Musings & Meditations

Vampyros Lesbos: Lesbian Vampires, Sexadelic Style

Posted in Horror, Movies, Vampires, Women in Horror, Writing by Pam Keesey on January 1, 2010

A great start to 2010! My most recent essay, “Vampyros Lesbos: Lesbian Vampires, Sexadelic Style,” is now available in issue #4 of Scarlet: The Film Magazine.

Scarlet Magazine #4Released in 1971, Jess Franco’s psychedelic lesbian vampire film is a one-of-a-kind journey into the inner life of a world weary lesbian vampire and her intended victim.

“On the surface it would seem that Vampyros Lesbos is a story of love gone awry, of Nadine’s attempted seduction of Linda, and Linda’s rejection Nadine, of her lifestyle and everything the lifestyle has to offer. In the end, however, it’s the tale of two women, each with their own desires, and each with their own means of attaining the objects of their desire.”

Available at Universal Newsstands, Hollywood Book & Posters, Creepy Classics, Horrorbles, Midtown Comics, Scary Monsters, DreamHaven,, Dark Delicacies & more. Overseas Scarlet may be ordered from Cinema Store & Hemlock Books (both in England).

You can also order directly from Scarlet Film Magazine by using PayPal. Send an e-mail to:

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Christopher Lee Knighted — “Arise, Sir Dracula”

Posted in Art & Society, Movies by Pam Keesey on October 30, 2009

This just in! Christopher Lee was knighted by Prince Charles in a ceremony eariler today. Remembered fondly by many for his role in many classic Hammer Horror films, he was discovered by a new audience in his roles in Tim Burton’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the soon-to-be-released Alice in Wonderland, as well as his role as Saruman in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Look for him in the first Hammer film to be released in more than 30 years, The Resident, co-starring Hilary Swank.

Lesbian Vampires Will Never Die

Posted in Art & Society, Movies by Pam Keesey on March 17, 2009

It’s a headline in today’s edition of Telegraph. I don’t know about Telegraph, but I’ve been saying it for years….

Paul Newman Remembered

Posted in Movies by Pam Keesey on September 27, 2008

Paul Newman, an actor of considerable talent and influence, died today. He was known not only for his great performances in a plethora of films and his long-term marriage to the wonderful Joanne Woodward, but also his many charitable endeavors over many decades, including a center dedicated to anti-drug education, a camp for terminally ill children, and, of course, Newman’s Own line of organic foods, the profits from which are given to charitable causes.

The New York Times has written a wonderful tribute to the man. I was particularly struck by something Newman said only recently, and which bears repeating:

We are such spendthrifts with our lives,” Mr. Newman once told a reporter. “The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.

Requiem for a Heavyweight

Posted in Movies by Pam Keesey on September 13, 2008

After years of saying, “Oh, I want to see that,” I finally got around to watching “Requiem for a Heavyweight.” Based on a teleplay by Rod Serling for Playhouse 90, the film is also scripted by Serling. The film is striking in many ways, not the least of which is its authenticity. Serling, a boxer himself at one time, knew of which he wrote, and many of his stories and teleplays were based on his experience.

From the very first moments, Requiem for a Heavyweight captures the attention. Filmed from Louis “The Mountain” Rivera’s point of view, the camera caputres the onslaught of a very young, very vivacious Cassius Clay  (and for those who don’t already know, this is the man who would become Muhammed Ali).

Brutal not only in its depiction of the physicality of boxing, Requiem for a Heavyweight also — and probably most importantly — is particularly stark when it comes to what happens behind the scenes. “Punch drunk,” as they call it, Rivera has reached the end of his career. “Almost the heavyweight champion of the world,” Rivera is battle scarred: his face is ravaged, his speech slurred, and he’s on the verge of losing his vision. His manager, Maish Rennick (Jackie Gleason), is a gambler faced with a substantial debt to the mob. His trainer, Army (Mickey Rooney), is a small fish in a big pond, devoted to Rivera, and unable to move on. Rivera, advised not to fight anymore, goes to an employment agency where he meets Grace Miller (Julie Harris), a woman who comes to Rivera’s aid in the hopes of finding him a job outside the ring.

Anthony Quinn is particularly striking as the Mountain himself, a big man who’s not only lost the bout, but lost his sense of self and his sense of place in the universe. And the resonance — not only the young Muhammed Ali in a film about a fighter who’s lost everything for having been hit in the head too many times, but also in the profile of the kind of man who is likely to turn to boxing in the hopes of making something of himself — is profound.

Requiem for a Heavyweight is one of the better films I’ve seen in a very long time.

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