BLS Celebrates Gay Pride Month !

For the month of June, Billy Loves Stu will be celebrating Gay Pride Month by posting more gay and lesbian related stuff than you can shake a rainbow colored stick at!  That's right, somebody warn the Westboro Baptist Church, cause it's gonna' be a non-stop cavalcade of  HORROR RELATED GAYNESS right here!  

The fun starts tomorrow, bitches! 


A candy colored clown they call The Sandman...

An icon of the 60's,  radical, actor, director, Warhol factory member, even a Republican and TV spokesperson - but for our purposes, let's remember him as the scariest son of a bitch ever, Frank Booth.  Rest in Peace, you crazy mother fucker.


ADD Film Review: Legion

Like all bad fiction, Legion begins on a dark and stormy night. 

The Archangel Michael falls from heaven into a back alley in L.A., cuts off his wings, raids a warehouse for guns and ammo, and kills a couple of cops (one who earlier seemed to be channeling Travis Bickle).  From there he heads out into the desert until he comes to a run down diner where, just a few minutes earlier, an old woman went crazy, crawled up the walls, and tried to kill a few of the restaurant's patrons.

Michael lets the folks at the roadside establishment (one of whom is played by Lucas Black, who has grown up into a quite a handsome young man), that Armageddon has come, God is pissed, and a heavenly host are descending on mankind possessing them and turning them into crazy killing creeps.  However, there is hope!  It seems that the diner's waitress is knocked up, and if her baby can be born, humanity might survive.

Soon a plague of flies hits, and a scary ice cream man shows up to spider walk his way into our hearts.  Later on, hundreds of angelically possessed (that's just a technicality, because to the untrained eye, you'd swear they were demonically possessed) people descend on the greasy spoon and all heaven breaks loose.

Will mankind prevail?  Will Gabriel show up and blow his horn?  Will humanity survive?  Will the plotholes in this movie swallow it alive?

Show this one to your "Born Again" friends, they'll probably have a stroke. 


The movie Chuck Norris hopes you never see: Dr. Leather's House of Torture on Haunted Hill

Back in 1973, a rather desperate young actor / martial arts fighter  by the name of  Chuck Norris was offered a lead role in what he was told would be a low budget  horror movie.  Eager to make a name as big as Bruce Lee's (or maybe Christoper Lee), Norris signed on the dotted line and found himself contractually obligated to appear in a film that would have the mouthful-of-a-title, Dr Leather's House of Torture on Haunted Hill.

Almost immediately, Norris realized he had made a bad choice. On the first day of filming in Encino California, Norris was perplexed over the seemingly random changes made in the script, what also vexed him was the fact that several sections of the manuscript were missing.  Upon speaking to the film's director, George Schultz, Norris was assured that the scenes in question were just being "punched up" a bit by a script doctor.   According to insiders on the set, when Norris was told that his first scene was changed, and that he'd have to strip down to his skivvies, and be bound to a bed, he almost walked off the set until Schultz assured him that the entire scene was going to be tastefully shot.

Ever the trooper, Norris obliged his director, and once he was bed-bound, and the cameras began to roll, even Norris could not believe what he was in for.  Instantly, Schultz called in "the extras" and the room was filled with ten naked women and ten naked men who surrounded the bed and began chanting in Latin.  A cameraman on the set claimed that Norris broke character and said, "What the fuck is this shit, where's my leading lady?  When do I get to kick someone?"

Things got even more heated the next day when Pam Grier came to the set and upon laying eyes on her costar was reported to have said, "Who the hell are you?  I was under the impression that Billy Dee Williams was going to be my co-star, not some half pint in cowboy boots!!"

Despite the friction, Grier and Norris eventually hit if off, and by all reports got on pretty well.  Meanwhile, director, Schultz had other plans.  Unbeknownst to his stars, Schultz was under the gun by American International Studios to deliver a money-maker by any means possible.   Realizing that his budget would not allow for special effects or more star-power, Schultz decided on inserting sexually explicit scenes in to the film in the hopes that this would bring in more people to the theaters.  He even went so far as to hire porn star, Harry Reems as well as two stand-in actors who could pass as Norris and Grier and use them in some of the sex scenes.

The rest of the history of Dr. Leather's House of Torture on Haunted Hill is a mishmash of conjecture and hearsay.  Grier has gone on record stating that she had no idea that she was part of a porn film, and sued the director and the studio.  However, most film scholars agree that Dr. Leather's most damning moment occurs during the infamous bondage scene, were Norris is tied down and whipped by some leather-clad women and then, seemingly, sodomized by Reems .  Norris has claimed that it was his double used in that scene, but Reems and others disagree.  One of the film's publicists claimed that she was there the day the scene was shot and said, "My hand to God, Chuck Norris took it up the ass!"
Dr. Leather's House of Torture on Haunted Hill was only screened once - and apparently that was enough.  It has been reported that on January 15th, 1974 when the film premiered at The 42nd Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village, half the audience rose to their feet at the film's end for sixteen and one half minutes of thunderous applause, while the other half were outside of the theater screaming for their money back. 

Reviews of the film were brutal.  Vincent Canaby of The New York Times called it , "A celluloid atrocity".  Pauline Kael dismissed it as, "Garbage passing as art", and Gene Shalit went on the today show and called for the "execution of the director and everyone involved".

The alternative press was kinder, The Village Voice claimed, "Everyone should check into Dr. Leather's House of Torture on Haunted Hill, and make sure you get a room with Mr. Norris, he's most accommodating!" 

Once the film was pulled, it was reported that Norris and Grier pooled their resources and bought the negative and had it destroyed.  Today, neither of them will even acknowledge it's existence.  However, last year a copy of the film was reportedly up for bid on eBay, but once the bidding had reached 10000.00, the page was taken down.

Of course, you can't keep a good Hollywood scandal down:  last month it was reported that Michael Bay bought the rights to Dr. Leather's House of Torture on Haunted Hill and is going to remake it - the cast has yet to be announced.


The Real Housewives of Pittsburgh


Considering that George A. Romero started making films during one of the most turbulent decades in modern history (that would be the 1960’s, in case you were not sure), it’s easy to look at some of his earlier films and see the reflection of the times up there on the screen.  One of the things that I’ve often found most telling about Romero and his convictions, is the empathetic way most of his female characters are treated – indeed, all one needs to do is watch the follow up to Night of the Living DeadThere’s Always Vanilla  a romantic comedy that touched briefly on the topic of abortion, and Jack’s Wife (AKA The Season of the Witch) which was a meditation on a Nixon-era-suburban-house-wife who feels the need to break free of her comfortable identity and explore other avenues in hopes of reinventing herself.  To me, at least, it seems that Romero understood the women of this era and the restrictions society put on them.  

Later, we’d see similar themes pop up in Martin;  Martin’s female cousin is ready to hook up with a louse just so she can get a ticket out the dying city she’s stuck in, and Mrs. Santini is another unhappy housewife who seemingly finds solace in the arms of the film’s protagonist as they are both lost souls trying to find a way to some sort of happiness.  Both of the women in Martin appeared to be only able to change things with the help of a man and Romero understood that cold fact – the women’s movement might have been going strong in New York City and Los Angeles, but in the rust belt, things had not changed all that much.
In Night of the Living Dead, there are three women.  Each of them are beholden to men for their needs:  Barbara might be smarter than her brother Johnny, but once he’s killed by a zombie, she becomes a screaming hysterical mess who can only be subdued by a right hook (watch the movie again, Ben does not just slap her to shut her up, he deck’s her!). 

ajudith Then there’s Judy. 

Obviously, what we are seeing is a burgeoning hippie chick, but she’s still not able to make up her own mind unless she’s reassured and comforted by her boy friend…and even then, she can only end up as a roasted main course for the hungry zombies.

Finally, there is Helen Cooper – Harry’s wife.

Clearly, this well dressed, finely coiffured woman has been around the block.  She is very aware that her husband is a jack ass, and she even verbalizes this to him at one point when she says, “We aharryswife may not enjoy living together, but dying together isn’t going to solve any thing. “   Helen has probably even read The Feminine Mystique – but would it be enough for her to leave Harry and her daughter behind were the zombie apocalypse not happening?   Sadly, when push comes to shove, and Helen see’s her newly zombified daughter munching away on one of daddy’s limbs, she can do nothing but utter, “Poor baby”, and then fall down on the floor and scream while the little zombie brat stabs her .

In the end, the women in Night of the Living Dead all died because they depended on the men to save them.
Some ten years later, when Romero released, Dawn of the Dead, enough had changed in society to serve us up a female character who can not only hang with the boys, but can also be one of the survivors of the zombie uprising.

Frannie is a television producer who along with her boyfriend and two soldiers, beat a hasty retreat out of zombie-infested Philadelphia, to equally zombie infested Monroeville, where she and the boys set up house in a local shopping mall. 73008

At first, Fran takes a somewhat docile approach to things, until one day she’s almost killed by a Hare Krishna ghoul.  After this episode, Fran lays down the law: she wants to  learn how to use a gun, fly the helicopter, and most importantly, she is not going to play mommy for the three guys! 

In one of the film’s most telling moments, the men discover that Fran is pregnant, and one of them say’s, “I can get rid of it”.  It’s downright chilling to see the matter-of-fact-way they discuss this situation, and when Fran overhears the conversation she confronts her boyfriend over the fact.

Fran (as well as the others) eventually becomes seduced by the mall.  Everything that anyone would need is close at hand – there’s a moment in the film when she is sitting at a makeup mirror piling on a ton of cosmetics until she looks like a hooker.  Eventually, she begins to remove the make up and turn back into her real self.

At film’s end, when the mall is breached by a marauding gang of bikers, Fran fights as hard as the guys to protect what they have.  But when the zombies get back into the mall, and her boyfriend is killed and reanimated, it’s clear that escape is the only option, and in the end, Fran (who is now operating the chopper) escapes with the other remaining solider.  Not only is she something of a hero, she may be humanity’s last hope for survival as she is pregnant.

In my eyes, Fran was the quintessential 70’s woman.  She might look good, but she’s also got the guts and gusto to be just as tough as one of the boys –  provided she spoke up - Gloria Steinem  would approve.
By the time Day of the Dead arrived  final girls and female soldiers were everywhere in movies.  From Ripley in Alien to Nancy Thompson in A Nightmare on Elm Street.  So when we meet Sarah, a gun toting, no nonsense scientist, we are in familiar territory.  Sarah is nobody’s fool, and she’s got balls big enough to go up against zombies, as well as gun happy crazy soldiers.  That she is the only woman stuck in an underground bunker with a group of men is rather interesting.   Clearly, a lesser director would have sexualized Sarah, but Romero, again, seemed to understand that the role of women in society had changed for the better and Sarah was an equal to the others (even if some of the men did not wish it so).

It seemed as if actress Lori Cardille might have been channeling Jane Fonda while playing Sarah, at least that’s what always comes to mind when I see her in this film, but whatever the case, she makes the scientist a force to reckon with whether she’s chopping off her boyfriend’s arm with a machete, or facing down a very deranged commanding army sergeant.

In spite of the fact that  Day of the Dead came out during the Reagan era, women were making major strides in business, politics and science, that said, Sarah may have been a reflection of both Margret Thatcher and  Sally Ride.

That her character survives, not only reinforces the notion that women, in Romero’s mind, will be the real hope for the future, but that it’s an  inevitability.
While he did not direct the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead, it was scripted by Romero. 

Coming full circle, this time, we find that while Barbara does go a bit spastic at first, when she finally snaps out of it, she becomes a gun toting, hard ass who actually takes the time to watch the zombies and understand that all one would need to do to escape them is outrun them.  It’s Barbara who seems to be rising above all of the yelling and screaming and hysteria.  And ultimately, it’s Barbara, who not only survives, she kills the non zombified Harry Cooper while coolly noting, “That’s another one for the fire”.

Things don’t go as well for Helen Cooper this time.  Besides realizing that her husband is a jerk, it’s clear that he is also physically abusive.  One of the most disturbing scenes in NOLD 90 is when the Cooper’s are arguing and Harry smacks his wife in the face.  Granted, she strikes back, but still, it’s highly disturbing.  That said, Helen is still independent enough to walk away from her husband and try to assist in finding the elusive keys to the gas pump (try being the operative word here), but in the end, she’s still not strong enough to avoid her flesh eating daughter. hc1

Judy (now known as Judy Rose) is less of a doormat this time as well, she even threatens Ben and Harry reminding them that they are in her boyfriend’s house, and if they both don’t stop arguing, they can be thrown out.  But even so, she still can’t bring herself to admit that the dead are really coming back for the living (even though it’s going on all around her).  Like the Judy before her, this one also becomes a barbecued meal for the marauding ghouls.

As the film ends, Barbara, manages to make it to morning by not depending on anyone but herself – would that Helen and Judy Rose have done the same…
Romero has continued to populate his “Dead” films with strong female characters, and I am always pleased to note that.  One need only look at his most current, Survival of the Dead to see the characters of  Tomboy and Janet for proof.   And frankly, that’s one of the things I so admire about this man.  He could always take the easy way out and throw in a bunch of scantily clad female victims for the fan-boys to ogle, but I do believe  his aim has always been a bit higher.


Movie Poster Madness: 1979 Edition

Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter team up again!  Also starring Janet Leigh, John Houseman, Hal Holbrook and Adrienne Barbeau - what a great cast.  A few years later, Holbrook and Barbeau would be reunited in Creepshow.
This was the must-see movie for horror geeks during the Summer of 1979.
Talia Shire, fresh off her stint in Rocky, starred in this mess of a monster movie. 
Warner Herzog's oddly compelling remake of a silent classic.
Frank Langella brought sexy back to the often told tale of the love-lorn blood sucker from Transylvania.
In spite of the shark vs. zombie scene (which is a brilliant moment), this movie did not do much for me.  
This rarely seen movie is actually a fun little horror movie - and it starred "The Rifleman", Chuck Connors!
Last, but not least, this was the movie that made everyone talk; oh yeah, believe it or not, The Amityville Horror, as bad as it was, really made a mark on popular culture back in the day.  The book, the film, the lawsuits...and of course, James Brolin's hair!


ADD Film Review: Daybreakers

A few years from now the world will suffer a vampire pandemic that will leave most of the inhabitants of Planet Earth, blood suckers (chain smoking, and dressed like they just walked out of a Mickey Spillane novel, blood suckers, I might add).  Society has adapted and the vamp majority has acclimated it self to night time living-death-life .  The only real problem is that the human's are dwindling, and the blood supply is running short.  A big company has been farming humans for their plasma, but since the live stock is almost gone, a substitute must be found.  You see, if a vamp goes with out for a while, his or her fashion sense flies out the window, and he or she becomes a crazed Nosferatu-like beastie
It seems that there is a resistance group of humans (along with some sympathetic vamps) who are not only fighting to reclaim the world,  they've also discovered a cure to vampirism.

Will the good guys win?  Will Willem Dafoe chew up the scenery?  Do you even care?

Suffice to say, this is a loud movie; things blow up, and there is a lot of violence.  It's perfect mindless fun, just don't expect too much, and you'll probably enjoy it.


Movie Poster Madness: 1977 Edition

Mix a bit of Rosemary's Baby, add a small touch of 2001 a Space Odyssey, and add elements of Kurt Vonnegut's short story, EPICAC and you've got Demon Seed.
Underwater Nazi zombies and Peter Cushing!
 An eerie and heartbreaking horror film - they really don't make movies like this anymore, and that's a real shame.
"Well, I'll be damned!"
"Yes, you probably will."
After Duel, before Christine, there was The Car!
The original Bag Head...and of course, Maryanne from Gilligan's Island was in this one.
David Cronenberg give's Marilyn Chambers her big break in legitimate film.  In spite of it's many flaws, I really like this movie.
And last, but not least here it is: a Star Studded Serving of Seventies Style Satanic Cinema


All of Them Bloggers

Enter the Church of Liaguno, if you dare, where Pope Vince forgoes his weekly Jamie Lee Curtis sermon and instead, serves up a homily on the dreadfulness that is the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street.  Of course, since he is a benevolent Pontiff, Vince does find a few nice things to say about this train-wreck.  CHECK IT OUT HERE.

You know that life is worth living when you find a review of one of the most misguided movie musicals of all time staring you in the face.  Come on ease on down the road with Billy and Jeremy at Tower Farm Reviews where Billy confess his love for Miss Diana Ross and serves up a look at The Wiz CHECK IT OUT HERE.

Would you like to have your blog feasted on by a washed up 80's action star?  Well, then you are in luck!  Right this way you will find that Matt at Chuck Norris Ate My Baby is hosting the first ever, Chuck Norris Ate My Blog Contest!  For details just, CHECK IT OUT HERE.

While Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, My Daughter, left hers at the 7th Street Video Store.  Go to Day of the Woman and read this bittersweet remembrance of an independent video store that may be long gone, but still lives on in BJ-C's heart. CHECK IT OUT HERE.

And finally, if your looking for another horror blog from a gay POV, look no further than the Lavender Lair of Horror - tell 'em Pax sent you! CHECK IT OUT HERE


A Real Nightmare: The Possession of David O'Reilly

Don't you just love discovering a horror movie that is unique and thought provoking as well as terrifying?

Such is the case with Andrew Cull's The Possession of David O'Reilly.

A young British couple, Kate and Alex (Zoe Richards and Nicholas Shaw) take in their recently-dumped-by-his-girlfriend pal, David (Giles Alderson).  David is a mess, and Kate and Alex agree to have him spend the night so that he can lick his wounds and figure things out.  However, it seems that David is carrying some kind of psychic (or possibly psychological) damage with him, and it's about to be set loose in the charming little flat of his best friends.

Almost immediately, David starts hearing noises, and seeing odd figures racing about his friend's back yard.  It seems that this is nothing new, and that our brokenhearted boy has been  hellishly tormented by something for several weeks now, and whatever it might be, has followed him.

When the first beast/zombie/demon shows up at the back door, and David pours a line of salt at the entryway to prevent it from entering the apartment, one is aware that the hero of this story has a history.  Furthermore, when a pregnant neighbor shows up at the front door, forgetting why she even rang the bell, you know that something truly odd is in the works. 

Bringing to mind such films as Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project and Through a Glass Darkly, ... David O'Reilly manages to bring something new to the table in spite of the films it seems to be paying homage to (though apparently, this script was written the year before Paranormal Activity).    Honestly, I was surprised, and scared witless several times while watching, and I think most viewers unless they are jaded beyond any hope, will have the same reactions.

What a shame that this little movie exists in the shadow of the latest Platinum Dunes train wreck; if you really want to experience A Nightmare, don't waste your money on that big money maker, seek out The Possession of David O'Reilly instead.


When Freddy met Zsa Zsa

One of the greatest moments of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 -  Dream Warriors...Dick Cavett becomes Freddy Kruger and attacks Zsa Zsa Gabor!


Survival of The Dead's Gay Character(s)

I re-watched George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead last night, and still stand by everything I said about it initially.  However, this time, I trained my queer eye upon the film and come up with two interesting finds.

First, there is a primary female character in this film who is gay .  Tomboy (played by Athena Karkanis) is a no-nonsense solider who makes no bones about declaring her sexuality...what is most refreshing is the way she is treated by her comrades in arms, as well as others she interacts with.  Her sexuality is never used to denigrate, shame or eroticise her character.  Well done, Uncle Georgie, well done.
The next thing that I found interesting was the relationship between the bad ass, Sgt. Crockett (Alan Van Sprang) and the young man known only as Boy (Devon Bostwick).  It seems that almost immediately, Crockett becomes protective of the nerdy kid who accidentally falls in with the band of soldiers.  While he tough talks the kid at first, and even slugs him for shooting a zombie, Crockett seems to warm up to him, looking down on him as he sleeps later, and covering him with his jacket...

OK, I might have been reading too much into things, but when this bit of dialogue is exchanged between them, well, I could not help but read some rather homoerotic undertones into it.  This all occurs as the duo is holed up in an abandoned catering hall - I like to think of it as Survival of the Dead's "Great Expectations Moment".   Crockett is telling Boy about the small town he came from:
 "Small towns give birth to small people."
"But you're not a small person; what are you? 6'2? 6'3?"
 "6'1, last time I measured..."
"I don't think I'm full grown yet.  And who knows, I might even end up taller than you."
"You might kid, if you ever get to be full grown."

While I'd like to report that they are overcome by mutual desire and have a mad passionate affair; well that's not the case because a family feud is afoot as well as a zombie apocalypse to contend with.   What is of note, is by film's end, (SPOILER ALERT) Crockett, Boy and Tomboy are left to carry on - isn't that interesting a lesbian, a macho solider, and a nerdy kid who might be the apple of the soldier's eye.  The future might be bright after all.