Thursday, February 7, 2019

Phil’s Top Ten Greatest Scream Queens of All Time - February 6, 2019

Michelle Bauer, Linnea Quigley, and Brinke Stevens (1988)
Besides writing for my blog, I've been very fortunate to write for other publications, both physical media (magazines and newspapers) and online websites over the years. One of those websites was the now defunct Blumhouse.com. About four years ago, I contacted an old friend of mine, who just happened to be the editor-in-chief of the website. I have known her for years, going all the way back to our Fangoria days, which I also wrote that website as well. I sent her some samples, and I ended up writing my first article for the website, ""PRESENTING THE TEN GREATEST SCREAM QUEENS OF ALL TIME!" which was posted back in December 27, 2016. Here, I listed my favorite Scream Queens from my past in alphabetical order and soon, it was being shared by the actresses themselves through several social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I was honored to have had my article shared by these talented women.

The reason I'm mentioning all this is that now in 2019, Blumhouse.com is no longer and is now called The 13th Floor. While it still has articles, stories, and news, it's different than it once was, and my article is no longer on their website. However, while cleaning out some of my old files on my computer, I accidentally discovered my original copy of my article! This was a very pleasant surprise, indeed! So I looked it over, made some changes to it, and updated as well. Overall, I  am very proud of it, but I found myself reminiscing of my youthful, carefree days of yeasterday.

I was very luck to be alive at the right place at the right time, and that time was called the 1980's. Granted, not everything was great in America at that time. Reaganomics, Black Monday, crack, the AIDS epidemic, and the cold war were taking its toll on the country, and growing up in the middle of all this wasn't But during this decade, two very important events took place that would change my life forever.

At the beginning of the 80's, the VCR revolutionized home entertainment. Now, there were these cool places called video stores where I could rent movies. It's here that I was exposed to, what seemed at that time, an endless supply of horror movies. And trust me when I say that I rented every single one that had in stock! By the end of the decade, a new late night TV show debuted on the USA Network. It was called USA Up All Night and it aired every Friday and Saturday night and was hosted by Rhonda Shear and Gilbert Gottfried. Because of this show, my love for low budget B-movies began as well as my obsession for the buxom, bare breasted, badass actresses that became known as Scream Queens!

During this time, these ladies became the most popular actresses in the world, and garnered a huge and loyal fan base. They were all over the media outlets, appearing in magazines like Femme Fatales and Scream Queen Magazine. They were on E! Entertainment channel, MTV, and Entertainment Tonight as well as at film and comic conventions all over the country. While it was hard to narrow it down, these ladies proved to me time and time again that they were the best of the best. So, without further adieu, here is my list of the Top Ten Greatest Scream Queens of All Time!

1) Michelle Bauer - One of the members of the Scream Queen Trio that dominated USA Up All Night, Bauer has appeared in 152 films. In fact, between 1987 and 1898, she starred in over 36 movies! With films like ROLLERBLADE, HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS, THE PHANTOM EMPIRE, SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA, NIGHTMARE SISTERS, VIRGIN HIGH, ASSAULT OF THE PARTY NERDS, and THE TOMB, her status as a Scream Queen has been confirmed. By the 2010's, she starred in several of director David DeCoteau's 1313 film series, appeared in in Full Moon feature's GINGERDEAD MAN 2: PASSION OF THE CRUST, and teamed up with her fellow queens Linnea Quigley and Brinke Stevens for the 2014 film 3 SCREAM QUEENS. Her latest titles are DEATH HEADS: BRAIN DRAIN and THE PASSION CHRONICLES.

2) Monique Gabrielle - They broke the mold when they made this woman. Blonde, buxom, and breathtakingly beautiful, Gabrielle mad a splash in the acting world playing Tracey alongside future Hollywood superstar Tom Hank's in the 1982 comedy BACHELOR PARTY. In 1987, she appeared in the three of her most popular films ever: AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON, EMMANUELLE 5, and DEATHSTALKER II, the last two films were for the legendary Roger Corman's Concorde/New Horizons Home Video. Also, look for here in NOT OF THIS EARTH, THE RETURN OF SWAMP THING, TRANSYLVANIA TWIST, HARD TO DIE, EVIL TOONS, and the highly entertaining SCREAM QUEEN HOT TUB PARTY. In 2003, Gabrielle married adult film director Tony Angove and now runs her own adult film production company called Monique Gabrielle's Purrfect Productions in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

3) Debra Lamb - Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Lamb got her big break in John Hughes' PLANES TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES (although her scene would be left on the cutting room floor) before going on to star in a slew of classic B-movie gems like THE INVISIBLE MANIAC, BEVERLY HILLS VAMP, EVIL SPIRITS, and DEATH ROW GAME SHOW, which was released on Blu-Ray from Vinegar Syndrome recently. After leaving the industry for personal reasons, Lamb returned to acting in 2012, and has starred in several films, including THE G-STRING HORROR, DISCIPLES, and A BLOOD STORY. She is also an accomplished author and was a writer for the publication Dark Beauty Magazine from 2011 to 2015. She currently has nine projects in various stages of production, including BLOOD CRAFT, YOU BELONG TO ME, and FRUIT OF THE POISONOUS TREE.

4) Becky LeBeau - She wasn't your typical Scream Queen. In fact, she wasn't really a Scream Queen at all, However, this curvaceous and busty actress bounced her way into many of young male adolecent dreams as well as in the movies. Making a big splash in the 1986 comedy BACK TO SCHOOL with comic legend Rodney Dangerfield, LeBeau went on to act in several erotic, comedy, and sci-fi films like BEVERLY HILLS GIRLS, NOT OF THIS EARTH, BIKINI DRIVE-IN, DINOSAUR ISLAND, and POINT OF SEDUCTION: BODY CHEMISTRY III. She also created the popular Playboy Channel show Soft Bodies during the 1990's, which was the precursor to her new multi-million dollar company called FantasyOne.

5) Linnea Quigley - She was the reigning "Queen of the B's" during the height of the USA Up All Night era. Standing at only 5'2", this short and petite actress appeared in some of the greatest horror and B-movies of all time, including SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT, CREEPOZOIDS, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS, SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA, VICE ACADEMY 1 & 2, and the recent 3 SCREAM QUEENS directed by David DeCoteau. Several of her films have been released on Blu-Ray, including NIGHTMARE SISTERS and the double feature MURDER WEAPON/DEADLY EMBRACED from Vinegar Syndrome.

6) Debbie Rochon - When it comes to modern day Scream Queens, no one comes close to what this Canadian actress has accomplished. With a staggering 249 titles to her credit and counting, Rochon is the embodiment of an independent film actress. Look for for her in TROMEO AND JULIET, TERROR FIRMER, SANTA CLAWS, WITCHOUSE 3: DEMON FIRE, HELLBLOCK 13, PLAY-MATE OF THE APES, KILLJOY 2: DELIVERANCE FROM EVIL, BIKINI BLOODBATH, and the sequel BIKINI BLOODBATH SHAKESPEARE. She has also written for publications like Fangoria Magazine and Videoscope Magazine, and was an on-air personality for several radio and Internet shows.

7) Jewel Shepard - This beloved actress stole my heart when I first saw her appear in Dan O'Bannon's 1985 THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD. She went on to appear in a number of movies like MY TUTOR, HOLLYWOOD HOT TUBS, HOLLYWOOD HOT TUBS 2: EDUCATING CRYSTAL, CHRISTINA, PARTY CAMP, and CAGED HEAT II: STRIPPED OF FREEDOM. She's also an author and has written two fantastic books. The first was the 1992 "Invasion of the B-Girls" published by Eclipse Books, where she interviewed several of her peers like Brinke Stevens, Linnea Quigley, Mary Woronov, and Yvette Vickers.. The other was her 1996 autobiography "If I'm So Famous, How Come Nobody;s Ever Heard Of Me?" by Kitchen Sink Press. She's also written for publications like Details, Premiere, and Cosmopolitan. Since 2011, Shepard has been struggling with invasive breast cancer and has undergone several treatments, including chemotherapy, had lymph nodes removed, and a double mastectomy. Despite all this, she returned to acting with her latest film SLASHER.COM,which was released in 2017.

8) Tiffany Shepis - Let me say this right away: I love Tiffany Shepis! Seriously, how can you not? Not only is she beautiful, funny, and smart, but she is also one hell of an actress! She got her big break in the 1994 Troma classic TROMEO AND JULIET, directed by the great Lloyd Kaufman and written by James Gunn (yes, that James Gunn). Since then, she has gone on to star in over 137 movies, including CITIZEN TOXIE: THE TOXIC AVENGER IV, TERROR FIRMER, SCARECROW, DELTA, DELTA, DIE!, DETOUR, CHAINSAW CHEERLEADERS, BLOOD OATH, BONNIE & CLYDE VS. DRACULA, THE QUEEN OF SCREAMS, DROPPING EVIL, TALES OF HALLOWEEN, and the SyFy Channel's SHARKNADO 2: THE SECOND ONE. I had the pleasure of meeting here at the Osio Theater in Monterey in October of 2017 for the special roadshow screening of VICTOR CORWLY, the fourth installment of the HATCHET series created by filmmaker Adam Green. In 2010, Shepis married writer/director Sean Tretta and broke millions of single guys' hearts, but we still love her anyway.

9) Brinke Stevens - It doesn't get any classier or sexier than Brinke Stevens! Born in San Diego, California, this former scientist turned actress became of the most beloved Scream Queen of all time. After appearing in the 1982 slasher film THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE, her career took off and she never looked back. With over 160 titles to her name, including SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA, NIGHTMARE SISTERS, SLAVE GIRLS FROM BEYOND INFINITY, HAUNTING FEAR, MOB BOSS, BAD GIRLS FROM MARS, TEENAGE EXORCIST, and HYBRID to name a few, she has received worldwide fame and a legion of fans. Fun fact: Stevens was briefly married to comic book artists Dave Stevens, creator of "The Rocketeer" and was the inspiration for his character Bettie. They both remained friends until Dave's passing in 2008.

10) Julie Strain - This statuesque Amazonian stands at an astounding 6'1", making her the tallest Scream Queen on the list! With 118 credits to her name, she became the new "Queen of the B-movies" from the late 90's to the mid-2000's. She starred in several popular action and sci-fi films, including THE DALLAS CONNECTION, SORCERESS, STARSTRUCK, LETHAL SEDUCTION, DAY OF THE WARRIOR, THE ROWDY GIRLS, BATTLE QUEEN 2020, and provided voiceover work for the animated movie HEAVY METAL 2000 and the video game Heavy Metal K.A.K.K. 2. For a time, Strain was married to Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Editor-In-Cheif of Heavy Metal magazine. She was also Penthouse Pet of the Month June 1991 and Penthouse Pet of the Year 1993. Strain announced her retirement from acting in October 2008. On July 16th 2018, it was announced by her on her Facebook wall that Strain was now suffering from dementia. All her fans continue to send her well wishes and hope she is resting.

Michelle Bauer, myself, Brinke Stevens, and Linnea Quigley (2014).
And there you have it my faithful readers! My Top Ten Greatest Scream Queens of All Time! Boy, did I have fun taking this little trip down Memory Lane! Back then, staying up all night was the only way to see some of these cult classics!  Nowadays, many of these films are available on Blu-Ray and on many streaming services, like Shudder, Troma Now, Full Moon Direct! So do yourself a favor, make a big bowl of popcorn, grab some drinks, and invite a bunch of your friends and kick back with one of these movies tonight!! Just make sure that if you invite any ladies over, they're not actually a couple of Hollywood chainsaw hookers!!

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

No comments:

Post a Comment