Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Alice

The Hive. A secret research facility buried deep within the bowels of the earth. Red Queen. A supercomputer designed to maintain environmental control over The Hive. Alice. A wandering amnesiac. This is Women Who Wow Wednesday.

Resident Evil's Alice
Resident Evil’s Alice

There’s only one other badass chick who could even come close to Alice, and that’s Beatrix Kiddo of Quentin Tarantino‘s Kill Bill movies. Wait a minute. Correction. Hit-Girl definitely is in the same league as Alice, zombie killer extraordinaire.

She once played Leeloo in the 1997 movie The Fifth Element. However when Milla Jovovich took on the role of Alice in the Resident Evil franchise, she guaranteed her place in film history as the go-to character for zombie eradication.

Originally connected to director/producer George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead, and Dawn of the Dead), Resident Evil blew away the box office in March 2002 taking in $102 Million worldwide. Not bad for a $33 Million budget. Based on the 1996 video game, the film spawned four sequels, a CG movie, countless other video games, and a novelization called Resident Evil: The Umbrella Conspiracy.

Besides dancers hired to play zombies and dogs that couldn’t keep their makeup on (they kept eating their blood and meat costumes), what’s the big deal with Resident Evil?

Milla Jovovich as Alice
Milla Jovovich as Alice

Alice.

The audience is never quite sure what to make of her. She can pound a zombie to a mush of goo but also can slink across a floor in her most vulnerable, naked state. Proficient in firearms and hand-to-hand combat, Alice’s greatest strength is not her physical skill sets, though she may take on a hoard of undead single handedly, but her penchant for keeping her team safe. The very team sent to destroy Red Queen, The Hive’s supercomputer.

As the film and the series progresses, it becomes obvious Alice is not like other females. She possesses a degree of cunning that always matches her sad countenance. Her eyes give away her heart’s loneliness, even in the course of arms flaying, bullets flying, knives wounding, and heads rolling. She is superhuman. Why? How did it happen? What made her that way? Who gave her that power?

The key with Alice is the welfare of others. No matter how bad things get, zombies could crash through a door, smash through a window, tear apart walls and attack from all sides, Alice focuses on one thing and one thing only—how can she help the others. Nothing else distracts this vicious vixen of voracious vindication.

Others first. Her last.

There’s almost an element of religion with Alice. It’s as if she knows the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

Have you seen Resident Evil? What do you think of Alice? Although not called zombies in the film, what do you think of the creatures?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

The Bride

Welcome back to Women Who Wow Wednesday, the series about female characters I admire in film and TV. If you’re looking for additional WWW Wednesday posts, you can find them under the Features box of this site. Have fun!

Boy, oh, boy… I’ve wanted to write about this character for so long. I think it’s time. Back a few years ago, she rocked my world. I just hope I can do her justice with my homage to her character. Bear with me as I gather my thoughts.

Beatrix Kiddo
Beatrix Kiddo

If you haven’t seen the movie, I insist you drop everything, go to Netflix and get it. Hold on, read this post first, then get the movie!

In the first movie, the audience simply knows her as The Bride, a blonde of unassuming demeanor. Beaten to an unrecognizable blob by members of her own gang the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, she rises from the pool of her own juices, seeking those who betrayed her. One by one, she exacts revenge, leaving no one behind.

Who is she?

The Bride
The Bride

She’s Beatrix Kiddo. Although we don’t know that until the second movie where with her bare hands she cracks open the coffin they buried her in and continues to spread her wave of terror on those miserable traitors who left her for dead. The conclusion is when she comes face to face with the mastermind of the perpetration—Bill.

Yes. If you haven’t already guessed it, I’m talking about Uma Thurman’s character in the movies Kill Bill: Vol. 1-2.

When the studio A Band Apart Films released Quentin Tarantino’s ode to the Seventies Kung-Fu genre, it placed a solid bet of its success on the performance of Uma Thurman. After all, she worked in Tarantino’s first movie Pulp Fiction, how could they lose? Wow, did they sure win on that wager. The statuesque actress’ character cut, maimed, killed, decapitated, disemboweled, hurt, pounced, exterminated, vanquished, conquered, splattered, squished, destroyed, terminated, disfigured, mutilated, injured, slaughtered, and slew anything and everything that stood in her way. Here was a character with the single-minded resolve to hunt down and kill any collaborator who had turned on her. She was perfect.

And the box office loved her. A $30 Million budget—the film grossed $180 Million worldwide.

Kill Bill
Kill Bill

Her weapon of choice? A Samurai sword fashioned by Hattori Hanzo. The finest katana sword he ever created. And, the deadliest. With it, The Bride cut down the Crazy 88. But let her bare hands not fool you. She used them to pluck the eye out of Daryl Hannah’s character Elle Driver. And let’s not forget the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique she ultimately delivered on David Carradine’s character, Bill. She gave a whole new meaning to the phrase: He died of a broken heart.

If anything is clear, when the character The Bride made her debut in 2003, she not only made money for the studio, she also became a symbol of what was missing in movies a decade ago: A strong, leading lady, with determination and potency well above her male counterparts.

What do you think of Uma Thurman’s brutal portrayal of The Bride? Did she set the bar too high, leaving other female leads to rethink their acceptance of leading roles in action flicks? Let me know. Leave me a comment!