Jessica Fletcher.

All posts tagged Jessica Fletcher.

Horror, She Wrote: Lisa Wilcox

Published August 4, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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Horror, She Wrote explores the episodes of the ever-popular detective series Murder, She Wrote, featuring Angela Lansbury’s unstoppable Jessica Fletcher, that were highlighted by performances from genre film actors.

Beware the snakes and spiders that slither within the psyches of young maids. Granted, that’s a line that Shakespeare never composed, but he might have if he was around to write about the fair Lori Graham, as initially enacted with sweet as pie energy by A Nightmare on Elm Street veteran Lisa Wilcox, on the Murder on the Thirtieth Floor episode of Murder, She Wrote.

On this 10th season outing of the estimable series, Wilcox plays the recently discovered niece of a successful book publisher, Edward Graham (Robert Desiderio). Graham is in the process of editing the latest mystery of Jessica Fletcher (the legendary Angela Lansbury), the focus of the series, and he is also slowly losing his sanity to frequent nightmares revolving around the beckoning voice of his recently deceased wife. Familiar territory for certain cast members, huh?  Lisa and Angela 2

Naturally, Graham winds up dead and Jessica immediately begins her comfortable brand of prying. The gentle Lori seems far off the seasoned sleuth’s radar until the final moments when it is revealed that she may not only provide the clues to all that has happened, but be much more sinister than originally expected.

Nicely, Wilcox gets a number of scenes here with Lansbury. She also gets to apply a little vinegar and spite to the confident tones she supplied as Alice took charge of her life and brought down the insidious Freddy Krueger in both A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master and A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: Dream Child.

Even the Bard might be impressed!

Lisa and Angela

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

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Horror, She Wrote: Sandahl Bergman and Sally Kellerman

Published November 20, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

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Horror, She Wrote explores the episodes of the ever-popular detective series Murder, She Wrote, featuring Angela Lansbury’s unstoppable Jessica Fletcher, that were highlighted by performances from genre film actors.

Oh, creativity – that ever elusive muse. Even Angela Lansbury’s ever resilient mystery writer Jessica Fletcher must have sipped from an ever emptying cup of ideas every once in awhile!

But, in The Petrified Florist, a fun Season 9 episode of the redoubtable series, Fletcher lets the dizzying participants of a Los Angeles dinner party serve as inspiration for her latest unexpected thriller. Jet lagged, this well loved character falls into a dream-tale involving the murder of a flamboyant botanic renegade. Soon, Wizard of Oz style, her friends and acquaintances are given flowery motivations and all are, eventually, blooming with suspicious activity. Horror 4

The guest cast, this time, features Sandahl Bergman and Sally Kellerman, two distinguished performers who sidelined in plenty of exploitation fare. Bergman, whose involvement with Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz highlighted her beauty and grace, went on to be acknowledged as a foremost action star due to her participation in Conan the Barbarian and the fun Hell Comes to Frogtown. Her elastic physicality and forceful presence also lent much to her appearances on such shows as Swamp Thing and Freddy’s Nightmares and in such glorious cable and video store treasure as Programmed to Kill and the thriller Raw Nerve (featuring the legendary Glenn Ford and the iconic Traci Lords). Kellerman’s clipped and emphatic delivery, meanwhile, imbued such comedies as MASH, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers and Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins with silken archness. But her sly mannerisms made her perfect for the mysterious activity and outright villainy of such 90s exploitation efforts as Doppelganger (with Drew Barrymore), Mirror Mirror II: Raven Dance (with Roddy McDowall) and Drop Dead Gorgeous (AKA Victim of Beauty).

Horror 3She plays into that acidic type with Junie Cobb, her impervious gossip maven here. As her character is threatened with the reveal of an affair, Kellerman double crosses and denies like she has just been outfitted with a pair of Barbara Stanwyck heels, proving, once and for all, that nobody should mess with a blonde with experience!

Bergman is allowed to have fun here, as well. Honing in on title’s none too so subtle take on the famous play (made movie) The Petrified Forest, she supplies what is most enjoyably theatrical about this episode. As Daisy Kenny, a police officer with dreams of a show business career, Bergman is eager and enthusiastic, showing her versatility as a performer. Self assured but far from the snarly kick-asses of her action pieces, this veteran performer shows she has a way with comedy – and the collar. Disguising herself as a blackmailing maid, Daisy helps Fletcher finally catch the backtracking Kellerman and proves that the character’s upcoming take on Miss Jean Brodie would be something that no true fan would ever want to miss.

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

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Horror, She Wrote: Lee Meriwether and Michelle Johnson

Published July 18, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

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Horror, She Wrote explores the episodes of the ever-popular detective series Murder, She Wrote, featuring Angela Lansbury’s unstoppable Jessica Fletcher, that were highlighted by performances from genre film actors.

Of all the things that an excess of television viewing can tell you, to never get on a ship with Lee Meriwether may be the most important! Lee 1

A co-starring role in the 1978 television film Cruise into Terror found the luscious, amber waved Meriwether seduced by a devilish sarcophagus. Her 1993 appearance on the Ship of Thieves episode of Murder, She Wrote, meanwhile, allowed her to indulge in even deadlier circumstances. As the sophisticated Leslie Hunter, Jessica’s old college pal, Meriwether appears to be aglow with love for the captain of a soon to be retired ship. But the closing circumstances reveal very sinister edges to Hunter’s character, facets that Meriwether embraces with clipped intensity.

Lee2Nicely, on this voyage, Meriwether is joined in mercenary activity by the equally stunning Michelle Johnson (Waxwork, Dr. Giggles, Blood Ties, Werewolf). Johnson provides smoothly evil emoting, as well, making this particular outing a delicious excursion for those who like their femmes with a dubious edge.

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

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Horror, She Wrote: Cherie Currie

Published November 20, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

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Horror, She Wrote explores the episodes of the ever-popular detective series Murder, She Wrote, featuring Angela Lansbury’s unstoppable Jessica Fletcher, that were highlighted by performances from genre film actors.

It may be fun to go to the dogs every once in awhile, but there is nothing, dramatically speaking, like a good cat fight! Eclectic entertainment goddess Cherie Currie certainly dives into some fur snarling fisticuffs in the first season episode of Murder, She Wrote entitled (appropriately enough) It’s a Dog’s Life and definitely comes out shining!

Best known for fronting the influential rock band The Runaways, Currie, also, had a varied acting career with roles in such horror and science fiction epics like Parasite, Wavelength and Twilight Zone: The Movie. Here, her co-stars include such genre stalwarts as Dallas’ Jared Martin (Aenigma, New Gladiators), Forrest Tucker (The Crawling Eye, The Abominable Snowman), Dan O’Herlihy (Halloween III, The Cabinet of Caligari), Dean Jones (Two on a Guillotine) and James Hampton (Teen Wolf, Hangar 18).Cherie MSW2

Playing Echo, the sarcastic daughter of a spiritually obsessed heiress (Soap’s Cathryn Damon who, also, practiced maternal witchiness in the television flick Midnight Offerings), Currie is obviously having a ball as Echo engages in verbal combat with her drunken aunt (played by soap stalwart Lenore Kasdorf). Currie, also, excellently invests the flippancy that Echo has for authority figures with a subtle comic timing and truthfully petulant sass. On the flip side, Currie and Damon do establish a natural affection between their characters, making viewers long to know more about them.

Cherie MSW3All involved (including the elegant Lynn Redgrave), though, seem to warm nicely to the absurdly fun plotline (which finds a beloved beagle on trial for murder), making this a rather delightful entry in this seminal, femme powered detective series.

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

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Horror, She Wrote: Lynda Day George

Published August 13, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

linda solo
Horror, She Wrote explores the episodes of the ever-popular detective series Murder, She Wrote, featuring Angela Lansbury’s unstoppable Jessica Fletcher, that were highlighted by performances from genre film actors.

I swear I never hit Aunt Agnes over the head to steal her aging Southern beau! But, at least, I am not alone when being falsely accused.

linda groupIndeed, on My Johnny Lies Over the Ocean, a first season episode of Murder, She Wrote, the divinely scrumptious Lynda Day George finds all eyes on her as the series’ grand dame Jessica Fletcher (winningly acted by the legendary Angela Lansbury) wonders if her character, Diane Shelley, might be gas lighting her fragile niece on a rocking ship of horrors.

Of course, with roles in such films as Mortuary, Pieces, Beyond Evil, Day of the Animals and Ants, George is definitely one of the high priestesses of horror for certain generations. Here, as in most of those films, she is, once again, a victim of circumstance. Her quietly gracious Shelley is merely escaping a bad love affair hence her mysterious appearance as this boat’s latest purser. belinda

Slightly reminiscent of Cruise into Terror, the 78 television film she starred in, George is joined on this outing by her Animals’ co-star Leslie Nielsen. As Jessica’s grieving charge, one of many relatives of the mystery loving maven that would be introduced over the years, actress Belinda J. Montgomery (best known to terror fiends for starring in sleazy 84 slasher Silent Madness) is on the receiving end of this story’s horror archetypes (shadowy attacks, ghostly callings and shaky pleas of sanity). She handles these chores with a liquid grace. Still, one wonders what would have occurred if she and George had switched places. Reimagining, anyone?

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

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Horror, She Wrote: Piper Laurie in “Murder at the Oasis”

Published May 27, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

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(Exploring the horror film actors who, happily, dominated episodes of Murder, She Wrote, the show that featured everyone’s favorite 80s/90s female detective, Jessica Fletcher.)

Even when covered in pink frosting and wearing a strawberry tutu on my head, I aim for a regal nature. Funny, somehow it never quite works out.

Maybe I should take some lessons from that magnificent theatrical dame known as Piper Laurie (Ruby, Possession, Dario Argento’s Trauma and Twin Peaks). Playing the distinguished Peggy Shannon on the first season Murder at the Oasis episode of Murder, She Wrote, Laurie practically drips with royalty. Unlike her more famous counterpart, Margaret White in 1976’s Carrie, Laurie/Shannon also beams with understanding compassion for her children, here, each thought to be responsible for their aggressive comedian father’s murder.

piper josephSaid children are, also, played by actors with a number of terror credits to their names. Most fun is Linda Purl (Visiting Hours) who clearly is relishing playing the seductive and willful Terry, a lass who dates bad boys (such as Saturday Night Live’s Joseph Cali) just to anger (her soon to be dead) poppa. Supernaturally handsome Joseph Bottoms (The Intruder Within, Blind Date) counters Purl with more sensitive instincts as a musician who never quite got the needed paternal seal of approval.
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With a cast of supporting Rat Pack like characters and obvious nods to Frank Sinatra’s nefarious dealings, the episode, as a whole, is a mildly enjoyable one. Although, a little bit more involvement from the distinguished Laurie (who virtually disappears in the second half of the proceedings), would have definitely helped this one along.

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

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