All About Eve

All posts tagged All About Eve

Review: Knock ’em Dead

Published November 29, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

knock em dead coverWithout a doubt, this is the All About Eve of terror films! In fact, director David DeCoteau’s fun Knock ‘em Dead introduces viewers to not one or two, but a trio of retired and/or washed up actresses who know that survival of the fittest often depends on a quick barb from a sharp tongue. As always, who needs mace when you have wit? Of course, there isn’t a Bette Davis, Anne Baxter or Celeste Holm in sight – (all dead, you know!) – but the considerable charms and talents of Rae Dawn Chong, Anne-Marie Johnson, Jackee Harry and Madtv’s Debra Wilson are in full bloom here and will make audiences wonder why these divine talents aren’t continuously headlining major projects.

Plot wise, this horror comedy brings these sassy lasses together at a seaside mansion to film a sequel to Freakshow, a popular horror film that they starred in, years previously. Of course, the insults and the murder weapons soon start flying and everyone quickly realizes that someone on the island is recreating the death scenarios from their major claim to fame – and this time it’s for real. Finally, Jenny (Chong), now the sweet owner of a struggling dog shelter, Alex (Johnson), the superior princess who has become actual royalty, and Darien (Wilson), a recovering addict desperate to jumpstart her career, realize that they have to learn to trust each other completely and work together to survive the night. Of course, it doesn’t help that the motivations of suspects like Savannah (Harry), the sequel’s writer, Tommy (Preston Davis), a reporter covering the reunion, Harley (Phil Morris), the film’s producer, and Louanne (Betsy Russell), the company cook, are all vague and ever changing. Just like Scream, which is boldly referenced on the DVD cover, there are, also, several twists and turns in writer Barry Sandler’s often sharp script, even after the true killer is revealed!knock 'em dead

Naturally, the film’s prime charm is its excellent cast and DeCoteau proudly lets them go for broke. No one downplays a line like Harry and Chong’s sunny demeanor is not only truly engaging, but a nice contrast to the more vicious elements on display, as well. Meanwhile, Wilson’s spastic drug stained reactions are hysterical and a delicious counterbalance to Johnson, still as stunningly beautiful as in her 90s Melrose Place days, and her icy smugness.  Nicely, all are given a chance to eventually color within the lines of the characters, providing varying shades to the roles. In fact, even when the bitchiness gets too repetitive in the film’s first half, these ever nuanced wonders are able to keep the humorous bits flowing at a laugh out loud pace.

More information on Knock ‘em Dead and DeCoteau’s other projects is available at www.rapidheart.com.

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

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Anne Baxter: Ritual of Fabulousness!

Published March 20, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

anne hot
In grade school, two (supposedly) darling twin sisters used to regularly manipulate me out of my place in the lunch line. Too bad I didn’t have the divine Anne Baxter (1923-1985), who smartly outmaneuvered diva-licious Bette Davis in the 1950 classic All About Eve, around to give me some (nail sharp) pointers.

anne guest in the houseBaxter, who won an 1946 Oscar for her performance in The Razor’s Edge, had plenty of practice in devilishness, though. Six years before Eve in the deliciously outrageous Guest in the House, Baxter worked her poisonous magic as the sinister Evelyn Heath. Determined to win over the artistic Douglas Proctor (Ralph Bellamy), Baxter/Heath rids herself of her rivals with glorious stealth. A wise maternal character ends this prime villainess’ run of good luck, though. In a move of operatic goofiness, Baxter’s character goes over a cliff due to her character’s major downfall, a supreme fright of pet birds!anne ritual

In 1970 television flick Ritual of Evil, Baxter shows her universality. Here, she shades her character Jolene Wiley with fine layers of sensitive hopelessness. A faded Hollywood icon, Wiley drowns herself in drink and the wrongheaded notion that a Satanic cult might restore her former glory. With a voice crackling with whiskey undertones, Baxter reigns with sexy glamour and emotional empathy. While Louis Jourdan’s erudite psychiatrist uncovers the mystery behind the coven and, ultimately, saves the day here – it is Baxter’s eternal smokiness that steals the show.

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

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