Without a doubt, Danielle Harris came out on top in the 5th semi-final – in her battle with Hellraiser’s Clare Higgins. So the star of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers moves into the top 8 ladies – joining some other horror luminaries in the four final battles – just prior to the Sudden Death round! We’re so darn close to crowning a winner!
So while we love the exceptional work of Clare Higgins as wicked stepmother Julia in Clive Barker’s classic – we must bid her a fond farewell. Take a well-earned rest on that bloody mattress. You’ll feel right at home.
So Ms. Harris – gear up for what is still on the way! We’ll see you in the ring again soon!
Final vote tally for the 5th semi-final — 240 total votes. For Harris: 180 votes For Higgins: 60 votes
Up next in the 6th semi-final battle – Oscar-winner Geena Davis as Veronica Quaife in Cronenberg’s goo-ey remake of The Fly and Ms. Barbara Crampton as Megan Halsey in the 1985 classic; Re-Animator.
The battles are getting good, folks – and this one should be a real barn-burner. In Geena Davis’ prelim battle, she fought with The Blob’s Shawnee Smith, and obviously emerged as the victor.
Crampton’s former foe was Deborah Foreman of April Fool’s Day. That was one tough battle, as both ladies rallied their fans – in great numbers. But Ms. Crampton ended up the winner – and now she returns to the ring to take on Ms. Davis.
First up, let’s examine Geena Davis’ “greatest hits”. As is the new norm for these semi-final battles, I’ll take some quotes from her prelim bout to properly illustrate the reasons she could garner your vote here. Here’s a link to the entire bout. As for her best moment in The Fly:
“Let me sum it up for you with one word: shotgun.
Not enough for you? Take a trip back with me for a moment. Let’s go past all of the horror and crying and terror Davis puts on the screen as Veronica and move right into the climax. It hurts to see her reaction to pulling that trigger. It hurts to see her reacting to the sad/damaged creature on the floor in front of her. It hurts to know what courage she had to muster to do what she did. She killed her lover, the father of her child and one can assume, her soul-mate. There’s a genuine love between Davis and Goldblum (weren’t they dating at the time?), and that’s why this intimate film makes such an impression.”
And a few words on some of her other “greatest hits”:
“But there are other moments worthy of praise for Davis in the film. How about the abortion dream-sequence, where the larvae is extracted from her womb? Where does a gifted actress like Davis (or anyone of her caliber) go to in their mind to pull out a screaming, terrified and unbelieving reaction such as the one in this scene? It’s mind-boggling how much exhaustion and fear she brings to Veronica.”
“However, nothing can compare to her teary-eyed and frightened delivery of “I don’t know what you’re trying to tell me” as Seth (now deep into his physical transformation) talks to Veronica about “insect politics”. She’s come to the loft to tell him she’s pregnant, is about to have an abortion, and he ends up telling her “I’ll hurt you if you stay”. Wow. The acting from both of these thespians in this scene – I mean, c’mon. You can’t top that. And Davis’ wide eyes, trying so hard to keep from looking directly at him — painful. She just breaks my heart in this scene.”
And we’ll now move onto Ms. Davis’ competitor in this 6th semi-final – for real Scream Queen, Barbara Crampton. She’s been enjoying a majorly prolific comeback over the past several years, since her big reappearance in the instant classic, You’re Next. But we’re going to take a gander at her work in the cult favorite (seriously, who doesn’t live this film?) Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator. Just a few of Ms. Crampton’s “greatest hits” – pulled from her prelim battle opposite Deborah Foreman:
“For example, once Dan and Herbert have their first “Team Re-Animation” in the morgue, Megan’s father intrudes and is killed, and subsequently brought back to life. Herbert’s disgusted by another intrusion into their experiment, this time by Megan. What’s fantastic about Crampton here, is her reaction (there it is again) to Dan trying to touch her and comfort her. Megan’s stand-offish and confused. All she wants to do it help her father, but Dan won’t let her near him. She’s already upset over Dan’s impending suspension and her father’s ass-hole-ishness, so this wacky and violent turn of events puts her over the edge. Interestingly, we never fully regain Megan’s stability from that point on. And we buy every moment, ‘cause of Crampton’s wide and expressive eyes. Her outstanding line here, a shaky, but firm and teary-eyed, “No, he was just angry!”, when referring to her father.”
“But before we go into the crazy good stuff, I also want to point out the very simple moment from Crampton, which always makes me smile. She’s being watched by Dr. Hammond (Carolyn-Purdy Gordon) as her father goes to find Dan in the morgue. When she is left alone (except for the face-bandaged dude sitting next to her), she promptly heads downstairs, but not before smiling warmly and giving the face-bandaged dude his magazine back. It’s the switch from warm smile to concern and determination which is a great moment for Crampton.”
“We then move into Megan’s return home after discussing her father’s treatment with Dr. Hill. Dan’s waiting there for her. I won’t take the time to describe all the goodness Crampton delivers in this scene, as there’s a lot. Simply witness her moist-eyed delivery of, “No, you’re insane! You’re insane!”, before she collapses to the floor, crying and letting out a whimper of “Daddy…” Oh, so good!”
“And of course… You knew it was coming. Any discussion of Re-Animator and specifically, the work of Ms. Crampton within, warrants mention of the “head” scene. The first thing that comes to mind is not possible titillation, but Crampton’s guts and gusto to do this scene! That’s some major trust on Crampton’s part, not to mention a very deep faith in the script, the director and the editor. But what’s amazing here, is again Crampton’s reactions. All throughout the film, in very emotional scenes, Crampton consistently delivers these little (assuming un-scripted) whimpers and moans. Whether it’s the “Daddy…” when Dan tells her that her father is dead, or in this most famous of scenes. These terrified screams and moans are organic and perfectly suit the scene and situation. I mean, what else would you do if you were being given oral sex by a disembodied head? Crampton gives us the horror, the confusion and the absolute unbelievability of what Megan is experiencing. It’s a very impressive moment – not for the spectacle or salaciousness, but for her performance, her trust and those telling and piercing screams.”
And there you have it, readers. Two terrific and iconic horror performances of the ‘80s. I don’t know about you, but as we inch ever closer to the top 8 Horror Ladies of the ‘80s, the choices become more and more difficult.
I am officially christening this 6th semi-final battle, “Re-Animate Me & Fly Me Away“ as The Fly’s Geena Davis takes the ring opposite Re-Animator’s Barbara Crampton.
As always, cast your vote right here on the site, over on Facebook or on our Twitter page.
Remember, this vote moves one of these two brilliant ladies into the top 8. The stakes continue to rise!