Thursday, February 14, 2013

WiHM: Final Girl Week, Day 5

Today we highlight one girl who is always on any respectable list of final girls, and another that is a pure guilty pleasure (but still deserving of a spot)!

Marie's pick:

NANCY THOMPSON (A Nightmare on Elm Street)

If you don’t know now, you will learn that A Nightmare on Elm Street is my favorite slasher.

I hardly need to familiarize you with this 1984 classic as I’m sure you know the story; a child killer/molester (the one and only Freddy Krueger) is murdered by a group of local parents and then comes back to haunt their children’s dreams.

Our heroine is Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp), who follows the general criteria for most Final Girls. She is mousy, bookish, and virginal, but what makes Nancy different for me is she is much more personable and has a genuine strong sense of bravery and willpower.

I find that she is a character the audience can actually identify with and possibly give a shit about. One of the things that makes her more “real” than some slasher movie chicks is that she experiences a full spectrum of human emotions other than ‘horny’ and ‘frightened’. Frustration, anxiety, disgust, despair, and a bit of happiness, as well!

Nancy also has the tough job of offing arguably the hardest baddie to kill. To get rid of this guy you need to be not only courageous but clever as well because Freddy is hoppin’ all over the astral plane. Even after all of Nancy’s friends have been brutally slayed (really sorry to see Johnny Depp go) she finds the strength to prevail and send Freddy back to hell! For now…

Christine's pick:

MARTI GAINES (Hell Night, 1981)

A veritable cheese-fest, Hell Night has always been a guilty pleasure of mine.  And with Linda Blair starring, who could blame me?

Marti Gaines (Blair) has joined one of the most popular sororities on her college campus and is "required" to attend a gratuitous frat party.

Furthermore, she and three other pledges are singled out to have a special initiation: spend an entire night at the infamous Garth Manor - a house in which the owner killer his entire family and then hung himself.  But the story goes that one child was left unscathed by his father's murderous ways and left to fend for himself - to roam the sizable mansion alone for the last twelve years. 

The frat leader turns Marti and the others loose in Garth Manor and locks the main gate, effectively trapping them on the property until morning. While two of the quartet hook up and quickly head off to find a bedroom, Marti gets to know fellow pledge Jeff, with whom she discusses un-girly things like being able to change the brakes on a car. This tomboyish admission sets her apart from most other final girls, but let's face it: her sizable breasts steal the show anyway.

As time passes, dead bodies start showing up, and it's finally apparent that Andrew Garth truly may still be alive. This causes Marti to get fairly antsy at first. She does a lot of screaming and heaving (and by that I mean her breasts) - but she really comes through in the end, bravely facing Andrew to try and get a gun within reach. In the last moments of the film she: outruns the crazy Garth son, climbs down a roof (in a long dress and heels), manages to secure the keys to the car by finding them on one of the dead bodies, finds the car after a race through the Garth property, hot-wires said car, smashes it into the main gate, and impales the creepy Garth on the spiked tips of the gate. Score!

While Blair's acting isn't as commendable or certainly not as believable as in The Exorcist, it's still fun to see her in yet another horror film, even if her breasts do seem to get top billing. And even though you know going in that she is destined to be the final girl (because she's Linda Blair for pete's sake!), Hell Night is a helluva fun time nonetheless!


ShellHawk said...

I, too, have Hell Night as a guilty pleasure!It was cheesy and entertaining, and just what the doctor ordered!

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Happy Valentines Day Christine, you gorgeous little darlin`.

Christine Hadden said...

Thanks for reading, ShellHawk.
And thanks JBH.