1981

All posts tagged 1981

Va-Va-Villainess: Melissa Sue Anderson

Published August 29, 2021 by biggayhorrorfan

After years of playing the overburdened Mary Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie, securing herself a Leading Actress Emmy nomination at the age of 16 along the way, Melissa Sue Anderson, understandably wanted to branch out. With a daring pixie cut, quite the opposite of Mary’s angelic country tresses, Anderson took on the role of Vivian Sotherland, a (very bad) witch in training, in 1981’s truly enjoyable television film Midnight Offerings.

With a glint in her eye and venom dripping from her voice, Anderson obviously reveled in playing a person who was happy to torture her romantic rival – here another (shiningly nice) witch in training, played, in perfect stunt casting style, by The Waltons’ Mary McDonough.

In Hooray for Homicide, a first season episode of Murder, She Wrote, Anderson also explored darker worlds as starlet Eve Crystal. Here, though, her crimes are almost accidental. Thus, all of Anderson/Crystal’s manipulations and cover-ups are born out of soft sorrow and regret – a situation that Anderson displays at the episode’s denouement with a downcast tone in her voice and teary sorrow in her eyes.

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Horror Hall of Fame:

Of course, true terror stalwarts know that Anderson’s most famous attempt at ripping off those calico dresses occurred with Happy Birthday to Me, the now classic 1981 slasher film. The film’s iconic tagline boasted of a celluloid delight that featured “six of the most bizarre murders that you will ever see,” but fans of women in horror will always appreciate Anderson’s quietly mysterious performance. Although, ultimately a red herring, here she makes you believe that her character just might be responsible for all the bloodshed at hand – a nice feat of acting prowess, indeed.

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and she didn’t even notice the shirt! As a kid I had a wall covered with the posters of the actors that I dreamed of working with one day. Melissa Sue Anderson was one of them. While on a 2010 book store tour for her memoir, Anderson would ask for audience members to read with her. While not exactly primetime television…I guess that I can check that hope off of the bucket list…

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Chaka Khan

Published December 1, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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There is probably one scene in 1981’s The Fan that queer horror freaks remember even more than all those glorious Lauren Bacall production numbers. Of course, that is the moment when Michael Biehn’s twisted Douglas Breen picks up a similar looking man (Terrence Marinan) in a gay bar. While problematic, showing another instance of society’s perception of the homosexual male as a victim, it also truly resonated with a generation who wasn’t used to representation of any sort on the silver screen.

Playing, perhaps ironically, in the background as this deadly seduction occurs is the Junior Walker & the All Stars’ version of How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You). H-m-m…maybe not, Michael! But there is one thing we can all probably agree on. Chaka Khan’s version of the song, famously performed by everyone from Marvin Gaye to James Taylor, is truly killer – in the best possible way!

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

The Fan - Gay

Music to Make Horror Movies by: Lauren Bacall

Published September 26, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

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She had one of the most distinctive speaking voices of all time and the irreplaceable Lauren Bacall also used those smoky tones to subtle singing effect in such Broadway musicals as Applause and Woman of the Year.

Best known for her alluring performances in a series of noir classics with (her beloved, first husband) Humphrey Bogart, Bacall jumped on the early ‘80s slasher bandwagon by playing a theatrical diva whose life and limb (and sequin suits) were threatened by a smooth and menacing stalker (of the self loathing variety) in the underperforming (but twisted and enjoyable) The Fan. lauren-bacall-fan-2

Of course, here she is in complete control, singing I Wrote the Book (to a devoted Wayne Newton and others) from Woman of the Year, a role that won her a second Tony award.

 

…and if that doesn’t make you want to do a soft shoe, in the afterlife, with an old school diva…then nothing will.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan