Interview: Linnea Quigley comes to Chicago for Return of the Living Dead 30th Anniversary

| December 9, 2015

Dec. 12, 2015 – Brew & View at The Vic Theater, Chicago

Linnea Quigley will be appearing at Brew & View at The Vic Theater ( on Dec. 12 in Chicago for a 30th Anniversary screening of the Dan O’Bannon-scripted horror-comedy Return of the Living Dead. Linnea will do a Q & A after the film, sign autographs and meet with fans. In addition to Return of the Living Dead screening, Texas Chainsaw Massacre will be playing as a tribute to the Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface), along with Turbo Kid (The Sundance Film Festival Sensation) and Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight (A perennial favorite). This is one show you don’t want to miss! (Full show details at the end of the article.)

With credits like Return of the Living Dead, Night of the Demons and Silent Night, Deadly Night, Linnea Quigley is one of the most recognizable and beloved of all people working in the horror genre. We recently spoke to the delightful and charming Linnea about playing the character Trash in Return of the Living Dead and the making of the film:


FM: What was your initial reaction to Return of the Living Dead when you first saw the film?

LQ: I was really really pleased.  I thought it was going to be just another horror film, but with the editing, writing, the music and everything else… Everything really came together.  All the actors were really believable to me.  Suicide (Mark Venturini) was great as a character. The character was great, because he was having fun, but he didn’t want anybody to know he was having fun. Don Calfa, Clu Gulager and James Karen were all brilliant.  Everyone was really great in the film.


FM: Did your character, Trash, change at all from script to screen?

LQ: It changed because I had a different interpretation than what was in the script.  I brought some of my own personality to the role. It’s like when you read a book like Silence of the Lambs, the characters are different than what you saw in that movie.  I think I brought a character that was a bit different from the rest of the cast. In the script, Trash was pretty much the same except she had a Mohawk and her name was originally Leggs. I’m not sure why or when they changed the name to Trash.  At first I was upset they changed the name to Trash, but after seeing the film, I thought it was a good choice


FM: Did Dan O’Bannon rewrite the script at all during the course of filming?

LQ: I don’t think he did.  As far as I know.  He spent a lot of time working on the little details, like making the graveyard look perfect. Everything down to the toad stools which the audience probably wouldn’t even see.  He cared immensely about everything.


FM: Had you seen either Alien or Dark Star before working on Return of the Living Dead?

LQ: I saw Alie­n many times before I made Return.  I loved Alien and saw it many many times.  I worried about the cat throughout the picture.  When they hired me, I learned that Dan had worked on Alien and I was really impressed that he had written Alien.  But that didn’t mean Return was going to be as good as Alien, I still worried about Return being good.  And thankfully, it turned out great. I hadn’t seen Dark Star at the time.  I did see Dark Star later and liked it, but not as much.


FM: Had Dan O’Bannon ever spoken to you about doing a sequel to Return of the Living Dead?

LQ: I never heard him discuss anything like that. He was a man of very few words.  Though during the film he yelled at a lot of the actors, so not getting yelled at was a bit of a compliment.  I was one of the few people who didn’t get yelled at, so that made me happy. The producers talked about making a sequel and that we’d all be included, but that never happened.


FM: Did you watch other scenes that you weren’t in being filmed?

LQ: I did get to see some, but not many, since my make up was so intense I usually wanted to get home and rest after I was done filming.  When I was in full zombie, it usually took 6 hours for all of it to get done.  The process of having the make-up done was horrible.  I don’t really like having things glued to my face.  You can’t read or do anything.  You just have to sit there while they do their work.  The make-up was really good, but my zombie scenes took very little time on screen. I wish they were on screen a bit longer.


FM: What was Dan O’Bannon’s directing style?

LQ: I’ve never seen anything like it.  He was very focused. Very, very focus.  He had a vision and he made it as much like his vision as he could with what he had.  I know that he fought to keep some of the scenes that the producers wanted to cut because they would cost too much money to film.


FM: Did you make any suggestions on your developing your character?

LQ: No, I trusted Dan and his vision for the film. I did some things that weren’t in the script to add to the character, like instead of coming out of the door in the car, I climbed over the windshield and slide down the car hood.  And he must have liked it since he didn’t yell at me.


FM: How did Return of the Living Dead do when the film was initially released?

LQ: I don’t think it did as well as it did as time went on.  The film has just gotten bigger and bigger over the years. I saw it at a cast and crew screening in Los Angeles and all of the cast was really happy with the outcome of the film.  I think the film has just gotten more and more popular as time has gone on. I was at a Fangoria convention about a year later and a ton of people came up to me and I had to hide in the bathroom because I was surprised so many people wanted to talk to me about it. I was a bit overwhelmed at first. I was also getting a lot of attention for movies like Vice Academy and Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers.


FM: Thank you very much for your time.

LQ: My pleasure. Thank you and I hope to see everyone at the show this Saturday at The Brew & View at The Vic Theater.



Here’s the full information about the Terror in the Aisles event:

Dec. 12 – Doors At 6pm

Brew & View at The Vic Theater

3145 North Sheffield Chicago, Illinois 60657


Tix $12 Presale: (

$15 at the door, day of show.


Show starts at 7pm:


RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (star Linnea Quigley in Person!) (8:30pm),

TURBO KID (10:30pm)



Plus: Free Autographs & Pictures with Linnea Quigley! Vendors, Vintage Trailers, Charity Auction for Giveaways & More!

Event page:

For More Info:


About the Author:

Jef is a writer and educator in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a degree in Media & Cinema Studies from DePaul University, but sometimes he drops it and picks it back up again. He's also the Editor-in-Chief of and is fueled entirely by coffee (as if you couldn't tell).
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