BY MICHELLE MEDFORD
Role in the horror community: The original Scream Queen
Claim to fame: King Kong, 1933’s epic monster movie. Although not exactly a typical horror movie (mind you, this was also before the “typical” horror movie even existed), Fay Wray’s portrayal of the fearful Ann Darrow is one of the most iconic and unforgettable performances in horror leading lady history.
Weapon of choice: Her emotive eyes, which are most often wide with fear in the face of the mighty beast himself, or whatever horror she’s up against, be it Kong, vampires or wax mannequins.
Why she is bloody brilliant: Starring as the damsel in distress in several horror movies which always require a masculine hero (and often lead to a romantic relationship), this woman is in need of serious defending for including her on our list. She makes the cut is because she’s one of horror’s original leading ladies, paving the path for the women that would follow and creating the archetype to be re-written and improved.
With her selection of unique film roles, including the horror-comedy Doctor X, The Mystery of the Wax Museum (House of Wax, anyone?), The Vampire Bat (Why is everyone in town suffering from blood loss? There must be a vampire among us!), and King Kong (a movie essentially about gigantic beasts–okay, and their need for affection), I’d like to imagine that if she were an actress in today’s age, she’d take advantage of the opportunity to select more empowering roles. With her brilliant portrayal of fear, solid dramatic acting chops and undeniable conviction, she’s got the perfect ingredients for a memorable Final Girl, if only given the chance.