Women in Horror Month 2011

Deadly Movies Top 5 | Final Girls

“Behind every great (boogey) man (of horror) there stands a great woman (about to decapitate him)” Old Arabian proverb

Horror fans everywhere love that great staple of the genre, The Final Girl. She embodies the mental toughness, morality, and a strength that allows her not only to stay off the often male antagonist, but also outlast and outlive most of the male cast. She may not always be as hot as some of her doomed friends (unless you dig the whole androgynous thing) but she’s pretty useful to have around if you find yourself backed in a corner by a masked mummy’s boy. So join Deadly Movies in a celebration of the very best of the best hardcore horror ladies.

5: Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) in ‘ The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’. Oh man does sally go through it. Surviving the dinner party from hell, and corpsey Grandpa’s deranged version of bobbing for apples. Sally escapes her tormentors through old fashioned spirit and determination. Jumping clean through a plate glass window, she not only escapes but manages to get ‘The Hitchhiker’ mashed by a truck. Covered head to toe in her own blood, Sally’s the only survivor of one of cinema’s most brutal killing sprees. True she may be bat-shit-crazy by the time she escapes, but escape she does.

4: Tracy Harris (Jennifer Jason Leigh) in ‘Eyes of a Stranger’: Tracy Harris has to be one of horror’s most disadvantaged Final Girls. It’s bad enough when you find yourself as the last line of defense, but being blind and mute is hardly ideal when faced with a knife wielding creepo-rapist. Tracey Harris is so hardcore that she manages to survive this ordeal, fighting so hard that she remarkably regains her eyesight to-boot! She’s hard as an eight-ball in a sock and a miracle of physics.

3: Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp), ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’: Nancy has balls of the steel. Most women can relate to being pursued by men with terrible skin conditions, but nothing quite like Nancy, the first lady to ever take down Freddy Krueger. Using her brain and muscles, Nancy rigs her house with anti-Freddy booby-traps that would give Kevin McCallister a run for his money. It’s hard enough taking down a finger clawed child molester at the best of times, but one who can exist in both the dream and physical worlds is a whole new challenge.

2: Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), ‘Alien’: You know Ripley could lay the smackdown on your candy-ass worse than Macho Man Randy Savage. Alien’s are hardcore savage beasts, what’s worse, they’re designed by H R Giger, meaning that they’re essentially huge angry erections on legs. Erections that, if too excited, will leak acid at you. Avoiding acid, face rape, and unwanted death by alien birth, Ripley outsmarts and outmuscles cinema’s single most famous extra terrestrial, not once, twice, but four times-a-lady.

1: Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), ‘Halloween’: Fans of ‘Black Christmas’ (and I’m one) will argue otherwise, but Laurie Strode IS the archetypal Final Girl. Yes she borrows from heroines that went before her, but her performance against ultimate boogeyman Michael Myers became the blueprint for three decades of Final Girls. Resourceful, tough, and with a moral compass that would bore your grandma, Laurie gives nightmares to the nightmare men. Laurie made a further four more outings against her deranged brother, and Jamie Lee went on to reprise the Final Girl role in a multitude of horror films during the 80s and 90s.

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