As someone who hates Valentine’s Day, I can appreciate the need to take one’s mind off of love, or the lack thereof. I also know that’s easier said than done, especially with every store on Earth covered in pink and flowers and hearts and *vomit*. So instead of feeling like a big loveless loser, think of these six cinematic cold showers and be glad you’re not these people.
Who can’t relate to a gorgeous woman trying desperately to mate with you and then devouring you when she can’t? That’s happened to me at least twice. That’s exactly what happens in this b-movie from the mid-90s, except in this case the hot woman is part alien. Go fig. Natasha Henstridge is so hot that you might think being slaughtered by her is worth it, but the scene where she frenches some guy (who, granted, super deserved it) to death is more than enough to make you never look at a leggy blonde again. For a little while anyway. People seemed eager for this type of thing, though, because Species, er, spawned three sequels, the last two direct-to-video.
Lady Terminator (1988)
This weird Indonesian exploitation movie is basically just a poorly-written rip-off of the Schwarzenegger film but instead of a muscle-bound Austrian it’s, you guessed it, a lady. What sets this movie apart from its predecessor is that instead of being a robot, the title character is an anthropology student (she swears!) possessed with the spirit of the South Sea Queen, a real Indonesian legend about a killer aquatic mer-thing. She is always on the look out for men to satisfy her and when they inevitably don’t, the eel that lives in her vagina eats their genitals, causing them to bleed to death. Read that sentence again. Go on. As many times as you need to, I’ll wait. We good? Yeah, that actually happens. What could that be a metaphor for, I wonder to no one in particular. Couple that with the all the gratuitous machine-gunning of innocent people and you’ll always be wary of leather-clad women.
Friday the 13th (1980)
You’re young, you’re horny, you’re good looking (for an ’80s movie), and you’re up in the mountains; why wouldn’t you get your freak on six ways from Sunday? There’s horrific, bloody death, sure, but that shouldn’t deter you. The conceit of Friday the 13th, and the slew of sequels and copycats that followed, is that if you have sex before marriage, you WILL get impaled with something sharp. The filmmakers always maintained they weren’t consciously sending out pro-abstinence vibes, but it’s easy to infer when a particularly grope-y interlude leads to Kevin Bacon getting an arrow in the throat. I would never say Beyonce was right, but if you like it, it probably wouldn’t hurt to put a ring on it.
Ingrid Bergman is ridiculously happy after a whirlwind romance with the dashing Charles Boyer, but once they get married and move back to her childhood home, things start to go pear-shaped. Bergman starts hearing things, seeing things, forgetting things, and generally feeling out of sorts. Her husband tells her she’s losing her mind and all the evidence agrees with him. But she soon starts to believe he is driving her mad on purpose to get some hidden treasure in the house, but how can she prove it? This movie is rather infuriating for three reasons: A) the helplessness of being thought insane, which is legitimately one of my biggest fears in life (don’t ask why); 2) The total and utter betrayal by one you so completely trust; and d) the fact that Bergman’s way hammy and melodramatic performance won her an Oscar. I suppose people wanted BIG back in the ’40s.
Love Story (1970)
The famous pull quote from this film is “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Can you think of something more cloyingly false in the history of words? If anything, love means ALWAYS having to say you’re sorry. You apologize for everything, and rightfully so; love makes you act like a stupid dumb head. This whole movie is full of ridiculous sentiments and superficial romance. Countless times during the movie you want to punch both Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw right in the nose for being so pretty yet so whiny. SHUUUUUUUUUT UUUUUUUUUUUP. They’re trying to convey the message that love is a struggle, but at the end of the movie the only message I see is “Fall in love and they’ll end up dying of cancer, leaving you more alone and sad than you’ve ever been before.” No thank you to that, I say. I’m out.
Fatal Attraction (1987)
This one isn’t so much that love will lead to bad things, but cheating on your wife definitely will. Fatal Attraction single-handedly made men keep it in their pants more than any Maury Povich paternity test ever could. Don’t cheat on your wife, and certainly don’t call it off or your mistress will boil your pet rabbit and try to stab you and your family with scissors. Several times. What makes this movie all the more emasculating is that the dude’s wife has to be the one to kill her, leading to the best instance of “The Look” ever on film. I bet he had to clean the hell out of the garage after that. Something else good to know: Glenn Close doesn’t like to be ignored. All right, Glenn. Message received.