It's been nearly unavoidable. Even if the movie doesn't live up to the hype, Jennifer's Body has burned a new image into our subconscious: the murderous Megan Fox in a bloody white blouse, eager for more boys to kill. In the sci-fi realm, it's much more common to encounter men who murder than their homicidal female counterparts. When women kill on screen, it tends to be downplayed.
Thus, we have Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix, who identifies more strongly as a great action fighter and/or great and cool intellectual, rather than a murderous vixen. Likewise with Famke Janssen in X-Men: The Last Stand, who only wants to kill when she is transformed into the Dark Phoenix, and even then her homicidal inclinations seem less important than the outfit she's wearing. In honor of the intentionally wanton murderers, here's a list of my top ten killer sci-fi chicks.
1. Mathilda May as Space Girl in Lifeforce
If you call her nothing more than a space vampire, you've only hinted at her power. First is her power to distract, which is a given when you're talking about a beautiful woman who has a great body and is always naked. Next, though, is her power to desiccate, sucking more than blood from everyone she meets, or, at least, everyone she manages to grab hold of to give them the shock of their lives. And she refuses to stop! Unlike normal vampires, who just want a pint or two of blood before heading back to their coffins, Space Girl wants nothing less than everything -- which is why she's the #1 killer sci-fi chick in my book.
2. Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in Aliens
Ripley gets a first name and a little girl to protect in James Cameron's sequel, but it's really just camouflage. She's been itching to off some aliens ever since the first one caught her in her underwear -- peepers must pay! -- and she's pretty quick to realize the dangers presented, even after sleeping for 57 years. The military folks have got her beat when it comes to training, but she makes up for that with her grim determination and relentless desire to eliminate the mothering aliens.
3. Jenette Goldstein as Vasquez in Aliens
Speaking of the military, Vasquez is pretty much a caricature, an ultra-macho fantasy figure for any man who's ever toted a weapon, fully the equal -- and probably the superior -- of anyone else in her unit. She is absolutely fearless. Even when facing impossible odds, she is literally a 'never say die' killer chick, going down with her guns blazing.
4. Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Oh, yes, she's protecting the human race. Oh, yes, she's protecting her precious son. Oh, yes, she knows what the Terminator can do. Oh, yes, she's the defensive mother to kill all defensive mothers. Oh, yes, we meet her in a psychiatric ward. She's become so tightly focused on her mission, though, that she's tuned out the rest of humanity, and doesn't blink an eye before inflicting pain and raining down death on all that try to stop her.
5. Milla Jovovich as Alice in Resident Evil
I'm not a fan of the series as a whole, but, dang, Milla as Alice is one helluva homicidal maniac. She has good reason, of course, to be slaughtering all those flesh-eating creatures. It's kill or be killed, and Alice wants to get out alive, once she figures out what's going on. I'm not positive she needs to look so blasted good while doing so, but there's a reason she and director Paul W.S. Anderson ended up together.
6. Rachel Ticotin as Melina in Total Recall
Sharon Stone was the splashy blonde, but Melina was the real bloodthirsty bitch -- and I mean that in a good way. She has absolutely no hesitation about mowing down her opponents. Thanks to director Paul Verhoeven's full-frontal assault on the senses, Melina is, in some respects, even more macho than Doug Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who sometimes pauses before killing. Melina has no such doubts about herself.
7. Natasha Henstridge as Sil in Species
Born under a microscope, Sil is the result of an unholy DNA union between human and alien. Everyone credits the human DNA for her beauty and blames the alien DNA for her primal instinct to mate. What if it's the other way around? What if Sil is just acting on the natural burning desire to have sex? After all, she races through puberty in about six seconds, and is suddenly an adult woman who happens to be a virgin. Maybe she's just dying to kiss a boy to see what it's like, and then nature takes over.
8. Kristanna Loken as T-X in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Overall, the movie may have disappointed, but the latest and greatest Terminator model of her time had a grand entrance: confidently striding naked towards a startled woman in a sports car. And I have a soft spot for blonde ladies in skin-tight red leather outfits, especially when they only have one thing on their mind. Unfortunately for mankind, the T-X is bent on murder and will stop at nothing to kill her target.
9. Summer Glau as River Tam in Serenity
I love River Tam, despite her predilection for killing men. She's calm and serene and looks perfectly innocent when sleeping, belying the assassin that has possessed her soul. I believe that River doesn't have a mean bone in her body; it's just that the Academy is responsible for making her the perfect killing machine, and she's so good at it. There is a tiny little glint in her eye, suggesting her secret shame: she may have been brainwashed against her will and trained against her wishes, but deep inside there's a reason she's so receptive to the murderous life.
10. Joanna Cassidy as Zhora in Blade Runner
Zhora desperately wants to live, but her face displays far too much joy when she wraps up Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) in the club dressing room where she works as an exotic dancer. The unexpected entrance of other dancers keeps her from killing him right then and there, which is why she almost didn't make the list. With a little encouragement, though, and maybe a few more days to live, I think she could have risen to the top.