Mary Shelley

All posts tagged Mary Shelley

Review: Cabaret

Published October 24, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Cabaret

Examining the impact of the Nazi party on Berlin in the 1930s, Cabaret is a much loved musical with elements that are distinctly horrific.  Nicely, in Cowardly Scarecrow Theatre Company’s current production, directors Marc Lewallen and Brad Younts highlight this fact by adding a decidedly Mary Shelley slant to If You Could  See Her, one of the show’s most amusing, ultimately gut crushing numbers.

In keeping with that spirit, this show genuinely smashes expectations across the board. The naive protagonist Cliff, usually rendered as a bland collegiate soul, is given life and personality by Scott Sawa’s engaging portrayal here. He even gives this frequently colorless figure a sense of soft humor, allowing the show’s devastating ending to reflect not only the murderous intent of Hitler and his minions, but the loss of personal innocence, as well. Meanwhile, Anthony Whitaker not only sings the role of Herr Schultz with ecstatic sweetness, but gives him a delightfully romantic heart, as well, providing an endearing ingredient that other revivals have overlooked.

Of course, all of this would mean nothing without the perfect Sally Bowles and Caitlin Jackson is damn near that. Giving the character the expected oomph and sass, she also provides her with a lived in aura that makes her distinctly believable. Merging her natural sexiness with a sorrowful sense of humanity, she gifts audiences by revealing a character who is truly a victim of her own reckless desires, providing another contrast to Schultz, The Emcee (a fine Kevin Webb), Bobby (a joyful Josh Kemper) and the other members of the Kit Kat Club who are all finally victims of a sadistic regime. Jackson’s take on the title number, as well, is not only in earthy contrast to the assorted ingénues who usually brightly perform it, but a great indicator of the complicated emotional underpinnings of Bowles, as well.

Cabaret 2.jpg

The decision to stage this version in the upstairs bar at Chief O’Neill’s in Chicago is also a wise move, allowing audiences to revel in the atmosphere that is being skillfully created here. One can truly feel the punk energy in band member Aaron Smith’s rhythmic drumming and deliciously partake in the motivations behind every wicked arch in Sydney Genco’s seductive eyebrows as she happily manipulates as the determined, vengeful Kost.

Cabaret, which obviously comes highly recommended, runs through Friday October 25th at Chief O’Neill’s in Chicago. Tickets are available at https://cstccabaret.bpt.me/.

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

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Feed That Frankenstein: Goldengirl

Published March 10, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

goldengirl

(Feed That Frankenstein focuses on the many pictures that use variants on the themes that the underappreciated Mary Shelley began writing about all those thunderstruck evenings ago.)

Estimating that the evilest of scientists are from a European descent, the creators of Goldengirl naturally went full Neo-Nazi with Curt Jurgens’ experimenting Dr. Serafin. Or did they?

Focusing on the Olympic ascension of the magnificent Goldine (Susan Anton), Serafin’s stepdaughter, this 1979 science fiction piece replaces Mary Shelley’s elegantly stitched together monster with a sporty, statuesque blonde. Of course, being beautiful is a curse here. Goldine is treated to electroshock therapy to increase her speed and those pesky injections (administered by her father) may increase her stature and stamina, but they also leave her diabetic and predisposed to a twisted, violent streak. Meanwhile, a series of backers wanting a payoff means that she has to achieve an unheard of three gold medals in track and field. Add in the fact that her fledgling romance with legendary sports agent Jack Dryden (James Coburn) appears as if it will never get past the tentative stage…and a girl could just go completely bonkers! original_goldengirl2

…and she does…a little bit. Goldine subjugates Jack to a bit of humiliation, here and there, and she has a diva meltdown on a fellow Olympian, but there are no huge monstrous altercations in this fun celluloid jumble. Instead, the powers-that-be decide to concentrate on the almost nonexistent romantic elements of the plotline. Thus, revealing, at the fadeout, that the worst thing that can happen to a chemically and socially manipulated femme fatale is… heartbreak.

The lack of oomph in the production is most likely attributed to the fact that the producers had a change of heart during its troubled genesis. All original allegations of Dr. Serafin’s master plan and deviant ties to the Third Reich were stripped from the narrative. Instead he is portrayed as a flawed (and slightly crazed) humanist who wants to increase the possibilities of the biological form.  Therefore, a whistle blowing associate, played by the always intriguing Jessica Walter, is totally cut from the proceedings. (Although, she is briefly glimpsed in a scene in which Goldine’s benefactors first arrive to check out their potential client.)It’s a strange move that leaves the film in a never world. It’s a bit sports movie and a bit Jekyll and Hyde monster flick. There are glimpses of a science fiction thriller and a smidge of tepid May-December romance. All in all, it’s a gelatin take on celluloid intrigue – slightly shimmering with nothing too caloric to stick to the viewer’s senses at the end mark.

goldengirlinsertAnton, meanwhile, in her major motion picture debut, does her damnedest to register assuredly. She manages it at times, always appearing physically magnificent, but sometimes the pure awkwardness of the setups causes her to strain a bit unconvincingly. She might have been helped a bit if she had been paired against someone other than Coburn. Always a master of low key manliness, he is just too cool a cucumber to truly sell the more seductive elements of the plot.

Still, this hodge podge affair has its charms. Particularly, it is nice to experience a feminine focus point in a variation on a narrative that Mary Shelley, a young woman herself, created all those many dark and stormy nights ago.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Drinkin’stein

Published January 31, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

drinkenstein

Mary Shelley might be rolling over in her grave…or maybe she’s lifting up her ghostly petticoats and doing a happy little hoedown.

One certainly can’t fault Dolly Parton’s sense of creativity by comparing the effects of drinking to the Frankenstein monster with her song Drinkin’stein. Of course, Sylvester Stallone’s delivery may be another story! As part of the plotline for the movie Rhinestone, in which Dolly’s Jake has made a bet to turn Stallone’s tough cabbie into a country singer, Stallone surely gives the fun tune a whirl…but the results, for some fans, might simply be monstrous!

You can decide here:

Parton, also, performed the song, in its entirety, in 1984, as well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGGF_-b9ZW4

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

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Frankenstein REC

Published September 26, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LBIAMV2
Do the bolts in your forehead need greasing? Well, Greek filmmaker-author Costas Zapas may have the perfect way to make those legendary, slightly moldy parts feel new again.

Zapas is the author of the recently released Frankenstein REC, an interesting take on the classic mad scientist and the monster he created. With good customer reviews and a proposed film adaptation, this seems to be a book that every admirer of James Whale and Boris Karloff needs to check out!

Importantly, Zapas seems to be playing homage to The Creature’s true creator Mary Shelley, by placing this dreamlike story around an investigative female reporter. That fact, alone, makes this tome a must read in my book!

Be sure to check out Zapas’ lightening struck experiment at the link, above!

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

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Review: All Girl Frankenstein

Published November 3, 2013 by biggayhorrorfan

allgirl2
Hilda, one of the lesbian prostitute nuns who raised me, was going to name her first son, Igor. I think it was because of the bolt in the side of his neck. But one night, Igor simply up and disappeared among the pages of Hilda’s Child Rearing for Dummies book. Better luck next time, Hilda!

Thankfully, Bob Fisher, the founder and main force behind the brilliant (Chicago based) The Chicago Mammals is much better than Hilda where bringing things, creatively, to life is concerned. The Mammals current production, All Girl Frankenstein, written and directed by Fisher, is a sexually ghoulish, forever entertaining delight.

AllGirlFrankensteinFeaturing one of the best professional casts currently performing, All Girl Frankenstein takes the basic plot of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and mixes it with the sordidly scandalous milieu of her personal life. Thus the Frankenstein matriarch (vibrant Julie Cowden) presented here, with a constant paddle at the ready for punishment purposes, seems to be the feminine personification of Shelley’s sternly loving father, the man who raised her after her mother’s untimely death. Bloody infanticide and sexual energy, also, swirl throughout this production – seemingly keeping time with Shelley’s own free love philosophy and the anguish she felt over the loss of multiple children.

Whether it is the unrequited love that childhood friend Henry Clerval (the scene stealing Erin Elizabeth Orr) has for Victor (the passionate Erin Myers) or the blow job that Clerval offers the Creature (a physically astounding Amy E. Harmon) upon their first meeting, Fisher and crew play, magnificently, between the lines of homosexuality and unique gender play, here, as well.

Always fascinating, this is a production for horror fans, lovers of literature and collectors of unique experiences of every sort.

All Girl Frankenstein runs through November 30th, 2013 at the Zoo Studios, 4001 N. Ravenswood in Chicago. Tickets are $25. Further information can be found at http://www.chicagomammals.com and https://www.facebook.com/chicagomammals.

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

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan