Femme Fatales: My Top Scream Queens

The horror genre in cinema is so filled with cliché’s that every horror movie ever made is connected by the string of teenagers having sex, mass murderers with a barrage of weapons from machete’s to sledgehammers, and lest we not forget the incredibly asinine decisions made by the would-be protagonists who will eventually die because of their dumb ass decisions. But another element that tethers the movies in this genre together is the scream queen, the hot chic who somehow manages to survive, most of the time, the mayhem.  

Being somewhat of a self-proclaimed connoisseur of horror movies and, particularly, scream queens, I decided to put together a list of what I consider to be the hottest scream queens ever. Granted, while this may be a completely male superficial task, it is also a difficult one. So, to help me out, I have invited two of my good friends into this. My best friend, Dr. William Lester, owner of Nightfall Radio and author of numerous books and lover of all thing’s horror will join me, along with my good friend John Gilliam, aka Mean Joe Grizzly of the Mean Joe Grizzly podcast, reviewing cinema, comics and literature.

Part of the debate between John and myself is that there are some actors who made just one appearance in the genre, but I feel based on the criteria of just being “hot” or “sexy” in the element, they should be included. Big John doesn’t feel that way, so I wanted to note his opinion before starting because there was one I felt HAD to be included. Ok. Here we go.

  1. Jamie Lee Curtis – This was an easy pick for Number Uno. Curtis helped architect what a scream queen was from 1978t on. Laurie Strode, her character became the template for scream queens in the late 20th century to now. And Curtis became the face for the horror genre of cinema. While John Carpenter didn’t “over sex” Curtis, he didn’t have to. Every teenaged boy back in the late 70’s was crushing on Laurie Strode.’
  2. Yvonne de Carlo – Granted, de Carlo was only on the comedic Munsters in the 1960’s, but goodness she was sexy as Lily. She was not the original choice for Lily. An actress named Joan Marshall was cast and starred in the unaired pilot as “Phoebe” which was the original name of Herman Munster’s wife. But the studio went with de Carlo for the series and it turned out to be an excellent choice. Most movie goers will remember here as Moses’ wife opposite Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments.
  3. Adrienne Barbeau – Barbeau was a very sexy actress. The directors of her movies took advantage of that with the wardrobe they chose for her characters. Her work in The Fog, Creepshow, and Swamp Thing get her on this was also in Halloween (2007) and her part was cut but added back in for the DVD release.
  4. Barbara Crampton – Crampton began her career in soap opera’s in the 1980’s but got her film debut in Body Double and began a horror/sci fi career. She played in the Reanimator, from Beyond, and You’re next, among others. In 2016, she made it a point that she distains the term “scream queen” and prefers not to be referred to as such. Well, to bad, Ms Crampton. You are No. 4 on my list.
  5. Neve Campbell – Canadian actress, known in the horror world for her role in Scream. She is a very talented actress, in addition to being physically captivating. She has been on People’s Magazine 50 Most Beautiful People list twice.
  6. Debbie Rochon – One of my personal favorites and one I consider a friend, I had the opportunity to work with Ms Rochon on a film back in the early 90’s, Hellblock 13. A model and prolific actress in the horror genre, she is definitely deserving of top ten status on this list. Her film credits are too many to list and she is still active in the genre, working for Fangora Magazine and several other cinema magazines.
  7. Madeline Smith – Anyone who knows horror, is familiar with Hammer Films. Madeline Smith was one of Hammer’s long line of beautiful scream queens cast in his movies. Probably best known for playing a Bond girl, Miss Caruso, Smith was one of the hottest Hammer queens in The Vampire Lovers, Taste the Blood of Dracula, Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, and many more.
  8. Jessica Biel – Ok, so here is one that only has one horror genre credit but definitely needs to be on this list. Jessica Biel is clearly one of the hottest ladies on this list and her roll in 2003’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre helped it to it’s commercial success as the number one movie it’s opening week and earning 80 million dollars in the US.
  9. Barbara Steele – A dark haired beauty known for her roles in Italian Gothic films of the 90’s. She played the dual role of Asa and Katia Vajda in Mario Bava’s landmark film Black Sunday (1960), and starred in The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (1962), The Long Hair of Death (1964), and Castle of Blood (1964).
  10. Vera Farmiga – Farmiga helped turn the Conjuring series into a successful franchise because she made the audience believe in her as Lorraine Warren. And if you want to her scream, check her out as Norma in Bates Hotel. Had to have her on the Top Ten and she is a hell of a lot sexier than James Wan allowed her to be as Lorraine Warren.

OTHERS ON MY LIST

Janet Leigh – Psycho, The Fog, Halloween H20

Linda Blair – The Exorcist

Eva Green – Penny Dreadful

Samara Weaving – Ready or Not, Mayhem, The Babysitter

Linnea Quigley – Night of the Demons, Return of Living Dead

Catherine Mary Stewart – Night of the Comet, The Last Starfighter

Sheryl Lee – John Carpenter’s Vampires

Fay Ray – King Kong (1933)

Melissa McBride – The Walking Dead

Danai Guriri – The Walking Dead

Salma Hayek – From Dusk to Dawn

Elsa Lanchester – The Bride of Frankenstein

Jenny Agutter – American Werewolf in London

Virginia Madsen – Candyman

Jennifer Tilly – Bride of Chucky

Emily Blunt – The Wolfman

Sharon Tate – the Fearless Vampire Killers

Megan Fox – Jennifer’s Body

2 thoughts on “Femme Fatales: My Top Scream Queens

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