Disaster Films

All posts in the Disaster Films category

Va-Va-Villainess: Virginia Bruce

Published January 24, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Virginia Bruce Born to Dance cigarette

As Broadway diva Lucy James in 1936’s Born to Dance, smoldering pixie Virginia Bruce causes much havoc between enthusiastic hoofer Nora Paige (Eleanor Powell) and her shy, devoted sailor beau Ted Barker (Jimmy Stewart).

bruce-stewart-born-to-danceInitially using him as a publicity ploy, James soon grows serious about Barker. This, nicely, gives Bruce a chance to add layers of soft pain to her characterization. This humanity doesn’t stop this character’s out of control anger issues, though. After destroying a hotel suite and getting Paige fired from her understudy job, James is decidedly left on the outskirts of the film’s grand and happy finish. Virgina BTD2

Not surprisingly, the talented Bruce still comes out the winner, though. Born to Dance’s score was composed by none other than Cole Porter and, with sweet elegance, she introduced his classic I’ve Got You Under My Skin, which was nominated for an Academy Award, here.


Horror Hall of Fame:


Bruce filled the title role of 1940’s The Invisible Woman, a more comic take for the classic Universal horror series. This natural celluloid wonder also tangled with eternal mad scientist Lionel Atwill in the Abbott and Costello comedy Pardon My Sarong.

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

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Hopelessly Devoted to: Ann Robinson

Published April 19, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Ann Bad

Best known for her strong portrayal of Dr. Sylvia Van Buren in the 1954 science fiction classic War of the Worlds, Ann Robinson also proved her versatility in a series of roles in noir films and female focused thrillers.

One of her bigger roles was as Nancy in The Glass Wall. As the protective girlfriend of a musician needing a break, she radiates with proud concern. Meanwhile, as the wealthy, flirtatious Lucille Grellett (with Charlton Heston, above) in Bad for Each Other, she shows another side of her talents – a strong sex appeal and a talent for comedy. Her capriciousness also resonates magnificently on an episode of the original Perry Mason, as well. Here, as the spoiled daughter of a wealthy businessman she tries her best to charm her military husband into a number of suspect deals.

Ann Julie 1Referred to as “99 minutes crammed with suspense” by John Douglas Eames in The MGM Story, 1956’s Julie found Robinson co-starring, side by side, with the magnificent Doris Day. As Day’s co-stewardess (left and below), Robinson acts with appropriate surprise as the plane she is assigned to risks crashing unless Day is able to fly it to safety. More of a resilient victim here than some of her more manipulative assignments, Robinson proves she had the versatility and presence to be a major star. It is every celluloid buff’s loss that she wasn’t.

Ann Julie 2

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

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Sharkbait Retro Village: Terror on the 40th Floor

Published December 24, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

Terror 2Before reaching the latter day career heights of Charlie’s Angels and Dynasty, John Forsythe found some fiery latitude in the 1974 television flick Terror on the 40th Floor. Surely a small screen copy cat of that year’s disaster blockbuster The Towering Inferno, TOT40F finds Forsythe’s Don Overland, a successful businessman, trapped with some co-workers during an after-hours Christmas Eve party after a raging fire breaks out.

Terror 4

Pre-Friday Tracie

 

While a hysterical female co-worker is injured here and Joseph Campenella’s insecure Howard meets a freefalling death via elevator shaft, most of the action is dedicated to the endangered employees’ flashback reminiscences about thwarted love, crumbling marriages and corporate schemes gone wrong. It’s all standard fare, enlivened a bit by the fact that a young Tracie Savage makes an appearance as part of the storyline of Lee Parker, played by Deathdream’s Lynn Carlin. As an adult, Savage’s last screen appearance (for many years) was as the saucy, pregnant Debbie in Friday the 13th, Part 3, endearing her to terror lovers, worldwide. Thus, it is fun to see her in an earlier role.

Terror Pippa

Delicious Pippa!

Meanwhile, the other women, including the regal Pippa Scott and the voluptuous Anjanette Comer look pretty soap opera spectacular here. Acting wise, Scott makes the most of her brief appearance as Overland’s estranged yet concerned wife. Thankfully, Comer, who gave an exquisite showing in the cult horror film The Baby that same year, is given more to do. She seduces Forsythe with a silky nonchalance, but, naturally, regrets her actions as the dawn reveals a more forgiving Christmas Day.

Terror 3

Reflective Anjanette

 

As snow flickers, lightly, around the reconnected team Overland, Comer’s Darlene, with frivolous boredom curtailed, looks forward to the beginning of a new year – and, possibly, the pursuit of more upstanding adventures.

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

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Bad CGI Fridays: 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea (2007)

Published July 18, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

screenshot_3
If television action mainstay Lorenzo Lamas has made a boring film (and, naturally, I’m not saying he has) – then 2007’s 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea would certainly qualify for that honor.

30000 posterFeaturing lots of footage of Lamas and the actors playing his crew wandering around the floors of the ocean depths (and not much else), 30,000 does feature a couple of sequences involving a very unnatural looking squid.30000 2

In fact, the squid’s second appearance is almost laughable – coming off as almost a mechanical style comic book design.

Oh, well. Where’s Stan Lee when you need him?

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

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Bad CGI Friday’s: Super Eruption (2011)

Published July 11, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

super-eruption
To quote an old Saturday Night Live Skit: “With a name like Super Eruption, it has to be good jam!”

Fake lava still bad lava!

Fake lava still bad lava!

Actually, with a name like Super Eruption it has to be a cheesy SyFy flick about a hunky park ranger (Richard Burgi) and a sexy scientist (Juliet Aubrey) fighting to save lives as a dormant volcano under Yellowstone National Park fatally explodes.

Besides lots of computer generated lava and ash, this exploding-ly awesome epic even features what looks like a doll stand-in for Burgi as he parachutes down into a smoldering site.

Is that a doll or are you...

Is that a doll or are you…

Even better, perhaps, may be the weird time travel subplot that definitely gives this quick and painless effort a fiery sense of odd originality.

For the truly sophisticated, though? Maybe not! Oh, well…

"The future's so bright..." Not!

“The future’s so bright…” Not!

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

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(Bad) CGI Friday’s: Seattle Superstorm (2011)

Published June 13, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

seattle superstorm
While sudden rainfall has definitely destroyed one or two of my Batgirl costumes – at least it hasn’t turned me into (unrealistic) vibrating ash like some of the unlucky victims of the Seattle Superstorm!

No way to lend a hand!

No way to lend a hand!

After a meteor bound for Seattle is destroyed by the government, powerful storms soon begin to crystallize some unlucky folks while, also, knocking over buildings and whipping tons of underpaid extras around. Thankfully, journeyman actor Esai Morales is on the job as a former NASA scientist who works, mightily, to stop all of that superimposed fog and fake lightening from harming too many people.

lighteningWith plenty of car crashes, explosions, smoking chemistry experiments and familiar plotline tropes, Seattle Superstorm definitely isn’t high art – but in watching it, every filmic dreamer surely realizes how super fun it would have been to make!
falling
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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(Bad) CGI Fridays: Disaster Zone: Volcano in New York (2007)

Published March 21, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

disaster zone

When is it too darn hot? Well…when visiting Jamaica in the off season or, perhaps, when a tropical phenomenon attacks the East Coast.

Yep, in 2007’s Disaster Zone: Volcano in New York, the city that never sleeps bubbles and warps beneath some of the worst technical lava effects ever put on top of celluloid! As an overzealous scientist tapping into the earth’s core, perennial bad guy Michael Ironside (Scanners, Visiting Hours) steals the show, here. Meanwhile (Christine princess) Alexandra Paul leads the rest of the over earnest cast.

disaster zone 2The best moment in this Sci Fi masterpiece? When one of Costas Mandylor’s (Saw series) sand hog worker’s guts spill out due to volcanic laced water – a surprising moment of grue in this fairly tame production.disaster zone 3

Runner up: When a group of friendly homeless guys expire due to the gases emitted from the build up of the eruption. Some dudes just can’t catch a break, no?

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

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