Halloween isn’t over yet.
A “scream queen” is an actress best known for her work in horror films, often portraying the victims or the obsession of monsters and murderers. And there is always blood — lots and lots of blood. And screaming, of course.
Several of these “goddesses of gore” came together for an event called “David Decteau’s Day of the Scream Queens.” Maidens of the macabre Cherie Currie, Vanessa Angel, Rae Dawn Chong and the “queen of the scream queens,” Brinke Stevens, discussed their horrific careers, favorite scary movies and what scares them.
Question: What makes you a “scream queen”?
Rae Dawn Chong: I played a gargoyle in the film “Tales From the Darkside.”
Cherie Currie: I’m not really a “scream queen,” but I love scary movies. I did the film “Parasite,” which I don’t think anyone saw. It was Demi Moore’s first movie. And I did Joe Dante’s portion in “Twilight Zone: The Movie.” But I couldn’t scream because my character didn’t have a mouth.
Vanessa Angel: I’m not known as a “scream queen,” but I have done some horror movies: “Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys,” “Sabretooth,” “Monster Night” and “Warriors of Witchcraft.” I just did one called “Behind the Walls.” It’s coming out this year.
I’ve done my fair share, just not super-well-known ones. But I do scream well.
Q: Brinke, what makes you the “Queen of the scream queens”?
Brinke Stevens: Longevity. I’ve managed to do about 152 movies by now. And I’ve managed to kill as many people as [times] I’ve been killed. I’ve been shot with guns, shot with arrows, pulled apart by demons. My computer killed me in one film. [laughs]
Q: What is your favorite horror movie?
RDC: “The Exorcist.” The original. [Director] Billy Friedkin just was perfect. It’s quiet, there’s no soundtrack. There is only a 30-second sting of “Tubular Bells” when the nuns are walking. It is the scariest film I have ever seen. And it still holds up.
VA: “The Shinning.” I think it’s a brilliantly made movie. Jack Nicholson was incredible. It was scary in both a psychological and physical way.
CC: My true favorite is “Black Sabbath” starring Boris Karloff. It’s black and white. There is a character in it called “The Lady With the White Hair.” I had nightmares about her as a kid. Still gives me chills.
BS: My favorite film that I did was “Haunting Fear.” I think that was around 1989 or 1990. But that is really hard to find since it never came out on DVD. Thankfully, video has a renewed popularity now. People are buying VHS videotapes now like they buy LPs.
Q: Has there been a role you wanted but didn’t get?
BS: I tried very hard to get on Ryan Murphy’s “Scream Queens” show. I submitted a great press package. I was very surprised that they didn’t call me in for a meeting. I thought they would have wanted to pick my brains if you’re doing a show about scream queens.
Q: What is scary about you?
RDC: I’m not afraid; I’m fearless. That scares people.
VA: Probably that I am very self-critical. It’s scary at this point in my life, in my late forties. I thought I would be done with that by now.
The business doesn’t help because you feel like a product sometimes, and because the product is you, it’s hard not to take it personally.
CC: My chainsaw. It kicks ass! (Currie is a chainsaw-carving artist) I’m the real California chainsaw massacre chick.
BS: I do really good lunatics. Mostly on film. [laughs] There was this one time I was pumping gas late at night at a deserted station. These three guys came from across the street and started circling and hassling me. The teller in the station booth wasn’t going to come out. She was afraid. So I just grabbed the squeegee, acted like I was insane. I started speaking in my demon voice waving the squeegee. They got freaked out and ran away.
Q: What scares you in real life?
RDC: Bears in the woods. I have seen them when I hike in the glaciers up in Canada. I sing Joni Mitchell songs so they hear me coming.
VA: Honestly, the thought of something happening to my 14-year-old daughter. Her going off to college scares me.
CC: Crazy-assed people. I think women in general should be able to pack a weapon, carry a gun. I would feel so much more comfortable to have one of my guns with me at all times. There are a lot of crazy people out there and, unfortunately, women are the targets.
I would like to level the playing field.
BS: Spiders. Hate them. Too many legs. Hairy.
Q: What are you working on now?
RDC: I just sold a show. A television show and I’m I hoping to be be working on it, digging in this spring.
VA: I just finished two good independent films. One is a thriller called “Trouble Sleeping” with Billy Zane. He is one of those actors that just elevates your game. I play the lead, and it’s so rare these days to have a woman in her late forties play the lead. It doesn’t happen.
And in “Behind The Walls,” I play a woman who is escaping her abusive husband with her three kids. They go to this house and it turns to be haunted.
CC: I’m getting ready to do some carvings. I’m gonna do the “Chiller” convention, and I did a tour of Australia and New Zealand.
BS: I have two movies. One is called “The Tombstone,” where I play a psychic. Then one called “If I Die. Plus my new audio book just came out. It’s called “Darkness Unbound: Lady in Black” by Glenn Porzig. It’s a Gothic horror book and I narrate it. I get to play all the characters, even the guys.