September 20, 2010

My Five: Favorite Bad-Ass Chicks in Horror

Since this is a pseudo-themed month on Wag the Fox dedicated to the debs, I thought I'd throw up a fave five list of my favorite ass-kicking ladies of horror. If horror literature can be accused of being a boys club, you can bet your ass horror cinema has been a boys club too. If I'm wrong then maybe someone could explain why so many female characters in horror have been depicted as ditzy, witless, and feckless fodder for whatever goes bump in the night.

There are those gems in horror, however, that show how a woman is capable of kicking as much ass as any guy--whether they are good are evil. And that's what this list is all about--the bad-asses. Now, since I'm only listing five as usual, it is inevitable that some deserving names are going to be left out. Whether I just didn't think those characters ranked as high personally (Natasha Henstridge in Species), or because I haven't seen a film starring a particularly formidable filly (Day of the Woman), I have no doubt you will be able to think of a name or two that should appear on the list. If so, please feel free to leave a comment and share your opinion--or blog your own list and send me a link. For now, here are my fave five.

#5 Milla Jovovich as Alice in Resident Evil - Say what you will about the quality of movies Milla has starred in, but please don't tell me she is the preeminent action stars of the 21st century. If The Fifth Element was a horror film, I'd have put her performance as Leeloo (did I spell that right?) on the list. But since it's not, I'm going with Alice. Even though the franchise has lost the magic it had with the sequels, I am still a fan of the first film thanks in large part to Milla's ability to look drop dead gorgeous while killing zombie hordes. I liked her when she appeared nude in the shower during the first act, but I loved her when she wheel-kicked that zombie Doberman.

#4 Rose McGowan as Cherry Darling in Planet Terror - Here's an actress that probably resembles a pin-up model more than any other gal on this list. And of the other ladies with pin-up attributes, I don't think any of them starred as a one-legged stripper with a shotgun/machine gun/rocket launcher prosthetic. Cherry doesn't come off as all that bad-ass in the movie until after she loses her leg and whats-his-name slaps on that shotgun to her stump and coaxes her into blasting the mutants into messy pieces. If nothing else, she's the most bad-ass amputee I've seen in horror.

#3 Katherine Isabelle as Ginger from Ginger Snaps - This is probably the best Canadian horror film I've seen, and the ones I haven't seen yet probably won't top it. Emily Perkins goes on to become the bad-ass in the sequel, but even she can't top Ginger's conflicting emotions of torment and delight as a teenage werewolf with an ever-growing bloodlust. The sexiness factor diminishes a bit later in the film when she starts growing hair all over her body--and that tail makes an appearance--but Ginger is a ravenous killing machine not long after being bitten herself. Megan Fox wishes she could have appeared this sexy and vicious in Jennifer's Body.

#2 Salma Hayek as Santatica Pandemonium in From Dusk Til Dawn - Okay, Hayek's role is really a fairly minor one in the film, but holy crap, does she steal the show or what? When the festivities inside the Titty Twister begin and Santatica does her snake dance, that's pretty bad-ass. But when she--and if you are about to be spoiled because you haven't seen this film yet, it's your own fault--turns into a vampire and starts tearing into people like they're teriyaki beef jerky, she's the baddest thing on two legs in that place.

#1 Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in Alien - Was there really any doubt that I would place Ripley in the top spot? In the horror genre, and outside genre entirely, I dare say Ellen Ripley remains a standard-bearer in Hollywood with regards to presenting a strong female character. The role at face value seems like it was originally designed for a male actor, since Ripley is skulking through a spaceship trying to kill a vicious alien creature before it kills her. The kind of movie where you might expect some muscled-up action star to run around on screen and spout off cheesy one-liners. Ripley, however, stands out through character development throughout the film and a balance of heroism and vulnerability. Oh, she gets scared sh-tless, but she doesn't back down when it's crunch time and run off in her high heels towards her demise.


  1. Excellent list. I love all of your picks and my own list would probably be extremely similar, though I don't think I'd place Salma Hayek as high as you did. I mean, she was great and all, but he role wasn't important enough to make her deserving of the spot. That's just my opinion, though.

  2. Great (and sexy) list....
    Although I would have put Milla J at number one. She rules!

  3. Indeed, Ripley will always be the gold standard. She made a big impression on me as a child, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one!

  4. Ripley for the win. So real, so fragile, yet such a bad-ass.

  5. Does Angela Bettis in May qualify as a badass? I think she does...maybe. Anyway, my vote's for May.

  6. Ripley can't be beat.Though I think Salma is a little too high on the list. Rose Mcgowan rules!

  7. Good list!

    Oh, I agree with Brady. Angela Bettis in May should be somewhere on the list. :-)

  8. I will admit to a personal bias concerning Salma Hayak's place on the list. I will only submit as evidence to support my stance that dance with the snake. :)

    Good to see there is no argument about Ripley's place on the list.

    As for May. I've never seen it. Never even heard of it until you all mentioned it.

  9. Your list is excellent. Although I would have put Milla J lower on the list and Ripley up a couple of notches. However, the fact that the role was originally meant for a male makes it hard to argue.

    Can't wait to read your next list!