Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Toughest Women in Horror and Sci-Fi: Ellen Ripley

Let's be honest here; in most horror movies the female role is usually reserved for dumb idiots with fake boobs that have no character depth past being stabbed in said tits. They are usually victims.

Once in awhile though, film makers decide to break the stereotype and make their female characters really strong and full of a will that cannot be broken.

This article started out as me doing a "top 5 toughest females..." blah, blah, blah article, but I decided as I was doing it, that I would like to give these female roles a little more credit than that, and I also found a lot more than five females.

Therefore, I created "super hero" cards based off how awesome I think these female characters are in the movies/shows and I tried to represent their cards based off their prowess.

Hopefully, I got it right and I'll be doing more of these. Let's start with my favorite female badass first.

Ellen Ripley (Alien franchise)

The ultimate queen of all badass females in horror/sci-fi.

Let's do a rundown of each film and how they make her such a badass:

In Ridley Scott's Alien, she is the sole survivor of the movie. After arming the self-destruct system of the Nostromo's, the large space ship to which all her crew gets brutally killed, she manages to escape the ship in a small shuttle.

In that shuttle, she manages to fight the Xenomorph one-on-one by forcing it out of the shuttle, shooting it with a grappling hook and burning it with the ships engines. So that's pretty gnarly, and for a creature that killed several people, she kills it alone.

The comes Aliens, the James Cameron sequel. A whole squad of Marines die horribly to the Xenomorphs. Again, when trying to escape and save the orphan Newt, who has been left behind she burns the lair of Xenomorph eggs pissing off the Queen. Ripley then, again one-on-one, fights the queen in a exosuit cargo-loader and sends the queen into space off of their docking ship.

Ripley, pure badass. 

In Alien 3, she helps lure the Xenomorph into molten lava and cools it down rapidly, forcing it to shatter. She finds out that she has a Xenomorph implanted in her and is given the option to take it out of her and survive, but decides to kill herself by jumping into giant furnace as fearing the people who wish to retrieve the specimen have ulterior motives. I know I couldn't just kill myself if someone told me they could save me and I'd live.

Finally, in Alien: Resurrection, she's brought back as a clone of her former self, only this time she's more badass and arrogant than before. I won't mention the "alien sex scene" as I mentioned that in our Valentine's Day podcast, but the movie has moments of grandeur despite its absurdity.

Card Stat Rankings:

Intelligence: 4/5. Ripley is smart and definitely cunning. She has consistently outsmarted the Xenomorphs which kill trained marines time and time again. She's not a rocket scientist, but she's pretty damn close.

Fighting Capabilities: 5/5. There is no denying that Ripley can handle herself. She knows how to fire giant machines guns, use a grappling gun to kill a Xenomorph, and pilot an exosuit to battle a Queen.

Resourcefulness: 5/5. This is all part of her cunning. Ripley is always the voice of reason, planning, and aware of her surroundings. In the second movie she points out that the marines cannot fire their weapons because of the explosive nature of their surroundings, and it takes a quick thinker to out smart the lighting-quick reflexes of a Xenomorph.

Luck: 3/5. She's not totally unlucky, after all she manages to survive until the third movie with outrageous circumstances. Let's be honest though, every time she tries to escape a Xenomorph is on board her ship, and when she does escape, she crash-lands with a Xenomorph on board. Even after dying she gets re-cloned to come back and fight more aliens, and that's just luck a person wouldn't want to have.


  1. That Ripley "magic" card (because it reminds me of a card from Magic: The Gathering; yes, I'm a geek) is awesome! What a cool idea! And I can't wait to see what other strong female characters from horror you showcase!

  2. That card graphic is awesome! Ripley is awesome! More of these!

  3. Hahah, thanks Jamie and Alex, more cards are coming!