Diana Dors

All posts tagged Diana Dors

Hopelessly Devoted to: Larry Kert

Published February 6, 2021 by biggayhorrorfan

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The irreplaceably talented Larry Kert definitely knew the glaring disparities involved with a career in show business. Exploding into the pubic consciousness as Tony in the original Broadway production of West Side Story, he ultimately found that role would be the one that he was best known for despite decades of fine portrayals and other significant career highs.

Truly eclectic, he counterbalanced the glaring romanticism of his most famous work as the heavy drinking, casually seductive acrobat George in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, an enjoyable 1962 horror outing from Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Written by terror wunderkind Robert Bloch and featuring a notorious shock ending, this outing has a lot in common with such carnival themed shockers as Circus of Horrors and Berserk.

Paired with the voluptuous Diana Dors, who also played a similar role in the previously mentioned Berserk, Kert radiates with a subtle cockiness and bravado here. But as he discovers that Dors’ schemes contain an inherently murderous malice, this musically toned pro shows his character’s true humanity and concern, creating a complex portrait of a tortured soul.

While winning further acclaim for his work in such theater projects as Cabaret and Company, replacing both male leads in their initial runs to great renown, Kert was also spoken about highly by colleagues who admired his courage in being openly gay in a period of time when that was considered unacceptable. Although, it has been noted that he was called out by some closeted gay creatives for being too carefree and obvious about his orientation, a double-edged sword that he seemingly rode with great finesse and steely resolve.

Sadly, this strong willed and courageous performer lost his life to AIDS at the age of 60 in 1991. His memory, though, lives on through all the proud gay horror fans who appreciate his small contribution to the art of fear and the even bigger ones he made to our visibility in the fields of creativity and beyond.

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Diana Dors

Published August 13, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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She was England’s answer to Marilyn Monroe, but the glorious Diana Dors soon proved she was her own very unique creature. Almost immediately, she lit up a bevy of British noir films and, by the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, was giving honest and heartfelt performances in a variety of horror films including Berserk (with Joan Crawford), the Vincent Price classic Theater of Blood, the anthology From Beyond the Grave and Nothing But the Night (with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee).

Dors was also an accomplished vocalist. Her album Swinging Dors, a fan favorite, features peppy versions of a number of standards, but she also knew how to rock ‘n roll. Her sensuality and common sense were put to great use with the one off single, So Little Time.

Move over, Presley!

 

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Dors in the “Children of the Full Moon” episode of Hammer House of Horrors 

 

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

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Gay Shit in Horror: Craze (1974)

Published December 20, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

craze poster
There is always something a little homoerotic lurking around the corner, no? Well, maybe not always. But it is truly a delight to discover something a little lavender-suspicious in a favored horror film – especially one starring such a magnetically male presence as Jack Palance.

In 1974’s fairly rare British terror Craze, Palance plays Neal Mottram, an antiques dealer with a failing shop. That is, it is severely floundering until Mottram starts sacrificing a bevy of attractive women to an African idol that he keeps in his store’s basement. Then the profits start rolling in. And Palance’s upstanding Neal claims that he is doing it all for….

craze dynamic duo…his very handsome (male) flat mate and assistant Ronnie, quietly played by Satan’s Slave’s Martin Potter (who, interestingly, showed off a ton of flesh in Fellini’s bizarrely mythical and very queer Satyricon). Granted, there is no evidence of any bedroom activity between Neal and Martin on display, here. But director (and award winning cinematographer) Freddie Francis (Tales from the Crypt, The Deadly Bees) and the film’s multiple screenwriters do not negate the intense connection between the two by offering up a modest, paternal back story either. Neal is often seen cajoling the reluctant Ronnie into his schemes, often with a firmly familiar grip on the shoulder. Call this what you may, fatherly, brotherly or homosexuality, one thing is sure. Although, Palance beds such genre stalwarts as Julie Ege (The Mutations, The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires) and, in a roundabout way, Diana Dors (Theatre of Blood, Berserk) and Suzi Kendall (Torso, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage) here, it is his character’s relationship with Ronnie that is the emotional focus of the film and when betrayal does rear its ugly head, Neal acts like a spurned, slightly (well, totally) maniacal lover.craze shoulders

Interestingly, while the vague boundaries of Neal and Ronnie’s relationship could be labeled as progressive for the time and subject matter, Dors’ character, Dolly Newman, is treated in an incredibly shaming and sexist way by the creators. Obviously meant to slip some humor into the film’s more lurid atmospherics, it backfires. Especially when viewed in a modern light.

Publicized in the 50s as England’s answer to Marilyn Monroe, Dors exposed her voluptuous figure in such noir style offerings as Blonde Sinner and Man Bait. (She was, also, famously sawed in half in an excellent episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, 1962’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.) But, just like Monroe, there were many who felt her talents were far superior to the material she was often given.

Here, she plays Dolly with a flirty, slightly breathless ease. But it must have been a difficult role for her to attack. Only in her early 40s when filming Craze, she is still a highly sexual creature. But the few extra pounds that she had gained since her heyday set her up as a comic troll, here. Neal is visibly disgusted by even having to share a bed with her. (He gets her so drunk that she passes out before sex.) Interestingly, this reaction is very reminiscent of Robert Mitchum’s treatment of Shelley Winters in The Night of the Hunter, sending out further vibrations of the pink variation.craze diana

Adding insult to injury, though, the policeman following (the now highly suspicious) Neal, further slander Dolly by firmly asserting that no man would want to have sex with someone like her. This ‘joking’ observation seems more based on the entertainment industry’s position about any woman over a certain age and a certain weight than any kind of reality. But it’s a harmful troupe to shame any woman (fictional or otherwise) over 20 who seemingly enjoys having sex. This is especially true since Dors is still a very attractive woman and projects a certain Nina Hartley quality in this project. As in, like that veteran porn performer, she seems like she could certainly teach any sexual conquest a thing or two.

Despite this highly humanistic blight, Craze does remain an interesting piece. As he has been accused of on several of his projects, Francis’ direction is merely serviceable, but Palance truly brings a nice balance of calm determination and calculating fervor to his take on Neal. Fans of horror performers, also, could dine out on the balanced buffet that Dors, Ege and Kendall offer up, as well. David Warbeck (The Beyond, Panic, Formula for a Murder), also, shows up in a smaller role. Meanwhile, the idol that Neal worships is a hilariously metallic looking piece of eye buggery, ultimately giving the proceedings that ridiculous tint that so many exploitation efforts thrive on.
craze idol
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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