A Very Happy Birthday to Jessica Harper (October 3rd, despite the WRONG info listed on her IMDB page), one of the world’s most amazing actresses of all time, ever!! J-Harp (as I like to call her :)) has appeared in some of the most bizarre films to receive mainstream releases, including Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories, Pennies from Heaven (with Steve Martin), the insanely overlooked Rocky Horror Picture Show follow-up Shock Treatment, a badass episode of Tales from the Crypt (that grossed me out so much when I was little!!!), the brilliantly bonkers Phantom of the Paradise (#BeefLives!!), and the Queen of Italian Ho-rror pictures, Dario Argento’s Suspiria!!!
As Suzy Bannion in Suspiria, she achieves the rare feat of portraying innocence without ignorance or naïveté, while possessing a knowing look and curious nature. In Phantom of the Paradise, she’s a fantastic “Christine” to a groovy Phantom and belts out a mean tune… and blessed us with the best ho-rror film dance this side of Crispin Glover’s dance in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. (#BlessedBe. ;)) She took over for Susan Sarandon in Shock Treatment and rocked a little black dress like no one else No matter the role, she brings a inimitably quirky charm and steals the show. She is the Goddess of Cult Cinema. 🙂
Happy Birthday, Jessica! All us Kinky Ho-s absolutely adore you!! 🙂 xoxo
Long Live Suzy Bannion!
(One of the greatest scenes in all of cinematic history!)
PS- I like to show off my helmet whenever possible… (I know a lot of you guys can relate. ;))
Happy Birthday to the sassy lassie with the classy chassis… Elvira, Mistress of the Dark!!
Yes, Kreeps… the forever gore-geous Cassandra Peterson turned a fabulous 66(6) today, so it’s time to skull-ebrate!
We talk about Elvira A LOT on this site, but that’s only because there would be no Kinky Horror without her! She was (and is) a major influence on all of us spooky cats here! Her killer style, her wicked puns, her… uh, two big pumpkins… Elvira is definitely one of the coolest ghouls in the graveyard and our most HeXXXcellent inspiration! Whether she’s hosting scary shock schlock on TV or vamping it up at theme parks, Elvira will always be our Queen of Halloween. 🙂
In ho-nor of Cassandra/Elvira, we’ve gathered up some of our favorite Elvira Ho-st segments to showcase her eternal badassery. Enjoy 🙂
Happy Alien: Covenant Eve, cool ghouls and groovy ghoulies! We’re celebrating this glorious occasion with a look back at one of the franchise’s greatest heroines… and she’s not Ripley, believe it or not! My dear creeps, we’re taking the time to ho-nor Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, the chick who met her maker and lived to tell the tale! We all know Ellen Ripley’s the baddest badass to ever bruise those bestial brutes known as Xenomorphs, but I think Dr. Shaw doesn’t get enough love. She made her debut in 2012’s Prometheus, a film that’s as divisive as they come. Personally, I love the heck out of that film and Dr. Shaw is one of the reasons why. While it’s tempting to compare her to Ripley, Shaw is actually very different from that alien slayer in nearly every way. In fact, the only real similarity is that they’re both survivors in Alien films. The primary difference between Ripley and Shaw is motivation. Ellen Ripley is a pragmatic woman whose main objective is survival. She’s the sort who just wants to kill the freaky monster threatening everyone and move on. On the other hand, Shaw is motivated by knowledge. Elizabeth travels beyond the stars to find the answer to the question that has plagued us all since we first walked upon the earth: where did we come from? She’s interested in studying the unknown, something Ellen had no desire to do. Her intellectual pursuits not only set her apart from Ripley, but make her a endearing protagonist in her own right. Shaw is also awesome in how darn positive she remains throughout the film. While she is a devout Christian in the film, she’s less a fanatical zealot and more a spiritual optimist. Shaw loses everyone she cares about, has her faith challenged by just about everybody/everything, is nearly killed by one of mankind’s less-than-friendly creators, and experiences unimaginable physical pain. And yet, despite every ghastly thing thrown at her, Shaw still maintains her belief and quest for knowledge. To Shaw, there is always hope. That undying optimism is hard not to admire. Of course, Shaw also gets mad love for being a complete badass when it matters. In one of the most horrific scenes in modern horror, Shaw discovers she is pregnant with a FREAKIN’ ALIEN SQUID!!! Being an Alien film, you might expect this to be the end of our feisty redhead. No siree, Bob! Shaw takes the awesome approach to the situation. She runs off to an automated surgery table configured for male use and reprograms that shite to perform a C-section on her to remove that tentacled beastie! She did what no other Alien character has done and survived a Chestburster(-like) attack! If that’s not enough for ya, she avoids being crushed by an alien ship and getting killed by an extraterrestrial… while still recovering that nasty surgical wound!
Here’s to you, Dr. Shaw. The truth is out there, so keep searchin’! 🙂 P.S. She also gets major points for being the daughter of a character played by Patrick “SeXXX God” Wilson!
Howdy, Kinky Kreeps! 🙂 February 1st marked the 40th anniversary of Dario Argento’s eXXXellent Suspiria, and the beginning of our year-long celebration of its greatness! With the U.S. release and a new 4K restoration coming up, we’d figured we’ll have a lot of love to give this bewitching masterpiece. For today, though, we have jerked one (#ha ;)) from our vaults submitted by Mr. Dr. Anton Phibes! Take it away, sir-spiria! 😉
On February 1, 1977, a cinematic pythoness cast her insidious spell on hordes of unsuspecting filmgoers. This sorceress’ influence is known by and felt by all who live for fright films. Her name was Suspiria, and she is possibly the most grotesque, yet beautiful film experiences of all time. Those who know me in real life are probably sick to death of me praising this particular film, but my love for it burns like a dance academy on fire. This film is my Halloween or Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I can think of few films as enchanting and morbid as Dario Argento’s fairy story about a clever heroine and a wicked witch.
Suspiria begins by introducing us to our heroine Suzy Bannion, played to perfection by Jessica Harper, my life-long film crush. Suzy travels to Germany to attend a prestigious dance academy. Strange events occur and the students are targeted by a ruthless killer… Or, perhaps a force beyond our comprehension. As the students begin to get picked off, Suzy begins to unravel the school’s dark, terrifying secrets.
Suspiria is, in many ways, a “pure” horror film. Humor does not figure in to diffuse the sense of dread we feel, nor are there any action scenes, romance, or any obvious attempts at commentary. Argento’s fable is dedicated to scaring the wits out of you from the start. The aura of foreboding is palpable from the very first frame and we are treated to the most ghastly, yet gorgeous murder(s) in any terror film. Every aspect of Suspiria seems to have been chosen to create the most exquisitely stunning horror imaginable.
Primary colors have never been so brilliantly used to instill fear as they were in Suspiria. The whole look is an excellent fusing of EC Comics luridness and the ethereal lushness of a 1940s musical extravaganza. To achieve this style, the film was shot on normal Eastmancolor Kodak stock, then printed using the three-strip Technicolor process, utilizing one of the last remaining three-strip machines. Cinematographer Luciano Tovoli was required to watch Disney’s Snow White as a visual reference. A rather fitting one, considering that Suspiria is essentially a classic fairytale for adults.
Salutations from the Other Side, Ho-rror Ho-mies! Yesterday, the monsters came out to play in Karloffornia with two events for fantastic film lovers: Day of the Scream Queens (and Kings) at Dark Delicacies and a screening of Hitchcock’s North by Northwest with screen legend Martin Landau! We here at Kinky Horror were fortunate enough to attend both events and we have a little taste of the greatness for you! 🙂
4th Annual David DeCoteau’s Day of the Scream Queens (& Kings)
“For the past 30 years I have had the pleasure to work with many talented actors and actresses in Cult movies. DAY OF THE SCREAM QUEENS (& KINGS) is a celebration of our many years working together. Del and Sue of the best Horror Boutique in the world, DARK DELICACIES graciously offered their incredible store for this event. Every performer attending this event has appeared in at least one of my movies and this will be the first time in history ALL of these stars will appear together anywhere!” – David DeCoteau
Cult filmmaker David DeCoteau (Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama) returned to Burbank with a group of some of the greatest cult stars to ever creep around on the Silver Scream! In a fantastic gathering of cinematic ghouls worthy of House of Frankenstein, DeCoteau and his merry band of maniacs gave Burbank fright-seekers a chance to meet some the cultiest cult stars in Horror! The folks attending the event treated these queens and kings of horror with the respect and enthusiasm these professional scare-makers deserve. To many of us, these fine performers are bigger than the Brads and Angelinas of the world!
Here are some our petrifying pics from the event:
The Very Beginning…
Hordes of Fright Fans gathered for the event!
The Legendary Adrienne Barbeau (Creepshow, Escape From New York, The Fog, Swamp Thing, Batman: The Animated Series) signs an Escape From New York Poster. Just call her Billie, everyone does.
Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) and Adrienne Barbeau in conversation. How often do you see Angela Baker and Catwoman chat?
Scream Queen Brinke Stevens (far too many to list here!) and William Butler (Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Night of the Living Dead 1990), a man who has had the honor of being killed by both Jason and Leatherface!
From left to right: Monique Parent (1313 Franchise, Helene Udy (My Bloody Valentine 1981), and Galyn Görg (Robocop II, Star Trek: Voyager) tending to fans.
Chopping Mall director Jim Wynorski stops by.
Laurene Landon (Maniac Cop 1 and 2) is pretty in pink.
Robert Brian Wilson (Silent Night, Deadly Night) remains one of the best “Santas” in horror. I know our Ho-stess wouldn’t argue with that…
Brothers unite! Robert Brian Wilson and Eric Freeman (Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2) shared a table.
North by Northwest with Martin Landau!
A legend paid tribute to another legend… Martin Landau (Ed Wood, The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, The X-Files, 9, North By Northwest) honored beloved casting director and film memorabilia collector Marvin Paige at a screening of North by Northwest to celebrate what would’ve been Mr. Paige’s 89th birthday. The 88-year-old Mr. Landau showed very few signs of his age, remaining as sharp and spry as the best of us. Mr. Landau has been a favorite of many of us here at Kinky Horror, so it was truly extraordinary to hear him speak. On the film, Mr. Landau gave some insight on his character (apparently, he intended for him to be gay and James Mason just went with it), revealed that he was made aware of his casting in the film when Alfred Hitchcock showed him the storyboards (Hitchcock said at one point, “And here is when you enter the picture.”), and revealed that Mr. Hitchcock made the film after feeling some disappointment in his Saboteur. Afterward, he revealed that he got the part in Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors after telling Allen that the character Landau would eventually play should be given a human, sympathetic quality, despite the villainous things he does throughout the feature. Mr. Landau was a delight to listen to… and even did impressions of Allen and Hitchcock during the interview! When the interview was finished, Mr. Landau signed a petition to get Mr. Paige a star on the Walk of Fame. Thank you, Martin Landau and Marvin Paige.
Martin Landau speaks!
Mr. Landau signs the petition.
A standee of Marvin Paige.
Mr. Landau’s arrival at the Egyptian:
As a bonus, here is one of our favorite Martin Landau moments:
And check out his performance in the The Outer Limits episode, The Man Who Was Never Born, a highly underrated bit of sci-fi television.
Hiya, Ho-rror Ho-mies! Last Saturday was The Women’s March, a worldwide protest in support of women’s rights, health care reform, environmental protection, LGBTQ rights, racial justice, freedom of religion,and workers’ rights. Without getting too political, we noticed that a few eXXXtremely awesome queens of genre fiction (and Dita Von Teese *squee!!* :)) were in attendance, and we love them even more for it! Here are some of the Gore-gous women that marched on Saturday. (And there are so many more that could be included…It was a beautiful experience, and I’m ho-nored I got to be part of it. Now the real work begins… 😉 xoxoxo)
Jessica Harper (Suspiria, Phantom of the Paradise)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween series, Terror Train, Scream Queens)
Rose McGowan (Scream, Charmed)
Dita Von Teese (Burlesque Queen)
Melissa Benoist (Supergirl)
Lily Rabe (American Horror Story)
Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story)
Cassandra Peterson (“Elvira”)
Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story, American Gothic)
Die-ana Prince: Your Ho-stess at the Protest 😉 xoxo
Greetings, you fabulous fright fiends! I would like to take a moment to ho-nor three of the most awesomely creepy-peeps in fright film history: Handsome Halloweenie Mr. John Carpenter, Hammer Ho-ttie Caroline Munro, and Mummy Maker Karl Freund! Let’s get this Mad Monster Party started, shall we? 🙂
Caroline Munro: January 16, 1949
The First Lady of Fantasy! 🙂 Caroline “Forever Goddess” Munro is the only performer that can boast a career that includes being turned into a vampire by Christopher Lee’s Dracula, portraying Vincent Price’s wife in the eXXXcellent Dr. Phibes series, encountering creatures created by Ray Harryhausen, and who was also a Bond Girl! Dang! Those are some spooky-good credentials! 🙂 If that’s not impressive enough, Ms. Munro was the only actress to have been signed to a long-term contract with Hammer Studios! Caroline Munro is pure Ho-rror Ho-tness and is a cult icon of highest order. In addition to her impressive acting resume, the Mighty Munro writes a column for Space Monsters Magazine, proving that she’s still an important player in the ho-rror community… as if there was any doubt. 🙂
Blurry-But-Awesome Caroline Munro Meeting!!!! 🙂
Happy Birthday, you Gore-geous Genre Great! 🙂
John Carpenter: January 16, 1948
John Carpenter came here to make kickass movies and chew bubblegum… and he’s all out of bubblegum! 🙂 One of the true innovators of genre filmmaking, Mr. Carpenter more-or-less created the slasher genre as we know it today with Halloween in 1978 and just kept on creating clas-sicks for years! The Fog, The Thing, They Live, Escape from New York, and Big Trouble in Little China are all among the best genre cinema has to offer, and I bet few would argue with that. (And those who do are wrong! ;)) In addition to writing and directing awesome movies, he scores ’em! Halloween’s oft-imitated theme was composed by the man himself and remains one of the most spine-tingling horror themes ever! Happy Birthday, you Dark Star! 🙂
Karl Freund: January 16, 1890
Now here’s is a devious dude with an eye for terror! Karl Freund was the cinematographer on some of the most monstertastic monster movies ever! His work includes Metropolis, The Golem, Murders in the Rue Morgue(1932), and Dracula with badass bloodsucker Bela Lugosi! As a director, Mr. Freund directed The Mummy (1932) and Mad Love (1935), two fright films I just can’t praise enough! If that wasn’t enough to make him a legend, Mr. Freund is also responsible for the development of the three-camera system used to shoot sitcoms, a system he used on I Love Lucy! Mad Love for Mr. Karl Freund! 🙂
Happy Birthday to these three Legendary Legends of Awesomeness! (And to anyone else who happens to be celebrating today. :)) xoxoxo
December is rough time to have a birthday, dear fiends! As great as the Ho-rrorday season is, some birthdays get overshadowed because this time of the year. To make up for this, we’re celebrating the totally awesome December horror birthdays today in one big ol’ post! We wish all these wonderful ghouls the best and we hope they have/had the most spooky-cool birthday imaginable! 🙂
TONY TODD: DECEMBER 4, 1954
If there is a man we can describe as the modern Christopher Lee, it’s certainly Tony Todd. Standing at a Sasquatchian 6′ 5″ and possessing a wicked charisma, Mr. Todd is certainly worthy of his reputation as a legend of fright! Mr. Todd’s compelling performance as the titular boogeyman in 1992’s Candyman is the kind of Monster that elicits both fear and an odd sort of sympathy like only the truly great movie creeps can. The great monster would go on to play a plethora of great monsters and madmen, including the eternally classic duo of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! We dare you to say his name five times!
SHIRLEY JACKSON: DECEMBER 14, 1916
The Undisputed Queen of Horror Literature! Ms. Jackson is primarily known for The Haunting of Hill House (the basis for The Haunting) and The Lottery, a truly chilling short story. Genre geniuses Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Richard Matheson have all cited Jackson as an inspiration on their own work and she remains the High Priestess of Printed Chillers. While all of her morbid fiction is prime fright fare, I highly recommend We Have Always Lived in the Castle, one of my all-time favorite novels. The first paragraph is one of the greatest openings ever written and a great example of her peculiar style:
My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenent, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead.
Thanks for haunting us, Ms. Jackson!
The first paragraph is certainly one of the greatest openings ever written:
SARAH PAULSON: DECEMBER 17, 1974
Sarah Paulson is one of three performers to appear in every single season of American Horror Story and she always emerges as one of highlights in a show bursting with sensationally macabre delights! Throughout the course of the show, she has portrayed a psychic, a perpetually teary-eyed ghost, Siamese Twins with a dark past, a witch, and other victims of the strange and macabre. She also starred on American Gothic in the mid ’90s, so Ms. Paulson is no stranger to the world of Terror-Vision. Of all her wonderfully oddball performances on AHS, it’s her dual performance as the conjoined Dot and Bette in Freak Show that made her a favorite of ours here at Kinky Horror. Two heads are better than one!
FREDDIE FRANCIS: DECEMBER 22, 1912
Here’s a fellow with an eye for horror! While Terence Fisher was Hammer’s Master of Terror, Freddie Francis certainly has an impressive collection of British shockers to his name. His works include 1971’s Tales from the Crypt for Amicus, Dracula Has Risen From the Grave, Evil of Frankenstein, Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors, and Girly. In addition to his Hammer and Amicus terror tales, Mr. Francis had an excellent career as a cinematographer, even winning two Academy Awards! Mr. Francis was also the man who gave The Elephant Man its eerily beautiful look in 1980. For six (including the wraparound) excellent tales of the macabre in one, Check out Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors! Looking creepy, Freddie F.!
DICK MILLER: DECEMBER 25, 1928
Dick Miller is a National Treasure to anyone with a healthy love for exploitation, blood, and gooey ghouls! With his craggy face and distinctive voice, he has graced (and saved) a seemingly endless amount of B-movies with a blue-collar charm all of his own. Horror aficionados will certainly remember his turn as Walter Paisley in Roger Corman’s A Bucket of Blood, a true classic of splatstick! Even if you don’t recognize the name, you’ve certainly seen his lovable mug before, as Mr. Miller has appeared in such classics as The Terminator, The Howling, and Gremlins. The affectionate and ever-popular descriptor of “that guy” was practically coined for Miller. Appropriately enough, there is a documentary called That Guy Dick Miller that serves as wonderful tribute this legend and we highly recommend it to both fans and newbies alike. Nice to know That Guy!
BARBARA CRAMPTON: DECEMBER 27, 1958
Barbara Crampton is one of the dreamiest, screamiest scream queens to ever haunt the screen! From her early (and still excellent) work in Re-Animator and From Beyond to her work in modern fare like You’re Next and Beyond the Gates, it’s clear that this scare idol is going strong and will continue to her decades-long reign! Ms. Crampton is one of horror’s best-loved actresses and an inspiration to us here at Kinky Horror. For fans looking for a new Crampton masterpiece, check out her truly excellent turn in We Are Still Here, a modern creeper sure to turn your hair white! Keep up the ghoul work, Ms. Crampton!
F.W. MURNAU: DECEMBER 28, 1888
The Master of Shadows! F.W. Murnau was once called “the greatest poet the screen has ever known” by French film theorist and director Alexandre Astruc, and his dreamlike imagery certainly backs this claim up. Murnau was like a painter, more concerned with the mood and images than the dimensions of his characters. His cinematic paintings have lost none of their power today. Why, just look at enduring popularity of his Nosferatu, his unauthorized adaptation of Dracula! That film is the golden standard of the German Expressionist Accustomed to the weird and eerie, Murnau also directed versions of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Faust, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Unfortunately, HIs Jekyll and Hyde and Hunchback are lost to time, but his Faust survived and is highly recommended. Hail Murnau!
BARBARA STEELE: DECEMBER 29, 1937
The Scream Queeniest of All Scream Queens! Barbara Steele is up there with Vincent Price and Peter Cushing in the realm of fright legends! Her piercing eyes cut through you like a machete and her dark presence will stick with you long after the credits roll! She’s worked with Vincent Price, Roger Corman, Mario Bava, Joe Dante, and many other titans of terror and she can hold her own with the best Horror has to offer. Her performance in Black Sunday is iconic in every sense of the word and continues to haunt the best of us to this day. Ms. Steele has a gazillion slasherpieces her name, but we highly recommend Long Hair of Death, a lesser-known gothic chiller with great atmosphere and a killer ending that does Wicker Man before Wicker Man! Long Live the Queen!