If there’s one thing I learned at a young age, it’s that I absolutely adore those ladies of blood, guts and gore who aren’t afraid to kick ass and look good doing it. Not the trembling, catatonic, limp-wristed damsels in distress. No, sir. The girls who get rough, roll around in the mud and snatch up the nearest shotgun to start dismembering zombies. That’s what I want to see, and that’s what I’m writing about today. My own personal list of the five sexiest blood-drenched sirens from the annals of horror.
Roll that beautiful babe footage!
5. Selene (played by Kate Beckinsale)
At the bottom of the list (and what a bottom it is) we find the gun-toting, sword-swinging heroine of Underworld. She’s dark, she’s mysterious and yes, she even sucks blood on the first date. Despite being a card carrying member of the undead vampiric horde, she’s drop dead gorgeous, has a heart of gold and can’t help falling in love with a Joe-Schmoe paramedic who gets mixed up in the movie’s plot.
The only reason Kate Beckinsale ended up low on this list is because she’s not always 100% believable as an ass-kicker. Despite all the guns and gore, she still comes off as a bit girly-girly at times, and really looks more like a fashion model who got lost on the set of a BDSM shoot.
4. Julie Walker (played by Melinda Clarke)
A little further up in the rankings we have the female co-star from Return of the Living Dead 3. You know, the one who got tossed off a motorcycle and killed near the beginning of the movie. But like the little trooper she is, she managed to dust herself off and play a significant role through the entire remainder of the film -- mostly due to her boyfriend intentionally turning her into a zombie.
The highlight of her ass-kicking career in this film is when she makes the discovery that self-inflicted pain can help her retain control over her cravings for flesh. So she kits herself out in some serious heavy metal attire (literally, metal scraps punctured through her body) and goes on a rampage, ripping open several cans of whup-ass on the baddies. And yes, she manages to look hot even as a pincushion-zombie-crazy person. That, my friends, is talent.
3. Marie (played by Cecile De France)
Coming in at a solid number three is a French actress from High Tension who managed to make ‘looking scared’ the sexiest facial expression ever. Now, some people might argue with this particular selection, mainly because Marie spends most of the film doing her best impression of a scared rabbit. She hides from the killer, totally avoids him, and heck, at one point she even watches through a crack in the closet doors as he slits a woman’s throat -- and she does nothing about it! But you know what? When push comes to shove, she’s going towards the danger more often than away from it. In fact, she downright chases the bastard down when he takes off with her best friend/love interest.
High Tension presents the killer in the context of a shark in the water. And Marie, brave as she might be, is just a little fish with little teeth. She knows her limitations and recognizes her frailties. She’s not a ninja or a super-hero, so she does her best to save the woman she loves while avoiding the hungry gaze of the shark that has that love interest in its teeth.
All in all, Marie is still an incredibly brave character in this film and she does have a scene of outright ass-kickery near the end when she finally confronts the killer. And while I won’t spoil anything for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, she actually ends up being on the far side of batshit-crazy, and personally, that just makes her all the more attractive in my book.
2. Dizzy Flores (played by Dina Meyer)
Okay, she played football on a mixed-gender team in High School, she joined the Mobile Infantry (training side-by-side with men) and went to space to kill hordes of giant bugs, and she managed to look brain-meltingly hot while doing all of it. That’s right, it’s Dizzy from Starship Troopers. And if you say Starship Troopers doesn’t count because it’s technically science-fiction -- then fuck you. This movie has more blood, gore and giant, man-eating insects than any ten creature features glued together.
I think what really impresses me the most about Dina Meyer’s depiction of this character, is how convincingly she pulls it off. You never, for an instant, doubt that she can shoot the guns she’s carrying or kick the ass she’s kicking. She’s both beautiful and tough, and pulls it off in a way that never leaves you second-guessing the casting. On a side note, she also did a damn fine job playing the role of a tough-as-nails bodyguard in Johnny Mnemonic.
1. Barbara (played by Patricia Tallman)
Okay, boys and girls, we’re taking a ride on the way-back machine. It’s 1990, I’m all of thirteen years old and I’m watching a brand new horror movie that’s scaring the living shit out of me. It’s called Night of the Living Dead, and while later in life I would come to view and appreciate the original, at the time, the remake was all I knew about the franchise.
What I also knew was that Patricia Tallman, the actress playing the lead of Barbara, was my newest crush. Sleek, athletic and sporting the shortest no-nonsense haircut I’d ever seen on a woman, the character of Barbara quickly transformed from a stunned, catatonic scaredy cat into a rifle-toting, zombie-killing goddess. She was the strongest and bravest woman I’d ever seen in popular media, and there was just something about the way that she adapted to hardship and became stronger -- rather than crumbling to pieces -- that really struck me as attractive. To this day, she stands out as one of my favorite female characters in modern film.
So there you have it, ladies and gents. The five furious femmes that I consider to be the best I’ve seen so far. Ladies in horror who exemplify strength, beauty and toughness of spirit. If you haven’t checked out the movies they’re in, I recommend you do so now. You won’t regret it.