Comedy

All posts in the Comedy category

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Reta Shaw

Published November 9, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

The grand Reta Shaw has rooted herself in the minds of many burgeoning filmgoers from her classic turns in such Disney projects as Mary Poppins and Escape to Witch Mountain.

Nicely, with roles on Alfred Hitchcock Presents (as a nosy neighborhood woman), Thriller (as a childish middle-aged bride turned unrelenting domestic shrew) and Bewitched (as two different senior relatives of prime witch Samantha), she also gave golden genre television lovers something to talk about over the water coolers, as well.

In the honey-in-our-ears category, as a Broadway veteran, Shaw reprised her comic, singing role of Mabel in The Pajama Game to grand effect in the film version of the popular musical – truly making all those who haven’t witnessed her comic brilliance here jealous of those who have.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

(Photos – Top, Bewitched. Middle, Thriller. Bottom, Alfred Hitchcock Presents.)

When Legends Meet: Bela Lugosi and Greta Garbo

Published July 29, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Bela and Greta

As the pandemic rages on, sometimes the smallest pleasures can produce the biggest thrills. For example, the recently reopened Chicago Public Library has been an oasis for me, allowing me to check out a variety of classic films from the ’30s and ’40s, the celluloid eras that bring me the most joy, as of late.

A few weeks ago, I was happy to find 1939’s Ninotchka, the film that gave the usually regal Greta Garbo a chance to let loose and convulse with laughter due to the smart joys of the irreplaceable Billy Wilder’s script.

Layered with an expected sense of sly, often infectious humor, this classic film’s biggest surprise for me wound up being the presence of horror legend Bela Lugosi. Playing the commanding officer of Garbo’s loyal Russian ambassador, the two share a very fun scene towards the film’s end, resulting in a magical moment for those who are fans of all kinds of cinema. Showing that he was capable of subtle theatrics and able to stretch his skills far beyond the mysterious creatures and mad scientists that he was usually asked to play, Lugosi, in particular, shines here with a sense of authority and truth.

Admirers of his work (and of Garbo’s undiminished power) may do well to track this gem down. Its a sure way to ease those lingering stay-at-home blues for an hour or two.

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

http://www.facebook.com/bigggayhorrorfan

ninotchka-1939-aff-02-g

 

 

 

 

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Isaac Hayes

Published July 26, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Isaac Hayes_Courtesy of Stax Archives (2)

A generation knew the iconic Isaac Hayes as the deep voiced patriarch behind South Park’s love-fetching Chef. Music fiends, meanwhile, adored him for his revolutionary soundtrack to Shaft, perhaps one of the most cherished and influential celluloid musical foundations of all time.

Perhaps surprisingly to some, Hayes had a large body of acting credits, with many notches on his genre belt, as well. Films like Escape from New York, Guilty as Charged, Acting on Impulse and the Larry Cohen-William Lustig partnered Uncle Sam all benefited greatly from his unique and powerful presence.

Dying at the (far too young) age of 65 in 2008, Hayes’ multi-faceted career is thankfully and continually being honored at www.isaachayes.com and https://www.facebook.com/isaachayes.

Isaac Uncle Sam

Hayes in Uncle Sam

 

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Hopelessly Devoted To: LaWanda Page

Published July 24, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

LaWanda Page Main

Best known for fully bringing Aunt Esther’s opposition-style antics towards Redd Foxx’s opinionated Fred Sanford on the classic sitcom Sanford and Son to full bloom, the irreplaceable LaWanda Page was also a highly regarded comedienne with material that was a little bluer than mainstream ‘70s television audiences might have expected.

 

Terror fans, meanwhile, are sure to remember Page’s hysterically accurate response to some supernatural shenanigans in the ‘80s cult classic Mausoleum. While the exaggerated tone here may suggest something akin to the less than PC characterizations of Eddie “Rochester” Anderson and others, Page always maintains her control and, by the film’s end, her character seems like one of the smarter ones when it comes to dealing with the film’s bloody antics.

 

Page, who died at the age of 82 in 2002, also made appearances in such favorites as Friday, The Meteor Man and Shakes, the Clown earning her a much deserved and devoted following that continues to this day.

LaWanda Page Shakes

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

LaWanda Page Mausoleum

Horror Mash-up: Grace Jones and Eartha Kitt

Published July 2, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

eartha-kitt-robin-givens-halle-berry-eddie-murphy-grace-jones-boomerang

If you ever doubted that an Eddie Murphy movie could offer something special for the gay community, please consider 1992’s Boomerang.

Here Marcus, Murphy’s advertising executive (not so) extraordinary, meets his match when confronted with Eartha Kitt’s sexually adventurous beauty queen Lady Eloise and Grace Jone’s unstoppable super model Strangé. Seeing both of these icons onscreen at the same time is an incredible delight and worth the film’s 117-minute running time. As always, these two are forces of nature and they command the proceedings whenever they are featured. scene 2

While Jones and Kitt’s outsider status automatically appeals to both the queer and the horror crowds, each of them actually do have some genre credits between them. Jones magnificently brought the title enchantress of Vamp to life while Kitt dove into the frenzied antics of Old Lady Hackmore in Earnest Scared Stupid, cult classics, depending on who you ask, both.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

grace jones boomerang

Review: Who Killed Joan Crawford?

Published November 4, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

whokilledjoan 2.jpg

William Castle fiends take note. If Strait-Jacket era Joan Crawford is your thing then you better rush your cult film worshipping selves to the Athenaeum Theatre for the final performances of Glitterati Production’s beyond fun Who Killed Joan Crawford?

Taking place on Tony Awards night in 1993, this engaging and campy thriller revolves around the backstabbing antics of a group of longtime friends. Of course, the fact that all the players are dressed in various forms of Crawford drag does eventually limit their mobility as various weapons are brought out for purposes of bloody dispatching. There is also the small problem of their mysteriously missing host.

Directing Michael Leeds’ cattily inventive script with flair, director John Nasca highlights the material’s expected, much loved murder-mystery tropes with zeal. He and Lana Whittington, who designed the show’s more physical interactions, also skillfully help denote the fact that this ensemble of characters are not experienced drag performers, but grown men indulging a friend’s grand birthday wish.

Importantly, those various versions of Joan, focusing on everything from her early treks into stardom to her latter day romps in psycho biddy territory (note the Straight-Jacket reference above), are delivered with exquisite, recognizable skill by Nasca. He is grandly assisted by Robert Hilliard, who puts a definite, celluloid stamp on the wide variety of wigs used.

Who Killed Joan Crawford 1

Bringing this brisk 75 minute romp fully into the pleasure zone, though, is it’s very agreeable cast. Compromised of newer talent and seasoned veterans of Chicago’s professional theater scene, the ensemble joyfully gives their characters a sense of specificity as a whole. It’s truly a nice balance of personalities, with John Cardone and Patrick Rybarczyk, in particular, giving an arch urgency and playful verve to their calculating, frequently divisive interactions. Nicely, Michael Hampton, as the seemingly loving and emotionally convincing Stewart Fry, truly commands attention here, as well. His character is perhaps the most well rounded of the lot, and he makes the most of every occasionally contrary, frequently whimsical moment.

More information on the show, which runs in Chicago until November 10th, is available at https://www.facebook.com/events/2804610532934028/.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Music to Make Horror Movies By: The Honey Bees

Published April 7, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Honey Bees

The Honey Bees, comprised of Tina Louise, Natalie Schafer and Dawn Wells, may be the greatest fictional girl group of all time. Gilligan’s Island fanatics surely rejoice in this episode of the popular show which finds the cast’s beloved Ginger (Louise), Mrs. Howell (Schafer) and Mary Ann (Wells) forming a musical version of The Honeys in hopes of finally getting off the island that they have permanently been sequestered on.

But the fact that this versatile trio of actresses has been involved in many individual genre projects makes this joyous collaboration of special notice to terror tikes, as well. Schafer, a veteran performer of film and stage, hit the gothic mother lode first with appearances in The Secret Behind the Door… and a beloved episode of the Boris Karloff hosted anthology series Thriller. Louise made the ‘70s and ‘80s particularly enjoyable with roles in the feminist classic The Stepford Wives and the atrociously lovable oddity Evils of the Night. Wells, meanwhile, found herself battling for her life against a water beastie and a violent serial killer in Return to Boggy Creek and the greatly admired The Town That Dreaded Sundown. (Interestingly, it is rumored that Well’s voice was dubbed here by Jackie DeShannon, the writer of the coolly mysterious Bette Davis Eyes.)

On a side note, Schafer, who died in 1991, also appeared in a popular touring production of the lesbian classic The Killing of Sister George with Claire Trevor. Louise, who has quietly tried to move past her seminal work as Ginger, keeps admirers informed of her activities at https://www.facebook.com/pg/thetinalouise. Wells, meanwhile, has long kept the torch of that imaginary island burning. She, happily, keeps up with fans of GI (and her other work) at https://www.facebook.com/therealmaryann/ and http://dawnwells.com/.

Trio

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Review: Camp Death III in 2D

Published January 24, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

 

Camp Death 2.jpg

The summer between my freshman and sophomore year of high school, Friday the 13th Part 3 played on HBO on heavy repeat. I watched it every time I could, cementing my love not only for horror but making the slasher film my genre of choice. That Matt Frame’s frequently ridiculous yet often inventive Camp Death III in 2D plays specific homage to that sequel does my slowly rotting heart well.

After convincing his foul mouthed, extremely abrasive uncle to reopen his beleaguered campground as a summer oasis for the physically and mentally handicapped, the eager Todd Boogjumper soon finds his livelihood in jeopardy. Both staff and guests begin meeting their ends in sadistic ways and even his traumatized yet supportive girlfriend Rachel may not be able to help him survive.

Of course, the plot points here play out with sophomoric and excessive humor which is met enthusiastically by Frame’s truly talented cast. The characters do begin to slightly wear out their welcome, consisting more of tics and over the top comedic notions than depth (much like the participants in the Scary Movie series and their ilk), but Frame does surprise with creative chase scenes, unexpected denouements and a sense of professionalism and skill that many independent, low budget horror films lack.camp death 1

Of the cast, Darren Andrichuk belligerently attacks Mel, the aforementioned crusty patriarch, with something bordering on compulsive charm. His foul mouthed tirades such as “Fork fuck my ruby red asshole” are almost astounding in their frequency and originality, providing some of the film’s happiest moments. Meanwhile, Angela Galanopoulos and Dave Peniuk utilize an energetic charm to enliven Rachel and Todd. But it is Chris Allen as Barry, the often bombarded wheelchair bound counselor, who is sure to steal most viewers’ hearts with his honest enthusiasm and refusal to be anything but perky even when Andrichuk’s Mel becomes physically abusive with him. Caroe Sandoval as Mel’s frustrated wife and Katharine Alpa as the most spastically animated of the campers also steal the screen whenever they appear and one wishes, especially in Alpa’s case, that their characters had commanded more plot time.

Naturally, Frame throws in many references to Friday 3 with Rachel’s frequent mentions of a past trauma nicely mirroring the ordeal that Dana Kimmell’s Chris anguishes over in the original. Thoughts of Sleepaway Camp and (even) Scream may enter into the audience’s terror worshipping minds, as well.

Of course, the forthright Mel would have obliterated any of this reviewer’s points with a loud “Fuck your sharing, you fuck-nut asshole!” So, it may be best for you to decide for yourself at https://www.facebook.com/campdeath/.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

 

Music To Make Horror Movies By: Ann Sothern

Published July 29, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

 

ann sothern

In a career spanning 60 years, the magnetic Ann Sothern mastered everything from the pratfalls of delightful physical comedy to the art of pulling heartstrings, subtly, in the form of classic musicals. As many Pre-Code beauties before her, Sothern also dabbled in the darker avenues offered by such Gothic outings as Lady in a Cage, The Killing Kind and The Manitouann sothern lady in a cage

 

1948’s Words and Music, nicely, gave Sothern a justifiably deserved Technicolor moment as she, feelingly, asked Where’s That Rainbow?

the manitou poster

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

 

Killer Piñata 2 Kickstarter

Published May 4, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

Killer-Piñata-2-More-of-Them-1

Angry Mule Productions is back at it again. Thankfully! This groovy group of Chicago based independent filmmakers is revisiting the world of their truly fun independent horror Killer Piñata, a great return to the goofy strain of low budget ‘80s horror, with a follow-up, Killer Piñata 2: More of Them.

Nicely, working that throwback vibe succinctly, Danny Hassel from the A Nightmare on Elm Street series fame will be joining the madness this time around. Even more importantly, the sexuality of Eliza, the film’s original lead, will be more fully explored in this venture. She will even have a kick-ass girlfriend to help her deal with the film’s horrific, candy spewing onslaught.

killer pinata cast.png

To get involved and make sure that this inclusive, comedic offering sees the light of day, be sure to visit the Kickstarter campaign at:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/453452365/killer-pinata-2-more-of-them-feature-length-horror

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan