Film scholar Carol J. Clover coined the term “Final Girl” to describe the horror genre’s female protagonists like Nancy Thompson in “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” who—through a combination of pluck, luck and relentless common sense—keep their heads about them when everyone else is losing theirs… literally. They’re the last ones standing at the end of of the picture.
Science-fiction movies are often visually dazzling and intellectually riveting…when they first arrive in theaters, that is. Oftentimes, the problem with the genre is that the cool special effects and futuristic plotlines that seem cutting-edge and state-of-the-art today can look dated and even silly a few years later. That’s why a sci-fi flick that stands the test of time is truly a wonder to behold. Consider “Aliens” and “Bladerunner”–movies that are as thrilling now as they were then.
Few sci-fi classics scare the pants off us as much as Alien. And none of them have Ellen Ripley, a kickass heroine who remains one of the greatest characters ever. But since it’s always fun to mess with the classics, what follows are ideas that could’ve, would’ve, maybe should’ve been in the Alien films.
Horror pushes characters to their limits — especially female characters, who generally have to stay alert and fight back if they want to make it through two hours alive. To be a horror hottie, it’s not enough to have good looks. You need smarts, resourcefulness, strength and a special something extra. In THE WIG, airing tonight at midnight, you’ll see just how hot horror heroines can be and how, sometimes, good deeds become their own punishment.
ALIEN on Ice: If one thing is awesome about America, it’s that you can put just about anything “on ice.” This past month, the Old Murder House Theatre in Austin, Texas performed a live rendition of the 1986 sci-fi classic, ALIEN, and clips from the performance have, predictably, totally blown up on YouTube.
There are a lot of top ten lists for “scariest movie of all time,” but from box office hits to oddball cult classics, there are some movies that turn up again and again. You’ll notice a few favorites are missing, namely HALLOWEEN (1978), which has great 70s kitsch value and hands down more naked boobs than any movie on this list, but as a movie, it’s really not all the frightening, right? And no, I didn’t forget THE EXORCIST (1973) either, but buckets of green puke are more gross than scary. You’ll notice, too, that there aren’t a lot of new scary movies, and that’s not because I don’t like them, but I think we should let them stand the test of time a bit before we start putting them on all-time lists.
10. WAIT UNTIL DARK (1967)
This oft-forgotten gem stars Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman terrorized by Alan Arkin and his gang of thugs who think she has a doll full of heroin. Bet you never thought a refrigerator light would save your life.
9. NOSFERATU (1922)
Greatest vampire movie of all time? Michael Myers stole all Nosferatu’s best moves in HALLOWEEN (the white face, the lurking) but the original is still the bone-chilling best.