Movies with Tough Chicks

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 11:42 pm

I love movies with tough chicks. Why? Maybe I’m all about equality of the sexes, or maybe I just enjoy the sight of gun-wielding women running around in tank tops. Either way, I’ve decided to compile a handy guide to some of the all-time badass cinematic females. As you may notice, the list tends to lean heavily towards movies from the last decade or two. That’s because women didn’t get too many chance to shoot men in the genitals back in the days of black-and-white movies. What a shame, as I would’ve loved to see Donna Reed go after Mr. Potter with a selection of power tools.

Netflix carries a whole boatload of movies with tough chicks, as well as kung-fu films, sensitive dramas, action flicks, and much, much more. To get started on becoming a member, all you have to do is click on the provided Netflix link. Within minutes, you’ll be enjoying fast delivery, free postage, and no late fees.

By the way, I realize that I’ve left Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) off this list, so don’t even bother bitching about it. She’s been included in previous installments on capable movie females, so I decided it was high time to give a few other ladies a moment in the spotlight. For the aforementioned lists, check out the bottom of the post.

True Romance (1993) – While she spends a good portion of the film doing the nasty with Christian Slater, Alabama (Patricia Arquette) is one little slice of Florida white trash that doesn’t suffer fools. Witness her motel room showdown with Virgil (a pre-Sopranos James Gandolfini), a hitman for the mob. Virgil wants to know the location of Alabama’s hubby and a suitcase filled with the mob’s cocaine, but this tough cookie has no intention of talking. Even after she’s been punched around the room, she continues her defiance, prompting Virgil to compliment her on her “heart.” Finally getting her hands on a makeshift weapon, she mounts a comeback that includes shampoo to the eyes, verbal taunts, flames to the face, a corkscrew to the foot and back, and finally a series of shotgun blasts to the chest and face. Your winner: Alabama.

Underworld (2003) – Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is a Death Dealer. That’s a vampire who specializes in hunting down and killing a breed of werewolves known as the Lycans. She’s damn good at her job, too, surviving attacks that leave many of her fellow bloodsuckers ripped to shreds. Selene is also pretty adept at killing her own kind, as evidenced when she falls for a Lycan/vampire hybrid with dreamy eyes and chiseled pecs. It doesn’ hurt that Beckinsale looks smashing in black leather and a corset. And after gazing at her enhanced blue eyes…well, she can pump a few rounds from a pistol into me any day.

The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) – Geena Davis plays a mild-mannered schoolteacher and mother suffering from amnesia. When she takes down an escaped con with little effort and subsequently learns that she has a talent with bladed weapons, she hires a private eye (Samuel L. Jackson) to learn who she really is. That’s when the shite hits the fan, and director Renny Harlin gets to blow up lots of stuff. Davis looks right at home firing off automatic weapons, and the excellent supporting cast includes David Morse and Brian Cox. Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) turned out the script, something that was sorely missing on the disasterous Davis/Harlin team-up known as Cutthroat Island.

Resident Evil (2002), Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) – The Resident Evil franchise has produced a total of four films, and the one constant has been Alice (Milla Jovovich), a former security specialist for the shadowy Umbrella Corporation who gained superhuman abilities (including psychic powers and regeneration) after her exposure to the lethal T-Virus. As she criss-crosses the globe helping survivors and killing zombies, Alice constantly searches for the location of Umbrella’s central headquarters. God help them if she ever finds it.

Night of the Living Dead (1990) – The 1968 Romero original featured a Barbra (Judith O’Dea) who spends the majority of the film as a catatonic wreck before finally being gobbled up by the undead. In the Tom Savini remake, however, Barbara (Patricia Tallman) slowly transforms from a frightened victim into a zombie killer with ice water in her veins. And she’s not above dishing out a little payback to the living, as well.

Angel of Death (2009) – Australian stuntwoman and actress Zoe Bell, the only person to¬†appear in two of the movies on this list, stars in this web series tuned DVD movie. She plays Eve, a ruthless hitwoman who receives a knife through the skull, survives, and becomes haunted by the people she’s killed over the years. Driven to make amends, Eve launches a war against her former employers, dispatching them with a ruthless efficiency. Most women look a little outmatched when going up against men in action scenes. Not Zoe Bell. This was, after all, the woman who served as Lucy Lawless’ stunt double for years on Xena: Warrior Princess.

I Spit on Your Grave (1978) – Also known as Day of the Woman, this controversial exploitation film from the ’70s tells of a writer from New York, Jennifer Hills (Camille Keaton), who rents a remote cabin and ends up getting gang-raped by several of the locals. If that were the end of the story, Jennifer wouldn’t have made it onto this list of tough movie chicks. No, she decides to gain revenge, using a combination of feminine wiles, knife, gun, axe, noose, and even a freakin’ motorboat. She sums it up nicely when she utters the immortal line, “Suck it, bitch.” Score one for the ladies.

Grindhouse (2007) – Split into a double feature, this throwback from directors Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino features a whole gaggle of capable ladies. Leading the pack in Planet Terror are Cherry Darling (Rose McGowan), a stripper who winds up with an M-16 attached to her severed leg, and Dr. Dakota Block (Marley Shelton), a bisexual physician who’s a real whiz with needles. Tarantino’s entry, Death Proof, features Zoe Bell, Rosario Dawson, and Tracie Thoms as a trio of women menaced by Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) and his 1969 Dodge Charger. But while Mike succeeded in killing a number of females earlier in the film, he finds this group a little more than he bargained for. And check out Kurt Rusell’s portrayal of a gunshot victim. It’s way more realistic than the usual shrug-it-off reaction demonstrated in most feature films.

Feast (2006) – This surprisingly fresh horror flick from director John Gulager has an equally surprising number of strong females. There’s the treacherous Honey Pie (Jenny Wade), a waitress who hates her lot in life. Tuffy (Krista Allen), a waitress who loses her son but turns her rage and grief into a kick-ass defense mechanism. Grandma (Eileen Ryan), a wrinkled barfly who weathers the storm of mutant killers with a drink in her hand. Heroine (Navi Rawat), the savior who accidentally eats some hot lead from one of the people she’s trying to protect. And, finally, there’s Harley Mom (Diane Goldner), a tattooed biker whose plans to rob the isolated bar are derailed by the arrival of the maggot-spewing monsters. There are plenty of men present, as well, and you’ll have a dickens of a time figuring out who’s going to survive. Two sequels followed, with plenty more tough women included (my favorite: the constantly topless “Tit Girl,” played by Melissa Reed).

Scream (1996), Scream 2 (1997), and Scream 3 (2000) – Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) starts the Screamseries as a simple high school student whose mother was brutally murdered. Then Ghostface gets on her tail, and soon she’s dodging knife-wielding killers at every turn. Whether it’s a deranged boyfriend, vengeance-minded mother, or abandonded brother, Sid receives nothing but misery from her family life. While she initially reacts to the attacks by breaking down into hysterics, she gradually morphs into a true survivor, ready for anything the succession of lunatics can throw at her. You’ll be hard pressed to find a cinematic female who’s been through as much as Sidney (and survived).If you enjoyed this list of movies with tough chicks, I hope you’ll consider becoming a member of Netflix. Not only will it change the way you look at renting movies, but we’ll also receive a small commission to help keep us afloat. That’s what I call a win-win, dear reader.

While you’re pondering a possible Netflix membership, here are a few other OGM articles dedicated to the empowerment of the female gender:

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 at 11:42 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Movies with Tough Chicks”

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August 13, 2010


How about Adrienne Barbeau in Escape From New York. Granted, she’s not the lead, but she was one of the early tough chicks.

John Carpenter’s work still holds up to the test of time on that one.

August 14, 2010


Good call on Adrienne Barbeau. I completely forgot about that one, and the DVD isn’t more than a few feet away from me. The first time I saw it, I really thought she might have a shot at killing The Duke on the bridge. Whoops!

August 31, 2010


how about G.I. Jane? Catwoman, and Electra? Demi moore was RIPPED fit and BAD ass in G.I> Jane! one of my bad ass chick favs!


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