If you've been an avid reader of this blog then you know by now I have a slight possibly "unhealthy" obsession with monsters of all kinds. I have my favourites like anyone else, but overall, as long as it's a monster it has a home here in the Gory Kingdom. Today I thought I'd put the spotlight on some of my favorite scary monster women, in honor of WiHM.
Now I chose these bitches specifically because they bring darkness to the feminine role in horror. Yes, these ladies are beyond fucked up, and that's how I like them. I like my Scary Bitches to have depth of character. They represent fear or dread, or they are brutal, twisted creatures with a lust for blood. I wanted the finest of the creepy women, from classic horror monster Mavens to now. I think we can learn from the past as well as the present, so I chose my Twisted Sisters carefully. They will not be ranked by number, but put in order of the year they graced the screen in monster form. So please enjoy...
Kweeny's Top 10 Scary Bitches of Horror
THE BRIDE (1935)
A lot of times in the classic monster era, they made sequels to things like Dracula, The Wolfman, and of course Frankenstein with female versions. for example: She-Wolf of London, The Invisible Woman, Dracula's Daughter. The one I prefer of course is The Bride of Frankenstein because the depth of that story is said so profoundly with such little dialogue. The Bride is so iconic and she says so much with just a scream. A scream of horror, revulsion and pure disbelief at the situation she has been tossed into. Elsa Lanchester will forever be my favourite of the classic horror movie Monster Mavens.
THE GORGON (1964)
I have a fondness for the mythological Gorgon. Especially the tale of Medusa. Of course, The Gorgon in this flick is Megaera, and if you study Greek myths as I do you'd know that is the name of one of the three Furies, not a Gorgon! But hey, Furies, Gorgons, they are all monstrous women in the end. I love this movie because the Gorgon in question is played by two women and each do a fabulous job in my opinion capturing the dark heart of the beast. The human counterpart was played by Barbara Shelly while the monster was played by Prudance Hyman. I love seeing this creature come to life on film, and how intense her gaze was when she looked upon people.
I will admit, when I first saw The Exorcist when I was 13, I was still a god-fearing Catholic. I have since found my own spiritual path, but I still have a love for the exorcism movies because of this one. The idea that a force can possess you and completely alter your existence is a little terrifying to me. Linda Blair is so friggen scary in this movie I couldn't sleep for days. When the released the "Never Before Seen" version I had to see it. And that scene when she spider walks down the stairs...still gives me the willies. Good on you Regan, for creeping us all out!
Stephen King's Carrie was the story that launched his writing career. And you can see why, even in the film version. Sissy Spacek plays Carrie and does an excellent job. Her mother is creepy as hell too in this film, and reminded me very much of my own mother issues. But the image of her coated in blood and her eyes completely devoid of compassion, that is when she is a full-fledged scary bitch. I like that it doesn't happen until the very end. I like when movies take their time and show you details on what makes a monster become a monster. And yes, some monsters are just people who've been pushed way too far.
ALIEN QUEEN (1986)
If you've seen Aliens then you know who this scary bitch is. This monster isn't a human woman, but she was terrifying. One of the things I love about Aliens isn't the fact it has all the cool marine-combat stuff (though that is cool), but the fact is a tale about mothers. The face off with Ripley and the Queen is beautiful because it shows that no matter what the species, a mother protects it's young. The Queen is a vicious predator, but she is a mother too. Even if only at the most basic, primal level.
THE EVENT HORIZON (1997)
Yes, I know what you're thinking. Kweeny, The ship in Event Horizon is not a woman. But isn't it though? Here me out, like the Alien Queen it is not acted by a person. It is sentient though, and it is referred to constantly by Dr. Wierr as a she, especially once he becomes more in tune with the ship. She is constantly talked about as if alive, as if a character in her own right. And the fact she can effect everyone with her evil hell powers means she is as valid a monster as the Alien Queen. So yeah, scary bitch ship gets added to the list.
ASAMI YAMAZAKI (1999)
Audition is one of those twisted films I like to recommend to people who want a movie that will get under your skin. , Asami played by Eihi Shiina, is a monster in human clothing who has an angelic face, but can torture people worse than any Hostel flick you've seen. She'd make Leatherface blush with her technique. There is something deep and unsettling about a sweet-faced girl like Asami who can be so downright sadist and creative in her methods. This is definitely a movie that warns appearances can be deceiving.
It's no secret I am a huge Ginger Snaps fan. It's one of my favourite werewolf films because it has a feminine twist, but also because it's just a really well done story. I can sympathize with the two sisters in this, and Katharine Isabelle is AMAZING as Ginger. Her transformation really connected with me, probably because I have always felt a connection for the torment, passion and hunger werewolves feel. So having a werewolf go through puberty, pretty much encapsulated my feelings about puberty. Also, this movie has the most amazing transformation effects. Werewolves really need practical effects over CGI to capture the horror of their natures.
I do enjoy stories about normal woman who turn monstrous. May is another movie in this vein. May is played by Angela Bettis, who captures the tragic darkness of the character. The thing about May is that she is so desperately sad, despite how horribly gruesome her plans become later. the thing I like about May is that she isn't supernatural. She's just a messed up girl, and even though what she "creates" at the end could be supernatural, but it's more likely it's all in May's head. She is a bit loopy.
THE WOMAN (2011)
And my final pick for scary Bitch of horror is The Woman. Not only is this a really good movie with a very twisted story, but the acting by Pollyanna McIntosh as the wild Woman who is found in the woods just makes the movie for me. Maybe because of what she represents, and the way this movie brings up many interesting questions about patriarchy and how woman are seen. Sometimes, the people we see as monsters aren't as bad as those who play the part of "normal" people. This character of The Woman though touches on primal fears that surround woman. She's the wild aspect of the female species. She plays by her own rules, is a hunter, and though she is tortured terribly, she never let's them take her wild spirit away. In the end, she gets her revenge, and it's brutal and very satisfying.
And those are my 10 lovely scary bitches of horror! Feel free to share your opinions in the comments section and please tell me who you think would make an awesome scary bitch! Monster Mavens come in all shapes and sizes after all. Hell, some were never human to begin with!