jarvis character. I decided Tommy really needed, emotionally, to see that Jason was dead and in his coffin, but then he freaks out. One thing leads to another, he ends up electrifying Jason and then Jason has to go after the kid that brought him back and kill anything that gets in his way. Tommy, obviously, has a story there of having to try to tell everyone that Jason is back, but no one believes him. It had a little more of a plot and reminded people of the mythology. It reminded people of how Jason came to be, so we reset it at a camp. It also did something that none of the other films had done, at the point, and that was to actually have children there.


It also, amazingly, put Jason into another classification – that of being a zombie. You entered him into another category of monster. He truly went from being a strange psycho, an undefined and crazy character to something else. The first movie wasn’t Jason at all. It was his mother. The second movie made this sort of illogical jump. Does the story pick up, all these years later, when he’s completely grown up? Or was there never really a boy in the lake? There are all these different theories. That brings up something else… Coming out this month is Friday the 13th: The Game. I was hired to write more of a back story for Jason’s mom…and Jason’s father…and the mother-son relationship. There are aspects of the game where you will hear these interview conversations with Jason’s mom talking about the day after he died. She gives you insight to him as a child and their relationship. This is all before she went back to the camp and began killing. For the fans, it will be giving them even more background into the character. It’s funny. We were involved with this long before they announced the next Jason movie. That’s been postponed, it looks like, until later next year. But, it’s also going to revisit the early days of Jason.

It must be amazing to you that, after all these years, this particular Friday the 13th film still has such resonance with you. It’s the highest compliment that anyone can have for their work. Literally, it’s more popular now than it was at the time. I’m constantly getting sent these Jason things. There are beer openers and tennis shoes…you name it. He and Freddy and Michael Myers and Pinhead and Leatherface have become what Frankenstein and the Wolf Man and the Mummy were to us, growing up. This generation has grown up with them, so there is a great love for them. At the time, we never had a clue that this thing was going to survive. I thought, in particular, that the fans would be pissed that I took a sense of humor with it. I had no idea how it was going to be respected or thought about a year later – let alone 30 years later. It’s incredible. The response, just like Jason, keeps going. We can’t stop it. It’s a force.


 Be sure to join the force by meeting McLoughlin this Saturday, October 22nd, at the historic Patio Theatre  in Chicago, for Terror in the Aisles – 24 hours of horror films with incredible vendors, giveaways, charity auctions, free autographs and picture taking. More information is available at and

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

The Art of Ruff

Published August 25, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

Ruff Jason

My friend Christine couldn’t come out to play yesterday, but I didn’t mind. I just spent the night at home, writing under the watchful, protective eyes of little Jason, artist Bryan Ruff’s brilliantly gleeful and imaginatively childlike take on the legendary Friday the 13th villain!

In fact, all of Ruff’s soulful creations prove that the only guardian angels that any true horror lover will ever need are his personality filled imaginings of the younger versions of Michael, Pinhead, Leatherface and so many other terror icons. Ruff Michael

Besides the cute factor – which there is plenty of – what Ruff details, so personally, with these renderings is the innocence that these characters might have had before their more evil instincts took over. It’s a powerful reminder of the humanity that exists in our scares – something that is often overlooked in the flashier aspects of fright culture. It is also what sets Ruff’s work apart from so many other artists who are dealing with the terror genre. In a word, it’s heart.

To get your total horror movie “heart-on”, please visit and

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

The Frosty Edge of Danielle Panabaker

Published March 12, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

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As a child, my politeness often covered up my (admittedly) rare acts of devilishness.

Radiating with an assured sweetness, the accomplished Danielle Panabaker has used her quiet and pure beauty to, occasionally, surprise audiences with the wide variety of deadly mischievousness that some of her characters have gotten into, as well.

Beloved by terror fans for her work as the kind and resourceful Jenna in the 2009 Friday the 13th reimagining, she was also adorably spunky in the fun, less well regarded horror sequel, Piranha 3DD. But it is her chillingly cool work as Kevin Costner’s daughter Jane in Mr. Brooks that showed the true depths of her talent, providing viewers with a truly shocking and surprisingly poignant twist ending.

girlsagainstboys-01Using this duality to smart effect in writer-director Austin Chick’s surreal revenge fantasy Girls Against Boys, Panabaker’s sweet Shae reacts with fevered excitement when she first discovers how good bloody vengeance against those who have harmed her can feel. Here, Panabaker’s eyes glisten with excitement as she and her friend Lu cut a swath through adulterers and rapists and the film’s ending, once again, allows her to cut an ice cold path into the audience’s heart.

Interestingly, Chick’s fantasy seems to either be taking place in an alternative universe, as the murderous duo suffers no consequences for their actions, or in Shae’s fragile head. This tender thread allows Panabaker a wide range of emotions to play with and, ultimately, gives those watching an escape from a reality where the subjugated often have no recourse.

Panabaker, whose exemplary Caitlin on the television series The Flash also recently visited the dark side as Killer Frost, can be kept up with at

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



Triumvirate of Horror: Queen Bee (1955)

Published September 10, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

Queen Bee 1
Once upon a time, a former goddess of scream met two future contenders to her throne and they all played, very bitchily, together!

Years after facing down the likes of Leslie Banks in The Most Dangerous Game (1932), Lionel Atwill in Doctor X (1932) and Kong in King Kong (1933), the versatile Fay Wray dealt with her most monstrous adversary of all – Joan Crawford’s malevolent Eva Phillips in 1955’s woman-centric noir Queen Bee. Wray

As the addled, childish Sue McKinnon, Wray strikes an incredibly sympathetic pose here. Years earlier, Crawford’s Phillips stole McKinnon’s beau out from underneath her wedding slippered feet and McKinnon has never been the same. On a visit to the Phillips’ Southern mansion, McKinnon is tenderly awash in false memories, lovingly tended to by Eva’s sister-in-law, Carol Lee, warmly played by Betsy Palmer. But when Eva enters the picture, Wray, expertly, falters as McKinnon, hurriedly, rushes away. It is a powerful sequence and one that sets up the twisted, future paths that Eva will wander down – including driving the increasingly fragile Carol Lee to suicide.

Queen Bee 2Naturally, for horror fans this scene is an exquisite treat. Obviously, Wray, lovingly referred to as the original Scream Queen, and her co-stars had no idea what gothic paths their careers would go down. By the early 60s, Crawford would find her steadiest employment in such thrillers as What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Berserk and Strait-Jacket. Palmer, of course, would find joyous infamy as one of the slasher era’s most endearing serial killers, Mrs. Voorhees, in 1980’s seminal Friday the 13th.

Here, though, they are three pros, lovingly, excising all the heightened drama out of the lurid circumstances at hand – terror projects, past and future, be damned.

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

In Remembrance: Betsy Palmer

Published June 3, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

Betsy Palmer1Those who were lucky enough to meet actress Betsy Palmer, who died at the age of 88 this past weekend, in person, often found themselves inundated with delightful information. Mention her role in a production of Countess Dracula in 1979, at the Studio Arena Theatre in Buffalo, and she’d blush with love for that particular character and then swiftly reminisce about how she had to make the quickest and most difficult costume changes ever imagined during its run. Producing a leggy, cheesecake photo for her to sign, would elicit a remembrance of how all the young starlets in the 1950s, no matter how serious their intentions, were required to pose for such seductive publicity images. Inquire about her long run as a game show guest during television’s golden years and she’d reveal how she never got to see herself in any of those productions as they were all performed live.

For those who didn’t make Ms. Palmer’s acquaintance, and even for those who had, director S. Shane Marr does the world a great service with Betsy Palmer: A Scream Queen Legend in Her Own Words. Marr, who worked with Palmer on Bell Witch: The Movie, was so enchanted by Palmer’s show biz stories that he ingeniously decided to have her sit before his camera and talk to it as if it were an eager new friend.betsy palmer madame dracula

We get the familiar Friday the 13th story. Palmer’s car broke down and needing the $10,000, she accepted the role of Mrs. Voorhees even though she hated the script. Palmer delights in the irony that while this killer mommy is her best known role, her decision was initially made because she thought that no one would ever see the film. It is interesting to watch her make sense of her place in film history and hear her analyzing the appeal of her most popular character.

More than that, we learn of Palmer’s humble beginnings and her gradual indoctrination into an acting career.
She regales us with stories of working with famed director John Ford and the behind the scenes controversies of one of her earliest, best known films Mister Roberts. We are, also, told that she actually got along with the combative Joan Crawford on the set of their film Queen Bee. One of the most interesting stories is about her adventures making the obscure, low budget The True Story of Lynn Stuart with Hawaii Five-0′s Jack Lord. Apparently, the real Lynn Stuart visited the set and brought more attention to her presence by elaborately masking herself then if she had just shown up and silently observed.

betsy2It would have been nice to have learned something about Palmer’s other genre credits (1999’s The Fear: Resurrection and 2005’s Penny Dreadful) yet she does speak glowingly of the Bell Witch: The Movie and of her then hopes to be involved in any sequels.

Overall, Marr allows us to see Palmer as she truly was – warm and sharply inviting. Here, she, ultimately, proves herself to be that lively aunt or grandmotherly figure that has lived a life that most could only dream of. It’s a visual document that makes her passing all the more bittersweet.

Betsy Palmer: A Scream Queen Legend in Her Own Words is available for free viewing on YouTube and for purchase from Amazon in various formats.


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