Tales from the Darkside

All posts tagged Tales from the Darkside

Va-Va-Villainess: Dorothy Lyman

Published March 1, 2022 by biggayhorrorfan

As the kindly Gwen Frame, actress Dorothy Lyman spent much of 1980 on the late lamented soap opera Another World mentoring Ray Liotta’s down to earth Joey Perrini, helping him navigate a rocky romance with Bradley Bliss’ well to do Kit Halloway.

But when this seasoned performer, perhaps best known for her comic portrayals on Mama’s Family and All My Children, returned for the show’s 25th anniversary in 1989, the writers played a little loose with her history to create some friction filled drama. Fueled with rage over the death of a relative, previously a nonissue on the show, Gwen crackled with anger. Determined to bring down the show’s longstanding heroine Rachel (Victoria Wyndham), who she blamed for the demise, she interrupted a heartfelt monologue by the surprised woman. Later, during a confrontation, she pushed her newfound enemy and knocked her out, leaving her to die in a gas filled room. Of course, Rachel survived and, ultimately, forgave Gwen – probably due to the fact that was Lyman was only contracted for a handful of episodes and a long trial was simply not in the cards for the character.

Decades later, re-watching these episodes, what is most apparent is the caustic joy that Lyman took in Gwen’s turnaround – she bites into her lines with a vicious glee and gladly rides the highs and lows of the character’s emotions like an exuberant child on a roller coaster. It’s a delightful performance – a viper with a bleeding heart –and just one of the many seemingly effortless performances in this skilled veteran’s long career.

Horror Hall of Fame:

A frequent figure on television screens, Lyman made appearances in In The Cards, a first season Tales of the Darkside episode, and The People Across the Lake, a spooky movie of the week with Valerie Harper.

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


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.


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


Music to Make Horror Movies By: Debbie Harry

Published July 29, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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Before she began a healthy run of horror and science fiction roles with 1983’s Videodrome, the incomparable Debbie Harry flirted with spacey themes via her 1981 solo recording debut Koo Koo. Featuring cover art from Aliens HR Giger and futuristic production work from Chic’s Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards, this LP continued the artist’s eclectic pursuit of musical exploration, but was considered a critical and financial failure upon its initial release.

The passage of time, of course, has led many fans to reconsider this incredibly varied and truly interesting work from a group of creative individuals in the prime of their careers.

Harry, whose other genre credits include the anthology features Tales from the Darkside: The Movie and Body Bags, continues to dive into new sonic adventures to this day. You can keep up with her always noteworthy journeys at www.blondie.net.

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


Music to Make Horror Movies By: Jane Summerhays

Published May 12, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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One of Broadway’s true treasures, Jane Summerhays also brought her vital energy to Let the Games Begin, a third season episode of the George Romero created anthology series Tales From The Darkside.

Of course, Summerhays frequently gave veteran theater goers the chills. Who can forget her amazing work with Ann Miller in Sugar Babies and Eartha Kitt in The Wild Party? No one, that’s who!!!

Nicely, the footage below shows her in her prime from the original production of A Chorus Line.

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


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In Appreciation of Theresa Saldana

Published June 10, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

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A film critic once, heartlessly, questioned why the resilient Theresa Saldana appeared in 1984’s violent The Evil That Men Do with Charles Bronson. Saldana, who was stabbed 10 times in a vicious 1982 stalking attack, went onto to thrive despite such pettiness and, besides acclaimed acting chores in such vehicles as The Commish, she was well respected for her activism, which included the founding of the Victims for Victims organization. Thus, her death on June 6th, 2016, at the age of 61, from (as yet) undisclosed causes, has hit the communities who loved and respected her especially hard. theresa and margaret

One of those groups has to be fans of television terror projects, as Saldana made memorable appearances on both the beloved anthology Tales from the Darkside and the short-lived Werewolf series, which chronicled the adventures of a young man who drifted from state to state, trying to find the evil man whose bite had turned him into a monster.

Nicely, as the sweet and sunny Audrey Webster on the Black Widows segment of TFTD, Saldana radiates with an easy joy. Her character’s brightness is soon deflated, though, when Webster discovers, on her wedding night, that she has a dangerous craving. Reducing her husband to a husk, Saldana, concisely, explores both her character’s despair and her unrelenting needs. Soon, a priest – no true loss there, huh? – finds himself caught in Audrey’s ever nefarious web – with evidence, at the fade out, that others are eventually going to follow in his shrieking, tangled footsteps.

theresa spiderFormidably contrasted by the brittle antics of former Hollywood superstar Margaret O’Brien, who lit up viewers’ hearts as the adorable Tootie in the classic Meet Me in Saint Louis, as her mother, Saldana, who was perhaps best known for her work opposite Joe Pesci in Raging Bull, ultimately uses this episode as a true showcase of her multiple talents.

Saldana doesn’t get to show as many colors as Rosa in the two part A World of Difference on Werewolf, but she does show plenty of compassion for Eric (John J. York), the show’s young lead, and even for his antagonist, the determined Alamo Joe Rogan (Lance LeGault). As Eric, fights his animalistic nature in a prison cell, Saldana’s Rosa tries to assure Rogan of the lad’s essential goodness. She even reiterates this to Rogan in his hospital bed, after Eric escapes. As the crusty hunter wonders if he has been bitten by Eric, and thus become a victim of the werewolf curse, Saldana quietly conveys Rosa’s belief in the good of all men. It is a fairly small, almost one dimensional part. But Saldana exhibits a ingratiating peacefulness here that makes her passing all the sadder.theresa werewolf

So, let us offer up a final thought to this kindhearted warrior and eternal goddess. Sleep well, Theresa.

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




Music to Make Horror Movies By: Connie Stevens

Published May 22, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

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Someone lend this lady a comb! The delicious Connie Stevens has been knocking fans cold for generations. But, while afternoon movie lovers have thrilled to her screams in the 1965 drive-in classic Two on a Guillotine for decades now, many may not realize that Stevens, who also graced an existential episode of Tales from the Darkside, was also a chart topping teen, renowned for such hits as Sixteen Reasons. The re-release of her take on The Hank Williams Songbook also garnered positive vibes from the hardcore alt-country crowd, in recent years.

Here, her sweet and sensual take on I Couldn’t Say No, written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, could apply to everything from that swarthy thug on the street to that irresistible carton of chocolate dabbed donuts at midnight. Enjoy!

Meanwhile, Connie is always merely a cricket’s chirp away at www.conniestevens.com.

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



In Remembrance: Coleen Gray

Published August 29, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

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Always friendly and happy to talk about her B movie past, the sweet Coleen Gray passed away, at the age of 92, on August 3rd, 2015.

Starting out in the tough talking world of noir, Gray made solid impressions in 1947 with Kiss of Death and Nightmare Alley, which was famous for Tyrone Power’s attempt to provide a more serious image for himself and featured some of Gray’s darker work as a loving carnie willing to go to desperate lengths for the man she loved.coleen 3

Often, though, her shining nature couldn’t be diminished and, among her bevy of Westerns and television programs, she provided 1957’s The Vampire with its share of screams as a concerned small town nurse. A rare turn as a powerful villainess provided Gray with, perhaps, her most notable role for genre fans, and until the end, she embraced the admiration she received for her work in 1960’s The Leech Woman. The interesting twist on this variation of The Wasp Woman, supposedly inspired by the tale of Elizabeth Bathory, was that the victims of June Talbot, the character Gray played, were mainly men not women.

coleen 2Gray was, also, proud of her work in a 1986 episode of Tales of the Darkside. She was quoted as being pleased to have worked with Lorna Luft, the daughter of an old friend, Judy Garland, in this, her last outing on the television screens of America.

A fond Rest in Peace to a beautiful and truly classy performer!

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


Ronee’s Psychic Dark Side!

Published August 7, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

Best known to terror fiends for her door melding appearance in A Nightmare on Elm Street, the versatile Ronee Blakley proved why she earned an Academy Award nomination (for her subtly anguished Barbara Jean in Robert Altman’s Nashville) with her layered work as Cassie Pines in The False Prophet, a first season episode of the acclaimed anthology series Tales of the Darkside.

ronee justinArriving at a bus station in a small Texas town, the spiritually obsessed Pines tells the counter woman how her advisor informed her that she would find her true love that day. After the roadside employee unveils Horace X, an astrological fortune machine, Pines soon finds herself in a bind. Horace X urges her to remain at the desolate stop while Pines is eager to continue on her journey. The arrival of a handsome preacher (a magnetic Justin Deas) complicates matters further. As Pines and the stranger find themselves compelled towards each other, Horace X, shockingly, reveals his jealous nature.horace attacks

Working with frazzled energy and a sweet sense of natural comedy, Blakley’s Pines wouldn’t be out of place in a latter day Tennessee Williams’ production. Blakley makes her truly endearing whether she is frantically consulting her tea leaves or, breathlessly, informing a newfound companion that she only travels with quarters so she is on the ready for any fortune telling devices. It is, ultimately, compelling and truly enjoyable work, a testament to Blakely’s multiple skills as a performer.

Be sure to keep up with all of Blakely’s projects and activities at http://www.roneeblakley.com.

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