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Confessions of a Scream Queen
Reviewed by
Matt Beckoff
on
Confessions of a Scream Queen Review. Representing no less than nine decades of filmic forays into the dark and macabre, Confessions is an entertaining and insightful glimpse at the machinations of the movie industry, and of the inimitable personalities which populate it. 
Rating:
4.0
CONFESSIONS OF A SCREAM QUEEN
Matt Beckoff
 
 

Review Information

Reviewer: David Robert
Review Date: Sep 2012

Book Information

Publisher: BearManor Media
RRP: $19.95

8.0

out of 10

 

 

In spite of its deceptively straightforward premise - verbatim interviews, transcribed with minimal commentary, with fifteen of Hollywood’s grand dames of the gory and grotesque - Confessions of a Scream Queen offers a rare insight into the lives and careers of some of the horror genre’s most iconic leading ladies.

Featuring frank and frequently lively discussions with the likes of Hammer stalwart Ingrid Pitt, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Marilyn Burns, nonogenarian Carla Laemmle, the last surviving cast member of 1931s iconic Dracula, and Karen Black, who has the rare distinction of having been directed by both Alfred Hitchcock and Rob Zombie, Confessions reads like a who’s who of spooky flicks and throws up more than a few surprises along the way.  Amongst the more noteworthy of these include Adrienne Barbeau’s assertion that after viewing an early cut of The Fog legendary director John Carpenter thought he had failed to such an extent that he should quit filmmaking for good, and actress P.J. Soles’ candid recollections of the Carrie shoot, during which she asserts writer Steven King was banned from the set for causing a fracas and a young Steven Spielberg indulged his penchant for asking out each of the female actresses out ‘one by one.  He went down the whole line, and we all said no.’

Throughout this accomplished debut tome Beckoff clearly demonstrates both a great regard for his subjects and an encyclopedic knowledge of cinematic history, and the majority of the ‘confessions’ he elicits read like easy conversations between a pair of filmophile pals catching up over coffee.  Nostalgic reminiscences, biographical tidbits and snippets of Tinseltown gossip intermingle with informative shop talk and behind-the-screams film buffery, and even the most devoted of monster movie-goers will likely find something new on offer here.  Another of the book’s great drawcards are the dozens of black and white photographs that dot its 259 pages.  Many of them were provided by the ‘Ladies of Horror’ themselves and a number have never been seen before, and through a clever mix of candids, glamour shots, period stills and contemporary snaps Beckoff cleverly builds a comprehensive pictorial accompaniment to his written work.

Representing no less than nine decades of filmic forays into the dark and macabre, Confessions is an entertaining and insightful glimpse at the machinations of the movie industry, and of the inimitable personalities which populate it. 

 






 
 



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