Marilyn Burns as Sally Hardesty in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre – Courtesy of Bryanston Pictures
1. Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
We’ve come to the number one spot on the countdown, revealing my personal favorite woman in horror. I’ve got to give the honor to Sally Hardesty from the first Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie. In the gritty 70s flick, Sally’s friends and brother don’t last too long when coming face to face with Leatherface. But it’s after that when the true horror really starts.
Once Leatherface and his cannibalistic family start pursuing Sally, it’s a cavalcade of nothing but absolute horror. Sally’s plight as she struggles so hard to escape is extremely unsettling. Marilyn Burns plays the role so incredibly realistically, that I simply forgot that she’s just a character. The horror on her face is so convincing that it starts to feel like I’m watching homemade torture tapes. It’s what makes this movie the all-time scariest horror film in my humble opinion. So I have to give Sally the nod because it was through her terror I was able to feel the most fear I’ve ever felt from a horror movie.
Many others come close, but there’s just no woman in horror I feel for more than Sally Hardesty. She somehow does make it away from that house of death after an extremely vicious ordeal. The final shot of the film of her both screaming and laughing in the back of a pick-up truck has always stuck with me. I’ve been looking ever since for a performance like Burns as Sally to resonate with me just as much, but that day has yet to come.
Did I leave out any notable names? Who would you pick as your number one woman in horror? Let me know in the comments below to keep the discussion going.