Greta Garbo

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Thriller Nights: Ramon Novarro

Published March 10, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

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Heralded as one of the big screen’s most exotic lovers, Ramon Novarro’s filmic legacy has often been overshadowed by the notorious circumstances of his death. As a gay man, known to hire hustlers in his declining years, this former matinee idol met his end, violently, by a pair of brothers in 1968. His demise has since been highlighted in short stories, books and songs.

ramon mataBut, significantly, Novarro’s early beauty easily matched that of his co-star Greta Garbo, sultry pose for sultry pose, in the fun 1931 spy drama Mata Hari. Later in his performing life, he gave eagle eyed horror buffs a boost with a featured role in the beloved Boris Karloff hosted anthology show Thriller.

In the 1962 second season episode La Strega, Novarro appeared opposite the stunning Ursula Andress as Maestro Giuliano, the mentor to a besotted painter, played by the swarthy Alejandro Rey (Satan’s Triangle, The Swarm, Terror Vision). Working with authority and concern, Novarro supplies the proceedings with a compassionate figure here who believes that Rey’s involvement with Andress could end in tragedy, as her aunt is a powerful witch.Ramon 2

This doesn’t mean Giuliano isn’t up to a little adventure. He accompanies the entwined duo to a black mass which, kudos to the art direction of Howard E. Johnson and the cinematography of Benjamin H. Kline, contains some of the episode’s most fiery and striking visuals. Unfortunately, Guliano finds himself on the receiving end of the sorceress’ revenge here, making Novarro’s appearance an important yet all too brief one. Although, proving the adage that a woman scorned is a dangerous thing, everything does not go well for the characters portrayed by Andress and Rey either.

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Nicely, besides highlighting Novarro’s subtle talents as a performer, this tale is directed with gothic sweep by Ida Lupino. One of the few working female directors in the ‘50s and ‘60s, Lupino is known for guiding taut noir pictures like The Hitch-Hiker and, perhaps less elegantly, for her acting work in such gonzo genre projects as Devil’s Rain and Food of the Gods.

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

Review: The Cheerleader Trials

Published January 20, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan


When the Golden Age meets the Modern Age things can get a bit bloody. Writer-director Zach Lorkiewicz knows this well and proves it with his fun and inventive new short The Cheerleader Trials.

Taking place backstage during a production of a school play, actress Greta (Garbo) is confronted by her fellow cast mates, who just happen to include Judy Garland, Anne Baxter and Marilyn Monroe. It seems someone has been murdered on stage and Greta’s costars are determined to be judge, jury and executioner…especially if it means knocking off any competition for the spotlight. cheerleader-2

Nicely, Lorkiewicz is able to create an environment that seems both to encompass the bleak emptiness of those off limits areas of professional theaters and a vast and dreamy never-world, as well. Anyone who spends their rainy afternoons luxuriating in the clipped and precise rhythms of the black and white worlds of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis should find much to enjoy here, too.

But The Cheerleader Trials also feels ultra-contemporary due to its violent atmospherics. We live in an age when retaliation is just a keyboard stroke away and our leaders seem to encourage vigilante justice. Therefore, Marilyn and crew have never felt so (bleakly) new.

Lorkiewicz will debuting The Cheerleader Trials, online, for a week, beginning on January 22nd, 2017 at

More information is also available on the event page listed, below:

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