The Curse of the Black Widow

All posts tagged The Curse of the Black Widow

Music to Make Horror Movies By: June Allyson

Published January 13, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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June Allyson was the girl that every G.I. wanted to marry. Her sweet presence provided a happy glow to many 1940’s musical-romances. But ever a true performer, her roles in the ‘70s showed a darker depth. She found the emotional heart of a vengeful bisexual in the Giallo style murder mystery They Only Kill Their Masters, giving the film’s final moments an understated punch. The television film The Curse of the Black Widow provided a bit more of the fun side of horror with Allyson’s Olga getting the sticky end of an old family curse.

But even in supernatural circumstances, this Golden Age icon was always accessible. Anyone with an ounce of humanity and self doubt could definitely relate to Allyson’s sorrowful take on Just Imagine from Good News, one of her most popular projects.

Allyson, who passed away in 2006 at the age of 88, is forever (and rightly) being celebrated at http://www.juneallyson.com/.

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

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Sharkbait Retro Village: The Curse of the Black Widow (1977)

Published May 2, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

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Those who have reluctantly sat on the sidelines will know how half of Hollywood felt upon the 1977 television debut of the Dan Curtis’ horror feast The Curse of the Black Widow. The cast, headlined by perennial television sweetheart Patty Duke and future Knots Landing vixen Donna Mills, featured many familiar faces both from the boob tube trenches and glamorous Hollywood films.

curse2Here, Duke and Mills, as sisters holding a dark and venomous secret, were supported by the likes of famed comedian Sid Caesar, the sassy Roz Kelly (of Happy Days and New Year’s Evil fame), tough guy Vic Morrow, Barney Miller’s Max Gail, Curtis’ old Dark Shadows favorite James Storm and such feminine silver screen royalty as June Allyson and June Lockhart. Now, that’s a party anyone would have wanted to been invited to!

The film that emerges isn’t as quite as fun as the cast would have you imagine – but still has plenty of old school charm and bold amounts of cheesiness. While other directors of television nail biters (like Curtis Harrington) tried to use Val Lewton subtleties for their over-the-top offerings, Curtis goes whole hog. In the final act, he not only showcases major cast members encased in very thick, fake looking webbing, but he also brings out a very clumsy, unnatural looking arachnid to cause tremulous amounts of doom and gloom. And, why not? If you are going do it – do it all the way, baby! Or should I say ‘Spider Baby’?Black_Widow1

Further distinctive pleasure can be gained by the continual comic antagonism provided by Kelly, as (private eye) Tony Franciosa’s secretary, and Caesar as her neighbor, a cold blooded lawyer. The sight of Duke in a dark wig sporting a truly mysterious European accent, as her character’s hungry alter-ego, provides a multitude of viewing joy, as well.

Most importantly, Curtis and writers Robert Blees and Earl W. Wallace give the piece a nod to golden suspense flicks such as The Dark Mirror (which starred Olivia de Havilland as siblings suspected of murder) and Dead Ringer (featuring a pair of vengeful twins enacted by Bette Davis). The slow uncovering of the sisters’ mysterious past, while slightly predictable, does ultimately result in a nice feeling of femme powered noir.

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

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan