Classic Horror: Freaks, Fiends, and Scream Queens

Classic Horror: Freaks, Fiends, and Scream Queens

Barbara Steele’s porcelain skin contrasts with her raven-black, hair to create the epitome of Gothic style. Steele’s unusual beauty is what endears her to us. Her eyes are so wide, I can’t decide if they weep innocence or scream evil!? Barbara is the femme fatale of, “Black Sunday” which is a bewitching, cult classic film and hailed as a horror masterpiece. “Black Sunday” in 1960, was Steele’s break-out role, starting out at the top, she keeps driving down the fast lane of horror and cult classic, movies. Steele was brought to Hollywood for Roger Corman’s “The Pit and The Pendulum” in 1961, also a horrific hit. How does one follow up an adaption of an Edgar Allan Poe, classic? Barbara Steele went to an open-casting call for Fellini’s famous flick, “8 1/2” and won a small, but memorable role, in 1963. Steele was typecast as a horror actress in American audience’s minds and she played it up to the fullest. Nicknamed: “The Queen of All Scream Queens”, Steele’s movies include “The Ghost” (1963), “Castle of Blood” (1964), and “An Angel for Satan” (1966). Barbara is well over 60, today and she still has a fan base and a cult following. You can catch “The Pit and The Pendulum” with Barbara and Vincent Price, at 8pm, Halloween, on TCM.


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