Directed By: Jason Paul Collum
Starring: Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer
Tag line: "Vampirism. Flesh Eating. Demonic Possession. Chainsaw Hookering. It's all in a days work."
Trivia: Filmed over two days in North Hollywood, CA on February 5-6, 2011 at Masi Media Studios
Subtitled The Rise and Fall of the Scream Queen Era, director Jason Paul Collum’s 2011 documentary Screaming in High Heels takes us back to a time when video was king, and horror movies contained nearly as much nudity as they did blood and gore.
Focusing on actresses Brinke Stevens (The Slumber Party Massacre), Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead), and Michelle Bauer (Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers), considered by many the first official “Scream Queens”, Screaming in High Heels covers the direct-to-video craze, so prevalent in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, in amazing detail, providing clips from dozens of movies while also featuring interviews with Stevens, Quigley, and Bauer, as well as filmmakers like Fred Olen Ray (Scream Queen Hot Tub Party) and David DeCoteau (Creepazoids). I enjoyed how the movie delved into the extended filmography of its three main horror beauties, but what was particularly interesting was how director Collum took us back to the early days (with each actress discussing their childhood and teen years) and forward to the tail end of their film careers (while all three still appear in the odd horror movie, none are as involved in the genre as they once were). Along with its plethora of clips from such ‘80s B-movie classics as Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-A-Rama (the first to feature Stevens, Quigley and Bauer together) and Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity, Screaming in High Heels spends a little time talking about the fans, specifically those who attend the conventions on a regular basis (all three actresses were fixtures at these events, and claim they still maintain friendships with some of the fans they’ve met over the years).
Yet the true magic of Screaming in High Heels, as it is with any documentary of this sort, is learning about movies you’ve never seen before, and while I do harbor fond memories of the ‘80s video “revolution”, there are some films from that era I never caught up with, from the more obscure titles (Grandmother’s House looks like a lot of fun) to those that are considered B-movie classics (for the life of me, I have no idea how I missed 1988’s Nightmare Sisters). Those hoping to learn a little about an important period in the history of the horror genre will find something to their liking in Screaming in High Heels, but if all you’re after is a list of new films to check out, odds are you’re going to love it.