Saturday, October 6, 2012

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 4: Phil reviews SCREAMING IN HIGH HEELS: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE SCREAM QUEEN ERA (2011) DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures/Vicious Circle Films-October 4, 2012

Original Theatrical Poster (2011)
Starring: Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer, Fred Olen Ray, David DeCoteau, Richard Gabai, Ted Newsom, Jay Richardson, Kenneth J. Hall, and Jason Paul Collum
Produced by Jason Paul Collum, Jonathan Hanusa, Daniel Noah, Jay Danzinger, Warren Mueller, Michael John Isaacson
Written and Directed by Jason Paul Collum
Distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures/Vicious Circle Pictures

Hello again and welcome to Day Four of my Halloween Horrors Marathon! Now for today's film, I decided to make a slight deviation from our normal path and take you down a scenic route. Today's film is a documentary, but it's focus is on three talented actresses who appeared in some of the most memorable and cherished B-movies and horror flicks of all time! SCREAMING IN HIGH HEELS: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE SCREAM QUEEN ERA highlights that wonderful time of the late 80's and early 90's and, "How three little girls were smart to play stupid."

The documentary focuses on the lives and careers of Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer and how these three actresses rose to fame via the low budget, shot in five days, direct to video movies that this reviewer remembers with fond memory. In an era when Mom & Pop video stores ruled the country, these ladies became famous for appearing in films with titles such as SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOW-O-RAMA, HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS, SAVAGE STREETS, NIGHTMARE SISTERS, SLUMBER PART MASSACRE and other classic B-movie that contained horror, comedy, nudity, and gore; all wrapped up in lurid and explicit VHS box covers. Also interviewed for the documentary are directors Fred Olen Ray (ALIEN DEAD), David DeCoteau (CREEPOZOIDS), Richard Gabai (VIRGIN HIGH), Ted Newsom (ED WOOD: LOOK BACK IN ANGORA), actor Jay Richardson and Collum himself.

Combining on-screen interviews, clips from these revered B-movies, personal photographs, behind the scenes footage, and television footage, Collum weaves this hilarious, unflinching, and at times sad tale of this largely overlooked point in film history. Brinke, Linnea, and Michelle recall their early screen features, working for directors Ray and DeCoteau, their sudden rise in popularity, their brush with mainstream media, and the slow demise of the Mom & Pop video stores that lead to to the decline of work for these ladies.

I was very lucky to be at the right place at the right time. It was a time before chains like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video put the local video stores out of business (which is ironic now that these two corporate mega conglomerates are out of business). I used to spend my Friday and Saturday nights watching USA's Up All Night show, which is where I first discovered these films. I immediately became a fan, and spent the next several years watching every B-movie I could find. Along with the movies there were magazines (Femme Fatales and Scream Queen), trading cards, conventions, fan clubs, the list goes on. Along with my younger brother Thomas, we would spend countless hours watching and renting these films, especially during the summertime. With this film, Collum reminds me of just how special that moment in time was for me.

While informative and very entertaining, the only real complaint I have with the film is that at a scant 63 minutes, I felt like the film could've been stretched out into a full 90 minute feature. We could've benefited more information with their childhood and upbringings, their early films more, and for some reason, the film's ending just stops and it left me hanging. It would've been nice to hear about their resurgence in popularity, what projects they're currently working on now as we speak, and some final thoughts about their film legacy and reflect on what the term Scream Queen means to them now that they are older. But then again, that's just my opinion.

The DVD contains the following special features: Bonus interview footage with Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer, Footage from the Flashback Weekend of Horror Q&A session, the film's original trailer, and trailers to other Breaking Glass films.

SCREAMING IN HIGH HEELS: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE SCREAM QUEEN ERA is a fun, enriching, and exciting nostalgic look back at an era that, sadly, is missed terribly. Sure these films were brimming with nudity, violence, and sex but there was a innocence to these films. Whenever I put on one of these films to watch, I always have a big smile on my face. 3 1/2 out of 5 stars! Recommended!

SCREAMING IN HIGH HEELS: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE SCREAM QUEEN ERA is currently available on DVD and can be purchased at your local retailer and on the Breaking Glass Pictures website. To order a copy visit

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds interesting. May have to order a copy. Thank you for sharing : )