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August 19, 2012

Movie Review: Screaming in High Heels: The Rise and Fall of the Scream Queen Era (2011)

Directed by Jason Paul Collum

Starring Linnea Quigley, Brink Stevens and Michelle Bauer

With the advent of the video cassette recorder, VHS tapes and the mom and pop video store’s of the early 80‘s, a huge niche was created, one which was to be filled by movies with titles like Return of the Living Dead, The Slumber Party Massacre and Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers. Movies that could be made in a week and slickly packaged to be rented out on the video store shelves. And it soon became evident that not only was the public receptive to these kind of films but they were literally flying of the shelves faster then they could be made. And thus began...... the era of the Scream Queen.

The stars of many of these movies and often referred to now as The Grand Mistresses of Scream Queens, were Brink Stevens, Linnea Quigley and Michelle Bauer. Three models, all living in the Los Angeles area who just happened to be in the right place at the right time in history, riding the wave of b-movie stardom from its peak in the 80‘s to its eventual demise in the 90‘s at the hands of big-box store video rental chains like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, who not only killed the mom and pop video stores but also showed no interest in the kinds of movies that made these three women famous.

With over 360 film titles to their credit between them, these three women sit down to give you a unique glimpse into the life of a Scream Queen. Talking in depth about the highs and lows of b-movie stardom, the pro’s and cons of stripping in front of the camera, how they each dealt with their own fading stardom and where their lives have gone since their heyday. And they do a great job of conveying what their lives were like during this time. Its really fascinating stuff and its punctuated with several interviews of the directors of many of these films as well as a heaping dose of classic b-movie clips from this golden era.

Being lucky enough to have spent my entire teenage life in the 80‘s, Screaming in High Heels was a nostalgic stroll down memory lane for me, as I am sure it will be for anyone who remembers this time. And really, for anyone who is just a fan of the 80‘s, hot topless girls, chainsaws, blood & guts and just B-movies in general, this is a documentary that is right up your alley. A real pop-culture extravaganza. This movie actually premiered on television in May of 2012 but was severely cut by the network sensors. The DVD release this month is coming out in all its perky, bouncing and glorious uncut goodness. So fans, believe me when I tell you this one rates quite respectably on my tittie-scale.  Not only fun but educational as well.

Highly Recommended

8 out of 10    Reviewed by KennyB

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