This weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, there are multiple panels each day that focus on women's contribution to pop culture. This isn't just exciting... it's momentous. The fact that ladies are finally getting recognized in the film industry, especially when it comes to horror, is exciting for those of us that spend our lives writing, reviewing, and living horror films.
Some iconic horror women, like Carrie White, Norma Bates, and The Bride, have spent a lot of time in the spotlight. The following are my favorite, less known badass horror ladies. Some are evil, some are heroes, and some have tentacles, but all of them are truly killer horror women!
All About Evil (2010)
This movie, directed by Joshua Grannell, is one of my all-time favorites. All About Evil is all about Deborah (Natasha Lyonne), a quiet librarian who inherits her father's old movie theater. But when her evil step-mother tries to make her sell the theater, she you know, kills her, and hides the death by making it appear like it was all part of a film. When her short horror film garners her fame, she continues to produce the movies, and also continues to kill. As the theater grows in popularity and more people are watching her films, the question becomes... How long can she get away with murder? Deborah, and the women that surround her, are literally and figuratively killer, making them a badass addition to the horror world!
How it is that more people don't know about this awesome film is beyond me. Excision stars AnnaLynne McCord, Ariel Winter, Traci Lords, Roger Bart, John Waters, Marlee Matlin, and Malcolm McDowell (so basically an embarrassment of riches). Excision is about an awkward high school student who is planning to be a doctor: partially to save her sister with Cystic Fibrosis, and partially because she is sexually aroused by blood. Richard Bates Jr.'s movie features some of the most gorgeous scenes of blood and death I have ever seen in a horror film, but it is also touching and in the end, devastating. McCord's performance as Pauline is stunning, and she more than earns to be remembered for this role.
Director Stuart Gordon is probably mostly known for his Lovecraft adaptation, Re-Animator. But I think his other Lovecraft-inspired film, Dagon, is my favorite. This oddly-80s seeming movie is about a young couple who wreck their boat on an apparently-abandoned Spanish island, only to discover that the entire island is under the spell of an ancient sea god and his half-human, half... tentacled daughter. Macarena Gómez plays Uxía the fish princess and she is about as fierce as they come. She may not be a mermaid, but she's a lot more dangerous!
Dumplings is a movie that took me a long time to appreciate, mostly because of the subject matter. Aunt Mei (Bai Ling) is famous all throughout Hong Kong for her magic dumplings that will increase one's youthful appearance. The contents of these dumplings are... awful. Cringeworthy. You will squirm whenever someone takes a bite. But between Mei and youth-obsessed Mrs. Li (Miriam Yeung Chin Wah), these women are not only memorable... they are seriously killer.
The Seasoning House (2012)
There is no movie on this list more devastating, more brutal, and more beautiful than The Seasoning House. Set amidst the backdrop of the genocide and murders in the Balkans, a young deaf girl, dubbed Angel by her captors, is put to work in a brothel caring for/doping the young women who are forced into prostitution for the military. There is nothing easy about The Seasoning House, but that is what makes Angel's eventual revenge all the more satisfying. You will never forget this movie.
Bonus Badass Woman!
In the very new film Witching & Bitching, you can literally take your pick of totally hardcore women. And while I do adore Macarena Gómez, since she already has a spot on this list, I'm voting for Carolina Bang as punked-out witch, Eva. She's fierce, she's powerful, she knows what she wants, and she has a killer hairdo. Basically, she's amazing. RESPECT!
Do you have a favorite killer woman that didn't make the list? Who is your favorite lady of horror? Let me know in the comments!
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