Judy Garland

All posts tagged Judy Garland

In Retrospect: Ruby Dandridge

Published August 15, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

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While Dorothy Dandridge is recognized as one of the tragic goddesses of celluloid history, she was not the only accomplished performer in her family.

Ruby and DorothyDorothy’s mother Ruby was a highly regarded character actress, in her own right. Beginning her career as a dancer in the classic King Kong, Dandridge eventually became known for providing accomplished persona work in such mainstream MGM films as Saratoga Trunk and The Clock. In the ‘50s and early ‘60s, she was also a common fixture on a variety of television shows.

Unfortunately, like many of her contemporaries, Dandridge spent the majority of her career acting out the over the top antics of frazzled domestics or appearing as helpful shop keepers to such prominently billed performers as Ingrid Bergman and Judy Garland. Ruby Dandrige

Personally, the little information that is available about her online highlights her as woman obsessed with her career who had little time for Dorothy and her siblings. Instead, she left the bulk of the child rearing duties to her romantic partner, Geneva Williams. Williams was noted for treating her inherited offspring harshly while relentlessly training them for careers in show business.

Thus, as we crawl our way into more progressive times, it may be natural for one to wonder if Dandridge’s maternal instincts might have been more on cue if she actually was allowed to fully bloom as a performer and not have to stare down racism at every turn. While pondering this, we can also appreciate the professional glow and earnest determination she brought to the opportunities that she was given whenever she appears, magically young and full of life, on our late-night nostalgia strewn television screens.

Ruby Dandridge performing

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Lorna Luft

Published December 22, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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Best known for her enthusiastic portrayal of Pink Lady Paulette in Grease 2 and for her famous lineage, Lorna Luft also joined the ranks of horror goddesses with her role in the Tales of the Darkside episode The Shrine.

The veteran of countless musical theater productions, Luft also knows her way around a torch song as evidenced by her take on The Music That Makes Me Dance:

Of course, New Wave enthusiasts are aware that she also backed up the likes of Debbie Harry, most notably on the popular Eat to the Beat track Slow Motion, and Hilly Michaels in the early ‘80s, making this performing dynamo a true delight in almost every entertainment medium imaginable.

https://www.facebook.com/LornaLuftOfficial/

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

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Review: The Cheerleader Trials

Published January 20, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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When the Golden Age meets the Modern Age things can get a bit bloody. Writer-director Zach Lorkiewicz knows this well and proves it with his fun and inventive new short The Cheerleader Trials.

Taking place backstage during a production of a school play, actress Greta (Garbo) is confronted by her fellow cast mates, who just happen to include Judy Garland, Anne Baxter and Marilyn Monroe. It seems someone has been murdered on stage and Greta’s costars are determined to be judge, jury and executioner…especially if it means knocking off any competition for the spotlight. cheerleader-2

Nicely, Lorkiewicz is able to create an environment that seems both to encompass the bleak emptiness of those off limits areas of professional theaters and a vast and dreamy never-world, as well. Anyone who spends their rainy afternoons luxuriating in the clipped and precise rhythms of the black and white worlds of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis should find much to enjoy here, too.

But The Cheerleader Trials also feels ultra-contemporary due to its violent atmospherics. We live in an age when retaliation is just a keyboard stroke away and our leaders seem to encourage vigilante justice. Therefore, Marilyn and crew have never felt so (bleakly) new.

Lorkiewicz will debuting The Cheerleader Trials, online, for a week, beginning on January 22nd, 2017 at

https://www.youtube.com/c/counttheclock

More information is also available on the event page listed, below:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1029321563834173/

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

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On Judy Garland

Published June 24, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

THE WIZARD OF OZ, Judy Garland

Honestly, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Judy Garland.

As a kid, I totally adored her. In fact, as a very theatrical kindergartener, I even decided that we’d marry, one day, and do countless summer stock productions and films together. If I recall correctly, I announced this, with gusto and determination, at a family dinner one Sunday. The shock I felt upon being told of her death had me reeling, from room to room, asking various relatives, over and over again, if this life altering news was really true. Sadly, they all confirmed it was.

As a teen, though, I eventually discovered the grittier charms of artists like Marianne Faithfull and Nico and Ronnie Spector– whose lifestyles, coincidentally, echoed some of the more addictive excesses of Garland’s -and soon began to find her go-for-broke performing style a bit too forceful and bombastic for the ever expanding subtlety in my tastes. The fact that she was a gay icon also didn’t sit well with me. There is no self-hate like the self-hate of a gay man and I was determined not to fall into the trap of being some skinny, over-effeminate lover of the traditional female diva. As I grew older, I did, begrudgingly, begin to appreciate the older Garland’s more subtle, raspy take on poignant Noel Coward numbers and the like, but I have never been able to regain my early fascination and devout appreciation for her as a performer. But, on this week, which marks the 47th year since her passing, I feel I must pay her homage and grateful thanks.

The-Wizard-Of-Oz-1939-216593You see, my love for horror began with Garland. For many, her iconic portrayal of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz meant a world of hopeful fantasy and countless concert renditions of Over the Rainbow – a song I simply cannot stand, by the way. But, she introduced the four year old me to a world of evil witches and terrifying flying monkeys. She transported me to an environment far beyond the commonplace dangers I witnessed in my small town – brawling factory workers, drunken farmers, angry parents – and gave me something far more exotic. I knew the characters that she faced as Dorothy Gale were scary, but they were colorful and…imaginary. And…they were survivable.

For years now, I’ve credited Garland’s Dorothy Gale with being my first final girl, but only now, upon hitting another anniversary of Stonewall and still spinning from the fallout of Orlando, do I feel the true, magnificent significance of that. As a young man, Garland opened me up to the worlds of Laurie Strode and Chris Higgins and Sally Hardesty and so many other gruesomely fun cinematic creations. This bountiful gesture is still paying off to this day. Every time I discover some rare slasher on a dusty VHS tape in a thrift store and meet another previously hereto unknown terror actress to adore, I have her to thank. When I bond in restaurants with strangers over our various obscure horror film t-shirts, she is at the heart of it. When I gather with sleep worn friends for B-Movie Marathons and we become family because of it, her essence is somewhere in that room.

Many years ago, her death inspired a group of courageous drag queens to stand up for the rights of the LGBT community in an incredibly inspiring and visible way. But, her life – at least her performing life – inspired me to my own rebellion. Every time my parents grumbled over me reading another horror novel or purchasing the latest issue of Fangoria, I was standing my ground, for the first time, for something I loved. Something that was sparked in me by watching her perky, pig tail sporting adventuress, all those years ago, and, from this moment on, I will never downplay the significance of that starting point.

So, viva, la Garland! May you rest in peace upon every laurel that is, deservedly, thrown your way!

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Judy Garland

Published August 3, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

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Besides her famed enactment of Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy, arguably one of cinema’s first final girls, and a one-off episode of the radio show Suspense (in which she played a threatened waitress), performing powerhouse Judy Garland is not known for works of terror.

But her 1961 cut Sweet Danger takes a slightly frightening look at the powers of love. Featuring a menace of background horns, a la John Barry, this number could have fit perfectly in any number of James Bond seduction scenes.

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

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