The low budget horror movies normally mean an almost unstoppable killer (in some cases totally unstoppable) and the beautiful women who are their prey. In some movies actresses are just a body count while in others they become the “final girl” who grows during the course of the movie to be able to face down the villain. Actresses have become cult favorites starring in more and more horror films and growing in popularity. Some take their fame and try to jump into the big budget world of Hollywood while others continue to work in the low budget world, maybe writing, producing or directing besides acting. The actresses work hard under less than ideal situations and often remembered for their appearance more than their acting. All this being said there is quite a powerful fan base that love the actresses for what they do and wait breathlessly for the next movie. Some actresses wear the title of “Scream Queen” proudly and have shown that their abilities are more than skin deep. Brinke Stevens, Linnea Quigley, Debbie Rocheon are some of the many of the actresses who have graced the silver screens of horror.
Brandon Ford dedicates his novel “Splattered Beauty” to the many “Scream Queens” who haunted his teenage years. The novel would make a nice basis for a slasher movie starring one of his favorite actresses. The story is that a scream queen Alyssa Peyton has seen better days; her husband and director Peter has left her for a young actress. She has been labeled as being difficult, as she has been having breakdowns on set and has been pretty much blacklisted as an actress. Her agent sends her to an audition only to find that it is for a p*rn movie.
She is having flashbacks to the abuse she received from her father. Things in her life are looking the darkest and there seems little hope. Then she attends an horror convention and finds a teenage fan, Taryn who gives her all the devotion she needs and she seems to be on the edge of being offered a film as a serial murderer, which would allow her to show that she can act after all. She finds hope after all but it comes crashing down when Peter’s new wife is offered the part instead of Alyssa. She deteriorates farther into pills and alcohol and tries to take her own life. But no one can keep a scream queen down for long and she breaks with reality and tries to take on her greatest role as a serial killer in her real life. She pulls Taryn along on a road of sick and twisted killings all aimed at bring her to the top again and punishing everyone she believes has crossed her. She matches wits with Detective Loggia who is sure she is guilty but has no proof and no idea where she will strike next. Will he be able to stop her or will she finally be the success she always dreamed she would be?
The novel is quick and well paced read. Each chapter builds on the last one and takes us for a fast moving ride. Alyssa is a victim as well as a murderer and deeply troubled so there is a part of us who wish she could just get away with enough so she can make that picture and show her stuff. For lovers of the low budget slasher genre there is everything they would be looking for in a movie or book blood, babes, a hard-boiled detective and lesbian sex. The book would make a good script if anyone were looking a nice slasher movie and a great part for a scream queen as long as she understands she doesn’t have to live the role. The book is available from amazon.com and if you want to know about the Brandon Ford you can find him at www.myspace.com/writerbrandonford.
“Splattered Beauty” would make a nice read over these cold winter days. Brandon Ford has his debut novel “Crystal Bay” also out from Arctic Wolf Publishing.