Silence

All posts tagged Silence

Great Performances: Sybil Danning

Published April 7, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

l.a. bounty poster

A stern look from someone in real life can sometimes stop you dead in your tracks. Silent expression is also an efficient tool to communicate emotion on film. This is often difficult to pull off, though, as it must be done subtly to be truly effective.

Thankfully for genre fans, one of the most exciting performances to utilize a bare minimum of dialogue and rely almost entirely on facial fluidity, is Sybil Danning’s commanding and efficient Ruger in the beloved cult favorite L.A. Bounty.

l.a. bounty 1A former cop turned determined bounty hunter, Ruger here is dead set on taking down Cavanaugh, a vile criminal who murdered her former partner and who has recently kidnapped Mike Rhodes, a handsome mayoral candidate. Much of Ruger’s time is spent protecting Mike’s uncooperative wife Kelly, a woman whom Cavanaugh wants decidedly dead. As Ruger tries, mightily, to protect this innocent bystander, she systematically works her way through Cavanaugh’s associates. Growing ever more stern and calculating, when she finally gets to the man, himself, even the plot’s fun twists and turns will not deter her.

Nicely, with a simple yet powerful presence, Danning outguns even the most treasured male action icons here. She is cool yet obviously emotionally conflicted, delivering a classic performance – truly one of the best in the exploitation medium and beyond. The rest of the cast is also impressive with Wings Hauser oozing blistered menace as Cavanaugh and the underrated Lenore Kasdorf (Guiding Light, Missing in Action) bringing nervy grace to Kelly Rhodes. Drive-in enthusiasts will also cheer to the contributions of such esteemed participants as Henry Darrow and Robert Quarry.LA-Bounty-3

But it is Danning’s heart that truly provides the significant pulse of this piece. Granted, the action beats, including the anticipated shotgun blasts and deaths by torture and electrocution, are exciting. But she truly imbues this make believe world with its soul. Not surprisingly, a look at the credits shows that she wrote the story and also produced this emotional slice of mayhem… a true tribute to feminine power and the bad-assery of women everywhere, if there ever was one.

l.a. bounty 2

L.A. Bounty merchandise, including a new comic book based upon the exploits of Ruger, is available directly from Danning at www.sybildanning.net.  Be sure to follow her at https://www.facebook.com/Sybil-Danning and https://twitter.com/sybildanning, as well.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

 

Vincent Price and Pride

Published June 23, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

vincent price

Its Pride Week here in Chicago and my mind keeps going back to Vincent Price.

On a press tour a couple of years ago, his daughter Victoria told reporters that she was certain that this macabre matinee idol had sexual relationships with both men and women. Honestly, it’s not something I really care about one way or other. But anytime an icon of horror is put in proximity with the queer community, there is reason to celebrate. The terror crowd, by and large, is still a very straight and, even more surprisingly, an often right wing one. More than anything, though, it is a silent one.

This makes me love Vincent Price even more. Not because of his bedroom proclivities, but because, even in an era when it was much more dangerous to do so, he spoke out. In that (fairly recent) round of press statements, the thing his daughter stressed more than any romantic suppositions was that Price was a true activist for the LGBTQA community. He spoke out against Anita Bryant’s anti-gay platforms in the ‘70s. He joined PFLAG as an honorary member and did an AIDS PSA in the ‘80s.

 

Vincent Price Oscar Wilde

Price as Oscar Wilde

This makes me sad about some of the people I know (and don’t know), though. A few years ago, I was asked to write for a site, but was told that they didn’t do “gay” content. This, in essence, meant that I was supposed to take a straight white perspective when composing for them. What the person who contacted me didn’t realize was that, even with news items and film reviews, he was reacting to them with his own learned insights and background and interests. Of course, that was the style I was supposed to adopt. He thought it was a neutral one. It isn’t. How could it be? He will always react to things the way a straight male would. A Latinx woman will react to them another way. A transgender person, meanwhile, will focus on another aspect of the same story. As will I.

That was more about quieting my true voice, though. What concerns me here is that, as rights are threatened more and more by the current powers-that-be, I still have ‘friends’ in fright circles that look at me and tell that they are “fiscally conservative, but socially liberal”. They say they will speak out when the time comes. Instead, I see them sharing news items from Breitbart that mock celebrities for speaking out on social justice issues. Breitbart, by the way, is run by Stephen Bannon, a man who would like to obliterate me (and so many others I know) from the planet. So…thanks!

But they are giving a nod to something, at least. There are others who say nothing, at all. Perhaps, they believe human rights are politics and that where one stands on that side of the curtain is a private affair. Maybe they are afraid. Maybe they have become resigned and wearily complacent like me. I couldn’t tell you the last time that I picked up the phone to protest something to some senator or public official. But 40 years ago, Vincent Price, a hero for many of us, wasn’t scared or tentative or let his thoughts grow muted. He got down in the trenches with the underdogs and stood proud. Let’s hope that his truly distinctive voice raised, all those years ago, can bring others out into the open now. Let’s hope it can reawaken mine. We need it.