All posts tagged WIP

Va-Va-Va-Villainess: Toni Naples

Published January 23, 2021 by biggayhorrorfan

If our 1990s’ video goddesses all have 1940s’ counterparts, then the take charge Toni Naples would definitely be the Ida Lupino of her era. Lupino, who began her career playing an Olympian centerfold in the “shocking” Pre-Code programmer Search for Beauty, was known for playing powerful women in film noir and WIP efforts. Similarly, Naples played a series of creamy bathing beauties and wisecracking police officers in such cult efforts as Chopping Mall, Hard to Die and Sorority House Massacre II. More importantly, though, Naples made a strong impression as a couple of sneering, manipulatively corrupt figures that endeared her to many Up All Night devotees and VHS box set collectors, as well.

First off, as Queen Morganna (above, middle) in the flesh strewn Jurassic Park inspired Dinosaur Island, Naples issues a series of challenging commands designed to present doom for a group of men that have landed on the Amazonian-like isle of women that she leads. As her character openly hopes for their deaths, the actress fills her portrayal with off handed cheer and a true sense of jesting evil. Of course, love ultimately changes the hue of her deep black heart, but Naples obviously has the most fun when Morganna is acting out her vengeance filled schemes with abandon.

Meanwhile, as Warden Helga in Fugitive Rage, this multi-credited exploitation diva brings a decisive abruptness to her interactions with the film’s heroine played by the athletic Wendy Schumacher. Nicely underplaying the sadism inherent in these roles, you could almost accuse Naple’s Helga of being a woman who simply plays by the rules given her – if it weren’t for the sadistic joy in which she partakes in the body cavity search that welcomes Schumacher’s defiant Tara McCormick to the beginning of her incarceration.

Strong, beautiful, demandingly independent and a little twisted – it’s no wonder that during her late-night heyday, Naples inspired straight and queer men alike to take up her wickedly joyful mantle – and happily bow to it.

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


Lesbians in Horror: Human Experiments

Published October 8, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Human Experiments

Long before Angela Bettis’ quirky May, Buffy’s beloved Willow and even The Hunger’s sensuous Miriam Blaylock, there were lesbian characters in horror. As an example, acclaimed indie actress Wesley Marie Tackett tackled the role of Jimmy in the odd 1979 WIP-mad scientist terror offering Human Experiments. Despite the biases of the time, Tackett fully embraces all of Jimmy’s rough and often predatory edges.

But as much as one has to acknowledge Tackett’s courage and skill in bringing forth all of the antagonist nature of this perennial inmate, it is also important to make a historical note of how damaging characters like Jimmy were/are to societal understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQIA community as a whole. A woman who tries to terrorize another woman into acts of sex only highlights the perceived perversion of our culture. Thankfully, roles that demonize the gay community are further and farther between…but we still have such a long (and hopefully creatively bountiful) way to go.

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



Va-Va-Villainess: Hope Emerson

Published April 4, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Hope Emerson Caged

Her work as cruel prison matron Evelyn Harper in the historic WIP effort Caged earned the distinctive Hope Emerson an Academy Award nomination and a place in history for creating one of the most odiferous presences ever committed to celluloid. Immortalized on the track Miss Pamela and Miss Sparky Discuss Stuffed Bras and some of their early gym experiences on the 1969 (Frank Zappa produced) GTOS’ album Permanent Damage, Emerson actually manipulated her unusual height and malleable face to great effect in a variety of roles.

Besides her grand efforts tormenting Caged‘s Eleanor Parker, Emerson effectively backed up everyone from Edward G. Robinson to Greer Garson to Bob Hope. One of her final roles, though, brought out an acidic maternal quality and gave her great recognition among jazz buffs and beat swingers. Hope Peter Gunn

As the gruff, but loving Mother on Blake Edwards music drenched series Peter Gunn, Emerson did some of her most sensitive work. Beaming with matriarchal pride, Emerson affectionately interacted with Craig Stevens and Lola Albright, the performers who played the titular, danger ridden private eye and his teasing chanteuse girlfriend. Utilizing her impressive 6’2” frame, this veteran performer rounded out her affectionate antics here with a take no guff attitude. Thus, only the series’ roughest thugs dared to mess with her…and usually from a distance and with the help of explosives when they did!

Dying at the far too young age of 62 from liver disease, those who appreciate fine performances know that Emerson has definitely left behind a memorable legacy of characters.  Her striking signature style refuses to fade quietly into the mists of time.

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


hope-emerson stare