Celebrating The Iconic “Empowered Woman” Sybil Danning!
As a fan of cult movies, I am always looking for a hidden gem or neglected classic…which led me directly to the legendary “empowered woman” of the 80’s, Sybil Danning!
Sybil Danning was born in Austria – a US father in the armed forces and an Austrian Mom. She got her start in a number of obscure European films in the early 70’s, then graduated to more well known fare as “Bluebeard” with Richard Burton and “The Three Musketeers” and “The Four Musketeers”.
Her big break came in Roger Corman’s 1980 cult classic, “Battle Beyond the Stars” – check out this trailer, dripping with “Star Wars” sights, sounds and effects!
How can you NOT become a cult movie Queen when they have you dressed like THIS?
Thus began a string of terrific cult films in the 80’s, like 1983’s “Chained Heat” with Linda Blair – first, the trailer:
This is a classic “women in prison” film as Linda Blair ends up in a woman’s prison for accidentally killing someone, and runs into Sybil Danning, the leaders of the white prisoners….where do they meet? Well, it involves water:
This film is a great 80’s exploitation film: it has lots of action, violence, nudity, and of course, showers!
In fact, check out this poster art that focused just on that!
The film was a huge hit – this was exactly the type of film designed for grind house theaters in major cities – and drive-in across the country….
“Hercules” was next. Danning co-starred with Lou Ferrigno.
Check out the trailer:
The film was rated “PG”, so Danning was a bit more covered up for this one, and had more time to showcase her acting and action skills…
“They Are Playing With Fire” in 1984 once again showcased all of Danning’s natural assets…
More “R”-rated action was next with “Malibu Express” , followed by “Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf” and “Reform School Girls”!
This film was played for laughs, while not forgetting the violence and nudity required of the genre.
Check out the campy trailer:
Danning was also busy posing for lots of magazines, including Playboy…
In 1990, her acting career was disrupted when she suffered a spinal disc herniation while rehearsing a film stunt, and Danning’s carer as a leading action star was over.
Danning showed up in a faux trailer directed by Rob Zombie titled “Werewolf Women of the SS” for Quentin Tarantino’s “Grindhouse” film, and again in 2007 for Rob Zombie’s remake of “Halloween.”
Speaking of empowered women, how about Pam Grier?
She began her career in films that required her to shower – a lot:
Films like “The Big Doll House” and “Black Mama White Mama” led to her iconic roles in “Foxy Brown” and “Coffy” – see those trailers and lots of pictures by clicking on my story here:
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Leave a comment about your favorite “empowered woman” of cult cinema!