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PCR #500 (Vol. 10, No. 43). This edition is for the week of October 19--25, 2009.

"Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant"  by Mike Smith
First a Word About My House .... Happy 500th Issue Nolan! ... The Fabulous Architecture of the Tampa Bay Region- Part 11  by William Moriaty
Welcome Back to the Grindhouse  by ED Tucker
Special Edition: Spooky Empire 2009  by Chris Woods
The Top 30 Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror Actresses, #20-17  by Lisa Scherer Ciurro
J-Horror: Special Halloween Edition  by Jason Fetters
The Great Fox Distraction From The Real War .... Now We Have Maoists .... 1500?!?! .... Up In The Sky...it's A Giant Muffin .... .... .... .... h  by Brandon Jones
Happy 500th!!!!! .... New England Patriots In London Vs. The Bucs .... It's The Yankees Vs. The Phillies .... .... .... .... .... a  by Chris Munger
Brody .... Passing On .... Introducing The A-team .... Happy 500! .... .... .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2 r  by Mike Smith
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FANGRRL by Lisa Scherer Ciurro

The Top 30 Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror Actresses, #20-17

[Part two of a series]

Scream queens. Horror heroines. Sci-fi divas. Cult/genre film legends. We know them. We love them. We’ve watched them run, scream, bleed, cry, die, strip, cower, fight, kill and kick ass in numerous science fiction, fantasy and horror films over the years.

Who are the most memorable and important genre actresses? I’m not talking about on-screen characters, like Alien’s Ripley or Dana Scully of The X-Files, but the women who portrayed these scream queens and sci-fi heroines. I’ve chosen thirty actresses who I think have made the most important contributions to the sci-fi/horror/fantasy/cult genres, in both film and television.

Michelle Bauer

My criteria for this Top 30 List were as follows: the sheer number of roles in horror/fantasy/sci-fi movies and TV shows; the famous, outstanding and genre-defining roles/characters portrayed; and, the actresses’ acceptance of and participation in fandom and fan events. I developed a complex algorithm to evaluate these factors and determine list ranking. (In other words, my list is completely subjective and only slightly more advanced than throwing darts at a dart board.)

Here’s the list so far:

30. Connie Mason
29. Jenny Agutter
28. Jane Seymour
27. Amy Irving
26. Bobbi Bresee
25. Rosalba Neri/Sarah Bay
24. Erika Blanc
23. Asia Argento
22. Lindsay Wagner
21. Lynn Lowry

And now, without further ado:

20. Michelle Bauer – July 1981 Penthouse Pet of the Month Michelle Bauer started out doing X-rated sleaze under the name Pia Snow and then worked her way up to...um...well, to doing horror/comedy sleaze in cult films like Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Vampire Vixens From Venus, and Beverly Hills Vamp. However, Bauer's flair for comedy sets her apart from the typical sci-fi/horror hotties.

She auditioned for director Fred Olen Ray on a lark in 1986 and wound up along side John Carradine and Sybil Danning as an evil undead Egyptian mummy of sorts in The Tomb. Bauer appeared in several of Ray’s movies, including Bikini Drive-In, Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfolds, Scream Queen Hot Tub Party, The Phantom Empire, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Beverly Hills Vamp and more.

Cinematical.com named Bauer one of the ten sexiest scream queens last month. She has earned her “scream queen” moniker, for sure: she was beaten and thrown down a flight of stairs in Terror Night, had her heart cut out in Demonwarp, was sliced and diced by a chainsaw-wielding Linnea Quigley in Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, shot in Warlords, and disemboweled in Hellroller.

Bauer appears at conventions as her schedule permits, in between running a business with her husband and raising her daughter.

Linda Blair then

19. Linda Blair – Child actor Linda Blair had hundreds of TV commercials on her résumé when she landed the role of the adorable-except-when-she’s-possessed-by-a-demon 12-year old girl Regan in 1973’s The Exorcist, for which she received a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination. Unfortunately for Blair, after starting her feature film career with such a memorable role, there was really nowhere to go but down. Some of her other roles include Airport ’75, The Exorcist II, Wes Craven’s TV movie Stranger in our House, the 1979 cult classic Roller Boogie, horror films Hell Night and Grotesque, and the prison flick Chained Heat. Blair has also appeared in episodes of The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Extreme Ghostbusters and Supernatural.
Linda Blair now

Blair is a frequent convention guest – practically living on the convention circuit, it seems – but word on the fanboy street is that she’s a little difficult and cares more about profit than her fans. (If I were a good little PCR columnist, I would have chatted with Blair recently at Spooky Empire to see if she were bitchy or nice or what. But I didn't. Bad PCR columnist!)

Shawnee Smith

18. Shawnee Smith – Another child actor, Shawnee Smith started off her career winning critical awards and rave reviews for her stage performances. She kicked off her horror heroine career with the 1988 remake of The Blob. Smith appears to be a fan of remakes, considering her roles in the TV movie I Saw What You Did, the TV miniseries The Stand and Wes Craven’s Carnival of Souls remake. She also starred in the TV thriller Face of Evil (directed by Mary Lambert), The Stand TV miniseries, The Island, one episode of The X-Files, The Grudge 3 and in FEARnet.com’s original series 30 Days of Night:Dust to Dust.
Shawnee Smith in SAW

And then of course, there was Saw in 2004. In the original Saw, Smith’s role of Amanda was a minor character who appeared in a flashback sequence (to show what the killer Jigsaw had done to her). Her importance grew as the movie series went on, with Amanda becoming as essential to the story as Jigsaw (and, arguably, more diabolical). Smith appeared in all the sequels (although she’s said that she filmed no new footage for Saw V).

Smith is a frequent – and very popular – horror/sci-fi convention guest.

Sarah Michelle Gellar

17. Sarah Michelle Gellar – Sarah Michelle Gellar was a successful teen soap star before landing the role of perky-cheerleader-by-day-vampire-slayer-by-night Buffy Summers in the cult fave TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ll save my fangirl gushing for the Buffy message boards, and instead mention some of Gellar’s other sci-fi/horror/ thriller roles: Scream 2, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Grudge, The Grudge 2, The Return, and The Possession.
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Gellar obviously likes genre films, but she’s not so big on the fan stuff. She has a terrible -- and I mean atrocious -- reputation among genre fans for not participating in conventions and/or not signing autographs. (This means, of course, that the few items she has signed sell for a higher price than usual.)

Well, that's it for this week. (Oh my gosh! This list only has four women on it! I know, I know...life's not fair, is it?) Tune in next week for another installment.

[I owe PCR columnist Chris Woods a big thank you for his help with this article: for the brainstorming ideas, the debates over ranking, and for pointing out the many glaring omissions on my original list.]

[Sources include Cinemorgue, Evil Dread, DVD Maniacs, Autograph Collector, Wikipedia, IMDb.com, Cinematical.com and probably some others I’ve forgotten.]

"FANGRRL" is ©2009 by Lisa Scherer Ciurro.   All graphics, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.