File Under “Fury”

Yesterday was a “free” day in my life where I was way ahead on work projects and needed a break from my writing projects, so I spent the day indulging in a long run, then relaxed on the couch with my laptop ditzing around in cyberspace with movies rolling in the background. I ended up playing Mad Max: Fury Road and Aliens back to back, and it struck me how completely these two movies have embedded themselves into the deep recesses of my psyche. I’ve said many times that Aliens is my all-time favorite movie; the character of Ripley is just such a fundamental symbol of human indomitability. I didn’t expect to like Fury Road as much as I do, but after watching it again yesterday (for the *clears throat* time), it finally dawned on my that there is something unquestionably different in the making of that film that sets it apart from the usual post-apocalyptic and big-explosions fare. If the original Maxes were cult classics, Fury Road has redefined and relaunched the entire notion of what a cult classic should look like. Seriously, what an imaginative and heavy story.

And it got me to thinking about the movies that have stuck deepest and stayed longest in my brain. For the most part, they’ve all been women-led films: Aliens, Terminator 1 & 2, Fury Road, Doomsday; with a couple of outliers that include major character arcs for the female characters, even if the main role was played by a male, like: Firefly, Pitch Black, Chronicles of Riddick, Guardians of the Galaxy. (Then there are those favorites of mine that are utterly male-centric: Fight Club, There Will Be Blood, Ravenous.)

Because I have an (entirely too) orderly brain, I got to thinking: Aliens and T1 were 1986 and 1984, T2 hit in 1991, Doomsday came along in 2000, and it took till 2015 for Fury Road. That is ENTIRELY TOO FEW kickass big-screen women in over thirty years. Of course, in that time, we’ve also had Alice in Resident Evil, Selene in Underworld, but is that it?

So readers, who am I missing? What other big-screen SF/F leading ladies do I need to sink my eyeballs into to reach maximum estrogen-blasting immersion? Who are your favorites.