Well, he actually didn’t strap me down on some slick gurney and take me into some underground laboratory with lightening crackling overhead and test tubes exploding all around us… But I did come home one day from school — and there he was on Guiding Light, all shirtless and delivering his lines with a sadistic sneer as he ordered the distinctive and talented Sofia Landon Geier, the actress playing his employee-lover, around and…. Well – I got that special little tingle.
Years later, I discovered that some other handsome performer actually probably gave Bernau that exact same sensation when he was growing up. Living his life as openly gay as was possible in an era when that was frowned upon, he seemed like a hero to me. This isn’t surprising, though. He was definitely someone who made an impression on many folks – first as Phillip Todd on the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows and then, most famously, as the manipulative and occasionally cruel Alan Spaulding on the afore mentioned Guiding Light. There, the story of his illicit lover affair with the sweet Hope Bauer (the always honey-lit and eternally warm Elvera Roussel) raised many of the temperatures of the local ladies in my tiny neighborhood like few others did, before and after.
Nicely, in addition to his Dark Shadows experience, he also played a wildly seductive Count in the 1977 Off-Broadway production of The Passion of Dracula.
Unfortunately, Bernau, as with many of that era’s extraordinarily special creative types, was also stricken with AIDS. He ultimately died of the disease at the age of 49 on June 14th, 1989, leaving behind a legacy of amazing performances…and loads of stardust sprinkled inspiration for many a young small-town homosexual who dreamed of bigger and better (and, unfortunately, occasionally unfair) worlds.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan
If the legendary George Clinton wants to be your Dracula, how can you refuse? In the title track of his 1982 album Computer Games, named one of the 100 best albums of that decade by Slant Magazine, Clinton indeed makes that irresistibly toothy offer.
“Give me a sense of purpose, a real sense of purpose, now!” – The Pretenders/Chrissie Hynde
This isn’t trending like a white or gold (or is it blue?) dress (really Facebook?!?), but the Academy of Arts and Sciences did give the grand Carla Laemmle (1909-2014) some post-Oscars memoriam recognition for her contribution to motion pictures.
As one of the premium members of Universal’s film dynasty, Carla appeared in Lon Chaney’s classic silent The Phantom of the Opera and spoke the first lines in the beloved Dracula, featuring the one and only Bela Lugosi.
Since her death this fall, Laemmle’s family has, frequently, updated her fan page with new photos and interviews.
If you’re ever in the mood for old school Hollywood glamour, check it out at:
There are to do’s and then there are just dues and the grand Carla Laemmle, who passed away this fall at the age of 104, is certainly deserving of every accolade she can get. Speaking the first lines in Universal’s classic Dracula definitely got her recognition in this life and her family is hoping to get her a little spotlight in the afterlife, as well.
They are urging people to contact the powers-that-be at the Academy Awards to ensure that Carla is recognized in the “In Memoriam” section this February, 2015.
They’ve provided a handy statement that you can cut and paste and then add your name to:
“Please add Carla Laemmle to the 2015 Academy Awards’ In Memoriam. She was the niece of Universal founder Carl Laemmle, and a very important part of Hollywood history. She appeared in many great films including Phantom of the Opera (1925), Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1927), Dracula (1931), and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1935). Her impact and legacy will not soon be forgotten, and it would be a great honor to her memory to be included. Thank you.”
The Catholic Church is always screwing something up! Why, do you remember that time that the Vatican tried to steal Dracula away from his three precious brides – on Halloween, nonetheless? Well, if you don’t, talented, out filmmaker Derek Joesph Quint does and he recounts this incident with humor and screwball energy with his divine short, Danse Macabre.
As, always, Quint proves he is a visual master, here, with inventive costuming and a brilliant use of late night Chicago streets as a backdrop for this cinematic adventure. Its, also, incredibly amusing to watch the reactions of unsuspecting passersby as the action unfolds.
Featuring a bevy of industrious females, you may need to watch this beauteous wonder a few times – just to determine your favorite bride. Mine is the Blue Bride. Because, just like her, I can’t fly, but I keep on ticking, baby!
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan’
She danced for Lon Chaney in The Phantom of the Opera (1925) and spoke the first words in the classic 1931 Dracula – and now the iconic Carla Laemmle has breathed her last breath on this planet.
This beloved host of 1999’s The Road to Dracula (and one of the remaining heirs to a Hollywood film dynasty), passed away on June 12th, 2014 at the age of 104.
Loving and appreciative of her fans to the end, Laemmle’s energetic spirit will always reside, though, in those glowing embers of gothic celluloid and the ever sparkling photos that she left behind.
R.I.P., Carla! May your current journey be much smoother than that legendary (cinematic) one from 70 years ago!
Sometimes, there is nothing that makes me happier than a bag of red licorice, the company of my vintage Suzanne Somers action figure and the soundtrack of Love At First Bite on my stereo!
But usually I am most pleased when I get to talk cheesy horror flicks with upstanding terror stalkers like Derrick Carey (Swamphead, Hole in the Wall), Cory J. Udler (Incest Death Squad series, Mediatrix) and acclaimed genre journalist Seth Poulin.
Here, we four talk, on the Carrey hosted podcast Astro Radio Z, about Dario Argento’s wildly dismissed Dracula and about the current state of this master of horror and his ilk.
Not surprisingly, perhaps, we all kind of dug this one. Find out why at: