Terrors of Traci

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Traci Lords is an icon. Chances are you may know about her controversial past: a Penthouse Pet at the age of 15 and the underage porn star of such hardcore hits as Talk Dirty to Me Part III (1984) and New Wave Hookers (1985) who was caught by the FBI shortly after her 18th birthday. The events sent the pornographic movie world into a spiral and almost brought the entire business down… although Traci came out of things with enough notoriety to launch a B-movie career, beginning with the 1988 sci-fi schlock-fest Not of the This Earth. Although her adult film stint still kept some doors shut, Lords has since become a sex symbol and a figure of considerable female empowerment: keeping her togs on whilst proving her acting chops and even forging an impressive CV as a musician (The Dark Side recommends her dance album 1,000 Fires). And with appearances in the cult classic Cry-Baby (1990), the Stephen King adaptation The Tommyknockers (1993), the low budget slice and dicer Skinner (1993) and the bloodsucking blockbuster Blade (1998), Lords has also become something of a genre darling too.

Fittingly, then, when we catch up with her for this special Scream Queens issue of The Dark Side, the actress on the promotion trail with her latest shocker Excision – which has her cast a concerned, conservative mother whose young daughter is an aspiring medical student. All well and good, except the teenaged terror has delusional fantasies about dabbling in dissection, with her classmates as her guinea pigs! This leads to a truly shocking ending – and, suffice to say, the Sundance-screened sickie shows once and for all that Lords is an accomplished and admirable thespian. Not for soft stomachs, The Dark Side urges anyone with a passion for body-horror related hi-jinks to check out Excision, but just make sure you haven’t eaten lunch first…