20 Years Since Mrs Mia Wallace
Can you believe that Pulp Fiction is 20 years old? I remember going with my school mates to see this movie after hearing the buzz that this was ‘the coolest movie ever’. The boys were excited about the drug scene, re-enacting Samuel L Jackson’s infamous Bible quote in the lunch room and of course the kudos of saying you had seen heroin scene, was something to brag about . After the movie, we all trotted out to buy the soundtrack to play in each other’s bedrooms when we skipped classes, a striking contrast to the ‘Schwiings’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ of Wayne’s World, two summers before.
Nowadays, the scenes from Pulp Fiction seem quite tame compared to say, The Wolf of Wall Street where the opening scene has Leonardo Di Caprio smoking crack out of a hookers arse. Back in 1994 though, this was a dangerous movie, parents thought it was too violent, glamourised drugs and teenagers just thought it was cool. The teenagers of 1994 were right. Twenty years later it is still a go-to movie for me whenever it appears on Foxtel and makes regular appearances in most ‘Top 20’ movie moment lists.
I love the character of Mia Wallace, cool and beautiful, without flaunting silicone boobs, or trotting around in a bandage dress with a small dog in a purse. A real, cool, woman with a brain and class. The now iconic white shirt, sharp bob, red lips and black pants are still in vogue twenty years later, so, with this in mind, I thought about other cool chicks in movies.
Another major, controversial 90’s movie which reflected American media and the subculture of the time, was of course, Natural Born Killers. The character of Mallory Knox was a victim of abuse, one hell of a kooky dancer, violent murderess and a kickass karate chick, irresponsibly portrayed as a celebrity in American media. Mallory Knox was a psycho, yes, but Juliette Lewis gave her a sense of loneliness and desperation which meant we were rooting for her when she kicked sleazy Detective Scagnetti to a pulp and brought an entire high security jail to it’s knees.
Tarantino has a knack for great roles for women, maybe inspired by his muse Uma Thurman. Beatrix Kiddo aka Black Mamba in the Kill Bill movies is a classic heroine. Scorned, revengeful and a marshall arts master, Beatrix Kiddo tracks down each one of the Deadly Viper Squad, taking them out one by one in spectacular Tarantino fashion. Even in a bright Yellow Bruce Lee inspired jumpsuit, she kept her femininity, without losing any of her badass presence. After all, there aren’t many women who can carry off a five finger death punch in a baby blue maxi skirt eh?
Winona Ryder in Heathers is my 80’s badass chick. A darker, EMO version of the sugar coated Mean Girls to come in 2004. Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) gets in with the extremely smouldering J.D. (Christian Slater and my 80’s celebrity crush) and the pair set out to remove the ‘Heathers’, a clique of extreme high school bitches. A dark tale of school social politics.
However, for pure heroism in the 80’s, my pick has to go to Linda Hamilton in The Terminator (awesome 80’s trailer link). I loved the fact that a woman was the one to save the world for once, rather than some all American man or spandex clad superhero, even if she was a little ‘cuckoo’.
Mia Wallace, in my eyes though, still tops the lot. I, myself have a black bob and fringe, but thats as cool as I get. Unless I get a pilot part on Fox Force Five or win a Jack Rabbit Slims dance competition, which isn’t very likely.
Who is your favourite badass chick in a movie?