It's Linnea Quigley's birthday, she who is perhaps the queen of all scream queens. And so, to celebrate, we're reminding you of some of her best movies, ones you could, perhaps, watch over the course of a weekend to celebrate one of the funniest and scariest women to grace VHS boxes across this great land of ours.
Before we get to the main list, though, here are a few quick hits for movies she is only in very briefly but are still totally worth watching:
There are two school/sports-related movies Linnea is only briefly in: Graduation Day and Fatal Games. Graduation Day is the better slasher movie, I think, but Fatal Games features a killer who throws javelins through people's chests. And wait until you find out who the killer is and why. It's so offensive, but I can't help but laugh.
I would also say leap on the sci-fi sex comedy Dr. Alien, where Linnea plays Rocker Chick #2. Not exactly a huge role, but the younger brother from Just One of the Guys does get a head penis from a sexy alien that makes him irresistible to women. So, yeah. If you want to armchair MST3K a movie, this is a good way to go.
You can see Linnea's body peaking through Freddy Krueger's chest at the end of A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. I would put that in the top four Elm Street movies, too.
And, finally, Linnea also technically appears in The Guyver, which is a really corny live-action version of the Japanese animated series of the same name. But there are crazy monsters and Linnea plays "Scream Queen" so that's ... apt. Also, Mark Hamill is in that movie! You can't miss it.
Okay, okay, okay. Those are just an appetizer to whet your whistle. Here's a main course of ten Linnea Quigley classics to watch while celebrating her birthday.
Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
This was Linnea Quigley's first big break in horror. It's about a guy who sees a man dressed as Santa Claus kill his parents when he's a kid. Naturally, after he becomes an orphan and has to live with mean nuns, he goes crazy and becomes a Santa-suit-wearing crazed killer himself.
Linnea gets hung topless from deer antlers in this movie. So if that's your thing? Also, Siskel and Ebert said "shame on you" publicly to the producers and that alone warrants a watch just to see if you think they were right to get so angry.
The Return of the Living Dead (1985)
Once you cross off all the deeply meaningful zombie movies on your list of best movies about the shambling undead, I think the clear winner for best fun zombie movie of all time is absolutely The Return of the Living Dead. And Quigley's performance as punk-rocker (and nudist, I guess?) Trash is maybe one of the best parts of the whole film. I've often said Linnea's gift is that she can use her nudity to titillate, she can use it to make you laugh, and she can even use it to scare you. She does all three in this. It's easily one of my all time favorite movies, period.
A Talking Cat?! director and frequent Quigley collaborator David DeCoteau was still very early in his career when he made the dystopian sci-fi horror flick, Creepozoids. I really like the concept for this movie because it's so weird. It's a post-nuclear apocalypse in the distant year 1998 (WOW, CRAZY) and some survivors find themselves in a top-secret government facility that was working on a way to remove humanity's need ... for food. Because I think we all know that a lot of people need to kick that eating habit, am I right or am I right or am I right? I'm right.
There's some great creature effects and also, surprise, Linnea takes her clothes off. I mean, should I keep mentioning this? I'm going to stop. If Linnea remains clothed the whole movie, THEN I will bring it up. Otherwise, just assume she's clothes-free in '93 Or any other year.
Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988)
Actually, this is the movie where Linnea keeps her clothes on. And she plays a thief named Spider who is robbing the arcade machines at a bowling alley. Someone should probably tell her there are better ways to steal a buck. And more safe ways, too, considering this movie takes a sharp turn when some college kids discover an evil wish-granting imp inside, where else, a bowling trophy.
There is some incredible campiness in Sorority Babes, including an actress dressed as the Bride of Frankenstein who makes sure to chew every piece of scenery she can find. I used to have people pass on this movie because the transfer was so bad, but Full Moon Features finally put out a Blu-ray from the original film material and now it looks great. Definitely watch it if you want to watch Linnea Quigley go toe-to-toe with an evil S&M bondage queen.
Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988)
I feel like the title kind of says it all, but the craziest thing about this movie is that it's more a comedic take on a hardboiled detective noir story than anything else.
Yes, obviously there is a cult of sex workers who kill their johns with chainsaws, but that's just part of the wild journey this movie takes you on. And Linnea's character has a pretty solid arc, too. You know, for a topless girl wielding a chainsaw.
Night of the Demons (1988)
A buddy of mine who is the ultimate horror hound told me Night of the Demons is a movie for horror posers, but I dunno, man. Linnea shoves a tube of lipstick in her nipple and then kills a dude. It's a pretty legit gnarly flick in my book. It's also, I think, very well shot and includes some of the best gross makeup of any '80s horror movie. It's a real date night movie is what I'm saying here.
Nightmare Sisters (1988)
This is sort of the more raunchy and despicable version of Sorority Babes. Three nerdy sorority sisters get possessed and then proceed to kill people. Also, they cover each other in pie and then wash it off in the tub for a while.
Super mega bonus points for Linnea's band, The Skirts, having a a song in this one that Linnea lip-syncs along with. The song, by the way, is called "Santa Monica Blvd Boy" and is about Linnea's boyfriend ditching her for a man. I mean ... I can't imagine leaving Linnea for a man. Unless Chris Evans or Chris Pine or Chris Hemsworth or Chris Pratt or another hot comic book movie Chris tempted me. Maybe that's what happened? Anything's possible.
Not to be confused with the Witchboard movies, even though it's made by the same guy. It's about a haunted house. Spoilers: Linnea gets it in a shower scene. It's pretty fun if you're into shower deaths. And who isn't, honestly?
Trophy Heads (2014)
This is the newest movie on the list. It is really, really bad but I like it because Linnea Quigley, Michelle Bauerm, and Brinke Stevens all play themselves. The story involves them getting kidnapped by a super fan, dressed up in their old costumes, who is ultimately decapitated.
Linnea is a nun in this movie. Sister Quigley. I love it.
Screaming in High Heels/Linnea Quigley's Horror Workout
I'm including these together because neither of them are actual horror movies. Screaming in High Heels is a rock solid documentary on the transition from drive-in theater B-movies to VHS schlock and shows how Linnea and some of her contemporaries got into the business of being a scream queen.
Linnea Quigley's Horror Workout is a sleazy workout tape. That's all. So if you feel like you've been sitting on the couch too long and need something to get the blood pumping, this will accomplish that, in more ways than one, probably.
And that's your list. If you are reading this, very happy birthday to you, Linnea. May you live to be a thousand years old for all the happiness you have provided us, your fans at Syfy.
And, dear reader, if you have a favorite Quigley flick, let me know which one it is. If you're celebrating her birthday as I am by watching some of her most entertaining work, let me know what you watched, especially if you watch any of these for the first time. Some of them are real unexpected gems, and the others ... well, you'll have fun no matter what, I think.