VOTING IS NOW CLOSED! STAY TUNED FOR THE RESULTS!
The final FINAL battle ended a couple of weeks ago, and with that – we add Ms. Adrienne Barbeau of John Carpenter’s The Fog – into the TOP FOUR LADIES.
But before we prep you on this SUDDEN DEATH round, let’s take a quick look back at where this all began.
The first preliminary battle was posted (way back when Horror Freak News was still Best Horror Movies) on May 15th, 2015.
Over these past many months, we’ve seen some of our favorites fall and some of our great horror lady loves move up the ladder to success.
Let’s take a moment to remember all of those valiant women who fought hard, but did not find their way into one of these coveted TOP FOUR spots.
Sigourney Weaver of Aliens, JoBeth Williams of Poltergeist, Amanda Donohoe of The Lair of the White Worm, Tawny Kitaen of Witchboard, Janet Wright of American Gothic, Dee Wallace of Cujo, Barbara Hershey of The Entity, Clare Higgins of Hellraiser, Ashley Laurence of Hellraiser, Catherine Hicks of Child’s Play, Betsy Palmer of Friday the 13th, Adrienne King of Friday the 13th, Heather Langenkamp of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Lois Chiles of Creepshow 2, Amy Steel of Friday the 13th Part 2, Lar Park Lincoln of Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood, Caroline Williams of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2, Shelley Duvall of The Shining, Drew Barrymore of Firestarter, Linda Blair of Hell Night, Kimberly Beck of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Geena Davis of The Fly, Shawnee Smith of The Blob, Deborah Foreman of April Fool’s Day, Barbara Crampton of Re-Animator, Elvira of Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Ellen Greene of Little Shop of Horrors, Jamie Lee Curtis of Terror Train.
And yes, just going through that list of the legendary ladies who did NOT make it to the top – my heart simply hurts! But, oh the goodness of our TOP FOUR!
And, as promised way back when, here’s a list of the few ladies who were considered for the original 32 competitors, but who did not make that all important first cut. In no particular order:
Dana Kimmell of Friday the 13th Part 3, Jennifer Cooke of Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part 6, Kim Myers of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, Bibi Besch of The Beast Within, Nastassja Kinski of Cat People, Phoebe Cates of Gremlins, Linda Hamilton of The Terminator, Melanie Kinnamon of Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning, Gerretta Gerretta of Demons, Julie Carmen of Fright Night Part 2, Elisabeth Shue of Link, Diana Scarwid of Psycho III, Lisa Blount of Prince of Darkness, Yvonne DeCarlo of American Gothic, Jill Shoelen of The Stepfather, Patricia Arquette of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Jenette Goldstein of Near Dark, Wendy Lyon of Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II, Jennifer Connelly of Phenomena (Creepers).
And with that, here are your TOP FOUR ladies!
Lori Cardille of Day of the Dead. Ms. Cardille took on some heavyweights all the way through, including Amanda Donohoe of The Lair of the White Worm, Sigourney Weaver of Aliens and Amy Steel of Friday the 13th Part 2! And here she is now – hoping for your votes to crown her with the big prize!
Pulled from her prelim round, here are some of her “Greatest Hits”.
“Cardille’s Sarah is a strong female character, and with one exception (McDermott coming to her rescue when the soldiers are having one of their tiffs and then subsequently offering her a couple of shots of brandy) she never falls into any sort of damsel-in-distress usual horror tropes. She’s got her s*** in order (despite her awkward, decaying relationship with Miguel – Antone DiLeo) and her emotions in check – for most of the film. That being said, Cardille gives us a character with balls. See below for her emotional release.”
“The reveal of the afore-mentioned “Oscar” moment should come as no surprise. Close to the end of the film, in a melee at the corral, several soldiers are killed, Miguel is bitten and basically, the s*** hits the fan. Immediately following is arguably the film’s most harrowing scene, as Sarah must chop off her lover’s arm to (hopefully) keep the zombie infection from spreading – thus keeping Miguel in the land of the living. With the help of McDermott (Jarlath Conroy) and John (Terry Alexander), she is able to do just that. But the angry soldiers are not far behind. It’s chaotic, frightening and bloody. Once the scene has slightly settled, we get our first moment which illustrates just how fragile the “strong” Sarah actually is. The soldiers have departed, Miguel is unconscious and the flaming stick (to cauterize Miguel’s wound) in Sarah’s hand is extinguished. She turns to a concerned and almost teary-eyed John and seeing his sympathetic face, breaks down. Oh that lovely first heave of breath as the tears come freely. And what sells it, making it Cardille’s “Oscar” moment? It’s the shaking. It’s the strong façade vanishing. You can see it in Cardille’s eyes. In a film with some serious scenery-chewing in spots, this is a true, real moment that gets me every time.”
Lisa Wilcox of A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master is our next contestant in the Sudden Death round. She had to get through the likes of Kimberly Beck in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Drew Barrymore of Firestarter and Tawny Kitaen of Witchboard – in order to be in this enviable position. Keep in mind, that she beat out original Freddy nemesis, Heather Langenkamp – no small feat.
And here are Ms. Wilcox’s “Greatest Hits”, pulled from her original battle.
“There are lots of good stand-out moments for Wilcox, but a personal fave is early on when her father returns home from “a ten hour workday” and complains about the vittles Alice has provided. Another one of her daydreams and she grits her teeth, storms over to dad and smashes his sad little plate of salad on the table before intensely admonishing him, “Yeah, I can think. I can think of how sick I am of watching you drink your life away and taking it out on me.” It’s a classic moment for Wilcox and certainly one of her most memorable moments as Alice from either of her Nightmare installments.”
“As far as big moments, and why we totally love Wilcox and Alice – well, it’s clear that we’ll have to give a shout-out to the final church battle with Freddy. Alice has Rick’s slick way with martial arts, and drops a beating on Freddy. It’s a whole range of emotions in the climax. Wilcox gives us doubt, triumph, anger, power and relief. It’s not just the awesome physicality Wilcox brings to Alice – as I said above, it’s the journey. Just look at her in the beginning and look at her as she takes those steps through the church doors – Freddy vanquished… at least for the moment.”
Danielle Harris of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. She took on foes like Catherine Hicks of Child’s Play, Clare Higgins of Hellraiser and Re-Animator’s Barbara Crampton – her triumphs there securing her a spot in this all-important Sudden Death Round.
Here are some of Ms. Harris’ “Greatest Hits” taken directly from her prelim battle.
“Early on in the film, when we are first introduced to Jamie, she is up late at night, watching the rain (and the strange ambulance parked across the street) before Rachel comforts her and sends her to bed. In the tense sequence when Jamie is alone in her room, and the bedroom closet continually re-opens – all before Michael “The Nightmare Man” makes his appearance in Jamie’s dream – she closes the door and as she turns away, looks over her shoulder with slight apprehension and suspicion. It’s this moment which automatically proves Harris (even at this green age) has an acting gift. We don’t know if this was a suggestion from director Dwight Little or something that was clear to Harris as she shot the scene. But it is small details like these which can move a decent performance into the heights of something amazing.”
“And boy, can Harris scream! Right away in this opening scene, she screams as Michael appears next to her bed. She screams as Michael appears in her doorway. Why, it seems that from this first Halloween appearance (she’d later join the franchise again as Annie Brackett in the Rob Zombie remakes) that she was destined to be a scream queen! If not that, certainly a talented, working actress in Hollywood!”
Adrienne Barbeau of The Fog is our final contestant in this Sudden Death round and she conquered some horror heavyweights to make it to this last contest. Jamie Lee Curtis of Terror Train, Elvira of Elvira: Mistress of the Dark and Heather Langenkamp of A Nightmare on Elm Street all fell to the power of DJ Stevie Wayne’s voice.
Here are some of Ms. Barbeau’s “Greatest Hits”:
“Following the creepy explosion of son Andy’s driftwood in the station, Stevie calls home to get some information from her son. The brilliance Barbeau brings to this phone call, is that we see within Stevie – concern. But there’s something deeper – confusion. Sure, the driftwood and accompanying dark omen were frightening, but after all is said and done, nothing actually happened. Is Stevie just tired and overworked? Perhaps. But what I enjoy here is again, that concern. She’s upset, but she doesn’t really know why. She’s going off of her gut that something’s off. After all, it’s just a piece of wood. But Barbeau gives us so many layers in that phone call. You can see that she believes she probably is over-reacting, but being a single mom, possibly she automatically goes to that extreme. Bottom line, Barbeau delivers a great deal of Stevie’s personality in these brief moments. And directly following the call, she looks at the driftwood, clicks the “on the air” switch, and exactly that, she’s “on”. There’s that awesome professional shift!”
“Barbeau’s crowning moments come when Andy is in danger. She helplessly looks on from her high vantage point as the fog covers Antonio Bay. The fog has knocked out power, so she rushes downstairs to desperately engage the generator. Once it turns over, she rushes upstairs and screams into the microphone for Andy and his baby-sitter (Mrs. Kobritz) to run. She then asks that any of her listeners who are near enough (she repeats the address over and over), to please rescue Andy. Stevie’s in full-on “mother” mode. She then pleads for Andy’s forgiveness, “I have to stay here”. It’s a nice change of pace to see such a strong female character. Sure she gets upset, but she doesn’t break down into hysterics – attempting the impossible by leaving her post and rushing back into town to save him. She’s smart enough to know that with that aforementioned awesome view, she needs to keep everyone informed. Barbeau sells Stevie’s decision to take into account “the needs of the many, rather than the needs of the few”. And not long after Andy is rescued (Stevie doesn’t know this), she returns to “all business” as she describes the fog’s movements into town. Dammit, Stevie’s a professional.”
And that is it folks! Thanks for following along for the past MANY months.
Voting will be a bit different this time out. You’ll be ranking these four ladies – meaning first, second, third and fourth place votes will still each garner points. So one of the ladies who gets the more second place votes than first, could still take the competition.
Example: Your first place vote is cast for Barbeau. She then gets 4 points. Wilcox in second would get 3 points, Harris in third gets 2 points and Cardille in fourth gets 1 point. Make sense? So it’s a point system similar to the Oscars. Not a winner takes all — a points take all!
Just think, in a very short time, we’ll have crowned the ULTIMATE HORROR LADY OF THE ‘80s and you’ll all have been a part of it! Thank you and good luck to our FINAL FOUR CONTESTANTS! Spread the word of this last battle — far and wide! Let’s end this series of articles with a bang — SUDDEN DEATH, baby!