A showdown between some of the most memorable and most deadly women in horror history.
Few genres have such an innate and deep connection to femininity as horror. There’s an almost intrinsic tie between the women, both characters and their actors, and the macabre legacy of films they inhabit. Countless essays and deconstructions of this relationship have made the topic so popular that it’s bled into the mainstream consciousness.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a horror fan who isn’t familiar with Carol J. Clover’s Men, Women & Chainsaws, and even more pressed to find one unfamiliar with the trope of the final girl. Hell, it’s almost impossible to find a horror fan that doesn’t HAVE a favorite final girl in mind that springs up when those two words are uttered. Women and horror are inseparable.
And we had so much fun with our last contest, that it seemed only fair we make a sequel instead of making you wait for the next holiday to roll around. So, we ask you, who is the most bad-ass woman in horror in your eyes? For the entirety of March, an open poll will be held here on Horror Press to determine whom you believe that is, and at its end, we’ll compile the results into a top-five list!
But before that…
THE GROUND RULES
#1: THEY MUST BE FROM A FILM OR TELEVISION SERIES
As much as it kills me since I’d love to put in Meg Thomas from Dead By Daylight and June Branch from Basketful of Heads, but the burgeoning horizons of horror media outside of film and television are a little too broad. This would put musicals, videogames, and way too many books up as fair game, and it’s a lot for us to keep track of and decide between. Additionally, only one representative can be nominated from each piece of media, otherwise a good 20% of the list would be Buffy & Yellowjackets characters.
#2: THEY MUST BE A PROTAGONIST OF SOME SORT
Just like our previous contest, we need to have some sort of limitation on who would be allowed on this list. Otherwise, it would be packed to the gills with the best female villains in horror. Many will cry out, “What about Carrie White?” as she is admittedly sympathetic and seeing her rampage is cathartic. But you’ll find MANY female horror antagonists are sympathetic, and without this limitation, cases could be made for a seemingly limitless number of villains.
#3: THEY MUST BE HUMAN (IN SOME CAPACITY)
Again, this is mainly a limiter on monsters. Sorry, Xenomorph Queen. If they were previously human but underwent some transformation, they are fair game if they don’t break the rules set above.
That being said, let’s get to the list. In no particular order, our contestants are…
- Vanita “Stretch” Brock (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2)
- Lex Woods (Alien VS Predator)
- Jeryline (Tales From The Crypt Presents: Demon Knight)
- Madison Montgomery (American Horror Story)
- Jodie Marken (Cherry Falls)
- Angela Vidal ([REC.] Series)
- Laurie Strode (Halloween Series)
- Deena (Fear Street)
- Ellen Ripley (Alien)
- Erin (You’re Next)
- Grace (Ready or Not)
- Mia (Evil Dead (2013))
- Misty Quigley (Yellowjackets)
- Taylor Gentry (Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon)
- Sidney Prescott (Scream)
- Sarah Carter (The Descent)
- Tina Shepard (Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood)
- Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
- Needy (Jennifer’s Body)
- Nancy Thompson (A Nightmare on Elm Street Series)
Sweet screams and see you in a few weeks for the results!
Fangoria: The #1 Magazine Subscription for Horror Fans
This article contains affiliate links.
Here at Horror Press, we are longtime fans of Fangoria. Between the iconic merchandise, the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, the magazine that began a prolific horror empire, and more, Fangoria creates content that speaks to fans of the macabre everywhere.
Because of our love of the brand, is it any wonder that we’ve teamed up?
Now, you, dear fans of Horror (Press), can save 20% at Fangoria with discount code: HORRORPRESSLLC.
Look at this amazing cover art by @GhoulishGary exclusive to Subscribers for the January issue!
What is Fangoria?
Founded in 1979, Fangoria holds the title of the longest-running horror-centric magazine in the world. Its famous pages have even appeared in horror productions such as Friday the 13th Part III, Gremlins, Brainscan, Seed of Chucky, and, most recently, Mike Flanagan’s The Midnight Club, among many others.
Inside the glossy pages of Fangoria magazine, you’ll find high-resolution images from your favorite horror films, exclusive interviews, peeks behind the scenes, recommendations for horror reading, and more.
One of my favorite things about Fangoria is all the coverage explaining how special effects artists achieve different looks. Legendary masters of the craft, such as Tom Savini and Greg Nicotero, are only a tiny sample of the experts featured in Fangoria to give insight into their work.
With all this macabre magazine has to offer, treat yourself or your favorite horror buff to the ultimate gift of horror via a subscription to Fangoria+.
What Comes with a Fangoria Subscription?
A one-year subscription to Fangoria comes with more than 400 pages of horror, as 100-page magazines oozing with gruesome goodness are delivered every three months. These collectible issues contain content that you will not find online. Keep an eye out for the magazines which include a poster inside!
— Jillian Kristina (@RootDownTarot) October 15, 2022
You’ll also get a “Mini Fango” periodically sent to your email via the Terror Teletype newsletter, written by none other than Phil Nobile Jr. These emails include horror news, updates to the Fangoria archives, where covers from the last forty years of horror coverage are regularly added, links to the weekly crossword, and more.
Finally, Fangoria+ subscribers are given first access to merchandise releases and opportunities for exclusive giveaways.
How Much Does Fangoria Cost?
This bounty of incredible, ghastly content usually costs $6.66 monthly or $79.99 for the year, but because you’re a Horror Press reader, use HORRORPRESSLLC as a discount code at checkout to receive 20% off your entire order. That brings the year total down from $79.99 to $63.99 (before applicable taxes and shipping, of course).
While we cannot recommend enough the Fangoria+ subscription for horror fans everywhere, the discount code works for almost everything in the Fangoria shop. So, this means merch and single issues too!
The October 2022 edition (Vol. 2 Issue #17) of Fangoria is already sold out on the website. Own the future remnants of horror history before it’s too late; sign up for your Fangoria+ subscription today!
I Love You, E.T.: A Lifelong Friendship
My gateway to horror did not involve a bloody massacre, nor a monster in the closet or a slasher hiding in the woods. It was a little alien creature with an affinity for Reese’s Pieces.
In 1982, an alien later named E.T. (real name Zrek) came to Earth in search of organic plant life along with his fellow alien friends and family. Upon discovery by local authorities, E.T. becomes stranded on Earth as his family takes off in their spaceship to avoid capture. E.T. wanders the California hillside and happens upon the home of young Elliott, himself in search of belonging. The two form an unlikely bond and connection as Elliott navigates a disjointed family environment, girls, school, and of course, helping E.T. contact his family for rescue.
Beginning in the first grade, E.T. The Extraterrestrial dominated my childhood. I had every piece of merchandise I could get my tiny hands on, especially the coveted “antiques” belonging to my mom, who saw the film in theaters her sophomore year of high school. “I loved it!” she remembers. “I went to see it at the Elk River theater in Minnesota. Back then, it was a one-time deal because it only came through town for a short time. Plus, I didn’t have a lot of money to go more than once… Reese’s Pieces became my favorite candy for about one year.” She explained to me that the toys I commandeered in my childhood were once displayed all over her bedroom. She even had the original E.T. doll, the iconic one seen given to Princess Diana by then-seven-year-old Drew Barrymore. “You always took very good care of your toys,” she explained. “As soon as you were interested, I would let you play with them.”
This E.T. doll is still in impeccable shape, by the way.
My grandma gave me a talking animatronic E.T. doll one Christmas. Like a Furby, he would speak to me sometimes at night. “E.T…. feel… siiiiccckkkk.” Flashbacks to the scene where E.T. is sickly pale, lying face down in a drainage ditch with the score rising and causing my eyes to grow big were frequent. I had to take his batteries out after one too many nightmares and calls for my mom to comfort me in the dark, “It took you a while to embrace that one.” Yet, I never stopped watching the film that gave me laughter, tears, jumps, and wonder. After all these years, I still look out for E.T. merch whenever I go into an antique shop, pop culture toy den, and thrift store. He brings me so much joy, and I connect with my inner child whenever I find him. As I write this, my E.T. Coloring Book from 1982 just arrived at my apartment mailbox. I am 27 years old.
E.T. was a sensation upon its release on June 11th, 1982. The film made back its $10.5 million budget opening weekend, grossing $11,911,430 and going on to earn $797,103,542 worldwide. E.T. merchandise soared off the shelves. Iconic is the infamous E.T. Atari game that was notoriously difficult to win and was eventually dumped into a massive landfill by its creator company. I found a cartridge at the Barnesville Potato Days Festival (yes, this is a real festival). I finally caved during the pandemic and bought an old Atari gaming system to give the game a whirl. The game is not that bad! Confusing, yes. Delightful? Also yes. Clearly, I will do anything for this little big-eyed bugger.
One night in college, after a night out drinking at the local bars, I stumbled home alone to get away from the typical college bar drama and crowds. To be by myself. I popped in my E.T. DVD at 3 am and began watching as the room spun. My roommates came home an hour later, laughing at where they had found me. One joined for a bit, then went to bed with the others. I alone stayed up to finish. I was comfortable basking in the colors glowing from the TV set.
As a kid, I related to Elliott in many ways: his stressful family situation, being told he wasn’t allowed to play with his older sibling, who seemed to have all the cool friends, and like me, having little of my own. And through all this, a miracle of a friend beamed into Elliott’s life. I shared this new friend with him. And for the one hour and fifty-four-minute runtime, I didn’t feel so alone. I still feel welcome when I put the film on.
I am 5’1 (and that’s rounding up an inch). All my life, I was too short for roller coaster rides. My mom and dad would tell me, “Stretch like E.T.!” when I was told to line up against the measurement requirement for rides, and even that often left me on the sidelines while my sister and dad had all the fun (my mom would stay with me as support). Luckily, this wasn’t the case for the ride I had been dreaming about at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida: E.T. Adventure. Here I am, pictured with my friend, too small to reach the pedals yet beaming at the camera with my underbite stretched in a smile. Two decades later, I am happy to say we are still friends, albeit sometimes long-distance.