racism

All posts tagged racism

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Joan Blondell

Published July 21, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Joan B pin up.jpg

She was one of Warner Brother’s brightest, sassiest dames in the ‘30s. The distinctive Joan Blondell also found recognition in such ‘70s MFTV horror flicks as The Dead Don’t Die and Death at Love House. Joan Death at Love

But whatever era she found herself in, she was always her simply irreplaceable self…most particularly in this production number by the influential and equally singular Busby Berkeley.

Also of significance here are the haunting vocals of Etta Moten. Moten appeared in a number of fun Warner Brothers pictures, including the WIP epic Ladies They Talk About, but was never allowed to reach her full potential, cinematically, due to the racism inherent in that (and, unfortunately, every) decade.

Etta

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Lena Horne

Published June 9, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Lena bubbles

She is the essence of smooth cool… a proud performer whose reign at MGM in the ‘40s was compromised by racism. She held her head high, though, and after tiring of being used predominantly in specialty numbers (that were often cut out of the pictures in the southern states), she triumphantly returned to concert halls and cabarets to make her living.

 

Simply stated, Lena Horne is a goddess and while her connection to horror films is limited to the use of her music in an episode of American Horror Story, her uncompromising stance in the face of adversity is something that every genre lover can admire.lena motion

 

 

Her take on The Beatles’ Rocky Raccoon also points out the fact that no style was immune to her charms. She most definitely would have made a sophisticated yet sassy rock n roller!

She would have punked out with a humanitarian edge, though. In one of her final interviews before her death in 2010 at the age of 92, Horne kept on insisting that the way to true success was to “Just be nice to people”…”Just be nice to people!” Let’s take her advice and keep her magnetic spirit alive for decades to come!

lena 1994-Lena-Horne-in-New-Yo-004

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Nina Mae McKinney

Published March 3, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

nina mae mckinney 3

Best known to old school horror and jungle movie fans for playing the revenge fueled Isabelle in 1939’s The Devil’s Daughter, the glorious Nina Mae McKinney was originally supposed to be MGM’s first black female superstar. Despite a glorious debut in King Vidor’s Hallelujah, the prejudice of the time cancelled out McKinney’s obvious appeal. The five year contract with Hollywood’s glossiest studio only led to a few loan out roles and an opportunity to provide the singing voice for Jean Harlow in the musical melodrama Reckless. Nina Devils Daughter 1

 

Thankfully, McKinney’s contribution to that picture is not lost to time.

 

McKinney, who died of a heart attack at the age of 54 in 1967, has been, thankfully, regaled by cinematic historians like Donald Bogle. But one still wishes that her potential could have truly been met. A role playing Harlow’s rival, instead of one behind the scenes, would have truly been a breathtaking addition to her legacy.

ninamaemckinney2

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Hattie McDaniel

Published November 25, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

 

Hattie-McDaniel.jpg

After Hattie McDaniel won her Oscar in 1940, it was 24 years before another black performer received the statuette. While criticized for taking on stereotypical roles in her lifetime, McDaniel is now often praised for being a pioneer in the entertainment industry and for her commanding performances under frequently humbling circumstances. Nicely, the fun revue Thank Your Lucky Stars allowed her majestic personality to fill the frame as something other than a domestic and she appears to truly be enjoying herself as the neighborhood gossip in the number below, Ice Cold Katie.

Granted, McDaniel’s connections to the horror genre were small as she was mainly cast in comedies. But she did appear alongside terror icon Bela Lugosi in 1935’s Murder By Television. As the cook Isabella, she provided the studio mandated, over exaggerated comic relief, but she is eventually given a couple of more level headed moments. In one more progressive segment, she even interrupts a murder scene intruder and helps throw him out, proof positive of her power and strength as a performer.

Hattie Murder shots

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Hattie McDaniel murder-by-television-half-sheet.png

Review: Fort Doom

Published November 16, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

 

debbie fort doomPost-election week there may, surprisingly, not be a more appropriate horror film to watch than 2004’s Fort Doom. A low budget, seemingly home grown effort, this feature stars the always compelling Debbie Rochon and the eternally gothic Billy Drago, who gives a very disturbing, leveled performance as one of the production’s not so red herring villains here.

The film itself follows the Southern adventures of Lacy Everett (Rochon) and her group of working girls as they set up shop in a seemingly idyllic community. The Civil War has been recently fought and lost, and while there is emotional fallout to be found everywhere, hope abounds, as well. That is until Everett and her ladies discover that a serial killer is loose in their new tightly locked home base. As folks begin to disappear and it looks like all evidence points to the demented town mortician (Drago), it soon appears that a deeper, more deadly conspiracy at hand.

As with many indie terror efforts, there are many passages of stationary dialoging here. One also almost wishes that the producers had picked a different period of time to recreate due to the college theater costuming alone. While some of Rochon’s outfits have a bit of a stream punk effect, more than anything it is obvious that the budget did not allow for a real life recreation of the clothes that the characters would have actually worn in this era. Kind viewers will find that this gives the enterprise an enjoyable silliness, though. Others, well…Fort Doom.jpg

Surprisingly, what is not silly here is how accurately screenwriter Matthew Howe, who developed the story with the film’s director J. Christian Ingvordsen, seemingly predicated our current misogynistic and racist government controlled by powerful white men. Willing to do anything to stay in power, the vengeful founding father types in this film ultimately serve as a chilling prophecy and a reminder of how this destructive mindset has always existed in our culture.

That Rochon, who has survived her own share of personal hardships over the years, is our stand-in here, supplying strength and resolve and sassiness, is also a plus and an assurance that perhaps, like her Lacy, we will truly rise above this current regime, as well.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan