Which to Pick? Bad Ass Babes or Damsels in Distress – By Jordan Garren

Seeing as how my third Godzilla article hasn’t quite come to fruition, my very forgiving editor Duane L. Martin decided to hand me this project. For this article, he wanted me to make up a list of women I would want/would not want with me in a dangerous situation. With that basic bit of information, I was pretty much given free reign for the rest of the article. Now I am a rather good-sized guy (ewww… not in that way sicko… or rather… ahm.. Yes, I’m huge!) but I’m not a fighter in the least bit. So in a an extremely bad situation where I’m about to get physically punished by an opponent, I would have no problem in having a woman step in and save the day. Here are my main candidates for being “bad ass babes” that I would want on my side when the going suddenly gets tough:

Adrienne Barbeau

Or rather, a young Adrienne Barbeau from the early 80’s. I still think she’s good looking, but not like she used to be. (Yikes, I’m starting to drool all over my keyboard!) She played many a tough gal throughout her career but kept a good balance between being a strong female lead (Christine in The Convent) and being a somewhat damsel in distress (Cable in Swamp Thing where we get to see Adrienne’s two biggest err…. assets.). She’s even played a domineering wife in George Romero’s Creepshow. She drives her husband to the brink of madness and he ends up feeding her to a creature that lives in a wooden crate! That’s one way I’m sure most men wish they could end a divorce. So even though she has played a damsel in distress in a few films, overall she’s a pretty tough woman, and I would definitely want her in my corner.

Nancy Allen

Best known for her role as Officer Anne Lewis in the Robocop trilogy, Nancy Allen pulls off being a tough-as-nails cop, while retaining her feminine vulnerability. As the trilogy progressed, her character went from being a tough, tom-boyish woman to a tough and rather cute officer with a penchant for breaking the rules. I think she truly looks her best in the insipid third installment, Robocop 3, but sadly she misses out on half the film after she’s killed by the film’s lead baddie. However, Nancy Allen does have a softer side and teamed with Tom Skeritt in the horribly made, Poltergeist III. In this film, she plays the Aunt of young Carol Anne who is sought after by an evil Amish-looking spirit. Nancy plays a typical female role here, however she and her husband pull together and through the strength of their love, they help save their beloved niece from ultimate evil. (Great message sure, but the movie still sucks!) Nancy Allen is yet another great choice for being my female protector in times of need!

Milla Jovovich

This runway model turned actress had her first big hit with the fairly odd and entertaining, The Fifth Element. In that film she plays a hot little redhead with superhuman fighting abilities. To save humanity, she basically has to fall in love with Bruce Willis and do the horizontal mambo with him in order to stop a giant sentient, flaming planet from crashing into Earth. Hey, I told you it was weird! Milla would then go on to star in two big-budget films based on the popular Resident Evil games released by Capcom. In the films, she plays Alice, a former employee of the ee-vil Umbrella Corporation who is later endowed with superhuman abilities after being infected with an experimental virus. The movies are low on plot, but high on fun and action, plus they include two other bad ass babes portrayed by the likes of Michelle Rodriguez and Sienna Guillory. I can’t help but choose Milla for this list, mostly because I’m a sucker for redheads!

Jessica Biel

Wait huh? Yeah sure she’s great looking but why would I pick her? Well despite the fact that she’s been in numerous romantic comedies and such, Jessica has also starred in the so-so remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (a film that has divided Brian Morton and I on numerous occasions because he prefers it over Tobe Hooper’s original and I don’t) and more recently in Blade: Trinity. In TCM (as most fans call it), Biel’s character makes a major change into a heroine after surviving repeated attacks from Leatherface and his family. By the end of the movie, she has hacked off one of Leatherface’s arms, and saved a stolen baby from the psycho clan. She tops off her heroic exploits by running over R. Lee Ermey at the film’s finale! In Blade: Trinity, Jessica plays Abigail Whistler (daughter of Kris Kristofferson’s character), a vampire hunter who teams up with Blade to stop the evil Drake from conquering humanity. (Drake by the way is actually Dracula and despite his super-strength and prowess, is still beaten by our film’s heroes.) Jessica knows how to look good while she kills vampires, and so does my next bad ass babe.

Kate Beckinsale

Another regular of romantic comedies and dramas, she caught every man’s eye when she donned a tight-fitting leather suit for Underworld. In this movie, Kate plays Selene, a vampire whose goal in (un)life is to hunt down and kill every werewolf (a.k.a. Lycan) that lives and breathes. Throughout the movie, she shows her fighting prowess and her great feminine figure while doing battle and falling in love with one of her sworn enemies: A human named Paul who was recently bitten by a lycanthrope. (And have you ever noticed how many guys named Paul have become monsters in horror and sci-fi films? To see what I mean, watch Tony Zarindast’s Werewolf and the sci-fi schlock film, Track of the Moonbeast!) In contrast, Kate has recently starred in Steve Sommer’s Van Helsing in which she plays a hot gypsy (in a corset!) who fights against evil… including vampires and werewolves! Here’s truly looking forward to her next film, Underworld: Evolution! All right, there’s a lot more I can list here, but I’m only going to mention one more and she is probably the baddest babe mentioned in this article!

Uma Thurman

Truthfully do I have to say more?! Uma’s been in a lot of movies where she’s played a rather tough gal (she nearly ends up dying of a cocaine overdose in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction; she plays Emma Peel in the horrifically bad The Avengers). But her biggest role has been “The Bride” in Tarantino’s chop sockey/spaghetti western “homage,” Kill Bill Volumes 1&2. For the uninitiated, Uma plays an assassin that tries to run away from her past and start a new life for her unborn child. Unfortunately, her lover (and employer) Bill doesn’t see eye to eye with her and has her killed….. or so he thinks at first. “The Bride” is in a coma for several years, but eventually awakens and goes on a bloody rampage of revenge. “The Bride” (eventually to be revealed as … Beatrix Kiddo?! LAME!) eventually completes her quest after brutally murdering and maiming her former “coworkers” and “employer.” Truthfully, no one looks as good while swinging a samurai sword as Uma Thurman does!

Now, the rest here is tricky as I can’t really name certain actresses or female film characters that I’d leave behind in a bad situation. I mean, if it came to fisticuffs and I was saddled with a weepy and terrified woman, I would try and defend both of us (but truthfully, getting beaten to a bloody pulp without a woman watching is definitely easier on the ego… because then you can make up the story and embellish things a bit, like “I took out twenty of ‘em, before someone sucker punched me, then it was all over!”). Many of these women that fit into this category can be found in a variety of 70’s and some 80’s slasher flicks. But the weird thing about the 80’s damsels in distress, is that many of them evolved into the heroines of the films they starred in. (i.e. Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween, Adrienne King in Friday the 13th, etc.). But in dangerous situations, if you really need to survive, stay away from wounded, whiny, women that are none too bright! If survival is of utmost importance, leave her to her fate, but if chivalry takes over be prepared to suffer the consequences. I’ve seen far too many mighty men fall in order to save a shrieking woman from a host of ghouls! Actually, there is one single woman that I would leave behind in an instant. Ann Darrow (portrayed by Fay Wray, then Jessica Lange, and now Naomi Watts) from King Kong would still be on Skull Island if I had my way, because I don’t need a damned huge monkey on my back!