Women in Horror

All posts tagged Women in Horror

Unsung Heroines of Horror: Cecil Cunningham

Published December 12, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Hidden Hand Cecil and Brother.jpg

A product of the Broadway and vaudeville stages, the distinguished Cecil Cunningham was a character actress who, for decades, supported such cinema queens as Hedy LaMarr, Greta Garbo, Mary Astor, Carole Lombard (pictured below) and Barbara Stanwyck. Of course, smart cinema enthusiasts know that she was a presence in her own right, making a strong impression in smaller roles that often weren’t even credited onscreen.

thZJV2T4DG.jpgThankfully for horror fans, Cunningham was given one of her most prestigious undertakings in the fun Warner Brothers’ genre fest The Hidden Hand. Released in 1942, this gem found this regal celluloid queen in fine form as Lorinda Channing, the head of a family of greedy, mentally unbalanced socialites. Pretending to be near her death, Channing invites her nearest and dearest to her estate. Surmising that they all want her cold for her cash, this devious diva enlists the help of her brother, a deranged killer who has just escaped an asylum, to assist her in her plotting against her avaricious kinfolk.

Filled with weird humor and old dark house theatrics, this project also gave Cunningham plenty of room to utilize many of her acting tools. She brings a proud and strange presence to Channing, reveling in a role that would have normally been filled by a Boris Karloff or Laird Cregar type. Her work here is definitely the precursor to contemporary artists like Deanna Dunagan and Lin Shaye, fine actresses, who have embellished and empowered such films as The Visit and Insidious with their distinguished essences.

Cecil Swing High.jpg

Cunningham, who also appeared in 1934’s hard to find Return of The Terror and Ladies They Talk About, an early WIP effort, died at the age of 70 in 1959. Sixty years later, her filmography (and her genre credits, in particular) seems truly ripe for rediscovery.

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


Spinsters of Horror

Published May 2, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Spinsters of Horror

Social media has its drawbacks. But if you’re lucky, you can also discover the coolest people, including many who live many miles away.

Speaking to that point, I’ve recently stumbled upon two amazing women, Kelly and Jessica. They are true horror lovers, exciting podcasters and they, sparkle bewitchingly, with a true sense of fun. I really think you need to check them out.

Nicely, not only do they, as the (Ontario based) Spinsters of Horror, produce podcasts that are gleeful, but they also look at gender and other social constructs in the genre with a serious eye and a spot on analytic expertise.

Be sure to find out about everything these two goddesses of cinematic mayhem at

https://www.spinstersofhorror.com/ and


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


Fionnula Flanagan in Havenhurst

Published June 16, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

fionnula havenhurst

A study of the soap opera viewing habits of teenagers, several years back, revealed that the youngsters were not drawn to the show’s various immature lovers and besotted heroines, but to their crusty matrons and loving matriarchs. Similarly, a number of horror films of late have found fan favor due to their delicious varieties of mature female characters. For example, one would definitely have to agree with critic Peter Travers’ reaction of “wowza” when considering the superb, subtle gothicism that Deanna Dunagan gave to the psychotic Nana in The Visit. The eclectic Lin Shaye, meanwhile, has definitely provided the heart and soul of the Insidious films with her spunky and concerned Elise. In fact, the devotion reaped upon her led her to being the focus of the latest chapter in the series, even though her character was murdered at the end of the very popular first installment.

Thankfully, it looks like Twisted Pictures is providing another variation on the sophisticated veteran with Fionnula Flanagan’s Eleanor in Havenhurst. As an ominous land lady in a beautifully spooky New York apartment complex, Flanagan provides plenty of menace in the film’s spooky first trailer.


Of course, this project also earns points for featuring such horror veterans as Julie Benz and the Halloween series’ beloved Danielle Harris. But, let’s be honest! Flanagan’s creepy understanding of haunted house atmospherics seems to be the main draw here.

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


Final Girls Unleash Official Trailer!

Published January 21, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

final girls
2015 is already shaping into a bloody fantastic year. I’ve totally found a way to cover up my balding spots…and Final Girls, director-writer Matt Storc’s femme based horror opus, is finally going to see the late of day! After a series of post-production set-backs, an official trailer has finally been released.

Final Girls will, also, receive its first screening at Panic Fest in Kansas City, Missouri over the weekend of January 30 – February 1st, 2015. There will be a Q and A with Storc and cast members after the screening, as well. Congrats, all!


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


Slasher Honey Takes on Female Killers!

Published January 9, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

With Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death, dominated by a very vengeance minded female spirit, in theaters this week, it seems like the perfect time to pay tribute to an article on one of my favorite sites, The Horror Honeys.

In this piece, Chassity, the Slasher Honey, explores the female killers that have populated our horror films. With fun loving intelligence, she documents their awesomeness while admitting that the genre still has a long way to go before truly balancing out the power between the sexes.

Be sure to check it out here: http://www.thehorrorhoneys.com/2015/01/who-is-better-killer.html.

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


The Horror Honeys!!!

Published September 16, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

Horror Honeys header v3-1500px
Kick, cry or scream – I will never be as cool as The Horror Honeys! This bloody fantastic website is run by a gaggle of brilliant women, each with a different journalistic focus – ranging from revenge to gaming to comics.

…and I am definitely not lying to Gaia when I say that they are the coolest!

Check them out at http://www.thehorrorhoneys.com and https://www.facebook.com/HorrorHoneys!

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


FOG’s Kate Davis & Her Favorite Ladies of Horror!

Published May 29, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

BGHF LOVES journalist Kate Davis!

BGHF LOVES journalist Kate Davis!

Sometimes when I suck on a jagged, heart shaped helium balloon I am filled with loads of love…especially for my favorite women in horror!

Of course, the ever-adorable, always crafty journalist Kate Davis holds a special place in my pantheon of ladies and I am particularly giddy over her latest piece for the Forces of Geek website. Here, Davis explores her most admired females characters in terror flicks and it is funny, revealing and amazingly on point.

Be sure to check it here. But be polite. A couple of these ferocious femmes just might snap your neck!


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


Actress Spotlight: Debra De Liso

Published May 12, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

debra de liso headshot
After that incident with the pies in 5th grade, I was forever known as Blueberry.

debra-de-liso-the-2014-los-angeles_4129446…and while specific recognition may have its many rewards, sometimes it can limit the scope of one’s overview. This is certainly the case with the brilliantly talented actress/dancer/instructor Debra De Liso. De Liso, who recently won the prestigious Rainbow Award from the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival, is best known for her ingratiating performance of Kimberly Clark in slasher classic The Slumber Party Massacre. While her work in TSPM definitely contains some of the most authentic acting in the entire 80s horror universe, De Liso has plenty of other accomplishments to her name.

As "Grace" in Caligari

As “Grace” in Caligari

Popping up in the 1989 oddity Dr. Caligari allowed De Liso to truly show her acting range. Unlike her rambunctious Kimberly, De Liso’s Grace in this wildly impressionistic feature is a prim, religious schoolteacher. This film also allowed De Liso to move from the refrigerator (where Kimberly met her grim comeuppance) to the stew, itself. Grace ultimately ends up as part of an over-the-top madman’s meal.

My Favorite Angel! Sledge Hammer

My Favorite Angel! Sledge Hammer

Further exploring her boundaries, De Liso’s wild Manson-style wanna-be, Angel, on an episode of cult television classic Sledge Hammer is a twisted delight. Showing off her dancer’s technique, she fully embodies the soul of punk style revenge with a manic, comic edge.

Detailed dance training also almost led De Liso to some major behind the scenes work, as well. After intensive auditioning, she was hired to body double Shelley Long in a ballet sequence in Outrageous Fortune (1987). But, in a weird bout of Hollywood logic, the sequence was filmed the day after she was on-set, giving her a very nice major motion picture credit – without the actual screen time!

Lamp Dance

Lamp Dance

The self produced Lamp Dance (available at convention appearances) does allow her to show off evidence of both her physical and acting prowess. Playing a bookish librarian type who gradually gives into her lust to move to the music, De Liso often is doing two things, physically, at once (giving into the music with one part of her body while restraining herself with another) – resulting in a performance that is a true tour de force.

Never content to remain just one color, De Liso shared stories of her varied career (including thoughts on Iced, a ski slope horror written by The Slumber Party Massacre co-star Joseph Alan Johnson) in Jason Paul Collum’s insightful 2003 look at the world of women in genre filmmaking, Something to Scream About. Her presence here is thoughtful and honest. She even expresses light amusement over the fact that, despite her various accomplishments (including over 70 theatrical productions), that it is the role of Kimberly Clark that she is always recognized for.debra de liso STSA

Currently involved with a variety of stage worthy projects, including one heading to NYC in the near future, De Liso’s teaching schedule and other activities are continually updated at http://www.debradeliso.com. Be sure to send some loving in that direction – and….

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


Horror Addicts: Wicked Women 2014 Contest

Published March 7, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

horror addicts
Having been brought up by a coven of lesbian prostitute nuns, I know there is nothing more evil than a creative goddess in her prime.

Amazing horror site Horror Addicts must agree with me – hence their awesome Wicked Women contest for 2014.

Below, are the details, lifted straight from their site.

“2014 Theme: Beauty & the Beast

Premise: There is something both fearsome and attractive in a wild thing, be it man or beast. From creature legends told around ancient campfires, to modern tales of King Kong and crypto zoology, critters have always captured our darkest imagination. Get your Beast on.

Challenge: Create a 10 minute horror podcast that contains four story elements, plus your written story. Registration closes 4-13-14. Audio and text are due on 5-13-14.

Story Elements: Each of our Wicked Belles will be assigned a location, a blessing, a curse … and a Beast. Your story must include a lady in peril and these four elements:

Location: Anywhere in the world is fair game. A private zoo? A Japanese Nightclub? Kindergarten Show ‘N’ Tell? You are the game. We’ll give you the board.

Blessing: A helpful item to tame the danger in your tale. We couldn’t have you stalked by a Werewolf without at least giving you a silver locket to melt down. Use your item wisely, Wicked. Even a trivial thing can save your life.

Curse: An untimely disability. You can’t skip through this one without feeling a bite of a fang on your ass. The Norns can be quite evil with this element.

Beast: Beasts will be drawn from the 12 animal signs of the Chinese zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, or Pig. The Beast may be a main character in your story, or may be represented in other creative ways… a tattoo? An advertising logo? A supernatural brute? Freak of nature? You name it, as long as you include it. Any genre of horror is welcome, but this ain’t Lassie, my Wickeds. Not unless she rips out your throat!

Dates to Remember:
Contest Opens – March 4, 2014
Registration Closes – April 13, 2014
Audio & Text Due – May 13, 2014
Elimination Round to 5 Wickeds – May 24, 2014
Voting Begins June 13, 2014
Voting Ends July 28, 2014
2014 Winner Announced August 23, 2014

WARNING: The Norns are majorly p.m.s.ing this year. This challenge involves shotgun-quick writing & recording skills. The squeamish need not apply!

If you would like to compete, send an e-mail to: Horroraddicts@gmail.com –We’ll send you the complete set of rules and assign your story elements. Remember, the sooner you respond, the more time you’ll have to write and produce your podcast.”

Now, get cracking all my lovely (and amazingly talented) femmes of fear!

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


Miriam Hopkins: Pre-Code Horror’s Eclectic Wonder!

Published June 24, 2013 by biggayhorrorfan

miriam hopkins
It seems like only yesterday that Big Gay Horror Fan was fighting off the advances of some scientifically induced, whip smacking monster. Alas, after asking for a slight commitment – I totally scared HIM off!

The elegant, eternally eclectic Miriam Hopkins (1902-1972) must surely have known what that was like.

jekyll-2As prostitute-showgirl Ivy Pearson in the classic 1931 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Hopkins radiates with frank sexuality during her first encounter with the kind Dr. Jekyll. But as Mr. Hyde’s personality bursts forth with a vengeful emphasis on Ivy, Hopkins reacts with deep layers of majestic, eternally wounded fright. The scenes where Ivy-Hopkins endures Jekyll’s (a superior, Academy Award winning Fredric March) psychotic attentions still resonate with gut wrenching power over 80 years later.

’18 years later, Hopkins joined the ranks of superior supporters in 1949’s The Heiress, a gothic adaption of Henry James’ Washington Square. As (Academy Award winning) Olivia de Havilland’s seemingly air light aunt, Lavinia Penniman, Hopkins delivers scene stealing antics. Here, she paints a woman filled with frivolity but wise to the ways of the world. At the mercy of her rich brother’s 19th Century kindness (a fact the intuitive Hopkins uses to underscore many of her scenes) Hopkins-Penniman encourages shy de Havilland’s romance with a money seeking playboy played by Montgomery Clift. Sure that a little compromise is always necessary for happiness, Hopkins effectively shows concerned shock when de Havilland’s abandoned heroine reacts with steely resolve at the film’s door barring conclusion.miriam the heiress

doomsday-hopkinsIn famed science fiction anthology show The Outer Limits, Hopkins (in one of her final roles) showed another side of her talents with the 1964 episode “Don’t Open Until Doomsday”. As the demented and coquettish Mary Kry, Hopkins, whom had first gained fame for her committed performances in a series of Pre-Code films, is both childlike and savagely determined. Determined to rescue her fiancé from a space-controlled box, that he was sucked into on the eve of their wedding years before, Hopkins-Kry willing traps a young couple in her chilling world of fantasy and alien abduction.

Be sure to check back in the future, as Big Gay Horror Fan (www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan) frequently exposes the creative energy of the grand femmes of horror.

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