A poster for scream queen.

Scream Queen (Blu-ray Review)

In the world of Horror cinema, there is little doubt that many have an affection for genre star Linnea Quigley. Quigley, known famously for her string of roles in legendary ‘80s Horror films including 1984’s Silent Night, Deadly, 1985’s The Return of the Living Dead, as well as 1988’s Night of the Demons, has embraced Horror fame with open arms. In fact, she has remained one of the most prolific actresses in the genre; starring in an extensive list of films in each of the last four decades. Working on everything from larger and medium, to microbudget projects, one less known that Quigley offered her talents to is amply titled Scream Queen.

Looking back, Scream Queen was initially shot back in 1998 by indie filmmaker Brad Sykes and was finished in 2002. A microbudget type film, it actually lay in obscurity for two decades; never having a wide release to any format. A factor that earned it the title of a ‘lost Linnea Quigley film,’ in 2023 Scream Queen re-emerged unsuspectedly to many. Something that should be of interest to those who are fans of these types of films, and of course, those who are fans of Quigley, on November 28, 2023 it arrived on Blu-Ray thanks to Visual Vengeance.

As mentioned, the first time ever released on any format, kudos has to be given to Visual Vengeance; which is a label that digs up old low budget films from decades ago and offers them with respectable physical format options. That said, for the release of Scream Queen they put together a quality product that includes a slipcase, limited edition faux video store rental card, a collectible Linnea Quigley folded mini-poster, a ‘Stick your own’ VHS sticker set, and reversible sleeve featuring original home video art.

Physical attributes that are enough to sell you picking up a copy, contextually, there are also interviews and a documentary that offer insight into the story behind Scream Queen. And speaking of the story, it is really rather easy to follow and a solid enough concept at that. Summarizing it, Quigley plays fictional Horror star Malicia Tombs who mysteriously dies after storming off the set of her latest film. Only the beginning of what is to come, years later the surviving cast and crew of the original film production begin to get knocked off one by one. The questions are – Will anyone survive? Moreover, what is the motive behind it all?

As stated, interesting enough to make for a Slasher film, it is the shot-on-video aspect of Scream Queen that leaves you feeling short-changed. Granted if you are into this type of cinema, the amateur, cheesy aspect of it all should not bother you, however, when watching you cannot help but wonder with little more funding what Scream Queen might have been. All this said, for what the film is, it is not completely unwatchable and Quigley is clearly a drawing card; doing the best she can with the material she was given, and shining brightly in the process. Furthermore, it cannot be ignored that the soundtrack also features “This Chainsaw’s Made for Cutting,” a single from way back in the day from Linnea Quigley and Men In Skirts. A tongue-in-cheek take on Nancy Sinatra 1966 hit “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” Quigley steals your heart on vocals and makes you even more curious to hear some material from her time leading the all-female band The Skirts. Did not know she was in a band? Well, now you do!

All in all, if you go into purchasing Scream Queen on Blu-ray expecting a top-notch Horror film, you will be sadly disappointed. Tempering your expectations, if you keep an open mind, the film has a good premise, a keen sense of humor, and most of all, Linnea Quigley! If anything, the physical product itself is well worth adding to your collection; because the work put into it all will certainly please Quigley fans. That is why Cryptic Rock weighs all these attributes out and gives the Blu-ray release of Scream Queen 3 out of 5 stars.

Scream queen blu-ray collector's edition.
Scream Queen Blu-Ray Collector’s Edition / Visual Vengeance (2023)

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