Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, January 13, 2012

I'll take Scary Little Girls for 1300,Alex!

Happy Friday the 13th,folks and since this is the first one of the year(the next time this date will occur is in April),I thought that a special horror themed post would be in order.

For today's special topic,we celebrate a frightfully feminine cliche;the scary little girl. Yes,boys can be just as menacing yet there is nothing like a sweet young miss for whipping out the unexpected monster face and causing grown people to curl up in the fetal position.

Whether they are supernaturally inspired or just plain mini mean girls,these dangerous darlings are no one's helpless maiden. In fact,they're more likely to help themselves to whatever and whoever is up for grabs at any terrifying tea party:


When it comes to child vampires,Claudia is the queen of them all. Although her status in both the Anne Rice novel and film version was as a supporting player ,the impact of Claudia was not soon forgotten.

Her emotional growth,from innocent child to angry adolescent and reluctant adult,was hampered by her lack of physical change and as most kids tend to do,one of the parents had to take the blame.

That fit of vengeance was aimed rightly at her maker Lestat but it ultimately lead to her destruction. However,watching her bring down such a powerful immortal, with only her wits and a knife just as sharp as those,was a wonderfully terrible sight to see on screen:


This naughty girl with the nice smile and mommy calming mantra of "I've got the sweetest mother" first appeared in the mid 1950s as the focal character of a novel by William March which was later turned into a stage play and two film adaptations.

The 1956 version of the story tries to make up for Rhoda's sociopathic sweetness with an ending that punishes for her killing ways but that wasn't enough to mellow out the censors of the day. An after the credits sequence has Rhoda getting spanked by her mother,in what was meant as a humorous tension breaker(if you find corporeal punishment funny,that is).

There is talk of director Eli Roth making a modern day version of The Bad Seed,which could be fun,but the biggest challenge there will be trying to top Patty McCormack in the pivotal part of Rhoda. That precocious pig tailed predator is a hard act to follow:


Although their sad demise is mentioned in the Stephen King novel,these doomed daughters of the previous caretaker of the haunted Overlook Hotel do not make an appearance within it's pages.

Thanks to Stanley Kubrick,this pair of ghostly gals are major horror icons due to their all too memorable meeting with Danny Torrence in the 1980 film adaptation. Their eerie appearance is said to be a reference to a Diane Arbus photograph and according to other Shining film theorists,there are other hidden meanings attached to those gruesome girls as well.

While this sinister sister act doesn't actually try to harm anyone,taking up their offer to join them for play time is really not a good idea:


The best known of these pre-teen terrors is the tormented heroine of the classic 1970s demon possession film(based on William Peter Blatty's popular novel)that set the horrific high bar for other similar scare flicks to hurdle over.

Despite the fact that the voice of Captain Howdy,aka Panzuzu,was provided by the mature actress Mercedes McCambridge, young Linda Blair was credited for the full film performance as Regan and even received an Oscar nomination,plus a Golden Globe win for the part.

McCambridge did eventually get the credit she deserved(after a lawsuit which left bitter feelings between her and the movie's director William Friedkin)yet Blair's natural innocence was essential to the role and made her transition from good to evil that much more frightening and believable:

Fearsome females come in all shapes and sizes,as do their male counterparts,and it's good to remember that appearances can be deceiving, particularly when it comes to horror films. It's also good to keep in mind that no matter which side of the splatter spray they're on,underestimating women of all ages in this genre is something that you do at your own peril:

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