These women aren't scream queens. They aren't heroines. They are not victims, or final girls, nor the hero's girlfriend. Make no mistake: these ladies are the monsters.
Elsa Lanchester, Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
ne plus ultra of female monsters (this pose here based on the profile of Nefertiti) . The Bride is beautiful, terrifying--and terrified, alas--and yet so delicate and poised. Note the fine stitching and the blemish-free cadaverous skin; the question arises: who exactly was Dr. Frankenstein trying to please, his original monster, or his own unspeakable desires?
Gloria Holden, Dracula's Daughter (1936)
Carroll Borland, Mark of the Vampire (1935)
Barbara Steele, La Danza Macabra (1964)
Amidst the mist and coldest frost
With barest wrist and stoutest boast
He thrusts his fists against the post
And still insists he sees the ghost!"
If all ghosts looked like Elisabeth Blackwood, why, I'd believe in the supernatural in a second.
Ingrid Pitt, The House that Dripped Blood (1971)
Simone Simon, Cat People (1942)
Soledad Miranda, Vampyros Lesbos (1971)
Amanda Donohoe, Lair of the White Worm (1988)
Sadie Frost, Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Melinda Clarke, Return of the Living Dead 3 (1993)
all the luck. Douche bag.
Nastassja Kinski, Cat People (1982)
a great song for the movie.
Katherine Isabelle, Ginger Snaps (2000)
Sharon Tate, The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)
Dance of the Vampires, and let me tell you, that is one creepy dance they get up to. Funny, too, but not funny-ha-ha, or even funny-strange, but more like funny-let's-get-the-fuck-out-of-here-now funny. You know how that is.
Andrea Rau, Daughters of Darkness (1971)
how long. Now that beautiful young couple has come to stay at the empty off-season Grand Hotel des Thermes and would it be so wrong if she flirted a little, just a little, with the husband? Yes. It would be very wrong indeed.
Susan Denberg, Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)
Peter Cushing's Dr. Frankenstein create a Frankenstein bride without any stitches at all? Come on, dude, that's half the fun right there.
Macarena Gomez, Dagon (2001)
H.P. Lovecraft had some serious issues with women and sex, but he wouldn't ever just write about it directly; he was always going on about tentacles and slime and how he hated seafood. And then finally this movie comes along and when the lovely young Uxía Cambarro reveals what she's hiding under the bedsheets, well, holy shit, I think ol' HPL spun in his grave. The filmmakers nailed his greatest fear. Plus, this movie gives a great happy ending.
Anulka and Marianne Morris, Vampyres (1974)
Magenta and Columbia, Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
I know, I know, Rocky Horror is dorky beyond belief. But I'd forgotten just how creepily smokin' these two hangers-on of Dr. Frank N. Furter's were, and how they moan and coo and lasciviously wrap their lips around Richard O'Brien's lyrics ("Not for very much longer," growls Magenta in her best East European accent; Little Nell's Betty Boop voice gives me a strange and unexpectedly satisfying shiver). It was a delight to revisit their fine performances on Youtube, and perhaps a reminder that I need to reevaluate just what I consider dorky.
This is a repost from two years ago; it's one of my favorite posts. Now, arisen again, it's part of the Countdown to Halloween! Huzzah!
RIP Harlan Ellison (1934-2018)
3 weeks ago