Some arachnids you can just shoo out the door! Others stay with you for a long, long time. For instance, Spider, genre goddess Linnea Quigley’s brilliant creation from the 1988 cult classic Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-rama – now, there’s a keeper for you!
Here, Quigley creates one of the most powerful female characters in exploitation history, one responsible for turning the minds of multiple (terror loathing) female scholars onto the powers of exploitation and horror. Of course, Sorority Babes, helmed by cult veteran David DeCoteau, does offer up a bevy of desperate, flesh exposing women who will do anything to join their chosen coven of popularity. But Linnea and Spider up the ante, here.
Projecting sass and natural power, Quigley’s Spider encounters these victim types and leads the charge. She’s truly a motorcycling thief in the night! One who, ultimately, saves the day – and this film’s true version of the damsel in distress, a young, bespectacled scholar (played with winning sincerity by Andras Jones of Nightmare on Elm Street 4 fame).
Quigley would go onto play other tough types including killers (in Murder Weapon, which she co-produced) and crime bosses (2001’s quirky British gem Kannibal), but her Spider is one of her paramount achievements and proof, that despite the traditional exploitative elements, grindhouse films often offer up the most powerful and imaginative roles for women of all types.
…and , if you happen to be near Oshkosh, WI today, I’ll be part of a panel (for UW’s amazing Women’s Center) discussing the awesome archetypes of strong women in horror (and their not so lucky countertypes). The information on that event can be found, here:
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan