gothic cinema

All posts tagged gothic cinema

When Sex was A Horror: Letter from an Unknown Woman

Published September 12, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

The Hays Code assured that no fictional sinners went unpunished in imaginary celluloid universes for decades.  This prehistoric advisory measure was especially devoted to making sure that anyone who dared to have sex onscreen paid an unforgettably epic price. 

Thus, Joan Fontaine and Louis Jourdan suffer grandly in 1948’s opulent Letter from an Unknown Woman. After being abandoned by Jourdan’s Stefan Brand, a famous piano playing cad, after one night of bosom heaving passion, Fontaine’s adoring Lisa Berndle faces down single motherhood, a loveless marriage and typhus. Brand, meanwhile, finds his career drifting away due to his excessive debauchery and finishes out this scenario facing the wraith of an angered nobleman’s dueling pistol.

Almost gothic in its sumptuousness, this tale is further highlighted by Fontaine’s  theatrics, especially as she enacts Lisa’s childhood curiosity in the film’s first act, and by Jourdan’s almost aching early career handsomeness.

The Genre Boudoir:

Jourdain added continental flair to 1977’s Count Dracula, 1982’s Swamp Thing and its 1989 follow-up, The Return of the Swamp Thing. Fontaine, famously did award winning work with Hitchcock in such dark melodramas as Rebecca and Suspicion. She later brought an appropriately grandiose hysteria to Hammer Film’s 1966 small town cult epic The Witches.

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

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Va-Va-Villainess: Geraldine Fitzgerald

Published March 20, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Geraldine Fitzgerald Harry

Best known as Bette Davis’ sympathetic companion in the classic tearjerker Dark Victory, the supremely talented Geraldine Fitzgerald was also renowned to certain cinema goers for her humor filled appearances in such ‘80s comedies as Arthur and Easy Money. Nicely, for our purposes, she also brought a tart acidity to a duo of nasty ladies in successive films in 1940s’ gothic-noir cinema.

Not surprisingly, her Crystal Shackleford in Three Strangers (1946) was a deceptively strong counterpoint to the desperately manipulative Jerome Arbutny (the always masterful Sydney Greenstreet) and the drunkenly con minded Johnny West (the singular Peter Lorre). Able to turn her character’s sweet demeanor into a scalding sense of vengeance in a quick turn, Fitzgerald’s work here sears itself into the viewer’s brain. She proves herself to be as memorable a figure as both Greenstreet and Lorre, two of cinema’s most recognizable characters, with her flirtatiously venomous ways, taking focus as the ringleader of a financial caper that proves to be the downfall of all involved.Geraldine Three Strangers

A year before her committed performance in Three Strangers, she probed even more controversial depths as George Sander’s controlling sister in The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry. As Lettie Quincey, a desperate spinster with a pathological devotion to her brother, Fitzgerald fearlessly dives into the incestuous overtures of her role, never backing down from the intensity of her character’s emotions. Calmly and convincingly destroying the late blooming romance of Sanders’ Harry, Fitzgerald’s deadly sense of the saccharine works an evil magic, pulling cinema lovers into her toxic web with joyous abandon.

Geraldine Strange Affair poster


Horror Hall of Fame:

While both these works, directed by such supreme stylists as Robert Siodmak and Jean Negulesco, feature haunting visuals and elements that contain both the supernatural and the fantastical, Fitzgerald fully submerged herself into the horror genre with appearances in 1982’s Blood Link and 1986’s Poltergeist II: The Other Side. Geraldine Poltergeist


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

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Dagger Cast with Bev Rage!

Published August 30, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Dagger Cast Duo.jpg

Hold onto yer wigs!!! Dagger Cast has turned into DRAG-GER CAST!!! Our latest episode features Bev Rage (AKA Josh J. Coles) who, along with her amazing band The Drinks, is truly showing the world what it means to be a potent glitter punk waitress! Bev truly brings the sunny mayhem here while also talking, seriously, about how she sees the drag community fitting into the world of horror in light of the country’s current hate filled climate! You can dive into the mascara strewn mosh pit at https://soundcloud.com/daggercast.

Dagger Cast Duo 2.jpg

We’ve also added an exciting new addition to the show. As there’s nothing I love more than a classic cinema diva in an old school gothic horror piece, producer Jared Olson and co-host Lindsey Charles are allowing me to indulge my devotion to these grand femmes in a new Dagger Cast segment called Dr. Diva! In the first attempt, I get to sing the praises of the glorious writer-director-actress Ida Lupino and her stunning work in 1941’s atmospheric chiller Ladies in Retirement!

Enjoy!!! …and until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

You can also show Dagger Cast some loving at https://www.facebook.com/daggercast/ and Bev Rage and The Drinks are also always serving up something thirst quenching at https://www.facebook.com/BevRageandtheDrinks/.