Thursday, January 28, 2010

Discussion of the Week - Female Villains

In a few short days we cross over into a new month and next month isn't just February and Black History Month, it's also the first annual Women In Horror Recognition Month. Although i'm jumping the gun by a few days, I got to thinking lately about female villains in horror and I wanted to discuss it with you guys. While women are mostly depicted as scantily clad damsels in distress in horror flicks, running around from the big hulking dude with the chainsaw, we've also seen some pretty kickass female horror villains over the years that would give that dude with the chainsaw a run for his money. So I wanna know...

Who is your favorite female horror villain of all time?

Support Women In Horror Month by leaving a comment below with your choice! As for my choice, there's really only one that immediately comes to the forefront of my mind - maybe it's because I just watched this movie over again or maybe it's because this character is just that damn memorable and off the charts....



LA FEMME - BEATRICE DALLE - INSIDE

There has perhaps never been a crazier and more violent female ever committed to celluloid than La Femme (The Woman). She's not afraid to blow your brains out, she's not afraid to stab you in the dick with a pair of scissors, she's not afraid to cut the baby out of your womb (even if you're Johnny Depp's wife's sister), and she's not even afraid to snap your cat's neck and throw it against the wall - and dare I say she'll even manage to ooze a bit of sex appeal while doing so (is it just me?). In Inside, Dalle turns in one of those performances that makes you think, "This chick must really be this crazy in real life" - and wouldn't ya know it, after some research i've discovered that, well, she kinda is! Dalle was filming a movie at a prison a couple years ago and she fell in love with and married one of the inmates - a dude who was locked up for beating up and raping his girlfriend. Naturally, weeks after he was released from prison, the dude threatened to kill Dalle. I must also note that she was arrested for beating up a meter maid several years prior and she was torn between naming her child either Jesus or Mowgli (after the boy from The Jungle Book). So maybe her performance in the film wasn't such a stretch from her real life persona, but that doesn't change the fact that she crafted one of the most kickass and complex female horror villains of all time. La Femme isn't just a maniacal killer with no motive and no name, she's got some serious reasoning behind her actions and that's what I find so fascinating about her. Now i'm not saying she was justified in doing all or any of the things she did, but ya do gotta kinda feel for her, no? In some sort of incredibly twisted way she's the ultimate mother and therefore the ultimate female - thus the name La Femme, I suppose. Whatever way ya slice it, she's totally fuckin nuts and kinda hot in a totally fuckin nuts way and she's my favorite female villain of all time.

Who's yours?

23 comments:

Andre said...

She was my immediate thought as well!!

I'm going to come completely out of left field on this one and say my favorite female villain is the T-Rex from Jurassic Park. Heheh

B-Movie Becky said...

Definitely one of the first female villains that came to my mind as well. Man, she is really is crazy in real life....kind of unnerving actually.

Anyway, some other candidates: Kathy Bates in Misery as an obvious choice, Mrs. Voorhees from Friday, Asami from Audition, Baby Firefly from House/Devil's Rejects, Angela from Sleepaway Camp. Does Marie from High Tension count?

Johnny said...

Marie absolutely counts, though I still hate that twist ending!

C.L. Hadden said...

I'm doing a whole month of female villains in horror next month - one a day - and everyone you guys mentioned is included...Make sure you check it out. Scary women rule.

www.fascinationwithfear.blogspot.com

Cins said...

Going to have to agree with Becky and say Kathy Bates in Misery. She terrified me.

the jaded viewer said...

I'd say Angela from Sleepaway Camp but technically she might not count...I mean if for 99.9% of the movie your female...that counts right?

forestofthedead said...

Norman Bate's mother. You know he's all bonkers but you watch the sequels and discover his mother was the one helped become that way, like it wasn't him creating some evil mother image that wasn't real, she really was evil. Yikes.

Jennie Boots said...

I'd have to agree with you on this one, La Femme was a brutal monster! She reminded me of a much more terrifying real version of oblina from AHH! Real Monsters.
Also, I'd acknowledge Angela Bettis in May for being the most cunning and precious female villain.

Emily said...

I guess this it's not technically a horror movie, but the demented fan, Evelyn, in "Play Misty For Me" always freaked me out! I also though that Rhoda in "The Bad Seed" was a great little kid villain!!

Cat said...

Does Ginger from Ginger Snaps count as one?

Johnny said...

May would probably have to be my second choice. Poor gal just wanted a friend....

Piper said...

Aww, May. She's probably in my top five, poor thing.

I think my favorite, though, has to be Samara from the Ring. Because she's a brat. Honestly, she's been throwing the longest fit in the history of tantrums ever, and you have to love her evil little heart for it.

Speaking of kids, does Regan from The Exorcist count? I mean, she was possessed and all, but she still has the one scene in any horror movie that made me sick to my stomach. (Crucifix, that's all I'm saying)

Ashlee said...

Not a favorite but mention should go to Sherri Moon Zombie's character in House of 1000 Corpses & The Devil's Reject. That was one dark chick!

Johnny said...

Although the villain was the demon inside Regan and she was technically a victim, i'd still have to consider her a horror villain.

Ashlee, good call on Baby Firefly. She's another favorite of mine.

oducerproducer said...

Baby, i hate Sherri Moon in Halloween, but she ran with that character in Rejects.

Magenta in RHPS, she's more of a tweener than a full on villian.

Sadie from the original Last House on The Left, kind of an early forerunner for Baby.

Pamela Voorhees, obvious reasons.

Esther, come on, she was pretty fucked up.

BTW Play Misty FOr ME gets under my skin, her character made me uncomfortable, idk why.

Alan Kelly said...

My favourite female villain in a horror film is a tie: Julia (Clare Higgins) in Hellraiser - When the opportunity for bloodshed presents itself, she makes the transition from frustrated and slightly bored housewife to cold blooded killer very convincing. The second is Kerrie Fox in Danny Boyle's Shallow Grave. What a fucking vixen! Though I agree with this writer that La femme (and Beatrice Dalle) are both terrifying women. That said, I'm sure Dalle wouldn't perform a casarean section with a scissors!

Nik Holmes said...

Another Crackin' discussion Johnny, and I can't honestly think of one immediate standout. Of course I have yet to see 'Inside', but I'm well aware of Dalle as something of a nutjob thanks to her portrayal as the poster child of a generation of student bedrooms in betty Blue.

Kathy Bates in Misery is another good one, though still on the King theme Mrs Carmody is one of the most horrifying creations of recent years. Yet I still feel there is someone I'm overlooking, someone more straight up horror if that makes sense...

Planet of Terror said...

Dalle is by far my favorite modern female villain. All time classic has to be Gloria Holden in Dracula's Daughter.

Zach said...

Mrs. Carmody from The Mist is unnerving, for sure. She's one that jumped into my mind right away.

Emily Rose came to mind (again, the demon more of the villain, but she's creepy as hell), Mary Shaw from Dead Silence was pretty good, The Children's two little girls were good, Vivian Matheson from Grace (mother-in-law) was good, and Mrs. Mills from The Others was great (even though she turned out to be not that bad).

But for me, hands down, the ultimate evil woman is Mrs. Baylock from the original The Omen. Pure evil at it's finest, you just don't see performances like Billie Whitelaw's anymore. Truly terrifying.

kaiyn said...

Kathy Bates in Misery, Baby Firefly, Ginger in Ginger Snaps (though I'm not sure that she's actually a villain, I still love the character)

Samara is a good pick too, along with that creepy little kid from Silent Hill.

Nik Holmes said...

Mrs Baylock is another crackin' selection, the way she does little other than loom with evil intent for the majority of the flick then just goes total batshit at the end...
samara, yes she was for me the first of many lank haired ghosties but will always remain the best of the bunch thanks to a great movie.

I think my all time fave though is The Blair witch. Yes, she never actually shows her hairy form but her overbearing presence throughout does it for me.

Honorary mention goes to Buffalo Bill and his affection for great big fat persons.

Jason said...

I just saw Orphan. While it is a flawed movie, Esther is definitely villainous. Great performance and a great character.

I love Angela from Sleepaway camp. And if someone claims the T Rex from Jurassic Park I am going to claim the Queen from Aliens. What a bitch!

Ayla Miller said...

i would have to say the exorcist. she looks so creepy and i love it!