Wednesday, June 18, 2014

REVIEW: Invasion of the Scream Queens (Wild Eye/VHSShitfest DVD) - All Hail the Queens

Invasion of the Scream Queens distributed by VHSShitfest and Wild Eye  has been a long time coming to DVD. Since 1992 this documentary created by Donald Farmer has been taking ordinary folks behind the scenes to get a glimpse at what it takes to be a Scream Queen. Now by now you're all familiar with the debate over the terms Scream Queen. What are the qualifiers? Who is the judge? How many roles does it take to build a Scream Queen? It's subjective and the debate is as fun as the women on screen, drenched in blood, running around in their birthday suits. Invasion of the Scream Queens in a little bit about how the queens came to be and quite a bit about their lives as actresses in roles that may have seemed demeaning but that made them stars to horror fans who would love them. This is tale of the creating of a category of icon that continues to this day.

Synopsis from Wild Eye and VHSShitfest:

Get an inside look at what it takes to be a scream queen and hear the behind-the-scenes stories about the making of some of the most classic horror films of our time, including The Hills Have Eyes, I Spit on Your Grave, Slumber Party Massacre, and many more. Invasion of the Scream Queens takes you back to a time when the term "Scream Queen" was brand new and promised the hottest actresses in the most outrageous low budget horror movies.

Directed by cult horror icon Donald Farmer (Demon Queen, Savage Vengeance) and featuring interviews with legendary horror divas Brinke Stevens (1313: Cougar Cult, Bloody Mary 3D), Mary Woronov (House of the Devil, The Devil's Rejects), Melissa Moore (Samurai Cop, Sorority House Massacre 2), Michelle Bauer (Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, 3 Scream Queens), Elizabeth Kaitan (Friday the 13th Part VII, Silent Night, Deadly Night, Part 2) and more. All the babes and the blood are on full display here in this classic, rare document from the history of horror.

Now don't go expecting some high quality DVD transfer. This is a pretty intentionally rough around the edges feature that comes off like a VHS tape ported to DVD. Now that would make sense given the time it was released and the awesome force behind Invasion of the Scream Queens' most recently release. The VHSShitfest tries to create authentic experiences for fans who want for yesterday. In other words, if Invasion of the Scream Queens looks imperfect it is intentional and brilliant. This is how things really look around the end of the 80's when the queens were at their peak.

From a content perspective get ready for quite a few anecdotes. You're looking at about 90 minutes that bounces between brief interviews with the likes of Michelle Bauer, Brinke Stevens and Mary Woronov to name a few and trailers or short clips. Of course there's more than a few notable missing names from that brief list, but these are important names none the less.  This is perfect watching for the 80's horror fan who loves boobs, beautiful women and B rate horror. 

For me this documentary was particular useful because I learned that one of my favorite songs from the My Bloody Mixtape as made by Haunt Love for the Exhumed Horrorthon crowd features a song from Nightmare Sisters. I couldn't place it, always sing and dance around to it (yes I fucking dance around) and even workout to that mix. It's great to uncover it while watching a movie that pays such respect to a group of people so deserving. 

It's a nice compliment to Screaming in High Heels. Invasion of the Scream Queens is available now.

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