Monday, June 29, 2009

Hollywood SF Lessons: Fear Hot Blonds

Warning: Spoilers
(spoilage factor: about the same as a model's diet in an ice cream factory after getting dumped)

For years, people have been debating "what kind of message" Hollywood is sending to audiences with its movies. Say what you will about the causes du jour in film these days, there's one message Hollywood has been sending unwaveringly for years through its speculative fiction: Fear Hot Blonds.

That's right. If you value your life, beware of hot blonds.

Time and again, in SF movie after SF movie, including the recent Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the message is pretty clear that if you fall in with a beautiful blond, you're taking your life in your hands. And this will be for one of two reasons: she'll either be a ruthless killing machine that'll grind you up with most deliberate, frightening intent, or she'll be a nice enough girl who will just happen to have an unfortunate, uncanny knack for attracting disaster which will, most likely, smash you to painful little bits - the end result thus being the same.

Don't believe me? Let's check the record:

In T:ROTF we've got Alice, a normal enough college hottie on the surface, if a tad agressive and creepily obsessive, who turns out to be a Decepticon fembot who's idea of giving tongue back in the dorm is to throttle Sam with a metal tenticle. Makes you wonder what would have happened if she'd got that thing down his throat - could have gone all the way through and like a pig on a spit. Either way, she's big trouble.

Speaking of fembots, how about in Austin Powers, where Doctor Evil's cybernetic seductresses were mostly blond and bent on slaughter rather than sex?

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines gave us a new model of cyborg, the T-X, played by Kristanna Loken. Again, blond, beautiful and with a mind focussed solely on carnage.

How about Natasha Henstridge as Sil in Species?

Or Pris in Blade Runner?

Then there's the queen of all perilous blonds: Six from Battlestar Galactica. She'll seduce, manipulate and bully humans like Baltar all in a day's work, and as one of the Cylons, she takes killing to a whole other level with near total genocide (although the apocalypse was not nearly so uncomfortable and viscerally frightening as when she snapped the baby's neck in the market).

And the list goes on.

And as far as the nice girls with golden hair who just happen to be a good way to help your relatives cash in on your life insurance policy? That's a tradition that goes all the way back to Fay Wray playing Anne Darrow in King Kong in 1933, where half the freighter's crew got killed going after her. And the tradition has been pretty solid ever since, with notables including Buttercup in The Princess Bride (because if Westley hadn't felt the need to reclaim her, he could have led a life of contentment as a pirate, instead of being mostly killed).

Oh sure, there are a fair share of lethal brunettes out there, your Ripleys (Alien franchise), your Maggies (Escape from New York) and your Xenas, and there are even a couple of redheads who would be some major trouble if you got them mad, like Lyta Alexander of Babylon 5's season 5. But really, when it comes to causing death and destruction (either deliberately or merely by attracting bad luck) the blonds seem to have more fun.

Hollywood's lesson seems clear, gentlemen (and ladies, if you're so inclined): if you value your life, fear hot blonds!
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