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If somebody suddenly pointed at you and said; “Quick! Think of a movie villain!”, the chances are that your mind would immediately conjure up the image of a bald scarred man stroking a cat in a swivel chair, whilst pondering his latest eeevil plan (possibly in an lair hidden in a volcano). Or maybe you’re old-school, and the picture of a moustache-twirling dude with a top hat comes to mind.

Obviously with more time to consider it, the infinite number of choices would deliver a more realistic image. But if someone limited that choice to a villain from the horror genre, maybe it would be a hockey-masked slasher, or a finger-knifed dream-demon.

However, continuing our “Women in Horror” theme this month, how about a psychotic slasher-mum, or royalty with blood-thirst and a serious lack of empathy? For your consideration, YGROY presents a selection of our favourite female villains from the world of horror. Sometimes the sources are cross-genre examples, but in each case the lady in question is irredeemably bad and nasty, and at least one person (or rabbit) meets their end at their merciless whim.

Be aware that due to our choices, by the laws of necessity, there are some *major spoilers ahead*

Ladies, take it away … just don’t hurt us!


Played by Ingrid Pitt in Countess Dracula

In the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, it was the Hammer film studios that produced the most full-blooded horrors for the genre aficionados. It was also famous for its statuesque actresses, leading to the “Hammer Glamour” tag. Amongst the cheesecake though, the studio created some fine female villains. The Polish/British actress Ingrid Pitt was one of the most charismatic. Her seductive version of J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s “Carmilla Karnstein” in 1970’s “The Vampire Lovers”, was a career highlight. Here though, we’re concentrating on her villainous role as Nádasdy, otherwise known as “Countess Dracula”. The 1971 film has nothing to do with genuine bloodsuckers, but is a thinly veiled take on the legend of Elizabeth Báthory, the real-life murderess with an alleged taste for bathing in blood. After discovering the skin-rejuvenating qualities of virgin blood (a bit like a mediaeval L’Oreal if you like), she stops at nothing to retain her youth and to get off with a young army Lieutenant. Pitt is never any else than hypnotic as she bounces between youth and old age, stabbing gypsies with hat-pins, prancing around in narcissist rapture at her new beauty, or languidly sponging herself down in blood. The fact that she imprisons her own daughter, steals her identity, and then tries to kill her, is just the icing on the cake. Bereft of any kind of compassion and totally self-absorbed, she is a classic (and literal) full-blooded villain.