Gay Issues

All posts tagged Gay Issues

Blacula and the 1970s Gay Male

Published November 19, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

Blacula 5Some gays just can’t catch a break. They move into a neighborhood, fix it up and then are forced out when prices rise. Or like Blacula’s Bobby (the fluid Ted Harris) and Billy (an almost appropriately exaggerated Rick Metzler), they rescue a monster from centuries of imprisonment…and are, ultimately, killed for their troubles.  As purchasers of the estate of the notorious Dracula, these two interior decorators break the seals to the coffin of Mamuwalde (the Shakespearian William Marshall), one of the count’s erstwhile victims, and find themselves on the receiving end of his long delayed, very toothy hunger.

Blacula 4Soon, Mamuwalde is making a banquet out of a sassy female cab driver (the animated Ketty Lester) and buxom bar paparazzi like Nancy (the gorgeous Emily Yancy). Of course, his main attention is given to the beautiful Tina (a straight forward Vonetta McGee) whom he believes to be the reincarnation of his lost love. As her sister Michelle (the voluptuous, no nonsense Denise Nicholas) and her pathologist boyfriend, Dr. Thomas (an authoritative Thalmus Rasulala), begin to suspect that a vampire might be prowling the streets of Los Angeles; Tina falls further under Mamuwalde’s spell. Thomas and a police lieutenant (a flustered Gordon Pinsent) eventually track Mamuwalde to the warehouse where Tina is accidentally killed. Naturally, the terminally romantic, totally distraught Mamuwalde decides that he can’t live without her and allows himself to be burned up by the sun’s destructive rays, proving, with fiery impact, that heterosexual love has its downfalls, as well.

Blacula 2This classic example of blaxploitation made sweet with the money, spawning a sequel the following year, but it is, also, redolent with that era’s hatred and ignorance towards the queer community. Even the hero of the piece refers to Bobby and Billy as “two faggot interior decorators” and when the undead Bobby begins scouring the streets for necks to chew on, the police men trailing him, also, refer to him as a “fag” and remark on how all homosexuals look alike. Thankfully, the fact that this movie was made 43 years ago lends these comments an almost historical quality. Prejudice like this is definitely present today, but not often in such a focal quantity (especially in urban environments), and that, along with the film’s mention of Black Panther activity, its leveled looks at urban decay, and its music and costumes, give it a surprising social perspective. (Although, the fact that campaigns like “Black Lives Matter” are of vital importance today and that the transsexual community is under an ever present threat of violence proves how prescient this piece is, as well.)

Blacula 3Granted, one could imagine film historian Vito Russo, who examined the treatment of the GLBT community in film in such respected tomes as The Celluloid Closet, taking umbrage with Billy and Bobby’s stereotypical limp wristed antics. While actors Harris and Metzler definitely embrace the lighter sides of this duo’s personalities, it is, perhaps, just as significant to note that writers Joan Torres and Raymond Koenig, also, show some acceptance for that effeminacy, as well. Tina and Michelle are first introduced as they visit Bobby at the funeral home and make preparations to offer comfort to his grieving mother. This shows that Bobby, in particular, had a nonjudgmental community of family members to support him despite his perceived difference. It’s a small moment in the film, but pays homage to the characters’ real life counterparts whose kindness and strength meant the world to lavender blessed men and women the in those perilous decades and is still a comfort to many outsider types in too many parts of the world, today.

Blacula and its sequel Scream Blacula Scream were recently released in (crystal clear) remastered versions (with special features including interviews, commentary and photo galleries) by Scream Factory. More information is available at www.shoutfactory.com and https://www.facebook.com/ScreamFactoryDVD.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Celebrating Joel Grey!

Published February 1, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

Cabaret

Cabaret


Things can look new again – even at 82! Oscar winner Joel Grey, well past his 7th decade, has officially come out and the world, for the past few days, has been abuzz with this (somewhat unexpected) news.

Best known for his musical performances in shows such as George M and Chicago, Grey, also, has a bit of a horror pedigree due to his appearances on such fright flecked television offerings as Night Gallery and Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. On Buffy, his portrayal of Doc, a seemingly kindly practitioner of dark magic, was one of the subtle highlights of the show’s 5th season.

Buffy

Buffy

Of course, even without those credits, Grey’s award winning portrayal of the ghoulishly comic Master Of Ceremonies in (the stage and screen versions of) Cabaret should have endeared him to terror fans, everywhere. A seeming precursor to Tim Curry’s Frank-N-Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Grey’s best known role is a wickedly impish delight. In fact, that glint in Grey’s eye makes one believe that this most theatrical creation could give you as much trouble in an alley as any quip quoting Freddy, lumbering Jason or revved up Mrs. Voorhees!

Well known as a photographer, as well, you can keep up with Grey’s visually enhanced activities at:
http://www.joelgreyphotographer.com/

…and, congratulations, Joel!

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

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Pride Weekend Report: Remembering the UpStairs Lounge Tragedy.

Published June 28, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

rtrFA92
Nobody much looks, anymore, as I swing down the street in razor blade stilettos, howling I Need A Man in a bad Kermit, the Frog voice. Unfortunately, it wasn’t always this way.

This Pride Weekend will mark the 41st Anniversary of what has been labeled one of the deadliest attacks on LGBT people in US history. On June 24th, 1973 in New Orleans, thirty-two people, horrifically, lost their lives when the UpStairs Lounge was set on fire.

Even though all reports suggest that the fire was started by a disgruntled patron of the bar, the city’s lack of response after the attack borders on the criminal. Most news outlets refused to cover the event and when they did, it was merely as a joke. Families refused to identify bodies and one victim, Rev Bill Larson, who perished as he tried to escape through the barred windows, was left on public display for hours, Medieval warning style.

Even now, few know of this heinous incident. But a recent, lovingly detailed article by the Friendly Atheist pays magnificent tribute to those who fell, years ago.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/06/24/remembering-the-upstairs-lounge-the-u-s-a-s-largest-lgbt-massacre-happened-40-years-ago-today/

An upcoming documentary film is, also, a potent reminder of all that was lost that day.

Here’s hoping that as people whisk through this weekend in drunken delight, they take a moment to acknowledge Larson (and all others) who paved the way – – and perished due to much less accepting climes.

Big Gay Horror Fan

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan