Scream Queen of the Week: Jill Schoelen

Today we would like to do a tribute to one of our favorite husky-voiced “scream queen” heroine of the 1980s: Jill Schoelen. Born and raised in Burbank, she studied at the Acting for Life Theatre in Burbank and started off on TV as a teen in the Fame-influenced TV pilot called Best of Times starring the up-and-coming Nicolas Cage and Crispin Glover. She gained in experience with a number of innocuous films geared mostly toward the young, including D.C. Cab (1983), Thunder Alley (1985) and Hot Moves (1984). The dark-eyed, black-haired pretty with the trademark bangs wouldn’t find her horror niche until hooking up with Wes Craven and his TV movie Chiller (1985). From there she scored big with the cult shocker The Stepfather (1987) wherein she played the resourceful stepdaughter terrorized by the lecherous, meek-appearing Terry O’Quinn as the title monster.

The sleeper hit put Jill on the map with a seemingly solid future, continuing on with The Phantom of the Opera (1989), this time keeping company opposite Freddy Krueger inhabiter Robert Englund as her deranged pursuer. After Opera, Schoelen appeared in The Curse II:The Bite (1989), Cutting Class (1989) and the underrated Popcorn (1991). Although these films weren’t very successful, she did land the lead in the TV movie sequel When a Stranger Calls Back (1993) which reviles the original in terror. After Calls Back, Schoelen disappeared from Hollywood to focus on raising a family. The slasher world was down one terrific scream queen.

Today we honor you Jill Schoelen as our Slasher Studios Scream Queen of the Week. So let us all pop some popcorn and put in our copies of The Stepfather to pay tribute to a Slasher Queen that never really received the acclaim she deserved.

Scream Queen of the Week: Linnea Quigley

Linnea Quigley was born in Davenport, Iowa, on May 27, 1958, to Dorothy and Heath Quigley. Her mother was a housewife and her father a chiropractor and psychiatrist. After moving with her family to Los Angeles in the late 1970s, the short, blond, petite-sized Linnea began getting work in B-movies, starting with small parts in such films as Stone Cold Dead (1979) and Wheeler (1975). She really garnered attention in The Return of the Living Dead (1985), which has become a cult classic and helped make her the current “Queen of the Bs”. Her reign was supreme in the late 1980s with such films as Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988), Night of the Demons (1988) and Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988).

Linnea married special effects wizard Steve Johnson in 1990, but, unfortunately, the marriage lasted only a couple of years. In 2001, Linnea moved to Florida to be closer to her parents who settled there after her father retired from his career and because she wanted a change of scenery. She currently resides in south Florida with her collection of pets (she is a devoted animal rights supporter). Along with films, she still appears at conventions around the world. She has written two books about her life in the B-movie industry, “Bio & Chainsaw,” in 1992 and “I’m Screaming as Fast as I Can” in 1995. After 25 years and more than 70 films, Linnea Quigley is still “Queen of the Bs”. She is also one of the biggest female stars to ever cross the B-horror movie market.

This week at Slasher Studios, we salute you Linnea Quigley. Thank you for everything you have done to make the horror genre what it is today and keep on rocking as an amazing Scream Queen. Us slasher fans can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

Scream Queen of the Week: Amy Steel

Ginny takes a "stab" at Jason

Amy Steel is perhaps best known for her role as Ginny Field in the 1981 horror film “Friday the 13th Part 2”. Many horror fans of the series consider her to be the ultimate “Friday the 13th” final girl. Throughout the movie she proved to be tough, strong, and an overall worthy opponent for Jason. Rumor has it that in the original script, she was to be killed by Jason. Thankfully the producers came to their senses and let her character live. She was offered the chance to reprise the role for the third film in the long-running series, but was convinced to turn it down by her agent at the time. A decision that she has admitted in interviews to have some regret about. Amy Steel also starred in the 1986 underrated horror comedy “April Fool’s Day” which sadly was a bit of a box office flop but has gained in life on VHS and DVD among horror fans.

Her numerous television roles include a stint on the CBS soap opera Guiding Light as Trudy Wilson from 1980–1981, and as Peggy Warner on All My Children in 1980. Steel also starred in the short-lived television series The Powers of Matthew Star alongside Peter Barton, who went on to appear in “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter” and starred in the short-lived television series military drama For Love And Honor. Steel has made guest appearances on various TV series, including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Family Ties, CHiPs, The A-Team, Chicago Hope, Quantum Leap, Millennium and JAG.

Scream Queen of the Week: Lisa Wilcox

What makes a good Scream Queen or Final Girl? Well, near the top of the list of qualifications, the girl in question needs to actually survive the film that she is in. Well, this brings us to our Slasher Studios Scream Queen of the Week, the lovely Lisa Wilcox. You see Lisa is the only person in the entire “Nightmare on Elm Street” series to successfully live through two films. That puts her a cut about Heather Langenkamp who sadly dies in “Nightmare 3”. Yes, I know Heather returns for “New Nightmare” but she is playing herself so different rules apply. So what makes Lisa a great Scream Queen? She is beautiful, resourceful, and immensely likable.

Alice is one of the few characters from the Nightmare series that we actually see grow throughout the films. In “Nightmare 4” is the shy, timid, plain girl next door who lets the world walk all over her. By the end of the film, she has grown into a fighter. She isn’t willing to just let Freddy take over her life..she has become stronger than that. Even in “Nightmare 5”, which is one of the weaker sequels in the franchise, she is determined to beat Freddy in order to save her unborn baby. Today Lisa has shied away from horror and that’s really too bad. She’s a very beautiful and intelligent actor who should have taken the horror world by storm. Still, given her strong performance as Alice, she still deserves the wonderful title of Scream Queen of the Week.

Scream Queen of the Week: Adrienne Barbeau

The ever enchanting Adrienne Barbeau is best known among horror fans as one of the original Scream Queens. She is one of the few actresses who is not afraid to attack each role with gusto. From Stevie Wayne, the beautiful, gravelly voiced DJ in John Carpenter’s “The Fog” to the biggest bitch of in all horror anthologies, Wilma Northrup, in George Romero’s “Creepshow”; there is simply nothing that Barbeau can’t do. She has worked with some of the greats of the genre, including the aforementioned Carpenter and Romero, she has also appeared as Alice Cable in Wes Craven’s underrated classic “Swamp Thing”. More recently she appearing in one of the best direct to video horror films Slasher Studios has ever seen, “The Convent”. A mix of “Evil Dead” and “Night of the Demons”, “The Convent” is a hoot and a must see for every genre fan. If you haven’t seen it yet, click on the link below and order your copy today. we PROMISE you that you won’t regret it and Slasher Studios never breaks a promise.

To order: The Convent

Scream Queen of the Week-Jamie Lee Curtis

One of the original scream queens, Jamie Lee Curtis’s film debut occurred in the 1978 horror film “Halloween”, in which she played the role of Laurie Strode. The film was a major success and was considered the highest grossing independent film of its time, earning accolades as a classic horror film. Curtis was subsequently cast in several horror films, garnering her the title, “scream queen”.

Her next film was the horror film, The Fog, which was helmed by Halloween director John Carpenter. The film opened in February 1980 to mixed reviews but strong box office, further cementing Curtis as a horror film starlet. Her next film, “Prom Night”, was a low-budget Canadian slasher film released in July 1980. The film, for which she earned a Genie Award nomination for Best Performance by a Foreign Actress, was similar in style to Halloween, yet received negative reviews which marked it as a disposable entry in the then-popular “slasher film” genre.

That year, Curtis also starred in “Terror Train”, which opened in October and met with a negative reviews akin to Prom Night. Both films performed only moderately well at the box office. Curtis had a similar function in both films – the main character whose friends are murdered, and is practically the only protagonist to survive. Film critic Roger Ebert, who had given negative reviews to all three of Curtis’ 1980 films, said that Curtis “is to the current horror film glut what Christopher Lee was to the last horror movie glut-or Boris Karloff was in the 1930s”. Curtis later appeared in “Halloween II”, “Halloween H20: 20 Years Later” and “Halloween: Resurrection”, as well as giving an uncredited voice role in “Halloween III: Season of the Witch”.

Scream Queen of the Week: Neve Campbell

Neve Campbell began her career on stage before landing a prime role on the short lived Canadian television series “Catwalk”. She then rose to international fame on the Golden Globe-winning 1990s television series “Party of Five”, playing the role of teenager Julia Salinger.

Campbell’s first widely released film was the fun “witchy” horror movie “The Craft”. She then got the role of her career. A role that would change her life as a Scream Queen forever. She was offered the leading role in “Scream”, directed by horror master Wes Craven. In the film, she plays Sidney Prescott who receives threatening phone calls from a killer with, who is obsessed with scary movies, on the anniversary of her mother’s death. Campbell stated that she “adored” the character saying “She’s a fantastic character for any kind of movie.” Sidney is depicted as an intelligent, resourceful young woman who slowly becomes stronger as she attempts to overcome the threats and deaths around her.

The film was a huge success, earning over $173 million at the worldwide box office, and winning critical acclaim. Campbell’s role as Sidney Prescott has received significant critical praise throughout the series, earning her the title of “Scream Queen in the 1990s”. Campbell won the Saturn Award for Best Actress for her role in “Scream”. She also received two Blockbuster Entertainment Awards for Favorite Actress – Horror, for “Scream 2” and “Scream 3”. The film was followed by two sequels, both of which were also hugely successful, with “Scream 2” earning over $170 million and “Scream 3” earning over $160 million. Campbell won the MTV Movie Award for Best Female Performance for “Scream 2”. Roger Ebert, in his review of “Scream 3”, wrote of Campbell, “The camera loves her. She could become a really big star and then giggle at clips from this film at her AFI tribute”. In 2011, she reprised her role as Sidney Prescott in the wonderful “Scream 4”.

Thanks Neve Campbell for “Scream”ing your way to Scream Queen super stardom! We can’t wait to see what you have to offer the horror world next!

Scream Queen of the Week: Heather Langenkamp

Heather Langenkamp wasn’t always a horror fan and admits that before she was cast in the role that would change her life that she had never seen a horror film. Funny that now, nearly 30 years later, the actress is remembered as one of the greatest horror Scream Queens of all time. This week we honor her at Slasher Studios as “Scream Queen of the Week”.

While she was studying at Stanford University, Wes Craven cast her as teen heroine Nancy Thompson in the original “A Nightmare on Elm Street” as he wanted someone very “girl next door” to play Nancy. He believed that Langenkamp met this quality. For the part, she beat out over 100 actresses. The film, follows the story of a group of teenagers who are killed in their dreams one-by-one by a past child murderer turned supernatural serial killer, whom their parents killed. The film was continued the 80’s slasher movie craze, following the trend set by “Halloween” and “Friday the 13th”.

The film introduced the iconic villain Freddy Krueger, played by Robert Englund. Nancy, as the film’s protagonist, lives, and defeats Krueger after he has killed all of her friends. Johnny Depp, in his feature film debut played Nancy Thompson’s boyfriend, Glen. Veteran film actor John Saxon played Nancy’s father, police lieutenant Donald Thompson. The film was both a critical and commercial success, earning a total of $25 million at the American box office. In 1985, she received the Best Actress Award at the Avoriaz Film Festival for this role. She also became one of the original scream queens and final girls.

She continued her role as Nancy in “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors”, in which she co-starred alongside Patricia Arquette and Laurence Fishburne, and “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare”, in which she played herself, and through events in the narrative, she is compelled to reprise her role as Nancy Thompson. John Saxon also returned with Langenkamp in “Dream Warriors” and “New Nightmare”. “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors” earned nearly $45 million at the domestic box office, making it both the highest grossing film for the studio that year. “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare” earned $18 million at the U.S. box office. The three films in the series in which Langenkamp stars are considered the three best due to their critical reception.

Since “New Nightmare”, Langenkamp has kept a rather low profile. She has given up acting for the most part to concentrate on raising a family. Nonetheless, horror fans will never forget Langenkamp and the stunning character of Nancy that she so vividly brought to life. In the past two years, Heather has shown just how appreciative she is towards the horror audience that helped shape her career. In 2010, we served as Executive Producer on the excellent “Never Sleep Again” documentary and just this year she released her own documentary “I Am Nancy” in which she talks about living in Freddy’s shadow. Both are extremely well made and worth checking out. So, this week we salute you Miss Langenkamp, our “Scream Queen of the Week”.

Scream Queen of the Week: Danielle Harris

Danielle Harris is, and has always been, one of my favorite “Scream Queens”. She has shown a dedication to the genre ever since she was a child. She has appeared in over two dozen horror movies, four of them in the “Halloween” series: “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” and “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers” as Jamie Lloyd and Rob Zombie’s remakes “Halloween” and “Halloween II” as Annie Brackett. In 1988, she auditioned and was chosen (beating out Melissa Joan Hart) for the part of Jamie Lloyd, Michael Myers’s niece, in the movie “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers”. Just one year later, she would reprise the role in “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers”. The character of Jamie returned in 1995 for “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers” but Harris did not participate due to disagreements regarding the changes to her character on the script. After seeing the final film, at least part of me is glad that she didn’t participate.

Harris would later return to the franchise in a much different role, that of Annie Brackett, in Rob Zombie’s “Halloween”, a 2007 reboot of John Carpenter’s classic 1978 original. In this film, she had nudity for a sex scene and her encounter with the dangerous Michael Myers, a career first. She stated “[It] is something that I wanted to do because everyone’s like, ‘Oh, she’s little Jamie. She’s 14.’ And it’s like, no, actually, I’m 30. It’s something that I’ve never done before.” She reprised her role in Zombie’s sorely underrated “Halloween II”.

Harris has continued to show her horror love today to amass some very impressive film credits. Her films “Godkiller” and “Blood Night” saw DVD releases in late 2009. Fear Clinic, a Fearnet original web series, featuring Harris alongside horror legends Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, and Lisa Wilcox. The fun web series made debut the week of Halloween 2009. Since then she has thrived in horror appearing in “The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond” and taking over Tamara Feldman’s role of Marybeth in the horror sequel “Hatchet 2”. She is set to star in Night of the Living Dead: Origins 3D, director Zebediah de Soto’s retelling of George A. Romero’s 1968 classic zombie film.

This week we salute Danielle Harris and we can’t wait to see what screams are in store for this amazing queen of horror.