Dissecting Scream Queen Linnea Quigley!

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

"I like playing tough girls, because they're so different from who I am. It's really boring to play the good, nice girl — that's too much like my real personality." LINNEA QUIGLEY

All hail the queen of screaming her bleeding little heart out…the one and only Ms. Linnea Quigley! What a woman! Quick question, what's the one flick or moment in Ms. Quigley's 40 year career that stands out? Is there one that immediately leaps to mind? Perhaps you need a refresher. After-all, Linnea has appeared in well over 130 movies since making her screen debut as a Barmaid in the 1975 flick WHEELER. Following suit? Our gal played such nondescript bit parts as a courtesan, (DEATHSPORT), first victim (STONE COLD DEAD), dream girl, groupie, blond groupie #2, etc. before really carving her niche as a bona fide horror film stalwart in the 80s. Flicks like GRADUATION DAY, THE BLACK ROOM, SAVAGE STREETS, SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, CREEPOZOIDS, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS, WITCHTRAP, DEAD HEAT, INNOCENT BLOOD and other minor to major genre classics are just a sliver of what Linnea has accomplished over the decades. Let's have a closer look, shall we? It's high time we Dissect the fine behind of one Linnea Quigley!



I realize that, more than most, this one comes down to personal preference and/or nostalgic subjectivity. It may differ for others I'm sure, but to me, Linnea Quigley's performance as the sleazy, death-obsessed punk-rock-hottie Trash in what is still my favorite zombie movie – RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD – will always reside in a special corner of my heart. What an absolute sexpot…surely every young teenage male horror fan's fantasy. So filthy, so funny, so apathetically attitudinal, and of course as the film unspools, so very naked! Goddamn I love this movie, and I love Linnea in it even more!

What's not to love, right? Speaking of fantasies, it's all about Trash's morbid death-dream (by the way, Trash was originally going to be called Legs, which too would have been apt given Linnea's suckable stems!) In that slow, slutty drawls she over-enunciates with – alone sure to stiffen a dude's long-bone – Trash portentously describes her ideal way to bite the big one. And just how does our girl wanna go out? Properly! She wants to be ravaged to death by a molesting, cannibalistic gaggle of craggy old men. No joke, granddaddy-gang-f*cked-to-death!

But even prior to that, how about that saucy graveyard striptease our gal gives us? I said good hot damn!! Interestingly, word is Linnea originally danced to the song "Nasty Girl" by Vanity as that scene was filmed, but was later replaced by the equally effective (if not more so) "Tonight We'll Make Love Until We Die" by Stacey Swain. Either way, both titillating titles are perfect descriptors for the accompanying action. A fire-wigged Quigley, decked in leather miniskirt, vest, boots, and those skintight grey leggings – suddenly pops open her blouse to reveal a pair of perfect tits (aged 27 mind you), hops up onto an elevated gravestone and proceeds to perform one of the all time hottest stripteases this side of a triple X-rated feature. I'm talking HEAT! She tears off the crotch of her leather shorts, then peels the bottoms off before doing a wild dance in the dark with nothing but those sexy stockings and leather arm-warmers. Seriously, it's an iconic turn in just as iconic a movie. And one I'll love until I too am that crotchety old ghoul in the grave!



Gotta call it like we see it. We'll always love Linnea no matter what, but good god, our gal has waded her way through some utter bilge in her day. Stuff so micro-budgeted and independent that I bet you haven't heard of half of it. I certainly haven't!  After ending quite the genre run in 1992 with INNOCENT BLOOD (or perhaps '93 with PUMPKINHEAD II: BLOOD WINGS), Linnea began appearing in far cheaper, more obscure fare. Shite like BEACH BABES FROM BEYOND, STRIPTEASER, JACK-O, BURIAL OF THE RATS, and others eventually gave way to a whole rash of straight-to-video work in the aughts, including shite like THE MONSTER MAN, KANNIBAL, SCREAM QUEEN, ZOMBIEGEDDON, CORPSES ARE FOREVER, etc. But by this time, Quigley had established such genre cred that she was often times playing the lead in these films. Bigger and bigger parts in smaller and smaller films!

All that being said, if for no other reason to highlight her up and down collaborative relationship with shclock-director David DeCoteau (who peaked with CREEPOZOIDS and flamed out almost immediately after), let's arbitrarily call BEACH BABES FROM BEYOND one of, not the absolute, but one of Linnea's lesser efforts. Shocking, I know!

Rocking the old 3.5 rating on IMDB at the moment, the 1993 sci-fi-comedy Skinemax D-movie BEACH BABES FROM BEYOND is about as serious as it sounds. Linnea plays Sally, rival of the three E.T. babes that visits Earth for a little recreational fun. As such, in order to help an adoring human with property issues, the three babes agree to enter a bikini contest in order to win some quick loot. Dumb-dumb stuff, for sure, made during a fallow period in both Quigley and pal DeCoteay's careers. And not much fun to boot!



Undoubtedly, Linnea's vintage set of lungs is what has cemented her lasting legacy as a premiere generational scream queen. She's simply among the best and most believable howling female victims ever captured on film! Couple that with her stunning platinum blond facade and her recurring ability to play tough, hardnosed, take-no-shit characters – be they heroines or victims, lead role or supporting – and you have a pretty formidable formula. Our girl has that inimitably shrill, guttural, perfectly high-pitched yelp that comes from deep down in her soul. Don't believe me…peep that shite HERE!



If you were able to cull a confession out of her, I have a sneaking suspicion Linnea might say 1988 was a halcyon pinnacle of her career. Why? Well, she starred in six movies that came out that year, all of which have endured and ascended to varying degrees of cult-like-status. Consider the six. Quigley appeared in SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA, HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS, DEAD HEAT, NIGHTMARE SISTERS, and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER…all in 1988.


Come on, that's f*cking impressive! Really, that would be satisfying as a lifetime resume for most actresses, but to be at such a forefront of horror cinema during one calendar year, it's truly remarkable. Granted, in DEAD HEAT she rocked an uncredited cameo appearance as, get this, Zombie Go-Go Girl. Also, in THE DREAM MASTER, only the most knowledgeable fans are aware of when Linnea appears onscreen. Yup, she appears as the goopy, vicera-covered soul that protrudes from Freddy's chest toward the end. Yup, that was Linnea!


As per usual, Linnea has no less than a robust handful of upcoming film projects. The girl stays busy! Let's do a quick chronological rundown shall we, focusing primarily on Quigley's 2015 film slate…

After appearing in a whopping 8 films in 2014 (many of which have yet to be released), Linnea has another half dozen or so line-up for 2015 and perhaps beyond. The first, which IMDB says had a release date of just three days ago, is something called CABARET DIABOLIQUE. No plot details are available at this time, but it's worth noting that I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE star Camille Keaton also stars in the flick. Should be a fun blast from the past if nothing else!

Another flick Quigley has lined up, for which we have a full-blown plot synopsis, is an alien-invasion joint called THEY COME FROM THE ETHER. Peep it:

John Henry, a down on his luck salesman, is given a chance at success by an alien visitor, trading technology for help in human experimentation. Blinded by his ambition, the salesman open a doorway in which the alien can develop the means to control the human race. It's left to Detective Mike Washburn, who is investigating the missing persons reports, to get to the bottom of the disappearances.

Not stopping there, Linnea is in line to star in GRINDHOUSE 2WO, which is broken into two films: Man Hunt & Stripper with a Shotgun. Here's a quick logline for that project:

One cartoon and a set of trailers that can only belong to the retro world of 70's grindhouse cinema. This is a walk back in time

Then there's a flick called HUNTERS, which is also in post-production. Like the rest, Quigley is the highest billed if not the female lead, this time she's headed back to the 80s. Check it:

In 1987, a group of film students go scout an abandoned resort in the Pennsylvania wilderness, becoming real victims in another film.

Astoundingly, that's not all. Quigley also has another pair of flicks in the works, albeit both without many details at this point. The first is a flick called BLOOD WINGS (interestingly the same name as the PUMPKINHEAD 2 subtitle), and the other is TERROR TOONS 3, the latter of which is co-directed by Quigley's longtime scream-queen companion Brinke Stevens.

So which upcoming flick of Linnea's most tickles your fancy?!?


The case has been put forth. In our minds, Linnea Quigley is a first-ballot Scream Queen Hall-of-Famer! She has not only dedicated her 40 year career to a life in scary movies, she's appeared in a double-fistful of absolute horror favorites, if not undisputed classics. Shite like GRADUATION DAY, THE BLACK ROOM, SAVAGE STREETS, FATAL GAMES, PARTY GAMES FOR ADULTS ONLY, SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, CREEPOZOIDS, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS, SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA, HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS, WITCHTRAP, DEAD HEAT, INNOCENT BLOOD and about a hundred others. Her resume speaks for herself, as you'd honestly be hard-pressed to find a prettier and more prolific horror film actress. She's made us laugh, she's made us scared shitless, she's rendered us rock hard…Linnea Quigley, from all us here AITH, we love and respect the hell out of you! Keep it up girl!


Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

5380 Articles Published

Jake Dee is one of JoBlo’s most valued script writers, having written extensive, deep dives as a writer on WTF Happened to this Movie and it’s spin-off, WTF Really Happened to This Movie. In addition to video scripts, Jake has written news articles, movie reviews, book reviews, script reviews, set visits, Top 10 Lists (The Horror Ten Spot), Feature Articles The Test of Time and The Black Sheep, and more.