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the years and started the huge success of the horror genre. The horror genre had been very small, and for actors it was almost like doing porn in 1973. No studios would touch something with meat hooks and chainsaws—too controversial. It was a catch-22—you wanted to work, but you didn’t want to work outside SAG and the studios in those days—not if you were a serious actor. Non-union films were called "scab" films. The arrival of cable and independent films changed the entire landscape of film. LDM: Considering a real chainsaw was used in the movie, I am sure there are some fun stories to go along with that. TM: I was only in one scene with the chainsaw. The only problem I know about was when Bill was on the table and I was on the meat hook. Gunnar said they came very close to Bill’s leg and one slip could have led to disastrous consequences. Not one of them, cast or crew, had ever handled a chainsaw before this. Think about that for a moment. LDM: Teri, how do you feel about the slasher and horror films of today, many inspired by TCSM? TM: Overall, they’re way too graphic for my taste and overloaded with the emphasis on sexploitation and graphic violence with little story or plot development. Unfortunately, audiences settle for this and don’t demand a great story or interesting characters, but will pay to see any old schlock the industry puts out. Producers don’t care anymore, because they make the money upfront, before shooting even starts. As with all the sequels that come out and whether they have a good story, script or characters—why should they care? The main focus is money, so because audiences demand nothing and will flock to the sequels, they don’t worry and the films suffer. LDM: When you were cast as Pam, you were involved in theater. After TCSM, did you return to the theater or get into other projects? Tell our readers and your fans what Teri McMinn is up to these days. TM: After TCSM, I went back to stage and did dinner theater and local commercials before moving to [Los Angeles] in 1977. In 2008 after the Blu-ray release of TCSM, I came out and did my first interview since filming in 1973. I began attending conventions and film festivals. I generally do two to three a year if I can. This is something I wrote when I first came out of anonymity, when everyone wanted to know where I’d been for the past 35 years. I think this answers that question best: “From 1985 until 2008, on, I had remained anonymous, never mentioned much about ever playing "Pam." I liked living in obscurity. If you'd met me in that time you probably wouldn't have known I was in it, not from me. In that time, I did several other things, restaurant management, event catering director, owned a flower business, and managed two boutique beach hotels. Life marches on. In 2008, I was at a turning point in my life and ripe for a change. What it would be, I had no idea, but I was wide open. Truth be told, I had never been a fan of my performance in TCSM. I had always looked at what I could have done better. I cringed when I heard myself speaking. This is not atypical of an actor, in fact, I think its more common than not. Anyway, so I came "out"- and it's mostly all been a blast and a half!!”[sic] And you can find some of my other stories, like about “What Really Happened to Pam?” in my "Notes" on Pam’s page, I’m reading a script right now that’s supposed to be shot in Ireland in the spring. It’s a supporting role of a nosy neighbor, and a nice script, juicy. There have been some changes and I’m reading the latest script now. If they get the rest of the funding, I hope to do that, so we’ll see what happens. It’s called Awakening and was written by a good friend of mine, Nathaniel Morin. LDM: Teri, we at Living Dead Magazine applaud your role as Pam that has inspired other actresses to follow in your footsteps—perhaps not on a meat hook, but acting in horror films. We wish you all the best in the future and thank you for gracing our pages—maybe with a little blood, but that’s OK by us. TM: Thanks so much for your kind words, Gary. I really appreciate your interest and your questions. The one thing I can tell you is that Pam never died. As you and your readers may remember, the last time you saw Pam was when she popped out of that freezer like a jack-in-the-box, and she was very much alive, so be sure to read all her stories. My readers have loved them, so stay tuned. Who knows, I may write more!


Issue 7 web  

Celebrate some of the most talented women in horror who have helped pave the way for females in horror today. Featuring interviews with Elvi...