Badass lady villains are few and far between.
As Dan Wohl at The Mary Sue pointed out this week, there are plenty of men who grace the silver screen as menacing, formidable "bad guys," but not so many women. He argues that it's just as important to have interesting, "bad" female characters on-screen as it is to have interesting, strong, "good" female characters.
Having female characters in films shouldn’t be about getting in a few nice, positive moments for women and then calling it a day. It should be about naturally having an equal distribution of genders in film roles.
Contemporary writers have proven adept at imbuing male villains with humanity that might not have existed in the past, so the idea that their hands would be tied when crafting a female one is not very credible. (Or maybe we just need different writers.)
Wohl's piece made us think about the female villains movies have featured -- and the ones we love to hate most. We present to you our seven favorite women villains in film. Filmmakers: More like these, please.
Katharine Parker in "Working Girl" (Sigourney Weaver)
Parker is a high-powered female boss who is just as ruthless in business and in love as men are. She makes a formidable match for Melanie Griffith's Tess McGill. "This is one for the bad girls, I guess," Weaver said when she accepted a well-deserved Golden Globe for the role. We approve.
Mystique in the "X-Men" series (Rebecca Romijn, Jennifer Lawrence)
Now there's a villain with a humanizing backstory. Jennifer Lawrence's version of Mystique was one of the "good guys" in the 2011 "X-Men: First Class" film, but she'll be a major antagonist in the next one. We're excited to watch her go to the "dark side" while feeling emotionally attached to the character.
Regina George in "Mean Girls" (Rachel McAdams)
Any character who has one-liners like "Get in loser, we're going shopping" and has a Burn Book is bound to be entertaining. Regina George is a diabolical teen girl genius -- and we love it.
Cruella De Vil in "101 Dalmations" (Betty Lou Gerson, Glenn Close)
The woman wants to kill dozens of puppies purely to make herself a new fur coat. Now that's evil.
Also, she has the world's best theme song.
Miranda Priestly in "The Devil Wears Prada" (Meryl Streep)
Proof that Meryl Streep can play a villain just as artfully as she plays a heroine. You can't not shiver when you see Miranda Priestly's icy stare.
Ursula in "The Little Mermaid" (Pat Carroll)
Ursula knows what she wants and isn't afraid to steal Ariel's voice permanently to get it. She also uses dead sea creatures for makeup. What a terrifying animated character.
O-Ren-Ishi in "Kill Bill" (Lucy Liu)
She's a deadly assassin and martial arts expert who cuts off one of her male subordinates' heads when he mouths off and insults her heritage. Now that's a badass female villain.
Who are your favorite female "bad (not) guys"? Let us know in the comments!