Friday, October 7, 2011

The New Superheroines - Girls with Guns

They're lean, they're mean, they're dead-serious, and well, they're deadly... and they're women - truthfully, cats and kitties, I think we can all stand behind the new cinematic superwomen. Pretty enough and sensual enough to intoxicate the boys, and androgynous enough to appeal to the ladies as well. I bet that even the most femininely-orientated women amongst us foster, to some degree, a girl-crush on at least one of them.

Sigourney Weaver (above) was the first, appearing as Ellen Ripley in the spate of "Alien" films, beginning in 1979. But, lets face it, if you grew up before the 1980's, superwomen were hard to come by, and while you may have had the occasional gritty female stereotype to inspire you, the truly down and dirty types simply didn't exist as cinematic heroines (case in point, "superheroine" is not even a bona fide word in a dictionary, whereas "superhero" is). You could have, perhaps, found them in comic books, but they were not the sort of females a prepubescent girl could actually wrap her head around. The proportions were all wrong.... melon-sized protrusions on their chests, wasp-like waists, wrestler's legs, not to mention the obligatory bathing suit costume. They looked silly, not scary. And they never packed any meaningful "heat" that I know of.

Girls with guns, big guns - what fun! Even the most pacifistic woman, and really, I am, experiences a certain vicarious release when, with a gun in each hand, a superwoman blows away a flock of her opponents, without so much as blinking her eyes. Hell, I have a hard time swatting a fly, but when I watch Kate Beckensale blast her way through a bevy of creeps, I get to share a certain heady sense of power.

So, in the interests of cultural anthropology, and for the amusement of all, I've chosen a few prime clips of girls with guns... and, if not exactly prime, the best I could do. From first to last we have Charlize Theron as Aeon Flux, Milla Jovovich as Violet Song, Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity, and, my personal favorite, Kate Beckinsale as the merciless Selene.

So, you go Kate, and Charlize, and Carrie-Anne... and you go Milla, and Sigourney, and anybody I may have left out. There are no underdogs quite so "under" as women, so, when you shine, all of our repressed warrior instincts finally get to kick some ass!


  1. I think Ripley is probably the best of all of these. I love her telling a room full of men, "You're all going to die." Or, "Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away?"

  2. Sadly, I could find not one good clip of Ripley in action.