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Horror Hotel: Valentine’s Day Edition

Published February 15, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

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Love is slicing through the air today. Of course, romance was always in style for such classic Aaron Spelling shows as Fantasy Island and The Love Boat. These productions featured television names of the era and many faded silver screen legends making their way through a variety of romantic trials and tribulations. Hotel, another of the legendary producer’s creations, took these elements to a more dramatic height, focusing on such issues as rape, mental imbalance, racism, child abuse and (even) homosexuality.

Nhotel 4aturally, many performers known for their work in horror films, made their way down the glitzy corridors of Hotel, offering many sensory delights for true fans of terror. Significantly, the amazing Adrienne Barbeau tears through Tomorrows, the 14th episode of the show’s first season. In full on Billie-mode, she rips up the scenery as a well-to-do mother caught in the thrall of her drug dealer. There is nothing quite like the sight of Barbeau slamming cocaine in her arm or watching the snarly way she takes down her man once she realizes her son is in danger. Sadly, her son is played by the handsome and talented Timothy Patrick Murphy. Murphy, best known for his roles on soaps like Search for Tomorrow and Dallas, died at the age of 29 due to complications from AIDS.hotel 5

Interestingly, the premiere season also featured an episode entitled Faith, Hope and Charity that concentrated on a lesbian playwright with the astonishingly hip name of Zane Elliott, sensitively played by Carol Lynley (Bunny Lake is Missing, The Night Stalker, Dark Tower). Coming out to her college friend, portrayed by the crisp and classy Barbara Parkins (The Mephisto Waltz, A Taste of Evil, Circle of Fear) proves to almost be disastrous for their relationship. Horrified by the revelation and even questioning her own sexuality, Parkins’ Eileen Weston enters into a loveless one night stand.  Of course, the two friends eventually reclaim their compassionate equilibrium, but not before Lynley gets a little (femme) action herself. (Her character, unapologetically, winds up sleeping with one of the establishment’s pert fitness instructors). Thankfully, these issues of prejudice and misunderstanding are actually addressed with an even handedness unusual for the early ‘80s (when the show was filmed) here. Nicely, the same episode features a jaunty turn from soap actress DeAnna Robbins. Robbins, best known to slasher fans for playing the seductive  Lisa in 1981’s Final Exam, nicely puts the screws here to co-star Scott Baio – a fate the notorious, scandal plagued Republican probably deserves in real life – as a rich kleptomaniac with daddy issues.   

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

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On Set Memories – Hollywood Warrioress: War of the Gods

Published August 17, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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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 https://www.facebook.com/hollywoodwarrioress/.

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

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