In films, strong women have always triumphed over seemingly insurmountable odds. Many female characters, including Letty in “The Wind,” Maria in “Metropolis,” and Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone With the Wind,” have been placed in situations where they face insurmountable, albeit dramatic, challenges. The fact that the majority of these women were able to marry the man they loved despite significant obstacles demonstrates their strength and determination. It wasn’t until the late 1960s and early 1970s that the world realized that women could kick butt as well as men.
Female characters were given the freedom to throw fists, shoot guns, and prove their mettle on the battlefield as a result of grindhouse exploitation and the burgeoning women’s liberation movement in the 1970s. Because male characters predominate in genre films, Bullz-Eye has previously examined some of the most infamous badasses on screen. Men, however, dominated this industry. With the release of the spy thriller “Red Sparrow” on the horizon, as well as the rise of female badassery in recent films, we thought it was high time to rank the most lethal female characters in film history. This list will only include female protagonists to keep things simple. It would have been easy to omit Princess Leia, Matsu the Scorpion, Black Widow, Lady Snowblood, Lorraine Broughton from “Atomic Blonde,” and the numerous roles played by Cynthia Rothrock and Michelle Yeoh, but these ten women deserve to be recognized as the baddest in film.
Okoye, General (from “Black Panther”)
Danai Gurira plays Okoye, the leader of Wakanda’s Dora Milaje, in “Black Panther.” Okoye is a newcomer to the industry, with her abilities only hinted at in “Captain America: Civil War.” This elite female fighting force is made up of the most fearsome warriors that a country known for its fearsome warriors has to offer. Okoye dismantles and subdues mercenaries with her trademark spear while wearing a bulky wig in a fantastic scene in a casino. The fact that a fearless, bald black woman was able to take on thugs, fellow countrymen, and even the villainous Black Panther shows what the future holds for warrior women.
Geum-ja Lee’s song “Lady Vengeance” came in ninth place.
Geum-ja by Yeong-ae Lee Lee has many facets in Park Chan-film wook’s “Lady Vengeance” (also known as “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance”). After assisting a vile man in his criminal activities, she loses her child and her independence. Geum-ja quickly realizes how she was duped and what she needs to do to make amends, so she embarks on a path of bloody vengeance. When she is finally imprisoned, she immediately eliminates the bully and then begins recruiting a network of sister spies to assist her in exacting revenge on her captors. Geum-ja realizes she is not the only one owed vengeance after crafting a heinous weapon and tracking down the vicious creature responsible for her death. So she devises a plan to exact revenge on the person who brought her bad luck by murdering them both in a fit of extreme violence and gore. While Geum-ja may not have killed as many people as some of the other entries on this list, she is proving to be extremely crafty and resourceful as she approaches her goal.
Chants of “Wonder Woman”
Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) demonstrated her fighting abilities in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Justice League,” but it wasn’t until Patty Jenkins’ solo film that she truly got to show off her fighting style. When the embodiment of good, peace, and love marched across No Man’s Land during intense trench warfare and took out untold numbers of enemy fighters, a rousing call that proved female superheroes are just as equal as their male counterparts was heard. They, like Captain America and Iron Man, have the ability to destroy hordes of enemy tanks and troops with devastating efficiency.
Like the song’s name “Everly”!
Joe Lynch’s “Everly” is a brilliant but underappreciated B-movie. The plot revolves around the titular woman (Salma Hayek) and her battle against a gang of villains (played by others) over the course of one night. Despite her willingness to take bullets, knives, and a variety of other bruises and wounds, she is able to exact her own brand of fatal justice on the foolhardy men who dare to stand in her way. It’s a badass performance that feels like a supercharged “Die Hard” starring a tough Latina. Even though “Everly” is not as well-known as the others, it is well worth watching to see the havoc that a single woman can cause.
We keep referring to her as “Coffy” and “Coffy.”
Given that the aforementioned actress has been smoldering on screen and smoking fools for the past four decades, this entry could just as easily be titled “Pam Grier.” Whether it’s jailhouse exploitation in “Black Mama, White Mama,” blaxploitation in “Foxy Brown,” or outwitting would-be criminal masterminds in “Jackie Brown,” Grier always gives her all and never holds back. She never disappoints anyone. The variety of justice she metes out during her rampage in the 1973 film “Coffy” distinguishes her from the rest. Con artists, drug dealers, pimps, corrupt police officers, city councilmen, and mob bosses are among her targets, whom she kills with a vengeance and without pity. It established Grier as the badass woman who could compete with any number of bad dudes, regardless of social standing, in an excellent blaxploitation film. This film cemented Grier’s reputation as the ultimate badass female lead.
The second group of women performs “Death Proof.”
After showing how cruel Stuntman Mike can be to women who don’t know what he’s up to in the first half of “Death Proof,” Quentin Tarantino focuses on a new group of women played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Zoe Bell, Rosario Dawson, and Tracie Thoms in the second half. These ladies are more determined than he is, and they will not give up until he pays for attempting to murder them. Stuntman Mike, a papier-mâché tiger, is out of options because these ladies will not leave him alone until he gives up. One cannot deny these humiliated females’ destructive potential. There’s no denying how lethal and unstoppable these women can be, whether it’s Bell riding on the hood of the car while Mike tries to kill them all, Thoms shooting the prick in the arm and revealing who he’s up against, or all three (minus Winstead) taking turns beating the prick out.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” Imperator Furiosa
Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a woman doomed to servitude, is seen leading a band of freed brides away from their would-be captor in the film. Furiosa’s ultimate goal is to be free of the constraints that have been placed on her throughout her life. She travels across the wasteland, defending herself from Immortan Joe’s goons and allies with a big rig, a mechanical arm, some guns, and a lot of grit and determination. When she realizes that the paradise she imagined for these women does not exist, she does the most badass thing imaginable: she reverses the truck until it slams into the source of the monster’s power and rips it to shreds. No amount of foes, no matter how overwhelming the odds, no amount of devastation can convince Furiosa to give up and accept the current state of affairs as inevitable. Instead, she uses her cunning and bravery to break free and lead her people to a better life.
Volumes 1 and 2 (The Bride), Kill Bill, and so on.
Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman), also known as Black Mamba, The Bride, and Mommy, is the first member of the Bullz-Badass Eye Hall of Fame. She seeks out those responsible for putting her in a coma and taking her child away from her in her ferocious vengeance. As she pursues the perpetrators, she leaves a trail of bloodshed around the world. The Bride will not rest until she exacts a gruesome form of justice on her wrongdoers, whether they are hiding in a sake bar in Tokyo, a trailer in the middle of the desert, or a hacienda in South America. She will put up with anything, including but not limited to knife fights, gun battles, yakuza gangs, being buried alive, and many other things, in order to obtain the justice she believes she is due. She eventually finds her lost cub and starts over after the dust settles, the blood drains, and the shell casings are swept away.
Sarah Connor delivers the second quote from “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.”
Sarah Connor, played by Linda Hamilton in the original “Terminator” film, works as a waitress. However, she finds herself in an extraordinary and impossible situation involving time travel and murderous robots. The sequel to “The Terminator” introduces us to a very different Sarah, one who is aware of humanity’s impending doom and is determined to be prepared for it. Despite being in a mental institution, she is ripped and tough as nails, and she is an expert with a variety of weapons that she has hidden throughout the country. Instead of being led around by a man or waiting to be rescued, this is the fulfillment of a promise made at the end of the first film, in which a warrior promised to face the future and deal out as many shotgun blasts and broken bones as needed to protect her son and avert Armageddon.
First, there’s Ellen Ripley from the “Alien” films.
Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is placed in increasingly dangerous and chaotic situations over the course of four films. She is up against corporate betrayal and a murderous creature. It’s incredible to watch her transform from a typical space jockey to a full-fledged badass. Ripley is the ultimate badass because she doesn’t put up with nonsense and is solely focused on defeating her alien enemies so that the worlds she has come to know and love can be protected from the threat they pose. Ripley is an excellent example of the kind of no-nonsense action heroine that should be emulated, whether she’s killing the lone xenomorph that killed her crew, leading a prison planet against a ravenous creature, or being reborn to face the Another figure. She dares death several times before charging headfirst into battle.
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