"Do you ever wonder about all the different ways of dying? You know, violently? And wonder, like, what would be the most horrible way to die? Well for me, the worst way would be for a bunch of old men to get around me, and start biting and eating me alive. First, they would tear off my clothes..."
B-Sol of The Vault of Horror here, with a special edition of Woman of the Week that is near and dear to my heart. Since BJ-C first initiated WotW, she's promised me dibs on this particular installment, and at long last, my time has come...
This week I want to talk about the woman who, during my upbringing in the world of horror, was the ultimate scream queen; the epitome of sexuality in fright flicks; the fantasy of pimply-faced metal-shirt wearing boys across this great land. I'm talking about the one, the only, the delicious, Linnea Quigley.
She came from the unassuming town of Davenport, Iowa, a one-time local pageant contestant, (something about those Midwestern beauty queen horror girls...) and took the genre by storm after arriving in Cali in the late '70s. She got her early breaks in B-flicks like Psycho from Texas (1975) and Stone Cold Dead (1979). But it was one movie in particular that would make her legendary in the annals of scream queen history.
I've described it many times, both here and in The Vault. Linnea's appearance in The Return of the Living Dead (1985) was a watershed moment in B-Sol's journey from boy to man. That graveyard dance scene... what can I say? At the tender age of 12, watching it for the first time on video, I finally understood why boys liked girls so much. Let's just say it helped put hair on my... um, chest. Yeah, that's it.
I've been in love with Linnea as Trash ever since--both in her luscious mortal form and brain-chomping zombie state. I don't know who I wanted to be more--Suicide, or that homeless guy she munched on. Talk about getting head...
But I digress. ROTLD helped put Ms. Quigley on the map, and she was also helped out by mucho coverage in the pages of Fangoria magazine during the 1980s. She became, without a doubt, the most prominent horror pin-up girl of the decade--at least in the U.S.
The late '80s and early '90s saw many more tantalizing turns by the delightful fright diva, including Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Creepozoids, Night of the Demons and of course, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers. I was always especially partial to her in the aptly titled Sex Bomb, the Fango promotional pictures for which were the equivalent of Penthouse to my hormone-addled high school brain.
And as a testament to her staying power as an icon of the genre, Linnea Quigley has remained a staple of the B-movie scene, despite recently passing the big 5-0. In an industry where actresses are coldly discarded after the bloom of youth has passed, that really says a lot. In fact, Linnea will even be seen in the remake of Night of the Demons, which comes out later this year.
More than just a pretty face (or a perfect rack), Quigley has also been involved in animal rights causes throughout most of her career as well, and has done work with PETA.
They say you never forget your first time. And for me, there will always be a special place in the heart for Linnea Quigley. She showed me that horror could be hot, and definitely helped ensure that I would have a lifelong love of it. Thank you Ms. Quigley--I'd let you bite me anyday.