Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Horror Movie Darwin Awards#31: Laurie Strode in Halloween

Character: Laurie Strode

Movie: Halloween (1978)

Let’s lead this list off with a classic, shall we? Actually, lets crap on horror’s sacred ground with this one. One of the “stupid horror character” clichés that you always hear is not finishing off the killer when you have him down. I could pick any one of hundreds of instances of this happening, but I chose this one because of the legendary status of the movie and character. She also takes this trope to a level of stupidity that is absolutely astounding.

When lists are made of the greatest “final girls” in horror history, more often than not Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode in Halloween that tops the list. The only one that sometimes beats her is Heather Lagencamp as Nancy in Nightmare on Elm Street. The difference is that Nancy had a plan, acted intelligently, and held her own. Laurie, through her actions, almost seemed like she wanted to be killed. While there’s no denying that the character is iconic and is the template for countless characters that would follow, I think a lot of people forget just how dumb she acts in this flick. Audience members at the time of it’s original theatrical run are quoted as often yelling “You deserve to die you dumb bitch” at the screen.

Ok, so lets fast forward through all of the “death has come to your little town” and “see anything you like” stuff and get to the stalking action. When Michael follows Laurie in the house where she’s babysitting, she manages to temporarily drop him with a knitting needle to the neck. He drops his butcher knife on the couch next to her and she picks it up. At this point logic would say that you use said weapon to neutralize the threat and enjoy the poetic justice of killing the bastard with his own weapon, right? Right. What does our heroine do?

She drops it on the floor and leaves the room. Michael is right behind that couch. Why would you leave the weapon where he could pick it back up? A minute later he reappears to menace her again and guess what? He’s got the knife. Let’s look at two scenarios here. If Laurie weren’t such a moron, at this moment she would have a big ass butcher knife to combat an unarmed Michael with. Or, she could hide in the closet while he stabs at her through the broken door with the knife she basically handed back to him. Which position would you prefer to be in? Yeah, me too. Against all odds though, she manages to drop him again with a wire hanger to the eye and retake control of the knife. Joan Crawford would be appalled.

As you can see, she stands over his prone body for almost a minute, which was a perfect opportunity to deal the killing blow. So what does she do?

She throws the knife down and leaves the room AGAIN! Really? Laurie obviously isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, or in this case, the sharpest knife on the floor. So genius, how did leaving the knife with a homicidal maniac twice work out for you?

Unlike most of the entries in this countdown, your stupidity didn’t get you killed. Well, you didn’t die, but you did take a hell of a lot of punishment, and it’s not even over. He came after her in the hospital. Not only that, but how many lives could she have saved by finishing him when she had the chance? Five sequels worth! Worst of all, she could have saved us from having to watch Michael kung fu fighting with Busta Rhymes. Thanks a lot bitch. Congratulations Laurie, you are today’s winner by virtue of not only failing to kill Michael Myers when you had the chance, but repeatedly giving him his favorite implement of destruction back. Way to go dumbass!

5 comments:

Guts and Grog Reviews said...

Nice man. Mommie Dearest reference made me crack up. Stoked to see the next thirty.

Master_Gio said...

LOL! You know I never thought of her in this way, but you are 100% right. She is a stupid bitch! :P

Cash Wampum said...

I think the audience member in Terror in the Aisles put it best....."Don't drop the knife....you ASSHOLE!!"

But in her defense, after the eye poke with a hanger part Michael drops the knife and she gives him a good upper thrust in the torso with it. This would kill your average person by severing arteries, puncturing lungs, what have you. So when he slumps down motionless after that run through, I don't blame her for thinking its finally over. No one was prepared for the awesome indestructible Michael Myers back in 1978.

Dr. Jimmy Terror said...

He does eventually kill her though. Totally deserved award and I love every single bit of this 31 day post. I'd almost give her the number one slot because it takes her so long to finally get it! What I never could understand is why the magical powers in PJ Soles' breasts didn't annihilate Michael. Maybe the bed sheet reflected some the intensity?

Fred [The Wolf] said...

I was waiting until you finished all of these to comment because I like reading these kind of lists in order. I definitely agree with your post. I can understand why she does what she does, but she should have been more savvy in how to dispose of her brother. Just stab him to death and get it over with. Oh well. Definite well-earned award. Mommie Dearest reference FTW.

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