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Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Death of the Killer Heroine in Horror and Fantasy Media

This is a sad article for me to write -- in more ways than I can express, actually (but I'll mention a few for you). I've come to the realization that we're seeing a wicked paradigm shift unlike anything we've ever seen in stories and media before. Heroines. And not the ones who survive the story. I'm talking about the b*tches who can wield a gun. Sheathe and unsheathe a blade. Break a few bones.

I'm talking about the hellcats who will gouge out your eyeballs just for looking them up and down like they're dessert. Of course, most of these heroines actually look like dessert, but that's the pleasure of the viewer/reader -- only you get to marvel at the curves and awesomeness and not get shot in the head.

Sadly, the Sexy, Scary Heroine Is Not Trending Anymore. And Here's the Proof.

First, though, we've got to appreciate the media in the past: Ellen Ripley of ALIEN, Sarah Connor of TERMINATOR, Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake book series.... (ahem), Alexandra Glade of THE CAIN LETTERS (that's mine). You see what I'm saying? The golden age of the die-hard heroine was sooooo good back then! It was when we could enjoy the ass-kicking with some good ol' hotness to boot.

And for years, it trended quite well. We had Milla Jovovich doing it well with RESIDENT EVIL, and then of course you can't top Selene of UNDERWORLD; but here's the thing, and you can't deny this:

Both film series will be closing out very soon now. UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS will be the last of the run for Kate Beckinsale, and it will be a sad day when that happens. The same goes for RESIDENT EVIL, this new film coming out heralded (actually titled) as the "last chapter." And you can't deny that these films lost some of their luster somewhere past the second or third editions, not to mention we're not going to even mention the crap-fest that was TERMINATOR: GENISYS, even though it was rather fun to watch Ahnuld really ham it up and love it like a good ol' cyborg.

Bless you, Khaleesi, but Westeros is where you belong. Not there. Please, no. No one can top Linda Hamilton -- except for maybe Lena Headey, and coincidentally she did at one point own the exact same Connor role in a rather short-lived TV show based on the film series! Small world....

The Point Is We're Seeing a Decline on the Popularity of Bad-Ass Heroines Flipping Guns and Taking Names

That's not to say our heroines still can't kick ass. They just tend to do it a lot more subtle nowadays. Heck, even Wonder Woman looks like the hero who must but chooses not to, preferring peace over war, but will take up the sword over the plowshare and do the dirty deed!

No.... Ellen Ripley would've just cocked that freakin' pulse rifle and blew the whole damn room up over a few over-sized eggs. And she would've done it with the worst kind of hate in her face, the kind of fury that will make your blood run cold. It almost looks dirty. And oddly -- that's what was so strangely sexy about it.

Does That Mean Books, Film and TV Will Ultimately Now Be Bad If We Were to See Another Leather-Laced Shade-Wearing Female Assassin Walking Toward You in the Moonlight?

Absolutely not, I say! The only thing we have to realize is that commercially they're on the downward trend, so we're not going to see them a whole lot anymore. That may be a bad thing for some, but a good thing for others. Books, TV, film -- they're all the same.

The trend isn't necessarily guided by what people like, but what people like to see right now at this moment. And right now, we want to see squeaky-clean female superheroes, because we're so inundated by them given that the time is now to see it!

We've never had a WONDER WOMAN movie, for crying out loud. Back in the day, the super heroes were manly, rugged, dominating. And male. The women were damsels. Heck, even THE FORCE AWAKENS was led by a feminine Luke Skywalker type and not a Han Solo smuggler.

So take note, authors, producers, directors: you've got a story worth telling, and it's about a nasty demon executioner woman wearing stiletto boots and hot emo makeup.... It wouldn't hurt to give it a shot. 

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