Hannibal is a television program made by Bryan "Pushing Daisies" Fuller. I like Bryan Fuller. He always seems sweet. I like to imagine us as kindred spirits since we both wear big glasses and have trouble maintaining our figures. He wrote for Star Trek - I was an dayplayer on Star Trek. I once saw him at a Friday the 13th screening at the Vista and he was actually friends with Adrienne King. They sat together and everything! Classy.
Bryan Fuller has a high-end antique/interiors shop here in Los Angeles. Accordingly, even though I normally abhor procedural dramas, Hannibal(the series, not the 2001 film) is a sensory feast. The interiors are so lush and the camera work is so intricate I that I forget I'm watching a procedural. I fall into a deep reverie every time Hannibal drinks from a perfectly lit and polished wine glass. My mind wanders and I find myself wondering how I can retreat all the surfaces in my apartment in shades of matte grey and blood red. That's really all I ask of any program. Unlike the other noted homosexual show-runner, Ryan "friend of Julia Roberts" Murphy, Mr Fuller's programs are whimsical and consummately plotted. Hannibal is no exception.
I had bronchitis last week so I watched the entire first series of Hannibal (British people call seasons "series"). I've never had more lucid fever dreams. Maybe it was the codeine, maybe I'm just getting old, but I found this series genuinely frightening. Exorcist 3 frightening.
Mads Mikkelson plays Hannibal Lecter. He has great hair and creates an imposing silhouette. I can't understand a word he's saying most of the time. This is not necessarily a criticism.
Gillian Anderson play's Dr Lecter's therapist. She's got secrets - notably, her dermatologist. She's never looked better.
Hugh Dancy. He left Claire Danes all alone with their baby to run around Canada filming this show that takes every opportunity to fetishize his flawless bone structure and perfect skin. Thank God! I wonder what he eats. In every picture of Hugh and Claire, she's always clutching onto him and he's always looking off in the distance at something else. I bet he's a good drunk.
Watching Hannibal, reminded me just how "queer" the whole Thomas Harris franchise is. It's like Anne Rice without the vampires. Focusing Hannibal's mania on a pouty, delicate Brit only accentuates the homoeroticism. Good job, NBC - you finally made a gay show.
As Mary Jo Buttafuco and Twitter Queen Mia Farrow can attest, 1992 was not a banner year. There were exceptions - despite a muddled production, Alien 3 was a good time and Dracula is still the best gay date movie ever and Hellraiser 3 was the first time I ever copped wood thanks to a scary movie (straight guys get an endless parade of boobs, it was about time they threw us gay boys a boner).
Through all this, there is one movie that still stands above the muddled fray...
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. 1.10.1992
Thanks to Annabella Sciorra, 1992 marks the beginning of
my relationship with feminism. Annabella was a feminist role model in every way - the kind of woman who, despite being
seven months pregnant, still woke up an hour before her family to make them
fresh-squeezed orange juice, self-possessed enough to let
her eyebrows grow un-plucked as Goddess intended.
In the first ten minutes of the documentary, The Hand that
Rocks the Cradle, Annabella finds a wandering,
mentally handicapped man stumbling around her backyard.Unfettered, she introduces him to her husband and her daughter (trusting that he won't spill coffee on her newborn when the time comes). Without missing a moment of Sally Jesse Raphael, she puts
him to work building a white picket fence for their gorgeous, newly restored
pre-war house. Practical.
"Don't fuck with me, retard."
Much like Tori Spelling years later, in hopes of helping other expectant mothers, Annabella allowed the cameras to follow her to her ob/gyn
appointment with Dr Q.After Dr Q
sexually molests her in the stirrups (with his BARE HANDS), Annabelle powers through an asthma attack
and she presses charges before setting the table for dinner that evening.Powerful. She's so busy building her own green house and getting her daughter into a charter school that she can't even bother changing out of her over-sized hunting jacket for weeks at a time.
Well, when that lecherous Dr Q winds up killing himself, setting off a chain of events that leads to the miscarriage of his own child, Annabella takes in his widow, Rebecca DeMournay. This was a time when Ms DeMournay couldn't get arrested in Hollywood, and despite the protestation of Julianne Moore, Annabella opened up her home and hired Rebecca as a Nanny. Philanthropic.
Unlike Annabella and Yolanda Foster, Rebecca DeMournay has never been a "girls-girl." She's one of those girls who makes it tougher for everyone else. Rather than be empowered by girls like Annabella and all she's accomplished, Rebecca is jealous. She can't find happiness until she makes a mess of everything for everyone around her. If she's not spilling Annabella's favorite perfume (an indulgence), she's murdering her friends and seducing her husband. You just can't help some people. That's why I still refuse to get a housekeeper.
1992 was a hard bitch. Diana got divorced. 10,000 Maniacs broke up. I was still a chubby monkey - but it's always darkest before the dawn. The next year, we moved from Gloucester to Rockport where I could skip through the square to the bookshop to buy wonderful stories of beanstalks and ogres and where I could walk to the IGA supermarket that had The Addams Family cereal boxes that came with free flashlights.
Tomorrow, I'll tell you about that time I maybe accidentally ate horse in France and turned anorexic.
1991 was the year that the Gloucester Cinema opened up and I could walk through the woods and a couple of bogs to the movie theatre all by myself without needing a ride. That was the summer of Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. I was LIVING. By September, the theatre staff knew me by name. I saw EVERYTHING - People Under the Stairs,Sleeping with the Enemy, Silence of the Lambs, Terminator 2! A couple movies stand out in particular. Child's Play 3 8.30.1991
This is not a good movie, but it's the first horror movie I ever went to by myself.
Cape Fear 11.13.1991
Scorsese. DeNiro. Split dipoters. This was the moment when Jessica Lange became the embittered, callous, chain-smoking Jessica Lange parody we know and love (and fear) today. If I had a dollar for every time I walked down the hallway to middle school chorus, imagining that I was Juliette Lewis walking into the auditorium, intent on finding an older man determined to put his finger in my mouth, I could buy us about seven grilled stuft nachos.
Freddy's Dead 9.13.1991
THIS. Another movie I insisted on seeing alone as to not mar the experience. I remember how everyone in the audience wore the 3D glasses for the first ten minutes before we realized that it wasn't in 3D until the last reel.
Tomorrow I'll be sure to tell you about how I wrote a four page fan letters to Norm from The Real World and how I got momma's credit cards shut down after one too many calls to Marina Sirtis on QVC.
Ryan over at Shock Til You Drop did a nifty list of horror movies from the 90s and it sent me into a deep, Tennessee Williams style reverie.
The world around me faded and was replaced by crystalline memories of walking to parochial school, still thinking about last night's episode of Parker Lewis Can't Lose. On special days, I'd get a tuna sandwich from The Yellow Sub, the good kind with the chunks of dill pickles on the top, and try to avoid getting beat up and/or called faggot until it was time to go home and I could watch my stories.
This era was the apex of my horror fandom. It was a time when everything was possible and all my dreams were real. Ironically, much like today, the 90s was a period of horror backlash. Coming off the glut of 80s slashers, audiences would become far more interested in Sharon Stone's sexcapades than a return to Camp Crystal Lake. So, while everyone is away at Sundance, let's take a moment to throw is back.
The Exorcist III.
1990 came hard. Don't believe me? Watch this movie. The Exorcist IIIpetrified me, quite literally. If it came on television, I'd be rendered motionless, for fear that movement would draw the spirits and some monstrous, possessed elderly woman wielding gardening equipment would spring out of the hall closet, covered in mom's sheets from last year. One night The Exorcist III came on and I had to call my best girl, Vanessa, to come over and turn it off for me while I covered my head with the pillow. It holds up.
Gremlins 2: the new batch
Phoebe Cates got a bob forthe Gremlins sequel! To 12 year old Jeffrey, this was the epitome of chic. I also have a soft-spot for horror movies set in high-rises. They had Gremlins 2 merchandise in the supermarket, coloring books and those magic erase boards with the plastic stylus - I was deep in it. High-concept, phantasmagoric, this movie was clearly left alone by the studio and, as a result, Marla Bloodstone will live forever in homosexual lexicon.
Anyone who's met me knows that all I ever want to talk about is the fact that, a few years back, Warner Bros hired Cary Fukanaga to remake It as a big-budget, two-picture, R-rated tentpole. This happened! It will surely never see the light of day, but it happened on paper. This is the world I want to live in. The 1990 It mini-series predates The Walking Dead and all the glorious horror entertainments on television that we now take for granted. Tim Curry is spectacular and there are a few genuinely subversive moments despite the fact that the project had to be approved by many network censors. Between It and Twin Peaks, 1990 was a banner year for horror on TV. If you haven't read the book It is based on, you must. It is far and away my favorite Stephen King book. Gang bangs, monsters, homeless queer mashers, children holding one another and weeping - what's not to love?
Honorable mention goes to the Tom Savini directed Night of the Living Dead remake, not because it's particularly remarkable (though Molly Shannon is fantastic in it), but because they played a teaser trailer for T2 beforehand and it's all that mattered at recess that fall.
I'll be back tomorrow to talk about 1991 - the year momma pulled me out of Catholic school because I was being bullied and gained 50 pounds from all the tuna sandwiches.