Famed Dracula actor Bela Lugosi died on this day in 1956. So far he hasn’t returned my attempts for comment. I try to work in the brilliant Bauhaus song "Bela Lugosi’s Dead" into my set as it has a way of taking the dance floor to a surreal almost hypnotic state. It’s nine-and-a-half minutes long and is often remembered from the opening sequence of the terminally hip 1983, Tony Scott flick The Hunger. That film stared Catherine Deneuve, Susan Sarandon, and an absolutely brilliant David Bowie. As “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” blared, lead singer Peter Murphy climbed a chain-link fence that separated him from his crowd at a nightclub. Vampires Bowie and Deneuve pick up a couple of victims, including club performer- turned-actress Ann Magnuson. They lure them to a lavish home on the pretext of sex and then rip them to shreds. When I play the track on club nights it’s like a cigarette break. I can close my eyes and ponder things like how songs from this era are still relevant to fast crowds. YouTube this scene right now and toast to Bela Lugosi.
The Limelightflick is scheduled to start airing on Showtime starting today. I figure anybody relevant has already seen this film which has me chatting away in a few scenes. Now, the film which has been seen in the major markets will get to play in Peoria and places like that. For me it’s sort of like a vampire flick with a time and place that has been dead a long time, rising from its grave and into my bedroom and millions of others. Limelight is enjoying its limelight and return to the party with the opening of Daniel and Derek Koch’sChâteau Cherbuliez restaurant in the hallowed halls.
If you’re a freak like me and enjoy the crazy adrenaline rush of being scared out of your wits by a horror flick, then television in October is a really fun time for you. Both Chiller and AMC are playing tons of back-to-back Halloween-inspired movies right about now, but one can only watch The Shining and Friday the 13th so many times. With that said, here’s a list of six fashionably frightening features to order on Netflix this week, from the obvious (Rosemary’s Baby) to the obscure (Suspiria).
1. Suspiria (1977): The most morbidly chic film you’ll ever see. Directed by Italian filmmaker Dario Argento, the movie is set in a ballet school in Germany and features a vibrant color palette, an ace score by "Italian progressive rock band" Goblin and a really gross scene that involves millions of maggots. In other words, it’s a must.
2. The Hunger (1983): The late Tony Scott’s super-stylized debut feature follows vampire lovers Miriam (Catherine Deneuve) and John (David Bowie) as they scan ’80s New York goth-punk clubs for fresh blood. Susan Sarandon is one of their victims. Perfection.
3. The Omen (1976): Little Damien may have satanic tendencies and all, but check out that style! He has the British school boy look down pat and offers some serious menswear inspiration. (Make sure you watch this original version, not the 2006 one with Liev Schreiber.)
4. The Birds (1963): Yes, I saw that HBO film about how Alfred Hitchcock abused Birds star Tippi Hedren and no, I will never see the "Attacked in the Attic" scene the same again. But how about Tippi’s fierce green belted dress and matching jacket?
5. The Bad Seed (1956): I feel like Little Rhoda Penmark would have totally hung out with Tavi Gevinson—she’s got the look. And being an angsty adolescent contributor on Rookie would have definitely distracted Rhoda from "accidentally" killing people.
6. Rosemary’s Baby (1968): This is sort of a cop out since there isn’t a single fashion fiend out there that doesn’t count this movie as a source of major style and beauty inspo. From baby doll dresses to Peter Pan collars to a killer pixie cut, Mia Farrow’s got it all.
Tony Scott, who is responsible for some of the biggest American movies in the last thirty years (including Bevery Hills Cop II, Days of Thunder, Enemy of the State, True Romance, Man on Fire, and Spy Game), passed away yesterday after jumping off Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles. It was certainly a shock to many, who took to Twitter (where else?) last night to express their grief. This is, of course, where I learned the news. While I can’t say that I’ve seen a ton of his movies (of the six I mentioned just now, I’ve only seen two), he was, surprisingly, the director of two of the gayest moves of the 1980s. I can’t offer any condolences via a social networking site, but I can add my own personal take on his career right here. YOU’RE WELCOME.
The first is Scott’s directorial debut: The Hunger. It’s the most obvious choice, as it’s got a lesbian love scene between Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon. But let’s look deeper at the other total gayballs stuff in this movie. First, the cast. Catherine Deneuve? She’s the most beautiful person on the planet, even now at 68 years old. The woman knows how to pick a surgeon, is what I’m saying. Pretty gay! Then there’s Susan Sarandon. It doesn’t get any homo than mid-eighties Susan Sarandon. And David Bowie? Even straight dudes would go gay for Bowie. And it’s about vampires. Are there any monsters more homoerotic than vampires? Nope. Case closed.
What’s the other gay flick? Well, duh: Top Gun. To wit:
Yes, I think homosexuality is genetic and not a choice, but, then again, there is the existence of the rampant homoeroticism in Top Gun. (It surprisingly gets gayer when dubbed in Spanish, FYI.) I am pretty sure there’s a whole generation of gay men whose parents’ early ’90s basic-cable subscriptions have left them with the inability to control an erection whenever they spot a volleyball net.