Monday, February 25, 2013

WiHM: Spine-Shivering Ladies

There are some characters, however minor, that are just so damn creepy they stick with you. Here’s a list I compiled of ladies that will give your spine a little shiver as you remember them.

Mario Bava’s 1963 classic Black Sabbath is a three part anthology. One segment entitled, “The Drop of Water” concerns a nurse who has been called to a large estate to prepare the corpse of an old woman for her burial. While doing so, the nurse notices a beautiful ring on the woman’s finger and steals it. She will, of course, go to regret this, as the ghost of the woman will come back to haunt her, and that sucks for her because she is one freaky lady.

The Shining
was the first book that ever frightened me, and it was because of one scene in particular. That scene would be when Jack goes into room 237 to see what frightened his son so badly in there. What he finds is horrifying: a woman, long dead, floating in the bathtub, who then proceeds to get up and stumble after him. The image alone made me afraid to go to the bathroom by myself. The first time I saw Stanley Kubrick's film version, I dreaded the scene, and with good reason, because the visual was spot-on with my imagination. I have since recovered the ability to go to the bathroom with the door closed, but that woman still terrifies me.

Clive Barker has created a lot of freaky creatures, and the Cenobites must be up there with the freakiest. They are a race of people dedicated to finding the limits of pleasure. This happens to coincide with great amount of pain, and usually the humans who call upon them to experience a higher plane of ecstasy aren't prepared for what they receive. In Hellraiser we meet a crew of Cenobites that includes the one and only Pinhead, Butterball, a chattering Cenobite, and one we know only as the Female Cenobite. Really, besides the fact that she is billed as being a woman, the only other clue we have is this vulva-like skin display on her neck. With her husky voice and pale, hairless skin, she will tear your soul apart.

In Ti West's The Innkeepers the Yankee Pedlar Inn is haunted by the ghost of Madeline O'Malley, a young bride who was waiting for her groom at the inn, but killed herself when he never showed. As the Inn is open for just one more weekend, the two young members on staff set out looking for her ghost, and find their bloodied bride.

One of the portions of found-footage anthology V/H/S is directed by David Bruckner and is called "Amateur Night". A group of guys score two girls and bring them back to their hotel room. One is a little strange, and keeps whispering, "I like you", but she is willing to go to bed, so they forget about it. They get a little more than they bargained for when the weird chick, Lily, is some sort of demonic succubus. Oops.

Even though the 1981 cult classic Evil Dead is remembered now for its campiness, I think it has its creepy elements, as well. When a group of teenagers venture out into a remote cabin, a unexpected evil is awakened in the forest and turns them one by one into the undead. With her blank white eyes and goofy fixed smile, the zombie version of Linda has always freaked me out.

In The Caller, Mary Kee has a lot to deal with in her life. She is fleeing an abusive ex-husband, trying to make it on her own, and now is getting pestered by a woman named Rose who claims she used to live in her house, before she died. Suspense builds the whole film as Rose torments Mary Kee via telephone, and when you finally see her, well--I nearly screamed.

Okay, this one takes the cake for me. Pet Sematary is one of my favorite films, but one character will never cease to scare me. In the film wife Rachel recounts a traumatic childhood memory of her sister Zelda who was inflicted with spinal meningitis. It twisted her body and deteriorated her mind, and while that is tragic, she is just really, really fucking scary. Fun fact, Zelda was actually played by a dude!

~Marie Robinson


ShellHawk said...

One of the creepy women who stuck with me (though not a ghost or ghoul)is the housekeeper from the 1963 version of The Haunting. The dead eyes, the snide joy in creepy out the main characters really set my skin to creeping!

Marie said...

Awesome, thanks for sharing and reading!!

Ali said...

I think this is a great list! It's an excellent mix of the less obvious female characters, the ones that tend to get skipped over. I can really appreciate it, especially since you mentioned Zelda; and let me tell you, she is the character that sticks out in my mind more than anyone. I feel like I need to stretch out my spine just thinking about her.

Michella said...

Great list. I really have to mention Mary Shaw from Dead Silence, though. That smile.... I couldn't sleep with the lights off for months.

Marie said...

Ah, good one, Michella!!

occhio sulle espressioni said...

Zelda, zombie Linda and the medium of Black Sabbath has always scared me too, t turned to look, at small age! The cenobite is more fascinating than frightening!
You know that the face of dead woman of I tre volti della paura was a mask creatat by Bava's father, Eugenio, SE creator the early years of cinema?
We also add the resurrected Sara of Suspiria!

Marie said...

I'm glad you agree!! I did not know that fun fact about Black Sabbath, thank you so much. Suspiria is my favorite Italian horror!! Thanks so much for reading.