All posts tagged Ants

I Fall to Pieces

Published February 22, 2023 by biggayhorrorfan

“I can’t say much about his performance, but that Kendall…wow!”


“What a cock!!!”

Thus, was Father Lou’s nuanced, all-encompassing assessment of Pieces, the Euro-trash epic I had, gleefully, discovered in the video section at the mini-mart in East Randolph, NY. This store had sprung up, seemingly overnight, at the corner of Main & Williams during my freshman year at college, a rumored tax write-off for a group of enterprising parents hoping to gather funds to pay for the college educations of their small town fleeing offspring. I definitely appreciated that notion of escape and the fact that the walls of the tiny rental area in the bodega sized pop-up were filled with such offerings as the Friday the 13th films, Dario Argento’s Creepers and Blood Sucking Freaks.

The lurid red of the Pieces’ VHS box had practically called out to me upon entering the space one evening, while the film itself had delighted me with its decidedly weird energy. The actors seemed unconnected not only to each other, but to the material as a whole. The violence was over-the-top, but ultra-unrealistic, as well. The unexpected supernatural twist at the film’s end also reminded me of the out-of-the-grave hand reach from Carrie and I was proud of myself for beginning to recognize influences and repeat behaviors from film to film.

Most importantly, as a collector of actresses, Lynda Day George’s name beneath the advertising artwork had definitely drawn me in, as well. I adored her from her performances in such environmental horror epics as Ants and Day of the Animals. Despite her almost artificially stunning Hollywood beauty, she always seemed ready to throw herself into the muddiness that the roles she played required.  In particular, the plotline of Ants required her to breathe through a tube, remaining perfectly still, while a quadruple baker’s dozen of insects crawled wildly over her impossibly porcelain skin. In Pieces, she almost one upped this dynamic in a sequence that found her paralyzed by a drug injection while enduring the threats of the recently revealed serial killer culprit of the film.

Savoring the multi-day rental period, I brought the tape over to Lou’s rectory on a heat strewn Wednesday evening. Occasionally, I would share my cinematic discoveries with the teen residents at the home for troubled kids, where I was employment-summering, but I felt this one may be too extreme even for their street savvy senses.  Thus, I was dying to get Lou’s reaction. The orgiastic energy of the film even seemed akin to the slaughter strewn graphics of Joyride, one of our favorite cheapie horror paperback novels. But unfortunately, Lou’s Vatican-Latin didn’t translate well to the subcontinental fare on (severed) hand…or, despite my assessment, Ian Sera’s member in those final celluloid driven moments really was of review-banning magnitude.

More than likely, though, it was just another case of those universal lessons that life metes out to you slowly- never meet your heroes and never ask the pervert local priest his true opinion of your latest, greatest horror film.

Note: (My first horror movie buddy was a priest named Lou Hendricks. Several years ago, Hendricks was named by the Western New York Catholic diocese as one of their most unrepentant predators in the ’70s and ’80s. Thus, I grew up watching monster movies with a monster – a man who was like an uncle to our family. Over the next few months, I will be sharing some of my stories from that period of time.)

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Suzanne Somers

Published July 8, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

Suzanne Ants!

Nothing quite stings like the heartbreak caused by romantic rejection. Well…except for maybe the bites of hundreds of extremely poisonous ants. Indeed, the radiant Suzanne Somers suffered, gamely (and glamorously), at the machinations of these insistent creatures in the classic made for television animals-gone-wild horror fest known as It Happened at Lakewood Manor (AKA Ants!) .

Of course, if Somers had only shown those vicious creatures “a new attitude” – as she did a few years later on a fun television special – the fate of her character may have been a bit different.

Somers, a true Renaissance woman who was also Seduced by Evil and made a deal with Lucifer in Devil’s Food, is always showing the wisdom of her ways at, as well.

seduced by evil

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

Hopelessly Devoted to: Myrna Loy

Published March 4, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

Myrna Ants 2No one could underplay a line like Myrna Loy (1905-1993). In fact, her subtle intonations on the simplest statements in the classic The Thin Man series have insured peals of appreciative laughter from multiple eras of cinema fans.

Of course, Loy started out, like many a starlet, in the B-Movie wasteland. While this supposedly pleased her little, her appearances in such early terror gems as Thirteen Women and The Mask of Fu Manchu, both from 1932, have thrilled sophisticated terror connoisseurs for decades. While her seductive and deadly Fah Lo See in Manchu is obviously influenced by her evil father, played by a severely made up Boris Karloff, her Ursula Georgi in Thirteen Women is definitely a woman of her own mind.

A surprisingly potent statement against bullying as well as being an early, female empowered variation on the slasher film, Thirteen Women finds Georgi, a mistress of hypnotism and revenge fueled mayhem, making her way, murderously, through the college classmates who taunted her and ruined her life. Loy, radiating cool menace, eventually finds herself face-to-face with the creamy voiced Irene Dunne, who plays Laura Stanhope, the most successful and most sympathetic of her rivals. As is expected, good soon wins out over evil, but not before Ursula has facilitated the deaths (and/or downfalls) of three women, as well as manipulating her primary cohort, a slick astrologist, into throwing himself off of a subway platform, one of this 60 minute film’s most chilling and effective scenes. Myrna 13 2

Unfortunately, due to poor test audiences, fourteen minutes of the film were cut out before its initial release, leaving two characters in absentia and a decided lack of fatalities in the film’s second half. The film’s ending also seems abrupt with Georgi’s penultimate death leap seeming too arbitrary, but throughout Loy is as chilling as a January morning frost in the Arctic. She makes Ursula into one of the most compelling horror film villainesses of all time.

Creating a perfect, blood red circle, Loy also eked out an appearance in a terror film during the twilight of her career. In the 1977 television movie Ants (AKA It Happened at Lakewood Manor), Loy brought charm and magnitude to the role of Ethel, the proud proprietress of a boutique hotel. Even with her character confined to a wheelchair, Loy compels with independence and determination here.

Myrna Ants 3Most importantly, Loy seems to attack the circumstances of the role with good humor and grit. As her property is overwhelmed by deadly ants, Loy’s Ethel is carried up stairs, into rooms and even onto a wobbling gurney. Ever the pro, Loy displays no remorse but seems to be having a ball being gracefully manhandled by such handsome TV stalwarts as Robert Foxworth and Barry Van Dyke.

Even without the longstanding power of Thirteen Women, Loy’s good natured participation in Ants, which features some of the most squirm worthy moments of any of the small screen terrors, would be reason enough to declare that she should be as popular with lovers as fright as she is with admirers of classic screwball comedy and sophisticated women’s pictures. So, get appreciating!!

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

Myrna 13 1