Guiding Light

All posts tagged Guiding Light

In Remembrance: Christopher Bernau

Published October 30, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Christopher Bernau made me gay.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

As The Stab Burns: Kassie DePaiva, Days of Our Lives

Published August 22, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

Kassie 3
(As The Stab Burns explores the careers and characters of genre actors who have, also, made a name for themselves in the delightfully awesome world of soap operas.)

As Bobby Joe, she, gamely, faced down freaky stuff in the woods in the cult horror classic Evil Dead II. But, lately, the timelessly beautiful, sweetly talented Kassie DePaiva has been dealing with even more twisted drama, on the regular, as the emotionally tormented, ultimately vengeful Eve Larson on Days of Our Lives.

After the late spring discovery of Eve’s affair with her innocent daughter’s boyfriend, a soap staple plotline if there ever was one, DePaiva has skillfully shown Eve’s guilt and anger. This anger has recently manifested itself upon Days’ perennial heroine, Jennifer, whom Eve blames, more than anyone, for the fallout of her relationship with Paige, her vulnerable offspring. As Eve, currently, plots to drug Jennifer into a doomed madness, De Paiva shows every conflicted thought in her character’s mind with flinty shifts in her eyes.

Kassie 2Testaments to DePaiva’s talents have been evident throughout the entirety of this story, though. Strangely, in a genre that has been built around powerful women, the writers at Days turned what could have been a deliciously lurid romp into an almost anti-feminine treatise, dominated by the male perspective, with only DePaiva showing the emotional confusion necessary to give the plotline a human touch.

Instead of concentrating on the forbidden connection and passion that a younger man and a more mature woman might share, the scribes had JJ, Eve’s undercover paramour; react with rebellious disgust over his affair with his girlfriend’s mother. His violent outbursts against Eve not only rendered the plot as almost unbelievable, but made the character of Eve seem deluded and desperate. That Jennifer, JJ’s mother, blackmailed Eve into allowing him to recommit himself to Paige, after her discovery of the affair, was another story oddity. This allowed JJ to bed Paige, a virgin, who surely would not have slept with him, had she known of his transgression. Unfortunately, this violation has never been addressed, vocally, by any of the participants, producing something far from the aura that such mighty mavens as Irna Phillips and Agnes Nixon, creators of such soaps of Guiding Light and All My Children, strove to achieve with such strong characters as Bert Bauer and Erica Kane. (Days has wandered down this weird path a number of times in the past few years. A particularly unctuous moment occurred when Kate, the show’s ruthless businesswoman, maneuvered Chloe, her former daughter-in-law, into a life of prostitution. The kicker, of course, being that Kate was once a lady of the evening, herself. )Kassie 1

Thankfully, though, the edge of heart sickness that De Paiva has given Eve has resonated throughout the story, giving viewers a way in, emotionally, and allowing them to care for the character, despite her mistakes. In fact, the show was at its best during the weeks of the reveal of the affair and its aftermath, thanks to that work and the truly fine achievements of De Paiva’s co-stars True O’Brien (Paige), Casey Moss (JJ) and Melissa Reeves (Jennifer). Additionally, the powers-that-be have finally allowed JJ to take a much softer and more balanced approach to his transgression. No longer spouting monologues blaming Eve for their trysts, he has acknowledged that they were both equal participants. Still, it’s a shame that the whole affair wasn’t rendered along the lines of such classic scenarios as Tad and Marian on AMC and Brooke and Deacon on The Bold and the Beautiful.

But, now with new head writers in place, it appears De Paiva is being tied into the show’s history with Eve’s current agenda. Jennifer’s mother Laura has had her bouts with madness, Eve’s inspiration for her scheme, and it looks like she may have a touching connection with the show’s upcoming serial killer mystery, a Days staple, as well. (The uninitiated should note that Days has often, successfully, delved into the spookily macabre with tales of satanic possession and premature burials lining up their dockets.) De Paiva’s chemistry with Greg Vaughn (Children of the Corn V), the show’s romantically lost former priest, has been readily apparent, as well.

…and if the weekends find you missing her presence, be sure to visit this incredibly talented lady, whose other terror credits include We Are What We Are and (the seemingly unreleased) Undone, at http://www.kassiedepaiva.com.

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

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

The Backside of Horror: Michael O’Leary, “Fatal Games”

Published February 11, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

fatal games
Let’s face it, half the fun of horror and exploitation is seeing some hot bodies frolicking around in the buff. And while I worship the female form, I believe exploitation definitely veers into the exploitive when only gorgeous women are on display while their male counterparts remain chastely buttoned up. Therefore, The Backside of Horror salutes the filmmakers and actors whom even up the score a bit by gracing us with instances of hot and juicy male flesh in their bloody celluloid fantasies.

michael tealGetting wet can be dangerous – especially when dancing naked in a snowstorm or while embracing an electrical outlet. It is, also, extremely deadly when starring in an early 80’s slasher film. You know the set-up: Skinny dipping leads to sex, sex angers the knife plunging villain, the plunging of the knife leads to death.

Unfortunately, as frisky teen athlete Frank Agee in 1984 (released) thriller Fatal Games, handsome Michael O’Leary learns this the hard way. After a butt baring romp in the school’s pool, Agee soon meets his end.michael butt

Those able to tear themselves away from O’Leary’s multiple charms, will also find that Fatal Games features future scream queen legends Linnea Quigley and Brinke Stevens in small roles and marks itself as resume filler for star Sally Kirkland, who would soon go onto her Academy Award nominated turn in 1987’s Anna.

michael poolO’Leary, meanwhile, would further explore the sins of the flesh, for over twenty-five years, as Dr. Rick Bauer on the legendary soap opera, Guiding Light. Now, that’s a very long swim!

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

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan