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Misspent Youth: Kate Nelligan

Looking back at the pop culture mainstays of this Gen Xer's gloriously misspent youth.

I first laid eyes on screen and stage actress Kate Nelligan watching John Badham's Dracula (1979) a few years after its release. Even at that time, at a very young age of seven or eight, I was captivated by her. I understood nothing about romance or attraction yet, but I could still see why Frank Langella's Dracula wanted to sink his teeth into that neck. There was something in her eyes—an attractive melancholy that I'd be increasingly drawn to as I got older and became more melancholy myself. She had a pensive, thoughtful look. Something about her face felt safe and comforting to little me: "This," some omniscient narrator declared in my head, "is what quiet beauty looks like, kid."

That must've been the early 1980s, probably during the brief halcyon period when my parents subscribed to HBO, before abruptly cancelling when they figured out I was watching R-ra…
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Halloween Treats: Christine McConnell and her Curious Creations

Last Halloween, Netflix gifted the world with a short, six-episode series unlike any other, The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell. Part DIY baking show, part Muppet monster show, and 100% dark comedy, the show transfixed me immediately. This is just the right combination of freaky weird macabre stuff I live for every Halloween. And while I long ago stopped caring about food porn, there's no denying this show makes it fun again.

In the world of the show, Christine lives in a big, spooky Gothic house, where she bakes extravagant horror-themed desserts, engages in witty and often innuendo-laden banter with her monster and ghost roommates, and generally tries to keep her ghoulish pals from killing the neighbors. The "beauty and the beasts" premise helps make everything feel like an old-school sitcom on acid. Beyond food porn level baking bliss, the show also offers advice for dealing with nasty neighbors, annoying relatives, and dating problems like what to wear on y…

Dual Review: The Fabulous Pfeiffer Girl

My blogging pfriend and pfellow Michelle Pfeiffer pfanatic Paul S. recently shared one of my Pfeiffer posts and added his own commentary to it, over at his pfabulous site Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies. Speaking of "pfabulous," in honor of the thirtieth anniversary of The Fabulous Baker Boys falling on October 13 this year, I'm going to do the same. Here's a dual commentary on the movie from two of the biggest Pfeiffer pfans in all the world (I'm confident this is true). I'm presenting Paul's original commentary (and his selected images), unedited.

The Fabulous Pfeiffer Girl

Paul:I’ve slept, I’ve woken and I still have Michelle on my mind. It’s not surprising, I need Pfeiffer in the way that some people need to eat, sleep and breathe. Pfeiffer the face has launched a million pfixations. The film that made me an obsessed fanatic was The Fabulous Baker Boys.
Michael: You and me, Paul, we're the same. Baker Boys played a huge role in my pfandom kicking up a…

Scream Queens of Halloween: Linnea Quigley

Celebrating Scream Queens that make the Halloween season the most wonderful time of year.

In many ways, Linnea Quigley is the ultimate Scream Queen. A pint-sized bundle of pure punk rock spirit, Quigley has starred in countless horror and exploitation classics: The Return of the Living Dead: Silent Night, Deadly Night; Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama: Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers: Night of the Demons; Creepozoids; Nightmare Sisters...get the point?

Many of these cult classics are from the 1980s and early 1990s, when Quigley first shot to fame within the B-movie world. She was everywhere back then, at least if you were a horror-loving kid like myself. She seemed to pop up in every other splatter flick I watched on USA Up All Night or rented from the video store during those days. Whenever she joined host Rhonda Shear on set, it was like the horror gods had answered our heathen prayers.

Explosive sex appeal, hilariously deadpan Valley Girl-esque charm, and a willingness to rip…