Marsha A Hunt
Marsha A Hunt left a big impression as a sexy werewolf in The Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf. She is so fashionable and striking in every scene she is in of this movie. I’m not the only one she left a strong impression on. The Rolling Stones classic song “Brown Sugar” was written about her. She and Mick Jagger share a child together named Karis Jagger who grew up to be an actress and producer herself.
Hunt is a writer, having published 3 novels, three volumes of an autobiography as well as a memoir documenting her battle with breast cancer called “Undefeated.
Did you know that she also had a music career? The Philadelphia born beauty rose to fame in England playing Dionne in the London Stage musical “Hair”. She also had a career as a model, even being featured on the cover of London Magazine “Queen”.
Jada Pinkett Smith
I had the pleasure of seeing Tales from the Crypt presents Demon Knight at the movies and was so excited to see a Black final girl in the 90’s. The inverse of that was how disappointed I was to see what happened to her character in Scream 2.
Though to be fair, in Scream Drew Barrimore met the same fate, which was Wes Craven’s take on the Alfred Hitchcock method of killing off the most famous actress in the movie Psycho. So technically, that makes Jada the Janet Leigh of Scream 2.
Markie Bey starred as Sugar Hill a woman who decides to exact revenge on the men who murdered her man, by enlisting the help of Mama Maitresse and Baron Samedi, Lord of the Dead.
This movie’s tagline is, “She’s Sweet as sugar…with a voodoo army of the dead.” But words can only say so much, sometimes a scene is worth a million words. Check out my favorite scene from Sugar Hill (1974).
Lupita is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and in my opinion if she turned in this same level of performance in a non-horror movie, she would have been awarded the Academy Award for Best Actress.
I mean these TWO performances because she literally gave us two amazing performances. It is well passed time for actresses in horror movies to be recognized when they turn in exceptional performances.
Speaking of exceptional performances, Betty Gabriel never disappoints. Whether she is playing a bad ass hero in The Purge Election Year or the conflicted Georgina in Get Out she always give us her best.
This Julliard graduate amazed me when she pulled off laughing and crying at the same time to [SPOILER WARNING: keep scrolling if you haven’t seen Get Out yet]
portray two individuals fighting for control over one body.
Geretta Geretta is an actress that I can never forget played Rosemarie in the 1985 Lamberto Bava directed Italian horror classic, “Demons”. She is a graduate of the American Film Institute Masters of Fine Arts Program in Screenwriting, she has won the Best Female Director at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival, and this Oregon native has worked around the world.
Aaliyah is the only redeeming thing about the movie Queen of the Damned. She brought Ann Rice’s Queen Akasha to life in an iconic way. She made simply walking A THING. She reinvented it, perfected it, and I have run out of words to describe it. Here is a gif that will.
Grace Jones is an ICON. She is a supermodel, a recording artist and the baddest vampire to exist in the 80’s. While the movie Vamp isn’t the best vampire movie, Grace’s performance is amazing. She decided to play the role of Katrina using silent film techniques inspired by Max Schreck, star of Nosferatu (1922).
Fun facts: Due to the film’s low budget, Grace used costumes from her designer friends. The paint on the human-like chair and on her body was done by her graffiti artist friend, Keith Haring. Some of the imagery in Rihanna’s Rude Boy video looks to be inspired by Haring’s graffiti work.
The human-like chair she performs her iconic striptease number was made from a body cast of her then boyfriend, action star Dolph Lundgren. Also, the song playing that she dances to is sung by her as well. The most important fact is that no gif could do her avant-garde exotic dance performance justice, so here is the scene in full.
Kelly Jo Minter
Kelly Jo Minter is a North Trenton New Jersey native who got her start in video through an adult education program called “CETA”. While she has a diverse movie career, I love her in horror movies the best, because she survives.
She survived A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989). She survived Popcorn (1991). She survived The People Under the Stairs (1991). She even had a part in The Lost Boys (1987). Many of her scenes were cut, but that’s besides the point. She survived.
Marlene Clark is the picture of beauty, grace, sensuality and sophistication. She was born in Los Angeles California and raised in the Borough of Harlem, New York City, New York.
She has done so much! She attended junior college in Tennessee, then returned to New York to attend City College of New York, and modeled for various New York magazines and newspapers. She began acting in stage plays in college and also enrolled in Irene Dailey’s School of the Actors Company.
While, I am sure she was many men’s dream woman, the famous actor Billy Dee Williams became her first husband. Her acting career is so varied, she has been featured in everything from iconic TV series like Bonanza, Mod Squad and Sanford and Son, to grind house classic Switchblade Sisters and the Kung Fu classic Enter the Dragon.
To me, she is a horror movie icon for her work in legendary classic movies like , Beware! The Blob (1972), Night of the Cobra Woman (1972), Ganja & Hess (1973), The Beast Must Die (1974), Black Mamba (1974), and Lord Shango (1975). There is a wonderful interview with Marlene Clark on the Temple of Schlock blog. I encourage you to check it out.
The “My Final Girl” YouTube Channel has made an excellent 2 part series that features an interview with Marlene Clark. Here is part one:
I have also reviewed a few Marlene Clark movies as well as other Black Horror, Sci-fi and Thriller movies. I have compiled a playlist of them from 1940’s to today! What Did I Just Watch Black Horror & Scifi Playlist
Finally here are some other Black Scream Queens that deserve some mention. Can you name them all?