Once more, the B Monster has solicited the sage wisdom of genre-film experts. A pantheon of professionals -- filmmakers, authors and publishers -- have been consulted in an attempt to determine the identities of filmdom's finest screamers. Each was asked to submit a list of five leading ladies who were "pursued by monsters with amorous intent." How do they compare with your roster of horror's top heroines?

John Brunas
Writer, researcher (Co-author, Universal Horrors)

1. Fay Wray
2. Evelyn Ankers
3. Gale Sondergaard
4. Allison Hayes
5. Anne Gwynne

Michael Brunas
Writer, researcher (Midnight Marquee, co-author of Universal Horrors)

1. Simone Simon
2. Anne Nagel
3. Evelyn Ankers
4. Peggy Moran
5. Coleen Gray

Charles Kilgore
Editor, publisher (Ecco magazine)

1. Fay Wray - No actress fits your qualifications ("pursued by monsters with amorous intent") like Fay Wray, who reduced that regal ape Kong to a blubbering, hellbound fool. The scene where he tears away (and sniffs!) her shredded clothing is priceless "amour fou."

2. Barbara Steele - In Mario Bava's classic Black Sunday, this fascinating British actress, who appeared in more horror films than any of my other choices, scored quite a coup. In her dual roles as the evil revenant Princess Asa and her innocent ancestor Katia, Steele damn near seduced herself.

3. Julie Adams - Though best known for being the Gill Man's object of lust in the original Creature From The Black Lagoon, Adams also faced the terrors of appearing in Dennis Hopper's incoherent western The Last Movie with the likes of director Sam Fuller and soft-porn star John Alderman. Brave gal!

4. Luana Anders - Eroticized terror features in several key films starring exotic Luana Anders. Axed in her undies in Coppola's grisly Dementia 13, Anders was also tied up and forced to listen to the rantings of ego-monster Mickey Rooney in the bizarre 1971 obscurity The Manipulator. Her appearance in Robert Downey's Greaser's Palace cemented her status as a Kilgore favorite.

5. Peggy Cummins - I've included Cummins for her one role that (almost) fits this survey: Jacques Tournier's Night Of The Demon, where she's (indirectly) menaced by a Satanic demon that resembles a cross between the Tasmanian Devil and a horned toad. But I love her for Gun Crazy.

Harris M. Lentz III
Writer (Obituaries in the Performing Arts, Television Western Episode Guide, Western and Frontier Film and Television Credits)

1. Yvette Vickers - I can think of few actresses who have exuded the raw sexuality of Ms. Vickers, who heated up the screen playing backwoods sluts in such films as Attack of the Giant Leeches and Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman.

2. Kathleen Crowley - Beautiful leading lady of the 1950s whose refined presence gave a certain spark to such films as Curse of the Undead and Target Earth!.

3. Faith Domergue - She always seemed so terribly intelligent (not to mention lovely) fighting aliens or giant beasties in This Island Earth and It Came from Beneath the Sea.

4. Beverly Garland - Tough and feisty - you almost believed she could single-handedly take out such critters as It Conquered the World or the extra-terrestrial vampire in Not of This Earth.

5. Gail Russell - Pretty and vulnerable in the classic 40s ghost story The Uninvited. Too bad her real life didn't have as happy an ending as her films.

Well, that's five, but I can't conclude without at least mentioning Simone Simon and Nastassia Kinski -- I'd leave a bowl of milk out for either of these lovely Cat People.

Fred Olen Ray
Director (Dinosaur Island; Attack of the 60 ft. Centerfold; Invisible Mom)

1. Fay Wray (King Kong)
2. Julie Adams (Creature From the Black Lagoon)
3. Lori Nelson (Day the World Ended)
4. Allison Hayes (Attack of the 50-ft. Woman)
5. Veronica Carlson (Dracula Has Risen From the Grave)

Joe Sena
Universal Studios New Media Director (Producer, Joe Sena's Dungeon of Darkness)

5. Zita Johann from The Mummy -- Who else could turn a goofy line like "Do you have to open graves to find girls to fall in love with?" into a come-on?

4. Amanda Donohoe from Lair of the White Worm -- delightfully decadent and positively pagan, she was the closest thing to Siouxsie and the Banshees as you'll get in a horror film.

3. Yutte Stensgaard from Lust for a Vampire -- Oh, to be a rivulet of blood upon those alabaster globes ...

2. Kim Hunter in Planet of the Apes -- I would love to have kissed her, but she was so damned ugly ...

1. Carrie Fisher from Star Wars -- okay, this is really trite, but I was 15 in 1977, so she hit the spot at just the right time. There's a funny story that goes with this one: My wife and I are at a wedding for an old friend and one of my ex-girlfriends is in the wedding party. My wife always heard my friends talk about this girl because I was, well, obsessed with her when I was younger. So, my wife is introduced to her, they make polite conversation, and as we walk away, my wife says, "Say, she's really cute; in fact, she looks a lot like Carrie Fi--" and then slooowwly turns to me and says "There's something wrong with you."

Bryan Senn
Writer (Golden Horrors: An Illustrated Critical Filmography of Terror Cinema; Fantastic Cinema Subject Guide; Drums of Terror: Voodoo in the Cinema)

1. Frances Drake (she of the oh-so-expressive doe-eyes and unassuming charm) in The Invisible Ray and particularly Mad Love

2. Fay Wray (sincerity and innocence incarnate) -- her best (genre) roles are in Doctor X and The Clairvoyant (aka The Evil Mind)

3. Evelyn Ankers (always stylish and, more importantly, always convincing--even in that Inner Sanctum tripe!)

4. Beverly Garland (pluck personified--and beautiful to boot) -- best roles: It Conquered the World and Not of This Earth.

5. Barboura Morris (appealingly offbeat and genuine) in A Bucket of Blood and The Wasp Woman.

Gary Svehla
Editor, publisher (Midnight Marquee magazine)
Difficult to narrow down, but dealing with different eras, here is my list:

1. Barbara Steele (especially Black Sunday where she portrayed both the witch and the innocent victim--haunting, sexy and vulnerable. And God, those eyes!)

2. Frances Drake (the most stately and beautiful of all the Universal horror heroines, especially in films like The Invisible Ray)

3. Fay Wray (never a top favorite, but an icon heroine and screamer extraordinaire, and you can't ignore her movies such as King Kong, Doctor X, Mystery of the Wax Museum)

4. Gloria Talbott (something about her was incredibly sexy, and as a child some of my first slightly muted, subconscious erotic thoughts were created by images of her)

5. Evelyn Ankers (heroine of the 1940s and one of the icons-- beauty and class go hand in hand)

Bill Warren
Writer (Keep Watching the Skies; contributing editor Leonard Maltin's Video Guide)
If you asked me tomorrow, the list would probably be different.

1. Barbara Shelley
2. Evelyn Ankers
3. Fay Wray
4. Jamie Lee Curtis
5. Julie Adams

Tom Weaver
Writer (Fangoria; Starlog; Universal Horrors; Mutants, Monsters and Heavenly Creatures)
Jeez, since I know (and like) so many of these actresses, this is like asking me to name my favorite siblings! I'm going to stick to the 1950s:

Top Five (alphabetical):

Julie Adams (Creature from the Black Lagoon)
Margaret Field (The Man from Planet X, Captive Women)
Anne Francis (Forbidden Planet)
Margaret Sheridan (The Thing from Another World)
Joan Weldon (Them!)

Honorary mentions: Mara Corday, Beverly Garland, Lori Nelson, Dana Wynter. Also Phyllis Coates, (a) for having the movies' most chilling scream, and (b) for playing the most cold-blooded Lois Lane in pictures. (Lois in Superman and the Mole-Men, commenting on the corpse of a scared-to-death watchman: "Oh, Clark, don't go building this thing up. He was an old man!" Later, she tells Clark not to interfere with a lynch mob--"THEY know what they're doing!")

"Space creatures snatch girls to mysterious planet!"
Blood Beast From Outer Space

"What made them half-human creatures from the fourth dimension?"
The Curse of the Fly

"Don't tell what happens to the bride!"
The Bride and the Beast

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