Stephen King

All posts tagged Stephen King

Retro Sharkbait Village: City Killer

Published February 1, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

City Killer Heather Mad

Naturally, Heather Locklear’s got the perfect feathered hair…the perfect apartment…and her stalker is of the handsome picture perfect variety that ‘80s television executives loved to provide for their perfectly eager audiences. City Killer was probably the perfect title to get audiences watching back in that soap-centric decade, as well. Riding high on the successes of Dynasty and TJ Hooker, here pixie cute Locklear faces down the wrath of a lovelorn demolitions expert while, simultaneously, finding romance with a moustache sporting daddy.

City Killer AudreyNicely, clear eyed viewers will also spot noir icon Audrey Totter as a secretary in Locklear’s office. Here, Totter provides some old school Hollywood rational amongst this television film’s ridiculously over-the-top offerings.

Built around stock footage of major buildings collapsing in unison, things reach a highpoint in this thriller when swarthy Terrence Knox’s deranged Leo Kalb brings an entire urban oasis to its knees with his demands. Of course, Locklear’s compassionate Andrea is one of them and there may be nothing that the concerned Lieutenant Eckford, played with rascally compassion by Simon and Simon’s Gerald McRaney, can do to stop him.City Killer Explosion

Highlighted by an action packed ending and by the awkward visual fact that none of the actors are actually anywhere near the rumbling destruction detailed, City Killer is, nicely, also bolstered by a solid, tempered performance from Locklear. Particularly in her first confrontation scene with Knox, Locklear shows, precisely, Andrea’s fear, frustration and anger. In this #metoo generation, harassment perhaps is no longer a flyaway plot point for cheesy entertainment, but here Locklear is able to show that, even in less aware decades, there were always strong emotional repercussions to this kind of abuse.

City Killer Heather HorrifiedLocklear, of course, made other genre-centric appearances in such projects as the big budget Stephen King adaptation Firestarter and the charming (very low budget) Return of the Swamp Thing. Interestingly, in a complete turnaround from his work here, Knox wound up playing a concerned father in 1992’s Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice. (Heads up: it wasn’t.)

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

City Killer Terrence.jpg

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Book Review: Town & Train

Published February 17, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

town and train
When I was a kid, I loved Liza Minnelli, Marilyn Monroe, soap operas and horror films. Let’s just say that I didn’t fit in the small farm town of 600 that I grew up in…and all I dreamed of, at the time, was escape. Therefore, I can definitely relate to the beating pulse behind Town & Train, James K. Moran’s debut novel.

Taking place in a small, financially strapped Canadian town in the early 90s, Moran captures the wanderlust of both his teen and adult characters while simultaneously adding elements of Peter Straub and Stephen King into the mix. His invention of a supernaturally clouded locomotive, helmed by an evil shape shifting conductor is, also, certainly unique.

Unfortunately, while Moran definitely has talent, he lacks certain cohesive skills as an author, at this point in time. Much of the narrative here brims with awkwardness. This result is that, while he seems to know them well, his characters, ultimately, never truly come alive on the page. His ways of parlaying information about the town are odd, as well. Deep historical facts are planted in passages about both longtime residents and teen members of the community, giving off the vibe that everyone in this narrative is a historian, something which hardly seems possible.

While, Moran, nicely, tries to tackle issues of homophobia here, exploring the struggles of a bisexual police officer, this intent, also, falls a bit flat. It is not just the town’s hoods who use words like “fag” and “faggy”, but the narrative’s young hero, John, is often prone to use those terms, as well. This lessens the effect of Moran’s seeming point of ignorance, and, also, renders John’s toughened stance at the end of the novel a bit moot.

Still, Moran fares better as the novel gains steam and he creates some tense, nicely accomplished scenes of horror as he races towards the conclusion. It does seem odd that the death of one major character is kept almost entirely off the page during the interesting climax, especially considering the amount of attention that Moran pays to other details.

Thus, in the state it’s in now, Town & Train reads more like a noble failure than a truly successful excursion into social anthropology and fright. But, thankfully, there is enough of interest here to make one long to read a revised version of this tale. Moran, also, seems to be someone worth reading more of, whatever the project may be, once the kinks in his style are finally worked out.

Town & Train is published by Lethe Press, a publisher with a variety of very interesting queer genre books among their offerings. Dive into their impressive catalog at http://www.lethepressbooks.com.

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

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Bad CGI Friday’s: Nightmares and Dreamscapes (2006)

Published November 28, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

CGI2
If there is anything more shocking than a half naked John Boy in the Autopsy Room 4 entry of Stephen King’s Nightmares and Dreamscapes, it has to be the sight of an obviously computer generated snake as it strikes out at its prey in that very same episode.

But you have to admit that, as a man in his late 50s (when the show was filmed), actor Richard Thomas (Battle Beyond the Stars and The Waltons, as referenced above) is looking pretty good. Spending the majority of the episode with flanks (etc..) bared on an autopsy table, Thomas fills his role, a war wounded businessman put in a death resembling coma by above said snake, with hard won regret and humor.

Greta romances, Thomas sleeps!

Greta romances, Thomas sleeps!

Thus, Thomas’ efforts and the elegant presence of Greta Scacchi (as a medical official gone giddy with love) help make this one of the better (if comically drawn out) entries in this occasionally lackluster TNT mini-series from 2006. And, of course, there is always that snake!

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

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Holy Bloody Confetti! Chatting with the Chicago Cast of Carrie, The Musical!

Published June 11, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

CARRIE
I left my prom dress at home – but the kind cast of Bailiwick Chicago’s production of Carrie, The Musical still allowed me to chat with them after a recent show.

Carrie, the Musical runs through July 12th, 2014 in Chicago at the Victory Gardens Theatre, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue. Further information is available at http://www.bailiwickchicago.com.

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

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

The Backside of Horror: Bojesse Christopher, “Sometimes They Come Back…Again”

Published March 11, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

Boj1
Let’s face it, half the fun of horror and exploitation is seeing some hot bodies frolicking around in the buff. And while I worship the female form, I believe exploitation definitely veers into the exploitive when only gorgeous women are on display while their male counterparts remain chastely buttoned up. Therefore, The Backside of Horror salutes the filmmakers and actors whom even up the score a bit by showing us instances of hot and juicy male flesh in their bloody celluloid fantasies.

Sometimes, I look like such a demon upon waking that I even frighten my Incredible Hulk action figures. (And you wonder why I am in my 40s and live alone!!!)

Boj2The magnetic Bojesse Christopher, who truly enlivened such efforts as Sleepwalkers, Meatballs 4 and Point Break in the 90s, also rises like a devilish entity in 1996 sequel shocker Sometimes They Come Back…Again. But, soon Christopher’s Vinnie takes on a much more pleasing — and temporarily naked — form.Boj3

Of course, the evil Vinnie is eventually dispatched – but not before providing plenty of menace to co-stars Michael Gross and (a young) Hillary Swank…and plenty of eye candy to desirous viewers in the know!

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

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Red Clark’s Gray Matter!

Published October 15, 2013 by biggayhorrorfan

gray matter

Oh, if I only had a brain! I’ve sung that to myself so many times that I’ve felt like a small town queer stuck caught in a community theater production of The Wizard of Oz, Sisyphus-style!

But who needs brains when they can experience the terror of Gray Matter?!? This stunning short film is an adaptation of a Stephen King story – and inventive filmmaker Red Clark tells me he only used practical effects (based on some amazing concept designs by Tom A. Denney)! Viva, au natural, baby!!

Check out the gooey, first look trailer, here!:

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

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Room 237 – An Appreciation.

Published April 20, 2013 by biggayhorrorfan

The Shining 028
At a recent dinner celebration at the piping hot Godzilla Café, Big Gay Horror Fan’s beloved Aunt Pamela (a vegan witch, naturally) made a charming and pertinent observation. She noted that the art of the appreciator was often neglected in social and cultural importance – IE that the act of appreciating is just as much of an art form as that of the person doing the creating.

Rodney Ascher’s truly engaging, frequently mindboggling documentary Room 237 takes this notion to grand heights. Highlighting the observations of a handful of devotees to Stanley Kubrick’s highly debated 1980 film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining, Room 237 revels in obsessive fan love and features highly detailed theories on Kubrick’s artistic intent.

Creatively, Ascher never shows the faces of his subjects, but uses clips from Kubrick’s oeuvre (including massive segments of The Shining) to illustrate the interviewee’s points. True horror fans are, also, sure to delight in his liberal use of crowd scenes from Italian gore fests Demons and Demons 2 to help augment the situations described, as well.

Some of the theories introduced are fairly ludicrous (making even the most rampaging nerd feel a bit more normal than he or she did before watching the documentary). One interested party is fully invested in the thought that Kubrick used this film to let the world know his part in helping the government fake the moon landing. (That he then goes on question the validity of this claim in the film’s wrap-up makes the concept even more noteworthy.)

ShelleyDuvall4Of course, anyone who has seen the subject film (and lusted after Shelley Duvall’s prairie-like yet seemingly eternal costumes) knows that Kubrick obviously ladled on the influences with this one. So the participants in Room 237 that suggest that he may have been working out his feelings on the Holocaust and the treatment of the American Indians may have some valid points. But, was that the entire extent of his focus (or something that he was even conscious of doing in the moment) – well, who the hell knows?!?

Other funny theories about subtle erections, media manipulation and disappearing Disney images – all seem purely accidental, mere mistakes that Kubrick missed with his over-the-top, highly stylistic directing of this glorious piece of cinema.

Ultimately, Room 237 illustrates how much a work takes on the spirit of the viewer once it is released into the world – giving all the detailed summaries an honest validity of sorts. Perhaps most importantly, for anyone whom has ever obsessed over a certain genre, filmmaker or film, Room 237 brings about a sense of kinship and, as my dear Aunt Pamela suggested, the thought that the audience is just as important as those behind the camera.

Further information about Room 237 can be gathered at www.room237movie.com.

Big Gay Horror Fan, meanwhile, is always throwing on his best wide-eyed Duvall shriek at http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan, as well!

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