REVIEWS: Docs / Other films — August 24, 2012 at 11:13 pm

REVIEW: Screaming in High Heels: The Rise & Fall of the Scream Queen Era (2011)

screaming in high heels: the rise & fall of the scream queen era

“Screaming in High Heels: The Rise & Fall of the Scream Queen Era” is an interesting documentary, which surprisingly goes beyond the so-called “b-movie” circle.

Director Jason Paul Collum tells us a story of three completely different females, that were destined to become known as the “Scream Queens” of the silver screen. They were Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer, and Linnea Quigley.

Just as the tagline suggests, all those three women ended up becoming cult horror film icons accidentally – none of them thought of being an actress at an early stages of their lives.

The documentary goes deep enough to tell us their stories of how they started up in the movie business and became what they are today.

The film features interviews with Stevens, Bauer, Quigley and also filmmakers Fred Olen Ray, David DeCoteau, Richard Gabai, actor Jay Richardson and others. All of them have worked with the “Scream Queens”, and provide interesting stories on their careers, and movies of that time in general.

Not sure if this documentary would reveal anything new to the true fans of the “Scream Queens”, however to usual b-movie fanatics, this is a really great find.

For example, some might not have known that Brinke Stevens used to be a pose model for Betty Page in the comic book done by her ex husband comic book artist Dave Stevens. As for Linnea Quigley and Michelle Bauer, they also have quite some stories to tell.

Together, Stevens, Bauer, and Quigley appeared in campy cult films like “Sorority Babes” in the Slimeball Bowl-a-Rama (1988) and “Nightmare Sisters” (1987), and separately have made countless of low-budget horror, sci-fi, exploitation movies that many consider cult today.

The documentary shows how the “Terrifying trio” has changed through the years, after the downfall of the “Scream Queen era”, as the actresses all look and speak different in front of the camera.

One thing should be mentioned – they are all extremely likable, regardless of the characters they used to portray on screen.

“Screaming in High Heels: The Rise & Fall of the Scream Queen Era” does have its flaws, despite giving some really great information on the subject.

While having such b-movie greats as Olen Ray and DeCoteau, we are really missing Jim Wynorski, and speaking of other “Scream Queens”, Debbie Rochon is mentioned only briefly, despite the fact that she has made a ton of movies starting from the early 80s.

Aside from that, its all good – we have both interviews, and footage of various films that our “Scream Queens” have appeared in.

Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer, and Linnea Quigley traveled all over the world, met President Ronald Reagan, hosted various conventions, and built mini-empires of trading cards, comic books, and model kits. Then it all came crashing down, and yet the scream queens are still here.

So, if you consider yourself a fan of the “Scream Queens”, you might not find anything new here, yet it is a valuable addition to any fan’s collection. If you’re a “mainstreamer”, then just watch it for a bit wider view on the huge world of B-movies.



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