- For the 80s Horror Fan, This Documentary is Top Notch 8/23/2012 12:00:00 AM by gavin6942
Three actresses "accidentally" became cult horror film icons in the late 1980s and created the modern interpretation of the "Scream Queen" image.
I have to get this off my chest: as I write this review, IMDb has 55 reviews averaging 5.2 out of 10 for this documentary. I could not be more disappointed in a viewing audience, and the only way I can rationalize that poor showing is by telling myself the people who voted must not love horror films.
Now, if this film has a weakness, that is it: it caters to a very particular audience. Would my mother enjoy this film? No. She has no idea who Linnea Quigley is. But for the horror fan, it is a treat from beginning to end.
First, the film starts with a brief history of the drive-in, which I found to be informative and crucial to showing the rise of the scream queen era. Today, with DVDs and Netflix, kids may not realize that not too long ago you could not run out and rent or buy anything you wanted to see. The "VHS Boom" revolutionized the way movies were marketed and consumed.
Next, the film nails it by covering the careers of the "big three" scream queens. Jason Collum, the director, is friends with Brinke Stevens, so finding her was not hard. Linnea Quigley does the convention circuit, so she is still a public figure. But Michelle Bauer is basically semi-retired. Getting her on board was not only necessary, but must have been a challenging task.
The two biggest schlockmeisters of the 1980s, Fred Olen Ray and David DeCouteau appear, and probably know more about the careers of the queens than they do. DeCouteau, again, was a friend of Collum's. But Ray is a rarity -- you have probably seen twenty of his films, but you very rarely see the man himself. He truly deserves his own documentary.
On top of great interview subjects and a wonderful narrative tying the interviews together, the movie finally excels by bringing numerous obscure films to light. I have seen literally thousands of horror films, but they still managed to find some here that I never even heard of. That takes a real talent and dedication to the creation of this film.
For horror fans, this is a must-see. Alongside other recent horror documentaries (such as "Corman's World") it really adds something to the story that needed to be said.