Considering that the COVID pandemic cancelled any official beach book reading this summer for most citizens of the world, you are hear-by invited to extend that seasonal literary occurrence indefinitely and in whatever setting that you most desire.
A good place to start, literature-wise, might be Human Doll: A Novel by Mark McLaughlin. Described as Myra Breckenridge meets horror novel, this one might appeal to Drag Race fans with its sharply satiric look at drag culture and plastic surgery.
At 6’6”, Kurtis Mantronik could certainly qualify, via physical stats alone, as one of the Kings of Hip-Hop and Dance music. But his supreme talents as a producer, DJ and writer, including a stint as the founder of the legendary Mantronix, place him fully in that category, as well.
What is the one place that someone who grew up gay in a small farming town with a love for horror & theater & punk rock music NEVER wants to go back to?
Correct Answer – All of the above!
Now, I don’t know if that is the exact concept that director-writer Hayden Newman is playing with in the upcoming ‘90s referencing horror film Reunion from Hell, but whatever focus this LGBTQIA based piece takes, it ultimately sounds like it will be a lot of fun – a true treat for genre lovers from all backgrounds.
Newman, who hopes (COVID willing) to begin filming this fall, has also announced an amazing cast for the project. Sordid Lives co-star and noted gay activist Jason Dottley will be playing Reese Sanders here, while Cathy Podewell (Night of the Demons) and Camille Keaton (I Spit on Your Grave) have also been added as the project’s topliners.
If rock ‘n roll and horror movies go hand in hand, then the late, lamented Little Richard was the king of both genres. His great showmanship and historic run of hits resulted in his songs being included on the soundtracks of such ‘80s classics as Christine and Predator. Why, it’s enough to give someone the heeby-jeebies.
Perhaps more importantly, Richard’s outrageous flamboyance helped pave the way for many in the LGBTQIA community, a legacy that means just as much as all the amazing music that he left behind.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
Best known for portraying the (occasionally) disapproving mother-in-law of Samantha on the classic supernatural comedy Bewitched, the distinguished Mabel Albertson made many other appearances on the stage and in film, often playing the matriarchal figurehead to the characters that each specific project focused upon.
In one earlier assignment, Albertson showed she could amp up the dramatic proceedings with a true sense of overbearing vengefulness. Playing out all the destructive impulses of Mrs. Conway, the commanding mother of Julie Adams’ hopeful starlet in the glossy 1957 Universal Pictures’ melodrama Four Girls in Town, this well-traveled performer brings a crushing weight to her fictional actions. Thus, this character’s overpowering persona almost destroys her daughter’s chance at true happiness and, often swiftly and subtly, Albertson makes her poisonous mark truly felt here.
Considering that almost everyone has dealt with the stinging pressure of a mentor or family member, Mrs. Conway emerges as a creature whose supposedly concerned and supportive sense of evil is just as great as any of the grander schemes provided by such notorious creatures as Lady Macbeth or Julia Cotton…a testament to the honest power of Mabel Albertson’s skilled work.
Among her many other credits, this grand dame of expressiveness appeared on a popular episode of The Munsters and co-starred with the iconic Barbara Stanwyck in 1970’s The House That Wouldn’t Die, an early example of the made for television horror movie.
Always more of a misunderstood anti-heroine, Days of our Lives’ Eve Donovan (the always emotive Kassie DePaiva) has recently emerged as an evil mastermind, a character type that fans of horror films are very familiar with.
After kidnapping her daughter’s murderer and torturing him in a warehouse outside of New York City, Eve has recently arrived in Salem, IL, where the show is based, to finish off her revenge scheme.
Eagled eyed Claire (Isabel Durant) sees through Eve’s disguise!
Naturally knowing she is under suspicion for her criminal activities, Eve reemerged disguised in a black wig – a perfect terror flick accoutrement – and an accessory put to good use by everyone from Morticia Addams to Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.
Of course, you can be in good company, too – by watching Days which airs, weekdays, Monday – Friday on NBC.
Sometimes it just takes a great mind! Denise Pearson, lead singer of ‘80s British pop sensations 5 Star, obviously had an instinct that the inhabitants of such post-apocalyptic horrors as Aliens, Creepozoids and Hardware might have had a better chance of surviving with just one thing – a dance break. This video for System Addict, one of the band’s most popular numbers, brightly and enthusiastically works that theory out to vibrant effect.
Decades later, lucky (and loyal) listeners know that Denise is still brightening dark and desolate landscapes with appearances in musicals and on concert stages across the world.
While Dorothy Dandridge is recognized as one of the tragic goddesses of celluloid history, she was not the only accomplished performer in her family.
Dorothy’s mother Ruby was a highly regarded character actress, in her own right. Beginning her career as a dancer in the classic King Kong, Dandridge eventually became known for providing accomplished persona work in such mainstream MGM films as Saratoga Trunk and The Clock. In the ‘50s and early ‘60s, she was also a common fixture on a variety of television shows.
Unfortunately, like many of her contemporaries, Dandridge spent the majority of her career acting out the over the top antics of frazzled domestics or appearing as helpful shop keepers to such prominently billed performers as Ingrid Bergman and Judy Garland.
Personally, the little information that is available about her online highlights her as woman obsessed with her career who had little time for Dorothy and her siblings. Instead, she left the bulk of the child rearing duties to her romantic partner, Geneva Williams. Williams was noted for treating her inherited offspring harshly while relentlessly training them for careers in show business.
Thus, as we crawl our way into more progressive times, it may be natural for one to wonder if Dandridge’s maternal instincts might have been more on cue if she actually was allowed to fully bloom as a performer and not have to stare down racism at every turn. While pondering this, we can also appreciate the professional glow and earnest determination she brought to the opportunities that she was given whenever she appears, magically young and full of life, on our late-night nostalgia strewn television screens.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
I suppose it doesn’t really matter whether Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally of Beach House were streaming low budget science fiction and horror films when composing their dreamy 2008 opus Devotion. Songs like the hypnotic Gila definitely make genre fans imagine that they were.
But whether they are releasing two magnificent albums in one year or expanding their musical horizons (as they did with 7, their latest release), this duo is always proving that they exist in the realm of the fantastic and otherworldly.
“Show any cheek and you’ll be back shoveling French fries!!” – Mrs. Kallender, Jaws 3
Whether opening for The Temptations or enacting a broken-hearted breakdown on Days of Our Lives, eclectic wonder Kaye Stevens always presented herself with passion and a grand sense of pizzazz.
Nicely, this scene stealer brought a little flair to the Jaws kingdom as well with her appearance in the highly anticipated, ‘80s personifying Jaws 3-D! As her Mrs. Kallender instructed some eager femme charges on how to conduct themselves as employees in this toothy version of Sea World, it seems like the producers took a liking to Stevens’ personal style. Flourishes of red abound in the production design, making Kaye’s bright locks a visual precursor for all that is to come in this aquatic, bloody celluloid nightmare.
In my (skin free) book, there can be no bigger compliment or sincere indication of Stevens’ immense visual (and otherwise) talents than that!