AAAAGGGHHH! It’s behind you!
”Women screaming in terror has been a Hollywood mainstay — even when films were silent". - George Feltenstein, film historian
One of the staples used in the genre of horror movies, the scream queen is usually depicted as a young lass who is the target of whatever evil villain or monster that is the films antagonist. Early on, the term was associated with what was known as a B movie where the budget was low, the cast wasn’t that well known and the special effects were almost comical. Being a scream queen was a good way for a young actress to land a part and hopefully get noticed and become a stepping stone for more sophisticated roles.
As the years have gone by and technology became more advanced, the movies themselves improved although many of them still use the tried and true “scream queen” as the center of the plot. What follows is my own list of prerequisites that most, if not all scream queens need in order to succeed.
1) From what I’ve seen, it helps to be blonde or “blondish”
2) Again, based off personal experience, most scream queens tend to be young, ranging in their late teens to late twenties.
3) While not an essential, it sure doesn’t hurt to have a nice set of tits.
4) Most importantly, you need the ability to look scared or horrified and be able to pierce the air with blood curdling screams that rival that of the decibel level one would find on an airport runway.
According to our friends over at shocktillyoudrop.com here’s a list of the top 15 scream queens of modern times and some of their more notable roles.
Debbie Rachon - You may remember Debbie from her breakthrough role in the 1996 movie Santa Claws. Later that year she shattered eardrums in the movie Tromeo and Juliet and later in 2003 Corpses are Forever. She followed that up in 2010 with Killer Hoo-Ha!. Having never seen the movie and based off the title, I can only speculate as to the plot.
Heather Langenkamp – Was in a bunch of Wes Craven movies, most notably as Nancy in A Nightmare on Elm Street. Enough said.
Linnea Quigley – Best known for her work in Return of the Living Dead, Linnea also went on to star in such offbeat films such as Creepaziod and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-rama.
– Among the films included in P.J.’s body of work are Carrie
and The Devil's Rejects
Barbara Crampton – Her early works include the classic Re-animator and the not so classic Chopping Mall. Recent efforts include The Lord’s of Salem and The Cartridge Family
Adrienne Barbeau - Best known for her work in television, the buxom Adrienne also made appearances in Swamp Thing, Creepshow and Two Evil Eyes.
Milla Jovovich – Milla is best known as a scream queen for her role as Alice in the whole Resident Evil series of films.
Asia Argento – Besides her more mainstream films, Asia also starred in Demons 2, Stendhal Syndrome and Land of the Dead.
Katharine Isabelle – Best known as Ginger in the Ginger Snaps series, Katharine also lent her voice to Freddy vs. Jason and the 2002 remake of Carrie.
Sara Paxton - Most notable films include The Last House on the Left, Shark Night and The Innkeepers.
Rose McGowan – Rose starred in the aptly titled movie Scream as well as , Grindhouse, Death Proof and Planet Terror.
Angela Bettis - Angela screamed her way through the TV movie Carrie, as well as the cult hit May for which she won the coveted Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Actressin 2002.
Amber Heard – Amber can claim All The Boys Love Mandy Lane, Zombieland, And Soon The Darkness as well as The Ward to her acting credits.
Danielle Harris – best known for her appearances in most of the Halloween series of movies as well as Hatchet II and Urban Legend.
As if you couldn’t guess…
Jamie Lee Curtis – The Queen of the scream queens. Before going mainstream and doing commercials for a product whose side effects included “anal leakage”, Jamie screamed her way through such classics as Halloween, The Fog, Prom Night, Escape From New York and Terror Train before starting to assume more traditional roles as the aging process began to take hold.
So there you have it folks, feel free to message me with your thoughts or opinions or if you want to have anybody else added to the list.