Linnea Quigley Interview
Linnea with director and friend David DeCoteau
In the 1980's, a new crop of screen queens, Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer and Debra Lamb(to name a few) became the darlings of the burgeoning direct to video horror film market. Unlike their earlier counterparts like Fay Wray, Evelyn Ankers, Beverly Garland and Hazel Court, these ladies had no qualms about flaunting their bodies in various stages of undress much to the delight of the male horror fans renting these low budget flicks. The films may not have approached high art on any level, but they entertained fans and made money for the video companies that released them.
Linnea has been acting continually in horror films( as well as some non horror movies) since her debut in Psycho from Texas in 1975. She also acted in Silent Night, Deadly Night;a film that garnered quite a bit of controversy because it depicted Santa Claus as a horror movie character. The movie went so far as to become a topic discussed on the Phil Donahue show because of it's controversial theme.
Despite the usual, short career span of a typical screen queen, Linnea is still in the business as busy as ever as an actress and has even worn the hat of producer on several film projects. This woman has no intention of slowing down. And although in the new millennium the most current and hip term for horror film actresses is Horror Hotties, don't say that to Linnea. She still proudly considers herself to be a Scream Queen.
JV: Linnea, let's start by talking about Celluloid Bloodbath: More Prevues from Hell. How did you get involved with the film?
JV: Out of all of the films you've done in your career, what would be the one you'd want to be most remembered for?
LQ: I would say Return of The Living Dead. That has all the elements and it was just one of those perfect times when everything aligned; the cast, the crew, the music, just everything. It just worked.It's got all the elements of something kind of spooky happening and something that could happen.And the comedy of when something like that would happen how people might react, because there's not much difference between horror and comedy. You act pretty stupid when you're scared.
JV: You did a non horror film at one point called Treasure of The Moon Goddess. Did you think it would be the big breakout hit for you?
LQ: Yeah, I really did because it was like a Disney PG 13 film. We were filming in Mexico, we were filming in the Philippines and I thought it would really be good. It's a fun little film to watch. It just didn't get pushed.
JV: During this period in your career, I understand your agent was touting you as the low budget Meg Ryan. Did that give your acting career an upswing?
LQ: I think it did. I was doing cameo's in John Landis films and things like that. But I never got a solid part in an A movie, like a co-starring or leading part, unfortunately.
JV: Since you're now living in Florida, are you acting in local films?
LQ: I've done some in Florida, but I've also done some in LA. I just got back from doing one in LA called The Trouble with Barry, which is a comedy horror film and Disciples which I co-produced.It's got Angus Scrim, Tony Todd, Bill Mosley, Brinke Stevens; a huge crew. I mean, cast and everything. It looks really super. We had some great locations in Florida and in LA. I talked to the director and he's got a couple on the shelf right now. He going to get them totally finished and out there. It was great seeing Debra again(Debra Lamb) because she disappeared for a while. She's back and she's back with a vengeance, I tell you.
JV: Let me ask you a question I posed to her in a recent interview,how do you feel about doing nudity in movies?
LQ: Kind of like going to the doctor,you don't really want to but....(laughter) I really haven't been called to do that for a long,long time because I've had some pretty good parts and I've gone from the ingenue to the mother roles.It's really not needed so much. Now, I can look back and go," Oh God,somebody else can do it." Like, I just did Girls Gone Dead and I play a crazy Australian bartender. That was really fun. It's like a change going from the ingenue,I had to do those parts,to playing mothers,psychics,Gypsy's and stuff;which are more substantial parts. Like,I did Demonica, which is demons on skates.I played a gypsy in that.I did a short called Stella Buio.I played a psychic in that,a scam psychic. But I'm still a psychic.
JV: I see that your latest film is called Crazy Fat Ethel.
LQ: Oh yeah. Now that hasn't started yet. They're still waiting for funds. So hopefully that will happen.
JV: You said you were a member of the Screen Actors Guild. If you're caught working on a non SAG film,are there any repercussions?
LQ: I've been caught a couple of times. They fine you,like,a thousand dollars. The second time they fined me another thousand dollars and they made me go to a first members meeting which was horrible.(laughs) That was like torture.
JV: What is a first members meeting, if I can ask?
LQ: It's just all," Yay SAG. Don't ever do anything non SAG".(laughter) It's like a big pep rally for SAG who actually screwed me on Savage Streets. So I really don't feel an endearment to them, because they don't really protect you and they don't get you work.
JV: Talking about Savage Streets for a minute, that was the film with Linda Blair, right?
LQ: Yeah. I was just in Canada where they showed it on the big screen and they had The Scars there,the guys who played the bad asses. It was interesting 'cause I'd seen them briefly in LA about four months before and it was just so weird to see how people had changed and not changed. They sent a script to Tarantino(Quinton Tarantino) of a remake, or a continuation of Savage Streets,actually.Which we hope happens because we'd all be in it, but grown up. When I was doing the film,they had cast Cherie Curry(the singer for the Runaways)and on the very last day of rehearsals in walks Linda Blair and I nearly died because I thought she was this huge,big star. I'm like," I'm playing her sister.Oh my God,they're going to fire me."Because we were the same age,the same height. I had blonde hair and light eyes and she had the darker hair and they went through a firing spree,so I was terrified. But I made it, luckily.
JV: You told me before the interview that you had a problem on that film. Can you elaborate on that ?
LQ: Yeah, they stopped filming for money reasons about halfway through and when you wait,according to SAG,like my manager called, I called and you let them know you're still working on the film. But you're on hold,which means you can't change your appearance,you can't take something that might conflict with the schedule,so they pay you a certain amount and I was owed about five thousand. And the SAG representative, when we started in again,came on set and said," Okey,you guys are gonna get your five thousand." That was a lot back then. I was like,' Yay, oh good!" The guy just turned to me and said," Well,you're not gonna get it." I said," What? My manager called every day." " Well, we don't remember any of that." So after that, I did not have any respect for SAG. They said," Just be glad this movie's being made." I thought," What? Who's side are you on? "
JV: We talked about your favorite film. Looking back, which film is your least favorite?
LQ: Oh boy, I hate to hurt peoples feelings, but probably Animals. That was probably my least favorite film.
JV: When was that filmed?
LQ: That was before I moved to Florida. I was in LA flew to Florida to do it and it was the very first shot on video thing I'd done. I wasn't expecting it to be video and it was probably 1998, I would guess. That was probably my least favorite.
JV: You make a lot of appearances at horror film conventions. What is your favorite thing about doing conventions?
LQ: Meeting the really nice fans. Ones that really get into the movies. Like the last one in Canada,people were coming up that weren't even born when my movies were made. But they were just,very,very enthusiastic about these movies and that made me feel good. Most kids are into video and what's new out there. So it was really nice.
JV: When I interviewed Debra Lamb,she was talking about producing and directing some film projects. Have you ever produce any other films besides Disciples?
LQ: Yes, like on a lot of David De Coteau's films and as I mentioned before, Joe Hollows Disciples.
JV: What goes into producing a film?
LQ: Oh my gosh, you wear a lot of hats. From everything to helping get and secure locations, your friendships with different actors, getting them in the film, fixing problems that happen during filming so other people aren't aware of them and it can go smoothly. You wear a lot of hats when you do that.
JV: Is that a good thing?
LQ: Yeah, it makes it more interesting. And just reading actors and making decisions;that kind of thing. It keeps you busy. And you can see what goes on by being behind the scenes. Also getting PR going. When I was in LA I could easily do that. I got TV Guide Channel to do something on The Trouble with Barry and that's going to air pretty soon. It's an interesting job to do.
JV: Are there any future projects that you'd like to talk about?
LQ: Well, Celluloid Bloodbath is coming out Oct 9. That's the one we talked about where I do a wrap around. That's going to be really fun to watch and bring back a lot of memories for people. I just did a YouTube thing if anybody wants to watch it. It's Girls Gone Dead movie website.They're doing a give a way of winning my hat and a DVD. Girls Gone Dead is a really good film. It's reminiscent of the 80's films. Cougar Cult:1313 is a fun little David De Coteau film. A little different than his other films that I did with him, but it did bring Brinke, Michelle and I together. Demonica,which is demons on skates is gonna be out soon and I play a gypsy in that. That'll be fun. So I 've been really active. Which is good.
JV: These days, it's seems that the term Scream Queen has been replaced by Horror Hotties. Which title do you prefer?
LQ: I think Scream Queens. I think there's a difference between the two. I think Scream Queens have a long past, really love what they do and the people love them for what they do. The Horror Hotties are just girls that kind of show a lot of skin and run around. You've gotta have a good reputation and get in there and really blast them with your scream.