Brigadoon

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Jack Cassidy

Published June 1, 2022 by biggayhorrorfan

One of show business’ most interesting figures, matinee idol handsome Jack Cassidy was an award-winning actor of stage and screen. Known, widely, to the public as the devoted husband of the Oscar winning Shirley Jones, in private, Cassidy was a sexual provocateur who also enjoyed multiple affairs with men. This is primarily worth noting as Cassidy seemed to genuinely embrace his fluidities (n a world which still often misunderstands such subtleties) and seemed to have the understanding and support of those around him, as well.

Most importantly, for old school horror devotees, Cassidy put in a stunningly sensitive dual role performance in the 1974 television film The Phantom of Hollywood. This low budget Phantom of the Opera take-off, highlighting the grim fade-out of the old studio system, is definitely made all the richer for his layered work as a John Barrymore style performer turned shadowy monster due to an unfortunate accident.

Unfortunately, Cassidy tragically died at the too young age of 49, leaving many in his world to feel the emotions that he so, lovingly and longingly, puts into this Lerner and Loewe ballad from Brigadoon:

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

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Sally Ann Howes: The (Truly Natural) Queen of Horror!

Published July 31, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

NPG x14112; Sally Ann Howes by Cecil Beaton
As a kid, actress-singer Sally Ann Howes meant my grandparents’ television soundtrack LP of Brigadoon. For many, of course, she was (the awesomely named) Truly Scrumptious from kiddy classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. (Chitty, of course, featured one of the most menacing figures of tiny tot horror, Robert Helpmann’s truly malevolent Child Catcher.)

sally donBut Howes has a pretty impressive terror pedigree, as well. Significantly, she played (naturally enough) a girl named Sally in the classic 1945 British anthology feature Dead of Night. Perkily, Howes recounts Sally’s tale of a supernatural encounter at a holiday party at a swanky mansion. But Howes, also, nails her character’s bone deep fright upon discovering the small boy she, innocently, tucked into bed was actually a ghost. The honest emotion that she brings to this story makes it just as significant a contribution to the film as its most famous tale, the story of an overpowering ventriloquist’s dummy featuring the legendary Michael Redgrave. M8DDESH EC003

Years later, Howes brought a sense of true maternal concern to her role of Margaret Mitchell in 1980’s Death Ship. While no Gone with the Wind, Death Ship features plenty of spooky activity (including blood spurting shower heads and skeleton baths) taking place on a mysteriously drifting vessel, innocently boarded by the survivors of an aquatic wreck. sally george

Howes does spend most of her time, here, either nurturing the actors playing her children or reacting in horror to being accosted by co-star Kate Reid’s bubonic prosthetics and/or George Kennedy’s maddened sea captain. But, her extreme naturalness makes all the extraordinary circumstances of this Nazi-tinged, water bound horror ring with truth, as well.

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

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