lgbtqia

All posts tagged lgbtqia

Review: A Stranger Among the Living

Published May 29, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

A Stranger Among the Living

I think the true social importance of horror films is how we often readily identify with the characters at the heart of a story’s bloody crisis. It would have been much more difficult me for to survive my rural, often un-fabulous childhood without Halloween’s Laurie and Friday the 13th Part 3’s Chris filling me with determination and hope. Similarly, the gateway into openly gay writer-director Chris Moore’s moody chiller A Stranger Among the Living is how much we sympathize and relate to Henry Lyle, the film’s sensitive lead who finds his life thrown off balance after a violent crime occurs at his place of work.

A struggling actor with an emotionally suffocating mother, Lyle finds himself shadowed here by mysterious figures after he switches assignments with a fellow teacher in order to attend an audition. When his coworker expires in a school shooting, he soon realizes, much like Carnival of Souls’ Mary Henry or Final Destination’s Alex Browning, that death isn’t quite through with him yet.

Played with quiet conviction by the talented Jake Milton, Lyle is already burdened by the time we meet him. Unfulfilled with his career path, he is seemingly afraid to commit too fully to any life choice less he be disappointed. He is uninterested in romance, making him perhaps the first asexual protagonist in a genre project. But even the virgin as final girl/guy trope may not save him as his friends and family soon begin to disappear or meet mysterious fates.

A Stranger Among the Living 2That Moore makes those supporting contemporaries an often sympathetic and aggregable bunch is another of this film’s strengths. Even as she tries to strangle the few tremulous ambitions that Henry retains, actress Victoria Posey brings a soft vulnerability to Patsy, Lyle’s needy, traumatized mother. Moore, himself, brings a ray of fun and energy into the film’s world with his take on the flamboyant Jarvis Coker, a zany addict who ingratiates himself into Henry’s life after they meet at a support group.

As with his previous films, including Blessed Are the Children and Triggered, Moore applies a bit of political consciousness here, as well. But, most importantly, with Henry he presents us with a character that reflects the insecurities and indecisions that we all so often face in a world that seems odder and more hostile with every passing moment.

More information on Stranger, including screening events and links, is available at https://www.facebook.com/astrangeramongtheliving/.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

 

 

 

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Madelyn von Ritz/Lynn Castle

Published May 24, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Lynn Al

Without a doubt When I Close My Eyes I See Blood is one of the most memorable songs on the soundtrack of William Friedkin’s notorious Cruising. As the music wildly escalates, the ragged vocals seem to barely escape from the singer’s throat. In fact, one could imagine that this desperate sounding performer was picked out of the heroin-soaked chorus of some dimly lit drag revue and then discarded on the street the moment the track was set to tape. But Madelyn von Ritz, who perfectly matched the forbidden horror of the film’s milieu with the number, was actually a talented artist who went on to score a variety of ‘90s film projects, proving that old adage that sometimes talent and beauty are just not enough to make a permanent mark in show business.

Ritz’s story is actually more fascinating than many celluloid journeys, though. Growing up in less than ideal circumstances, she escaped through the magic of fairy tales and music. As Lynn Castle. she gained recognition in the ‘60s as a barber and when she wasn’t writing, she was catering to the longer hair of such notables as Sonny Bono and Lee Hazlewood. After making quick appearances on several television shows and films, her song Lady Barber caught the ears of Hazlewood. They eventually recorded that track and one other. Neither made an impact on the charts. Riding this mild momentum, Castle also put an album’s worth of demos to tape around the same time. Unfortunately, those unique numbers remained a mysterious trade secret for almost 40 years. Thankfully, intrepid music purveyors Light in the Attic released them on a special edition LP in 2017 and the world is finally discovering the rare, psychedelic beauty of this long-neglected songstress.

We have all been to the Castle…and our lives will never be the same!

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

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Lynn Castle

 

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Sam Harris

Published April 5, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Sam Harris

It wasn’t just rockers like Alice Cooper and Pat Benatar who embraced the asylum esthetic with their recordings. ‘80s pop sensation Sam Harris utilized the strait jacket as a colorful fashion accessory on the back portrait of his debut album, as well.
Such a bad boy move might seem the antithesis of Harris’ colorful reality star beginnings.

But Harris’ biggest hit Sugar Don’t Bite definitely wasn’t playing around. In fact, this track makes being a “bleeder” sound like a sexual position well worth trying out on some hot Saturday night.

Of course, Harris, an openly gay man whose career has encompassed everything from turns on Broadway to penning a memoir called Ham: Slices of a Life, is always serving up the sweet stuff at http://www.samharris.com/.

Sam Harris single

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

 

Thrift Store Find: Art Saves!

Published March 7, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Rolling Stone

I first got The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll as a confirmation present from one of my uncles. For awhile I carried it with me everywhere. A day or so after that confirmation, my parents came to pick me up from some event. I had been confirmed with one of my mom’s students and he overheard some of the other kids saying that I was gay in the parking lot afterwards. He told my mother about this…and she was furious…with me.

“Why would they say that, Brian?!?” “What have you done to make them think that?!?” “Do you know how embarrassing this is for me?!? For my own student to come to me about something like this?!?” As she hammered away at me on the car ride home, I murmured soft responses back while burying myself in this book., wanting to disappear. But as I poured over epic black and white photos of Little Richard, David Bowie, a pre-fame Aretha Franklin, a pert Annette Funicello clinging to a properly attired Dick Clark… I suddenly knew that eventually everything would be okay…that the world was full of magnificence and unusual artistry and someday…it all would be mine!

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

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

 

A Scry for Dagger Cast!

Published December 24, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

DC

Queer writer and Midwest bon vivant Aaron Eischeid brought his A game to the holiday episode of Dagger Cast! Promoting A Scry for Help, his demon inspired tale of grief, Eishcheid regaled us with tales of Clive Barker and conjuring….and even answered a few of our goofy questions about Santa tinged slashers!

This episode also marks Dagger Cast’s one year anniversary. It’s been such an amazing pleasure to chat with all of our guests…and to do all those gloriously goofy post show photo shoots! We can’t wait to continue with more sonic (and visual) alternative horror adventures in 2020!

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Scry

https://www.facebook.com/scryforhelp/

 

 

 

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Dusty Springfield

Published December 8, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Dusty duo

She is the essence of smooth British soul, making her the perfect soundtrack vocalist. Indeed, Dusty Springfield, one of the essential goddesses of sixties pop, has decorated the background of many a celluloid landscape. Nicely, her smoky version of Spooky highlights the first kiss between childhood sweethearts in 2017’s fun horror comedy The Babysitter. Countered by exploding bodies and cranial blood bursts, this tender moment could not have a more perfect aural illustration.

Springfield is also of special interest to the LGBTQIA community. Romantically linked with a number of women, including Rough Trade’s magnetic Carole Pope, she is one of the many exceptionally talented performers that we can claim as family. Her immaculate voice and silvery presence grandly live on despite her death in 1999 due to cancer, at the far too young age of 59.Emily-Alyn-Lind-and-Judah-Lewis-in-The-Babysitter-2017

http://www.dustyspringfield.co.uk/

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Dusty solo.jpg

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Chaka Khan

Published December 1, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Chaka.JPG

There is probably one scene in 1981’s The Fan that queer horror freaks remember even more than all those glorious Lauren Bacall production numbers. Of course, that is the moment when Michael Biehn’s twisted Douglas Breen picks up a similar looking man (Terrence Marinan) in a gay bar. While problematic, showing another instance of society’s perception of the homosexual male as a victim, it also truly resonated with a generation who wasn’t used to representation of any sort on the silver screen.

Playing, perhaps ironically, in the background as this deadly seduction occurs is the Junior Walker & the All Stars’ version of How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You). H-m-m…maybe not, Michael! But there is one thing we can all probably agree on. Chaka Khan’s version of the song, famously performed by everyone from Marvin Gaye to James Taylor, is truly killer – in the best possible way!

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

The Fan - Gay

Va-Va-Villainess: Lilyan Tashman

Published November 22, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Lilyan

Recognized as one of the most stylish women of her era, the truly distinctive Lilyan Tashman provided conflict of the romantic and-or deadly mercurial variety with her often vampish, self centered characters.

In 1932’s Those We Love, one of her more popular efforts, her predatory Valerie Parker lays claim upon Kenneth MacKenna’s Freddie, a happily married author. Naturally, this ultimately causes much heartache for his wife May, who is played with sweet determination by the Oscar winning Mary Astor. Thankfully, Tashman gives Parker a comic edge, providing her potential homewrecker with a truly quirky presence, as well.

Tashman is decidedly deadlier in 1931’s Murder By the Clock (above). Manipulating those around her to commit acts of homicide, her Laura Endicott charms and beguiles with determined finesse. Often regulated to supporting roles, here this one of a kind personality takes her leading lady status and runs with it. It is a mischievous and captivating performance. Lilyan beauty

Rumored to be a prominent member of The Sewing Circle, Hollywood’s lesbian network, Tashman was actually married to actor Edmund Lowe, a known homosexual. Though this was by all accounts a lavender marriage, the two were truly darlings of the worldwide press until her unfortunate death of cancer, at the age of 37, in 1934. One can only imagine what other work this striking, husky voiced goddess would have produced had she not been cut down in her prime.

Even more regrettable, one wonders what levels of security and acceptance she might have established for the queer community if she had been able to use her compelling nature towards causes of activism and visibility in later decades.

Those We Love.jpg

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

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Dagger Cast Divas!

Published November 22, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Davette

As with many of us, I am tired of straight white men controlling the narrative. Therefore, I was thrilled by the two latest guests on Dagger Cast, the horror based podcast that I co-host with The Cell Phones’ dynamic Lindsey Charles.

Our Halloween show centered around Davette Franklin (above), a young black theater artist who curates an annual horror play festival. November’s show, meanwhile, finds me be very thankful for Sarah Yeazel (below), a comic book loving gay woman who is writing a series of essays about how cinema has shaped her life and sexuality.

You can listen to both episodes on Soundcloud (below) and other outlets like Spotify and iTunes.

Sarah

Happy aural journeys..and until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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/.