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directed by Donald Farmer
USA 1991

 

Amateurishly conceived, shot, and edited - by shot-on-video auteur Donald Farmer (VAMPIRE COP) - INVASION OF THE SCREAM QUEENS is more of a survey of then-current scream queens - some of which have gone on to earn that designation while others are probably unknown by mainstream horror fans - than a comprehensive documentary. Eighties scream queens Michelle Bauer (DR. ALIEN) and Brinke Stevens (SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA), Hammer's Martine Beswick (FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE), Warholite Mary Waranov (SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT), THE HILL HAVE EYES' Janus Blythe, Playboy's Monique Gabrielle (HOT MOVES), SOULTAKER's Vivian Schilling (who started writing films for more satisfactory roles), Elizabeth Kaitan (SLAVE GIRLS FROM BEYOND INFINITY), and model-turned-actress-turned-equestrian Melissa Moore (who starred in Farmer's VAMPIRE COP and had a smaller role in his SAVAGE VENGEANCE, a semi-sequel to I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE with that film's Camille Keaton) among others discuss their beginnings as actors, dancers, singers, and models, their exploitation and mainstream projects, as well as their views on nudity and screen violence. The series of raggedly-edited talking heads answering the same questions amidst anecdotes about their film credits are of varying interest based on the participants' charisma and their attitudes towards their B-movie work (some willing and enthusiastic, others looking towards more prestigious projects), eventually petering out at the end with an chat between the charming Kaitan and her roommate/ASSAULT OF THE KILLER BIMBOS star Tammara Souza that goes on far too long. The lack of credits suggests that it might not have been finished, but viewers of a certain age (and older) will find INVASION OF THE SCREAM QUEENS to be an interesting and amusing, if not particularly illuminating, trip down memory lane while younger viewers might be alerted to such obscure titles like NUDIST COLONY OF THE DEAD, NIGHTMARE SISTERS, THE INVISIBLE MANIAC, and the seventies arty/erotic SUGAR COOKIES (which recently received the Blu-ray treatment from a spotless 4K scan).

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 17 June 2014 (USA)

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DVD Review: Wild Eye Releasing/VHShitfest - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Wild Eye Releasing/VHShitfest

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:22:24
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 2.71 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Wild Eye Releasing/VHShitfest

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Introduction by director Donald Farmer (0:31)
• 2013 Interview with director Donald Farmer (67:39)
• Deleted Scenes (47:01)
• Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery
• Linnea Quigley Excerpt from the Invasion of the Scream Queens book (0:54)

DVD Release Date: June 17th, 2014
Amaray

Chapters 18

 

 

 

Comments

Wild Eye's single-layer DVD of the 1991 documentary INVASION OF THE SCREAM QUEENS looks terrible; then again, it was shot and edited on analog videotape, and it appears that the director's own master is not free of the usual defects like tape rolls and a generally fuzzy image. With the digitization of the master also comes some compression artifacts owing to the ridiculously low bitrate (more evident in the motion of the film and video clips than the talking head interviews) and the crackling/buzzing one sometimes encounters in the digitization of Hi-Fi audio tracks (although the Dolby Digital 2.0 track is clear enough when it comes to discerning the participants' remarks). The amateurishly-produced and -edited documentary is never going to look pretty - even with a better encode - and that's really not the point.

Extras include a thirty-second non-optional introduction as well as a new hour long interview with director Donald Farmer (conducted at a convention) that is in some ways more interesting than the documentary itself. He explains that the documentary is actually a companion piece shot-on-spec to a book on scream queens (it might made a more satisfying package if Wild Eye could have packaged the book and the DVD together). He discusses the shooting of the documentary, some of which was shot at actress Elizabeth Kaitan's house (where the barking of her neighbor Larry Flynt's guard dogs proved disruptive), as well as some of the participants who did not make it into the final cut (director Jim Wynorski [THE LOST EMPIRE] was interviewed but not included, making David Decoteau [BEACH BABES FROM BEYOND] the only male interviewee), and the circumstances of some of the interviews (Mary Waranov had a gallery showing around the period, so the documentary includes some discussion of her painting). He rightly points out the film's appeal now as a time capsule.

The fourty-seven minutes of deleted scenes include the full version of the Mary Waranov interview, some interesting extensions to the Vivian Schilling interview, as well as some botched takes and retakes of remarks by some of the other actresses. There is also a behind the scenes stills gallery as well as scream queen Linnea Quigley's introduction to the INVASION OF THE SCREAM QUEENS book, which is also a series of scans of the pages rather than a reading (pausing is required to read some of the pages, but zooming will not help to read some of he smaller text).

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Wild Eye Releasing/VHShitfest

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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