Sexy is as sexy does, I guess. Picking the hottest chicks of horror is a pretty tricky business. Not only are my picks completely subjective, slaves to my personal whims and moods, but also they are likely to change from day to day. Already, since I submitted my picks, I'm regretting not mentioning Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil, or Eihi Shiina in Audition. And what can I do with more obscure hotties from other eras like Jenny Wright in Near Dark, or Britt Ekland in the original The Wicker Man, or Simone Simon in Cat People? Do they not deserve a shot at hotness? Well, in any case, here are the seven I wound up with -- in chronological order -- and in all honesty, they're all pretty darn easy on the eyes and a little spooky besides.

1. Fay Wray in King Kong
In a movie entirely populated by men and beasts, Fay is a welcome bit of softness. If King Kong had been made two years later, the Hays Code would have required Fay to wear a high-necked negligee with bloomers and probably several other layers of underthings. But thankfully for generations of young boys, the film was made in 1933, and Fay was able to wear her flimsy, silky number that clung and flapped in the breeze. Likewise, the movie was better able to suggest the subversive relationship between beauty and beast. (Watch the trailer ... or head straight to the gallery!)

2. Elsa Lanchester in Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Elsa was the ultimate goth chick in cinema. Many came in her wake, including Barbara Steele (Black Sunday) and the little known but easily recognizable Carroll Borland (Mark of the Vampire). But make no mistake: even without her two-foot fright wig with the silver piping up the side, Elsa was a hottie in her time. You can see it in the film's prologue; she plays Mary Shelley, freshly emerged from penning her chilling magnum opus. She has cat eyes, and a devilish grin that entrances even the strongest men. One question: if Dr. Frankenstein was able to build such a sex bomb, why did his male monster come out so ugly and blocky? (Watch the trailer ... or head straight to the gallery!)


3. Neve Campbell in Scream (1996)
Usually final girls are not so hot. Final girls are the ones that survive all the way to the end of slasher films, and they do that by not having sex. Usually they're smart and bookish and shy. But Neve Campbell changed all that with her Sidney Prescott, a freckled, unbearably cute heroine with acres of sadness who eventually does give in to sex with her boyfriend, only to be attacked. But she's still crafty enough to make it through this and two sequels. (Watch the trailer ... or head straight to the gallery!)

4. Christina Ricci in Cursed (2005)
In this overlooked Wes Craven werewolf film, Christina and her brother (Jesse Eisenberg) find themselves bitten and changed forever; part of their new "curse" is a fresh sexual allure. Everyone finds them irresistible. As Ellie, Christina Ricci works for "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn" (defunct by the time this film saw theaters). She interviews Scott Baio for a guest spot and at one point he looks up at her; she's an underling so he has barely noticed before, but now, there's something there. "You know, you're really beautiful," he says, as if he can't help it. The camera cuts over to her, and by God, he's right. I don't know if Craven did it with lighting or makeup or what, but in that one instant, Christina is the only woman in the world. (Watch the trailer ... or head straight to the gallery!)

5. Asia Argento in Land of the Dead (2005)
Asia is about as exotic and deadly as you can get these days. She's 100% Italian, but with her first name and her spooky onscreen presence, she seems more like a woman from everywhere, or nowhere. Her father, filmmaker Dario Argento and Land of the Dead director George A. Romero go way back, so it's like a family thing to cast Asia in his film. She's as elusive as ever in this underrated film, but there's one thing that sold me: fishnets. (Watch the trailer ... or head straight to the gallery!)

6. Sheri Moon Zombie in The Devil's Rejects (2005)
This one comes from my brother, who when I asked him to name the hottest chicks in horror, he answered with only this one. Though at first sight Sheri is a fairly unremarkable blonde, her charms slowly creep up on you; she could be a concert groupie, seducing rock stars, or she could be a sweet, small town southern girl, squinting into the sun as she makes shy small talk. (In fact, she was born not far from, and at around the same time as, my brother and me.) In The Devil's Rejects -- directed by her husband of five years, Rob Zombie -- she's one of a family of sadistic killers, wearing her hair in ringlets and sporting an amazing pair of jeans full of well-placed holes. In some scenes, she melts hearts with her million-dollar smile, and in other scenes, she sneers and screams and scares the bejeezus out of mortal men. (Watch the trailer ... or head straight to the gallery!)

7. Elisha Cuthbert in House of Wax (2005)
For my seventh spot, I went back and forth between Elisha, Jessica Biel, with her incredible tank top, in the horrid Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, and Milla Jovovich for slinking through the Resident Evil movies with a number of incredible outfits and huge guns. But Elisha won me over with her astonishing combination of streamlined curves, inviting lips, and slightly fierce looking eyes. When Emile Hirsch first spots her in The Girl Next Door, he practically freezes to the spot, and I had the same response. In House of Wax, she's quite a bit more "normal," and in fact gets covered in dirt and blood before the movie ends, but she comes a bit closer to an actual girl next door. (Watch the trailer ... or head straight to the gallery!)

categories Cinematical