Forgotten Classic: The Fan

Firstly, apologies for the length of time between updates. It's shameful! I hope you're ready for the next 'Forgotten Classic'. Lauren Bacall, Tim Rice, Maureen Stapleton, James Garner, Broadway - I'm sure you'll all agree not words/names associated with the slasher genre. Well  Ed Bianchi's 1981 horror, The Fan, has all these elements and more!

Lauren Bacall stars as Sally Ross (a role clearly inspired from her starring role in Applause), an actress of stage and screen, who is about to embark on a new Broadway play. Ross' personal assistant Belle Goldman (Maureen Stapleton) begins to notice Ross' has been getting repeatedly obsessive fan letters from young record salesman, Douglas Breen, played by Michael Biehn. It is not long before Breen's intentions become more deadly and starts to pursue Ross. James Garner features as an on-off love interest for Bacall, but is criminally underused!

The film gained huge publicity for it's subject matter being somewhat similar to the circumstances of John Lennon's death - and also being set in New York, several months after his death. Despite this publicity, The Fan was a critical and commercial flop (let's face it, most of the good ones are!). Biehn's character was also the subject of much discussion, for the gay stereotyping of the character linked with notions that he was an obsessive killer. However, in my opinion Biehn's performance is intense and one of his finest, a viewer with half a brain can come away without believing every gay man is a murderer.

This film is essentially all about Bacall, who's excellent in this little seen gem. She particularly shines in the musical number 'Hearts Not Diamonds' written that none other that Tim Rice. It's a heart-wrenching classic and Bacall's gravelly voice just clicks with it. The campness of the production values is just phenomenal.

The Fan is available on Amazon but these copies will set you back £20+, but it's certainly worth it for a fan of Bacall or kitsch 80s horror.

The Fan 8883623526663304068

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