Spider and Samantha are the names of the characters that forever charming horror goddess Linnea Quigley embodied in the cult classics Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama. Spider, a hardened thief who takes on a murderous imp, and Samantha, who searches for her missing sister with determined grace, are also true evidence of the inherent feminist themes in B-Movies that have attracted fans, and even scholars like Carol J. Clover (Men, Women and Chainsaws), to these films for decades. On the eve of rare screenings of these fan favorites at Summer Scares in Chicago, Quigley, happily, shared some memories about the making of these mini-masterpieces of divine mayhem.
BGHF: Hey, Linnea! I’m so excited that they’re showing Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama this weekend at Summer Scares. It’s one of my favorites. Linnea: Me, too!
I think Spider, the character you portray, embodies so much of what is important about the female characters in those direct to VHS years. She’s strong and resourceful and gives off such a feminist vibe. Oh! Yeah. Because a guy wasn’t saving the day, she was. Thank you!
I think that’s why that Scream Queen Era was so important to so many people. Those films gave the actresses great opportunities. You were able to play doctors and scientists and cat burglars. I don’t think you got that in a lot of the mainstream films of that time. Oh, wow! You’re right. We got to play murderesses and crazy people. The good ones!
Are there any memories that stand out to you about Sorority Babes? Weren’t the performers all housed together on location? Yeah. We were all at a La Quinta. We weren’t too far from the set. I had my own room because I insisted on it. I didn’t want to be in a room with someone who was wild or was staying up half the morning! (Laughs) I say morning because we shot at night. I like my own space.
It was a short shoot, correct? Actually, for a David DeCoteau film, it was a long shoot. It was seven days.
Seven days? That’s nothing! What was the usual time frame for shooting a movie like that? Oh, gee. Three days. A weekend!
Wow! Do you have any fun memories from working on Sorority Babes? Yeah. There were a lot of weird things. My room was next to Andras Jones (A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: Dream Warriors). I thought he was cute. I had a little crush on him. But he was younger than me and he was in the prime of those hormone years. He was destroying his room and just being wild. I guess he was getting the last of that kid out of him and was being really silly and funny. He and the others would go out into town, which was a sea port, and everyone was just kind of all over the place.
Was there any else that was interesting? Of course, we had to act to nothing. The imp wasn’t there when we filmed and we didn’t know what it was going to look like.
David didn’t give you any clues? I don’t know about other people’s interactions with him, but he didn’t with me. He just let us go and do what we felt was right. If we had to be louder for the camera or if we were out of frame, he’d let us know that. He was really good about just letting us do our thing.
I understand that he let you choose the role that you wanted to play, as well. Yes! He gave the script to me and told me to choose the part that I wanted. It took me like two seconds. I want this part, I want this part!
Who wouldn’t want to be Spider? Of course! I didn’t want the other parts, I wanted that one. …and I had fun with it. I had so much fun.
Did you have the same kind of fun on Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers? Well, that came about because Fred Olen Ray had a camera for four days over a holiday weekend. He and David DeCoteau would have bets over who could make a movie the fastest. It was funny. It was the first and last time that I worked for Fred. He just called me and wanted me to do the part. I was just excited to get roles. …and I liked the role. It was fun. (Laughs) I got to work with chainsaws.
Was there any kind of protection on set when you were doing your famous chainsaw dance? No! (Laughs) Of course not! Oh, the things won’t be on. It’s okay! Then I’m doing my dance and I felt something like hot oil on me. I didn’t want to stop the take. In my mind I was thinking that my legs were going to be scarred up. I don’t know what it was. It could have been oil. It was a little bit freaky. Fred kept saying, Dance sexy! Those chainsaws are so heavy! I was taking it seriously, too. I was really trying to dance sexy. It was so hard!
Your hardship was rewarded. The film’s a cult classic and I think many people discovered you through it and adore you. So, I guess the work is worth it, occasionally. Oh. Yes! Yes!
You also mentored Gunnar Hansen on that, as well, correct? Didn’t you encourage him to get into the convention scene? Yes! We were standing around waiting for the next shot. I told him that he should be doing the convention scene. He didn’t believe me. He thought The Texas Chainsaw Massacre had happened so long before and that no one would want to meet him or get his autograph. He thought no one would remember him. I said, are you kidding me? I was so excited to meet you. I was a little afraid. But you would be so amazing at conventions. He kind of nah, nah’ed it. Then when I saw him on the convention scene, I was like, okay! He got it.
A little blonde angel you were, guiding him. Yes, take my hand, Gunnar, and I will lead you to the convention circuit! I was a Tinker Bell.
…Or maybe a bad ass version of Tinker Bell. Yeah, a bad ass Tinker Bell, that’s better. Tinker Hell!
Yes! I’m Tinker Hell!
I think that needs to be the subtitle for this interview! Oh, great! I’d love that!
Forget Scream Queen or Goddess of Horror or Femme Fatale. You want to be a Tinker Hell! Yes! We’ll coin a new thing!
We will! Definitely!
Be sure to join the Tinker Hell Squad by meeting Linnea at Summer Scares on Saturday, June 10th at The Patio Theater in Chicago. Linnea will be joined by fellow guests, Ari Lehman (“Jason”, Friday the 13th) and Mark Patton, (“Jesse”, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2). More information is available at https://www.facebook.com/events/813470602136871/.
Quigley, meanwhile, is always yielding dangerous accessories on the internet at www.linnea-quigley.com.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!