Horror Icons

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Unsung Heroines of Horror: Cecil Cunningham

Published December 12, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Hidden Hand Cecil and Brother.jpg

A product of the Broadway and vaudeville stages, the distinguished Cecil Cunningham was a character actress who, for decades, supported such cinema queens as Hedy LaMarr, Greta Garbo, Mary Astor, Carole Lombard (pictured below) and Barbara Stanwyck. Of course, smart cinema enthusiasts know that she was a presence in her own right, making a strong impression in smaller roles that often weren’t even credited onscreen.

thZJV2T4DG.jpgThankfully for horror fans, Cunningham was given one of her most prestigious undertakings in the fun Warner Brothers’ genre fest The Hidden Hand. Released in 1942, this gem found this regal celluloid queen in fine form as Lorinda Channing, the head of a family of greedy, mentally unbalanced socialites. Pretending to be near her death, Channing invites her nearest and dearest to her estate. Surmising that they all want her cold for her cash, this devious diva enlists the help of her brother, a deranged killer who has just escaped an asylum, to assist her in her plotting against her avaricious kinfolk.

Filled with weird humor and old dark house theatrics, this project also gave Cunningham plenty of room to utilize many of her acting tools. She brings a proud and strange presence to Channing, reveling in a role that would have normally been filled by a Boris Karloff or Laird Cregar type. Her work here is definitely the precursor to contemporary artists like Deanna Dunagan and Lin Shaye, fine actresses, who have embellished and empowered such films as The Visit and Insidious with their distinguished essences.

Cecil Swing High.jpg

Cunningham, who also appeared in 1934’s hard to find Return of The Terror and Ladies They Talk About, an early WIP effort, died at the age of 70 in 1959. Sixty years later, her filmography (and her genre credits, in particular) seems truly ripe for rediscovery.

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

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The Art of Ruff

Published August 25, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

Ruff Jason

My friend Christine couldn’t come out to play yesterday, but I didn’t mind. I just spent the night at home, writing under the watchful, protective eyes of little Jason, artist Bryan Ruff’s brilliantly gleeful and imaginatively childlike take on the legendary Friday the 13th villain!

In fact, all of Ruff’s soulful creations prove that the only guardian angels that any true horror lover will ever need are his personality filled imaginings of the younger versions of Michael, Pinhead, Leatherface and so many other terror icons. Ruff Michael

Besides the cute factor – which there is plenty of – what Ruff details, so personally, with these renderings is the innocence that these characters might have had before their more evil instincts took over. It’s a powerful reminder of the humanity that exists in our scares – something that is often overlooked in the flashier aspects of fright culture. It is also what sets Ruff’s work apart from so many other artists who are dealing with the terror genre. In a word, it’s heart.

To get your total horror movie “heart-on”, please visit www.facebook.com/theartofruff and https://www.instagram.com/sir_ruffikins/.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan