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A Trip Down Scream Queen Lane

Few scream queens get the recognition they deserve, but most seem to have languished despite an impressive portfolio of horror. In this post, I share a few Scream Queens that have brought me joy. A few, I think, have been forgotten, and deserve a second watch.

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Not everything was what it seemed for Katharine Ross in Stepford Wives.

In the late 1970s, Katharine Ross added an impressive number of horror films to her filmography: The Stepford Wives, The legacy, The Swarm, and Murder by Natural Causes. Likely best known for playing Daughter Robinson in The Graduate, she also can add an episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and Donnie Darko to her horror resume.

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Mom, is that you? Karen Black in Burnt Offerings

No one can deny that Karen Black deserves Scream Queen status. Her filmography reads like a B-horror movie buff’s wish list: The Pyx, Trilogy of Terror, Burnt Offerings, Family Plot, The Strange Possession of Mrs. Oliver, Mirror Mirror, Evil Spirits…and on and on. She played the slightly unhinged role with finesse, and she gave horror an air of believability.

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Does the best friend ever stand a chance in horror? Belinda Balaski in The Howling.

You may not know Belinda Balaski’s name, but I bet you’ve seen some of the horror movie’s she’s had a role in. Granted, only in Till Death did she play the lead role, but she played the sleuthing yet doomed best friend in The Howling and the brave yet doomed camp counselor in Piranha. A favorite of Director Joe Dante, she appeared in Gremlins and briefly in Gremlins 2. Other notable appearances include Amazon Women on the Moon and the beloved classic Food of the Gods.

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Ami Dolenz getting Ticked.

In the early 1990s, a new Scream Queen appeared to be on the rise…alas, Ami Dolenz only graced us with a few B-horror flicks. Most of her movies seem to have multiple names, but you can find her in Ticks, about (surprise!) mutant, blood sucking ticks, Children of the Night (with Karen Black), Pumpkinhead 2, and Witchboard 2.

Eliza Dushku, like many of the actresses here, has a varied career, but her contribution to horror must be noted. Of course she was on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, but in addition, she starred in the bloody and brutal Wrong Turn, Soul Survivors, The Alphabet Killer, and Open Graves.

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Eliza Dushku’s Wrong Turn led her right into danger.

Many actresses (and actors) could be added to the list. Feel free to add your suggestions!

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