Shelley Hack

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Great Performances in Horror: Dinah Shore

Published April 25, 2021 by biggayhorrorfan

Okay, okay…it’s not necessarily a great performance per se, but the affable Dinah Shore definitely adds a sunny and unique presence to the 1979 TV Terror Death Car on the Freeway. Nicely, her take on helpful tennis pro Lynn Bernheimer also ties in a bit with the lesbian community as it references the famed singer-actress’ athletic ties and her (in namesake) involvement with The Dinah, a queer woman’s golfing event and music celebration. 

With this particular outing, though, Shore’s Bernheimer is more concerned with a specific divinity in danger as opposed to a Sapphic sisterhood as a whole. Here, Shelley Hack, in the same year that she joined Charlie’s Angels as the ultra efficient Tiffany Welles, plays an ambitious news anchor named Jan who believes that her coverage of a vehicular based serial killer may be her ticket to the big time. Fighting disbelief from her peers and sexism from up on high, she revels in the support that Shore’s character, one of the titular marauder’s first intended victims, unilaterally gives her. Indeed, with warm southern twang fully intact, the former Frances Rose* pops up several times to add pertinent details to the puzzle that Hack is slowly solving. Shore’s natural, feministic glow invigorates Hack’s portrayal and when the younger woman  finally goes after the killer, fender to fender, it is not surprising due to the atmospheric tutelage that she has received. 

Directed by famed stunt coordinator Hal Needham, Death Car ultimately doesn’t have the stylistic tension of Duel, the famed Steven Spielberg piece about a maniacal trucker, but there are a number of shackle raising chases involving such familiar horror faces as Dallas’ Morgan Brittany (The Initiation of Sarah, Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat), Tara Buckman (Silent Night, Deadly Night, Night Killer) and Nancy Stephens (Halloween, Halloween H20).

Significantly, Shore, whose music has been used in various episodes of American Horror Story, Fear the Walking Dead and The Vampire Diaries, continued to appear in unusual and cult-centric projects for the rest of her career. Many youngsters learned of her through her participation in a holiday episode of Pee Wee’s Playhouse and she, gladly, welcomed such alt-culture, heavy duty guests as Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Andy Kaufman and Tina Turner on her various talk shows over the years, as well.

*Frances Rose was the name that Shore was given at birth.

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

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Frightened Angels: Shelley Hack in Blind Fear (1989)

Published March 2, 2013 by biggayhorrorfan

blind fear
Today Big Gay Horror Fan was able to retrieve the can opener from the crack between the stove and the sink WITHOUT blowing out his back!

shelley hideBut as Erika Breen in 1989’s Blind Fear, former Angel Shelley Hack (The Stepfather, Troll) is able to avoid and set dangerous traps for a trio of murderous bank robbers in a remote and abandoned resort inn – without causing even a tangle in her curly blonde hair. This is particularly skilled because Hack’s Breen is legally blind – hence the scintillating title.

Granted, most of the film’s running time is spent in hide and seek mode, as the dangerous characters played by genre regulars Kim Coates (Red Blooded American Girl, The Club) and Heidi Von Pallekse (Dead Ringers) stalk the increasingly stealthy Breen. But one does experience a strange thrill as Hack discovers how to utilize bear traps and gas stoves to her perilous advantage. The twist ending also elicits a certain thrill, as well.kim blind

In the grand category of misleading advertising, though, the Echo Bridge DVD release gives this pulse pounding exercise an ‘R’ rating. But, the frequent though mild violence (and obvious commercial breaks) proves this to be a made-for-television offering with PG intensity, at best!shelley fire

Be sure to check back often for further looks into the horror credits of Charlie’s favorite gals!

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