Screaming in High Heels: The Rise & Fall of the Scream Queen Era (2011)
Directed by Jason Paul Collum
I'll admit it. I haven't watched a lot of the schlock 80s films that featured these scream queens. Oh I did grow up in the 80s but I was not old enough to rent these from my local video store (because creepy video store clerk would rent me gore and splatter but not T&A). But each one is recognizable to say the least with Linnea Quigley being the one with the most face value.
So this 60 minute documentary is a time trip into the past when Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer and Linnea Quigley ruled the VHS world. And it's a tale full of boobs, butts and cheesiness. The doc has interviews with the Big Three, directors of such awesome flicks as Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama and other 80s cult luminaries. Plus we get to see clips from all of these cult classics.
The one thing the film details is the progression of how these low budget T&A gorefests came to be. The 60s brought these type of films via the Drive Ins. The 80s ushered in VHS which served as a platform again and the 90s/00s have shown the fans of these films have grown up and become filmmakers themselves. It's quite an evolution and Stevens, Bauer and Quigley have all evolved.
Joe Bob Briggs introduced me to this world of ghastly rubber monster sex and cheese. So did USA's Up All Night. As a kid, I was mesmerized by nerds getting the girl. I was also spooked by hot girl getting slaughtered. It's interesting to see how each of the women has adapted from being a Scream Queen. Quigley and Stevens are still chugging along but Bauer has supposedly given it up.It's funny how the old story that model turned actress = scream queen is now model turned actress turned porn star.
But all in all, for an hour long doc Screaming in High Heels is an educational look back of what it took to be a scream queen. Back then, you had to establish hotline numbers, fan club mailers, attend numerous horror conventions. This is why these 3 were as big as they were. These days, these supposed scream queens get cast in one horror movie and they can promote themselves via all the social apparatus they can log into. Tiffany Shepis aside, there are a lot more fakers out there then real legit queens.
I suggest everybody take a look at this. It's not going to be that eye opening but if 80s/90s cheesy cult horror is new to you and you want to know the history of the scream queen phenomenon, check this out.
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The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis
Screaming in High Heels will be released 8/28. Head over to the official site via Breaking Glass Pictures.
Check out the trailer.