Kim Novak

All posts tagged Kim Novak

Va-Va-Villainess: Janice Rule

Published December 26, 2022 by biggayhorrorfan

I once had a boss who I refereed to, not so fondly, as The Dragon Lady. Dripping with privilege and obsessed with status, she was quick to cut down anyone who didn’t fit within her narrow definitions of societal importance. She reminded me, then and now, of a real-life Merle Kittridge. Kittridge, of course, was the well-to-do cold fish featured in 1958’s Bell, Book and Candle, the charmingly glossy look at the touching heartaches of a modern witch, perfectly played by the ever-enchanting Kim Novak.

Thankfully, the fictional Kittridge was eventually given some comic pathos by the film’s denouement via her majestic portrayer, Janice Rule. This turnabout is further emphasized by the subtle restraint this consummate performer gives to even her most cutting observations of Novak’s Gillian, ever an outsider due to her peculiar talents. That being said, as rivals for the affections of Jimmy Stewart’s quiet Shepard, the two actresses convincingly play up the polar opposites of their characters. Thus, Merle emerges as a classic example of a woman that you love to hate.

Nicely, in real life, Rule, who died in 2003 at the age of 72, seemed to be the exact opposite of her very popular creation. Earning her degree as a psychoanalyst, she spent the majority of her life helping others between her frequent acting gigs.

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

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Sharkbait Retro Village: Satan’s Triangle

Published April 1, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

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1975 television terror film Satan’s Triangle proves that not only is the devil a lady…but s/he is just about anything else s/he wants to be, as well.

Receiving a distress signal, the Coast Guard sets out to rescue an adrift boat, which just happens to be floating in The Bermuda Triangle. Due to the awful weather, rescuer Haig (Doug McClure) is forced to spend the night on the boat with the vessel’s sole survivor, Eva (Kim Novak), who, as luck would have it, is a stunningly beautiful prostitute.

As Eva describes the mysterious deaths of her fellow passengers, Haig comes up with logical explanations for their demises. A grateful Eva beds him, but when Haig’s associate arrives the next morning to retrieve them, it soon seems that Eva is not quite what she appears to be. ST2

While the film’s double twist endings surely would have warped the minds of any young viewers watching back in the day, director Sutton Roley also supplies some nice, dreamlike visuals here. Nicely,  Novak uses her feline eyes and the huskier growls in her vocal register to create moments of truly odd creepiness, as well.

A solid squad of grizzled character actors, including Jim Davis, Michael Conrad and Ed Lauter, add to the atmosphere nicely and the bizarre concept of Lucifer being responsible for the many disappearances in this fabled area, ultimately, allows Satan’s Triangle to fit right in with the best of those odd 70s television excursions into terror.

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

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Bell, Book and Candle

Published December 25, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

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As cool as they may be – you can keep your Gremlins, Silent Night, Deadly Night, Die Hard, Christmas Evil and Santa’s Slay. 1958’s stylish, witchcraft laden Bell, Book and Candle is actually the perfect yuletide holiday film decorated around a genre bent.

With a nice portion of the proceedings occurring on Christmas Eve and Christmas, this tale of Gillian, a beguiling witch who falls in love with a mortal, is not only full of romance in the traditional sense, but director Richard Quine also establishes a love affair with the audience regarding the idea of winter in the big city. He and art director Cary Odell create New York City streets full of moody lighting, soft streaks of snow and glorious cavalcades of historic apartment buildings. It’s dreamy.bbc3

As Gillian, the divine Kim Novak is also in her arched eye brow prime here. She and James Stewart, her co-star in that same year’s classic Vertigo, establish a believable chemistry despite their age difference and Novak definitely compels in the mystical sense, as well. This is truly one of her finest performances and the layers she provides here ring with believability and otherworldliness.

With stalwart comic support from the always reliable Elsa Lanchester and the fluidly magnetic Jack Lemmon, as members of Gillian’s family, this tale has just enough references to the occult, along with plenty of spellbinding directorial mood-craft, to make it a seasonal must-love for all well rounded fans of horror.
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Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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