Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, especially if they possess swords, arsenic and boiling bunnies. In honor of this week’s big $25+ million opening of “The Other Woman” let’s take a look at Box Office Insider’s 10 Best Female Revenge Movies of All-Time.
10. ENOUGH (2002)
There’s no denying there’s a bushel full of butt=kicking in this 2002 camp classic but you’d have to travel far and wide to find this much disbelief suspension in 90 minutes. Jennifer Lopez goes from abused wife, humiliated by her nutso husband, who flees with her daughter and somehow becomes a Krav Maga expert practically overnight. Still, the last 20 minutes are worth the price of admission in a I-Can’t-Believe-I’m-Watching-This kind of way.
9. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2009)
Granted, this movie isn’t solely about female revenge but I’m including it here because of the comeuppance that Noomi Rapace inflicts upon her guardian, who subjects her to a brutal, sadistic rape. Watching Rapace return the favor is the highlight (can I even say that?) of the film and ensures that any man watching in the audience will squirm uncomfortably in his seat.
8. ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (1944)
The sweet old Brewster sisters, pillars of their community, secretly poison neighborhood bachelors, much to the horror of their nephew (Cary Grant). This truly is one of the most curious films you’ll ever see, considering the subject matter and the presence of Grant, Raymond Massey and Peter Lorre all in one film that, oh by the way, was directed by Frank Capra.
7. SERIAL MOM (1994)
While most films on this list involve some horrific episodes that propel the our heroine to enact pain and suffering, Kathleen Turner lowers the bar and causes mayhem and wreckage for such high crimes as insensitivity, wearing white shoes after Labor Day and improperly rewinding a video cassette, all in the wonderfully wacky hands of director John Waters.
6. 9 TO 5 (1980)
Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, constantly harassed by their boss, decide enough is enough and embark on a plot to do him in. One of the best lines in the movie comes from Fonda when she says “I just killed the boss. Don’t you think they’ll fire me for that?!”
5. THE PROFESSIONAL (LEON) (1994)
While most of the damage done here is by professional “cleaner” Jean Reno, Natalie Portman (in her film debut) is the central figure of the movie, as a girl who looks to turn the tables on DEA agents who killed her family. Portman is amazing and the film features one of the creepiest performances in recent film history from DEA Head Gary Oldman. *SPOILER ALERT* The finale, where Reno utters “this one’s for Mathilda” as he blows Oldman to bits, is one of the best scenes of the past 20 years.
4. KILL BILL (2003/2004)
And you thought your wedding day had issues. Former assassin boss David Carradine arranges for Uma Thurman’s entire wedding party to be slaughtered, leaving her in a coma. When she comes to, our Bride decides that returning wedding gifts can wait until she obliterates those responsible. I wonder if Ethan Hawke was looking over his shoulder when he and Thurman subsequently tied the knot?
3. THELMA AND LOUISE (1991)
Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis are two southern women who take off on the road after they kill the cretin who rapes Davis. Never fear, for along the way they regain their dignity and fortitude and they also meet Brad Pitt. Not in that order.
2. CARRIE (1976)
Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) is a teen, teased mercilessly at school and comes home to a wingnut mother (Piper Laurie) who believes the key to good parenting is locking Carrie in her closet, thereby eliminating her from Mother-Of-The-Year competition. As everyone discovers the hard way, poor Carrie has a breaking point, specifically at the Senior Prom where she goes on a homicidal rampage, taking half the school (and John Travolta) with her.
1. FATAL ATTRACTION (1987)
The “Citizen Kane” of female revenge movies, Glenn Close plays the one night stand of Michael Douglas,and when she discovers that Douglas has no intention on a further relationship, decides she “will not be ignored, Dan”. Broken windows, kitchen knives and boiling pets later, Close has completely gone off the rails in a performance for the ages.