13th Aug2014

‘Invasion of the Scream Queens’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Featuring: Brinke Stevens, Mary Woronov, Melissa Moore, Michelle Bauer, Elizabeth Kaitan | Written and Directed by Donald Farmer


Originally shot in the early 1990s, during the heyday of direct to video and cable TV B-movie horror, Invasion of the Scream Queens is an inside look at what it takes to be a scream queen, with 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.

It’s been a VERY long time since I last saw Invasion of the Scream Queens, in a badly-copied bootleg that, as a teenager, I coveted and watched on multiple occasions. You see, the films discussed within this documentary were – at the time – the kinds of films that I cherished: the films of Fred Olen Ray and David DeCoteau, films that I rented on a daily basis from my local video shop, films that (sadly) just aren’t made any more.

Directed by cult horror icon Donald Farmer (Demon Queen) and featuring interviews with legendary horror divas Brinke Stevens, Mary Woronov, Melissa Moore, Michelle Bauer and Elizabeth Kaitan,  Invasion of the Scream Queens takes you back to a time when the term “scream queen” was brand new and meant – at least to a young horror fan like me – seeing some of the hottest actresses in some of the most outrageous low budget horror movies committed to celluloid…

Much like Farmer’s movies, Invasion of the Scream Queens is as low-budget as they come, seemingly shot on the fly by Farmer and featuring actresses that, at least at the time of it’s release, were some of the most-famous horror actresses around. Yet there’s also a number of appearances by some so-called scream queens that actually never reached the notoriety of the likes of Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer et al., actresses like the Gant sisters, Tammara Souza, and [sadly] Deborah Stern (Nudist Colony of the Dead).

Essentially a series of talking heads, Wild Eye’s new release of Donald Farmer’s documentary is little more than a VHS rip transferred to DVD, complete with tracking problems, sound drop outs and everything we used to “love” about VHS! Beyond the original documentary, this new DVD release of Invasion of the Scream Queens features a new 2013 interview with Donald Farmer, deleted/ extended interviews from the original production, and an excerpt featuring Linnea Quigley from the out of print book that started it all.

A classic, and rare, documentary from the heyday of DTV B-movie horror film making, Invasion of the Scream Queens is out now from Wild Eye Releasing.


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