Bond Girls To Scream Queens: Horror Flicks Featuring Former Bond Girls
I recently wrote about a couple of lesser known films starring former Bond Girls in my Top 20 Sexiest Movies You’ve Never Seen article. It’s probably not a big surprise that actresses who appeared in the venerable spy series would also show up in an erotically-tinged film or two. They were, after all, chosen for their roles (at least in part) due to their physical gifts. What many people may not be aware of is that 007’s interests also graced more than a few horror flicks with their fantasy-caliber figures.
These are the 13 highest-ranked fright flicks on Flickchart featuring a Bond Girl:
- The Wicker Man (Britt Ekland)
- Theater of Blood (Diana Rigg)
- Creepshow 2 (Lois Chiles)
- A Bay of Blood (Claudine Auger)
- Maniac (Caroline Munro)
- Tourist Trap (Tanya Roberts)
- The Revenge of Frankenstein (Eunice Gayson)
- The Watcher in the Woods (Lynn-Holly Johnson)
- Vamp (Grace Jones)
- The Green Slime (Luciana Paluzzi)
- Asylum (Britt Ekland)
- Black Belly of the Tarantula (Claudine Auger, Barbara Bach)
- Captain Kronos (Caroline Munro)
Due to the large quantity of horror movies with Bond Girls in them, I decided to make this more a “Depths of Obscurity: ‘Bond Girls’ Halloween Edition” and focus on six of the least seen. Narrowing the selection even further, I chose films starring the three actresses with the most horror roles under their belt: Barbara Bach, Britt Ekland, and Caroline Munro. Here’s what I came up with:
OK, The Humanoid is more accurately classified as science fiction. The best argument I have for including it is that Richard Kiel plays a rampaging human monster (and everyone wears goofy costumes). Kiel, as you may know, is the esteemed actor who brought us the lovable villain Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. So esteemed is Kiel that there is even a fansite for The Humanoid dedicated to him. What really makes The Humanoid noteworthy is that Barbara Bach and Corinne Cléry co-star with Kiel, who worked with them both in Bond films.
Cléry has a small part in Moonraker as an employee of the villain, Hugo Drax. She is given a pink slip in the form of two attack dogs when her services are no longer needed. In The Humanoid she serves as the tutor of a precocious mystical Asian child who was sent to save Earth. Probably her other most notable movie role was in The Story of O, which is based on a naughty French book that the authorities attempted to ban. Bach plays a more significant part in The Spy Who Loved Meas Soviet agent Anya Amasova, who pulls double duty as Bond’s rival and object of affection. Her character Lady Agatha in The Humanoid drains innocent women of their essence in order to preserve her youthful appearance. I guess that counts as a horror element as well, since I assume Agatha is modeled after Countess Báthory who bathed in the blood of virgins in order to stay young. Unfortunately, The Humanoid isn’t so gruesome as that.
From what I understand, Island of the Fishmen is based on “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” by H.P. Lovecraft. Unlike the other movies covered in this article, I actually have seen Fishmen previously. I just didn’t remember any of it. Movie critic Joe Bob Briggs has stated that the formula for a quality film of this type is the three B’s – Blood, Breasts and Beasts. The more of each, the better. Fishmen has human/fish hybrids in it, which meet the Beasts criteria. There are, however, no Breasts and very little Blood. Also, human/fish hybrids are kind of boring (though Humanoids from the Deep is pretty good). The only scene in the movie that I recall after a second viewing is when Barbara Bach takes a bath, and it’s very chaste.
THIS IS AS GOOD AS IT GETS
I originally intended to match The Humanoid up with another Bach film, The Unseen. It’s about a monster baby living in a basement who is the product of an incestuous brother and sister, if I recall. I ended up choosing Fishmen because, like The Humanoid, it involves turning men into beasts through science. The only real difference between the monster version of Kiel in The Humanoid and the non-monster version is that the non-monster has a beard, but he was scientifically altered. That’s all that matters.
Satan’s Mistress is a supernatural erotic horror movie starring Britt Ekland and Lana Wood. When it comes to horror cinema, The Wicker Man is Ekland’s shining moment. Her pagan mating song (NOT work safe) will never be equaled. Having seen that before her work in The Man with the Golden Gun as Mary Goodnight, I was expecting great things from her role in the Bond film. Disappointingly, she was little more than an oafish sidekick to 007. I guess her wearing a bikini for an extended period toward the end served as something of a consolation. I’ve just always wished Goodnight was a more substantial character. Still, Wood as Plenty O’Toole doesn’t have a particularly dignified role in Diamonds Are Forever. During her brief screen time she is thrown out of a window and later drown in a pool. (She is probably remembered in the film mostly for her “epic cleavage” as this video at JoBlo.com shows.)
Wood does have a larger part in Satan’s Mistress (AKA Demon Rage). Whether it is anymore dignified is up for debate, but the film does offer more insight into what lies beyond the cleavage. That is, Wood is shown undressed multiple times, and usually while being molested by a malevolent entity. The introduction explains that the story is based on the events involving a lonely California woman who was neglected by her husband. Her loneliness attracted an otherworldly being also in need of companionship. In the movie, this leads to a beheading by guillotine, glowing red eyes, a face appearing in the shower and a demonically heated jacuzzi. Ekland plays the psychic friend who doesn’t do very much aside from point out the rules of the spirit world when necessary so the viewer will understand what’s going on. (NOTE: The spirit in the movie is played by Kabir Bedi, who also appeared in Octopussy.)
What the Peeper Saw opens with a woman being electrocuted in a bathtub. The movie doesn’t get around to explaining the incident until about half way through, but it leads to some slightly taboo goings on. Britt Ekland does have more purpose in this movie. She also takes her clothes off a few times, which would normally be completely welcome. There is a rather uncomfortable scene where she strips for her young stepson because he turns to be out a bit pervy. Ekland wants him to tell her the truth about a dark family secret, but he refuses unless she reveals her private bits. Later there’s even a scene where the unclothed Ekland gets into bed with him. You don’t see that sort of thing very often these days in films.
Like Lana Wood and Corinne Cléry, Caroline Munro is afforded a meager amount of time to show off her charms. She makes one of the greatest bikini entrances in the entire series as sexy henchwoman Naomi in The Spy Who Loved Me. Then, only minutes later, Bond blasts her helicopter out of the sky with a missile. It’s easily one of the saddest moments in all of the Bond films.
WHO COULD BLOW THIS UP?
It’s good to know that Munro has worn bikini-esque garb in other films for longer than a couple minutes, so her deplorable demise in Spy isn’t quite the tragedy it could’ve been. Her outfits in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Starcrash are truly astounding. On top of her bikini achievements, if I’m not mistaken, Munro has appeared in more fantasy, horror and science fiction flicks total than any other Bond Girl. Anyway, speaking of Starcrash, I came across Demons 6 (AKA The Black Cat) on Netflix recently, which was directed Luigi Cozzi and stars Munro. He already worked with her on Starcrash, so I guess this was something of a reunion.
There are some things I noticed about Demons 6 that stand out in my mind. One was a minor detail, but still meaningful to me: the song “Someone Like You” by Bang Tango is used a lot. I remembered liking it many years ago, but hadn’t heard it much since then. Demons 6 opens with it, ends with it, and throws it in a couple other times for good measure. I found the video on YouTube and feel that I should share it with you.
The most surprising thing about Demons 6 is that it openly references Suspiria and even uses the theme music by Goblin more than once. The movie is about the production of a horror film, which the characters intend to be the final installment of Dario Argento’s Three Mothers Trilogy (Argento didn’t get around to filming the last film, Mother of Tears, until almost ten years after Demons 6 came out). At one point, they actually have a conversation about why it’s unnecessary to remake Suspiria, which is presently in the process of being remade. I found that funny. Maybe it’s just me. (NOTE: There’s one scene in Demons 6 where Cozzi seems to be referencing his own movie, Contamination, in which people’s chests explode after being exposed to alien eggs. There’s a scene in Demons 6 where a woman dies in a very similar fashion. Well, the exploding chest, anyway. There aren’t any alien eggs.)
Caroline Munro isn’t really in Demons 6 that much now that I think about it. Still, pairing it up with The Last Horror Film is appropriate because 1) Munro once again reunites with someone from a previous film and 2) It’s also about the production of a motion picture. It’s interesting that not many people have seen The Last Horror Film, actually. Maniac, which stars Munro and Joe Spinell, is the #5 highest ranked horror movie featuring a Bond Girl on Flickchart. The Last Horror Film brought the two actors together again and it’s a similar slasher-style flick (though not as gory). I think I may even like it more than Maniac, in all truth. It has more humor and personality. The only aspect I dislike about it is that Munro has some kind of Bride of Frankenstein white streak in her hair that bugs me.
So, after sitting through all these, I’d rank them (keep in mind that some of these aren’t that good):
- The Last Horror Film
- What the Peeper Saw (aside from the underage exposure to Britt Ekland’s wonders)
- Demons 6
- The Humanoid (it’s a blatant Star Wars rip-off in some ways, so prepare yourself)
- Satan’s Mistress
- The Island of the Fishmen
Overall, unless you’re a seasoned horror movie watcher or deeply enjoy bad cinema, you might want to refrain from at least #3-#6. Whatever you do, don’t ever watch Alien Predator starring Lynn-Holly Johnson who played bubbly ice skating prodigy Bibi in For Your Eyes Only. That one’s even beyond my comprehension.