CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

Screamfest 2005 countdown: Halloween 2002: Linnea Quigley

Linnea Quigley has been bringing her dog, Doc, to the Deerfield Beach Animal Hospital for his chemotherapy treatment. Doc is the boss and most respected member of Miss Quigley's household of five dogs and two cats. If the other dogs get out of line or misbehave, Doc is the first to referee and provide discipline to the young pups. The young pups should be happy to have a life, much less a home with consistent meals. Linnea Quigley rescued them from animal shelters within hours of being put to sleep.

Linnea's compassion for animals is worthy of Saint Francis of Assisi. Perhaps she feels a debt to a myna bird who helped her break out of her childhood shyness. Maybe it was the heroic identification she felt watching the old black and white television show, "Nyoka, Queen of the Jungle." Linnea has gone as far as providing mouth to mouth rescitation (with a straw) to a lizard found on the bottom of her pool.

Linnea maintains the courage of her convictions when it comes down to animal rights, even to the point of risking her career as a film actress in Hollywood, California. Approximately 15 years ago, Director James Cameron produced his only financial flop thus far, "The Abyss." When she found out that the rats used for the production were dying, Linnea released this information to the Humane Society and to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). While Cameron went on to produce the biggest box office success of all time with "Titanic'" he has yet to have make a film in five years, Linnea has been involved in over 20 movies since 1997.

She landed a role in Richard Gere's breakthrough movie "American Gigolo'" but the scene ended up being cut due to budgetary constraints. "Graduation Day" landed Linnea a role she would play for a couple of years, that of a frequently naked high school girl who dies in an outrageously violent manner. The most outrageous doom Linnea faced in the movies seems to have been in "Silent Night, Deadly Night." Linnea's character is chased up the stairs by a Santa Claus stalker carrying a saw. She becomes impaled on the antlers of a stuffed deer. As if the scene wasn't abhorrent enough given her animal rights sensitivies, Linnea was topless during the dead of a Utah winter. "Silent Night, Deadly Night" became notorious during the mid eighties as a film that went too far and was a frequent target for politicians and talk shows.

Recently released on DVD, "The Return of the Living Dead" is Linnea's best movie thus far. With tongue-in-cheek humor, a reverence to Eerie comics and a logical progression of doom, Director Dan O'Bannon created a B-movie masterpiece. Linnea portrays Trash, a punk rocker who likes to perform a striptease on tombstones. Trash's tough girl persona melts during an acid rainstorm that revives the Living Dead. The Living Dead attack Trash and turn her into a Zuperzombie. Trash's resurection is mythical, it echoes Botticelli's famous Renaisance painting, "Venus of on the Half Shell." Unfortuantely Linnea's experience wasn't so glamorous, instead of risiing from the foam of the sea, Trash rose from the mud of a studio graveyard. During her zombie attack, some of the actors became overzealous and pawed the naked actress. After Trash becomes a Superzombie, Linnea was forced to wear two claustophobic kabuki masks, one mask for the stalking scenes and one mask for the eating scenes. Despite her post production exhaustion and strep throat, "The Return of the Living Dead" is the film Linnea loves best. On the DVD audio commentary, Dan O'Bannon mentions his admiration Linnea's professionalism The film also cemented her friendship with character actor Don Calfa, a man she has costarred with in several movies. "The Return of the Living Dead'" was Linnea's breakthrough role in B Movie productions.

She got larger roles and began to keep her clothes on longer. In "Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-A-Rama" Linnea portrayed the heroine who defeats a villianous wisecracking imp. The film marks the first time Linnea got injured during filming of a routine fight scene. "Sorority Babes" features the first onscreen teaming with her onscreen rival, and off screen friend, Brinke Stevens. The two rivals made a string of movies together including "Nightmare Sisters" and the soon to be released, "Corpses are Forever." Linnea earned two cameo roles in mainstream motion pictures. In "Nightmare on Elm Street Part IV" , Linnea portrayed a lost soul who escapes from Freddy Krueger's chest. The scene was often repeated in stock footage for future sequels. While she appeals nude, Linnea actually wore a costumed unitard. During this production, Linnea was given an engagement ring from Steve Johnson, her future ex husband. Linnea nursed comedian Don Rickles with disastrous results in "Innocent Blood," a Mafia influenced vampire movie which features a cameo by Deerfield's own Teri Weigler. Linnea admitted being intimidated by Director John Landis. Previously Landis had fired a started pistol to create a reaction from a group of lethartic extras. Landis was not in a good mood when Linnea had to perform her big scream scene. Linnea was so over the top that Landis whispered to an assistant; "Is she like doing that for real? Is she seriously acting?" The Rickles and Quigley scene provides "Innocent Blood" a much needed balance between the comic and the horrific.

For the last ten years, Linnea has performed in over thirty motion pictures, mostly direct to video productions with outrageous titles. She was a frequent guest on cable television scarey spoofs and she has been a popular fixture at conventions. She has been producing a documentary about her fans and how they have changed over the years. She hopes to wrap up this documentary in December. Linnea is preparing for the transition from Scream Queen to character actress. She recently returned from Kansas where she filmed two productions. One role was written for a male, but the director rewrote the part so Linnea could portray the bartender.

Barbara Stanwyck had a reputation for friendliness, professionalism and committment to the craft. Linnea Quigley belongs in the same category. During the shooting of "Corpses are Forever," the film ran into budgetary problems. Even though her scenes were completed, Linnea agreed to wear the sticky make-up required for the rewritten climax. According to Director Jose Prendes:

"She is as helpful and sweet as an actress can be, no one is more helpful or accommodating. She was willing to be coated in thick karo syrup blood for ten hours and never complained or rushed us.".

Two years ago, Linnea Quigley became one of our South Florida neighbors. Like so many of us, she's a transplant with retired parents living in the same state. She's found a home in South Florida and it should be interesting what she'll create for our local film industry.
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