The magnificent Slay Belle and other contributors have provided fearsome fodder for Halloween month. However, submitted for your approval is the most terrifying, mind-altering video you will ever see.
In it, screen legend Bette Davis, in the midst of what would be her last great comeback, performs a twist version of the theme from the seminal horror film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Yes, my poppets, you read this correctly.
Davis is clearly gritting her teeth throughout this, but trouper that she is, she manages to seem cheery and game on the surface. Beneath the surface, though, just as clearly, you can see the iron will that typified many of Davis’s performances (and public appearances): she is Bette Davis, she is an actress, not a star, and if you give her a job, she will never, EVER phone it in, no matter how bizarre, no matter how improbable the content. The result is a chilling performance that delivers more upbeat menace than even a Rachael Ray could offer at the top of her game.
This song was released as a single, and it has a much rawer sound to it. It is well worth tracking down. I defy you to listen to it without imagining La Davis with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other. You can practically hear the clink of the ice in her Scotch and smell the clouds of tobacco smoke that filled the studio as she barks out the lyrics.
WEHTBJ was Davis’s last Oscar-nominated film. She did not win, despite a portrayal that remains etched in the brain of everyone who watches it. Why must everything be so unfair, indeed.
So gentle readers, what are the most unintentionally frightening things you have ever seen?