BY MACK VELTMAN
The horror genre is full of iconic movie villains like Jason Voorhees, Micheal Myers, Chucky, and Freddy Krueger, whose franchises dominate the media and pop culture discussions. We love these villains for their frightening imagery and personas and they are near and dear to the hearts of many a horror fan (hey, we’re weird, the evil guys rock!). There are plenty of lists out there ranking some of the most iconic and terrifying killers, but this list focuses on some of the female baddies of horror films who deserve shoutout and praise for their roles in scary movies. In honor of Halloween, I’m listing my favorite delightfully devilish female villains from horror movies, in no particular order.
Julia Cotton- Hellraiser
Hell hath no fury like Julia Cotton, the lustful sexy antiheroine of Hellraiser and it’s sequel. Trapped in what she sees as a bland marriage to the docile and uninteresting Larry Cotton (although Andrew Robinson is the exact opposite of uninteresting) Julia is so consumed by the erotic memories of her love affair with Larry’s brother Frank that she is willing to kill multiple men—including her own husband and step daughter Kirsty—in order to resurrect her true love. Julia wavers in her convictions throughout the movie but she ultimately gives in to her carnal desires and pays the price with her life. In the sequel, Julia is resurrected when a man bleeds out on the mattress she died on, and after seducing two doctors to help her become whole again, Julia hunts Kirsty Cotton and her young charge with zeal.
Clare Higgins is perfect in the role of the corrupted yet two dimensional Julia, and it’s a shame she didn’t return for more movies as the franchise shifted its focus onto Pinhead.
Asami Yamazaki- オーディション, (Audition)
Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) is a middle aged widower who bites off more than he can chew when he holds a fake casting call in the hopes of finding a new wife, and encounters the intelligent and stunningly beautiful Asami Yamazaki, who of course turns out to be a terrifying monster. Her subtle body language provides small clues of the darkness inside of her, and when she lashes out against Aoyama, it’s absolutely horrifying. The chilling phone call scene and stomach churning torture scene are among her most iconic. She’s calm and meticulous as she works her excruciatingly painful artwork over Aoyama’s body. She’s deadly and seemingly charming, but don’t be mislead for a moment, she can and will when the need or desire arise.
Pamela Voorhees- Friday the 13th
Jason Vorhees may be the face of the Friday the 13th franchise, but his mother Pamela is the original Camp Crystal Lake slasher, and one of the most iconic women in horror. Following the drowning “death” of her son Jason, a vengeful Pamela goes on a killing spree, murdering the two counselors who were getting it on instead of watching her son and later the teenaged camp counselors working to reopen Camp Crystal Lake. Portrayed expertly by Betsy Palmer, Pamela Voorhees is frighteningly unhinged and delivers some truly memorable kills—including an arrow jabbed through Kevin Bacon’s throat from underneath the bed. There’s nothing Pamela wouldn’t do for her special boy, and her adoration and unwavering dedication push her to the most violent and bloody of acts.
Jason Vorhees is one of the most famous horror icons, but Pamela will always be the First Lady of Friday the 13th series.
Queen Akasha- Queen of the Damned
At the heart of Queen of the Damned, an early 2000s, punk-vampire horror fantasy, stands Queen Akasha, played by R&B singer, model and actress Aaliyah. In her explosive entrance, she rises from the stage and takes Lestat under her control. The world may have changed since Queen Akasha reigned, but she’s determined to take it back. “Humans are animals,” she declares and it only makes sense to turn them into her blood slaves. She’s powerful and deadly, burning an entire club of vampires and later killing two of the vampire elders who taste her blood. Her beauty and villainy make her a perfect addition to this list.
Though Queen of the Damned received negative reviews upon release, it has since become a cult film and is beloved by horror fans and fans of Aaliyah alike. Sadly, the actress died in a plane crash in 2001, and the film was released posthumously and dedicated to her memory.
Angela Franklin- Night of the Demons
Let’s just say Angela Franklin (Amelia Kinkade in all three films) can throw one hell of a party. The young woman became the iconic demon she’s most famous for after she and her best friend Suzanne (Linnea Quigley) decide to throw their Halloween party at Hull House, an abandoned mortuary with a bloody past. Goth queen Angela is equal parts horrifying and sexy, and clearly delights in causing all sorts of supernatural mayhem and mishaps. Her signature hair, black dress, and veil make this lady one frightening entity of evil. Angela’s devilishly fun as she seduces and kills many who stumble into Hull House, that dance—oh that dance! Flashing light warning if you dare to watch the video below.
Tiffany Valentine- Child’s Play Franchise
Every horror villain needs a frightful leading lady, and none hold a candle to Chucky’s main squeeze, Tiffany Valentine. Played by Jennifer Tilly, this blonde bombshell was Charles Lee Ray’s girlfriend before he used voodoo to transfer his spirit from his dying body into that of a doll. This doesn’t deter Tiffany, who rescues his mangled body from lockup before he electrocutes her in the bath, and transfers her sprit into bride doll. Tiffany is tenacious though and gives herself a makeover, transforming herself into an unintentional fashion icon. She’s fierce, independent and bloodthirsty, but’s she also driven to protect her family at all costs. Who wouldn’t want Tiffany by their side in a crime spree. Anyone? Anyone???
So there you have it! What do you think of the women on this list? Who do you want to see on the next list? Let me know in the comments, and as always, stay nerdy!