Top Five Bad Girls

In celebration of Women In Horror Recognition Month 2013, Gorepress have been compiling a number of articles, features and columns to let the world know, in our own words, just why the fairer sex deserves as much attention as their male counterparts.

First off the bat is a list of my own personal Top 5 Bad Girls. Women can, and have, tackled every possible role in cinema but more often than not they’re present for eye candy purposes or to fulfill a sterotype that’s as old as cinema itself. That’s why I wanted to take a moment to appreciate the women on the other side of that coin; the murderesses, the maniacs and the kickass anti-heroines.

5. Carrie – Carrie White
While not a ‘Bad Girl’ per se, Carrie White provided a fairly pivotal moment for women in horror and brought about her own brand of rage-induced psychokinetic slaughter. She started out as the dowdy, put-upon girl from the bizarrely religious background before blossoming, then crashing and burning on the way to her inevitably nasty and heart-breakingly tragic demise. Although heightened circumstances, which of us can’t associate with feelings of being bullied or not fitting in? Carrie was a character that many women could empathise, or at least sympathise with at some point in their lives, and that’s in some part down to the writing, but in larger part down to Sissy Spacek’s innocently naive, subtly emotional and endearingly awkward central performance. Men and women alike can revel in the bloody revenge she reaks on her tormenters in that High School gym, and she’ll, quite rightly, forever have earnt a place in the annals of horror history and in many viewers hearts because of it.

4. Return Of the Living Dead – Trash
Watching ROTLD was an unforgettable moment of my youth and one that has stayed with me throughout the repeated viewings in the many years since. With zombies, horror, comedy, slime, a rad punk soundtrack and an imaginative slant on an already well trodden path that spawned four sequels, what’s not to love? There are so many memorable characters in the first ROTLD that it quickly becomes impossible to count them on one hand, but one sticks out in my memory. I think it was the first time I had seen Linnea Quigley in anything, and to my mind, it’s her best role. If not best, then it’s certainly my favourite. With a shock of bright red hair, kooky makeup and leg warmers that just won’t quit, I’d put good money on there scarcely being a man alive who didn’t give the screen their full attention when she started dancing buck naked on top of that grave, prosthetic crotch or not.

3. May – May
Again, I might be tenuously stretching the ‘Bad Girl’ tag a little here, but May sure was one mixed up gal. A strict upbringing and a lazy eye left poor May without friends. Well, without friends except for one very creepy porcelain doll, permanently housed in an austere glass case. She spends her days working at a veterinary surgery and her nights sewing her own clothes and talking to her ‘friend’. One day she sees, and falls in love with, Jeremy Sisto’s student filmmaker and, when their brief romance turns sour, turns to stalking, and later murder, to fill her time. With her theory of “if you can’t find a friend, make one” becoming more and more literal, she indulges in her own Frankenstein’s Monster-esque fantasy and detatches further from a world that’s snubbed her for her uniqueness. Played pitch perfectly by frequent Lucky McKee collaborator Angela Bettis, May is a seriously twisted fairytale that reaches its tragicomic conclusion, never lets up in its innate absurdity, and centres on the most lovably demented female character of 90′s horror.

2. The Loved Ones – Lola Stone
An Aussie take on the gorenography trend, The Loved Ones was released in the UK to little fanfare, sadly. Being both compelling and character driven, it’s head and shoulders above the rest of its kind. When Lola Stone asks troubled, lank-haired Brent to the high school dance, only to be nonchalontly turned down, she decided to enlist her equally unhinged Daddy to drug and kidnap him where he becomes the guest of honour at her own, private prom. Memorable for its interesting colour palette, accomplished performances and that song, The Loved Ones deserves a much wider audience than it received, and Lola Stone deserves a prominent place amongst horror cinema’s baddest ladies.

1. The Devils Rejects – Baby Firefly
The follow up to Rob Zombie’s grindhouse opus House of 1000 Corpses was a better film in almost every way, not least because Baby Firefly and her certfiably crazy family took their murderous tendencies on the road. With her skimpy vest and tight jeans, she’s a perfect example of an empowered female who serves as both sexualised sterotype and remorseless murderess, all at the same time, arguably providing an even more terrifying combination. Her apparent girlish innocence is evident in her childish demands for ice cream and bouncy demanour but with a weapon in her hand she’s a force to be reckoned with. Pair that with genre veterans Sid Haig and Bill Moseley putting in brilliantly realised performances and the best instance of Free Bird on film ever, and you’ve got a winning combination of road movie, psycho thriller and white knuckle horror, with a trememdously unsettling female lead.

4 Comments on “Top Five Bad Girls”

  1. Matt Blythe says:

    Going with the ‘Women in Horror’ month, I’ll wack in a few of my uninformed faves…

    Ellen Page in “Hard Candy”
    Natasha Henstridge in “Species”
    Megan Fox in “Jennifer’s Body”
    Daveigh Chase in “The Ring”
    Emily Perkins in “Ginger Snaps” (only the first one, the sequels sucked)
    Lina Leandersson in “Let the right one in”
    Sigourney Weaver in either of the first two “Alien” films. After that it got a bit messy.
    Kathy Bates in “Misery”
    Takako Fuji in “The Grudge”
    Linda Blair in “The Exorcist”

    Oh yes. Women in horror are the hapless victims. Pretty all of the ladies on that list would get me running and screaming!

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