15 of the most interesting female monsters in fiction

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13. Hungry vampires

Monsters in a film don’t always have to feel bad about their state. Some monsters are unapologetic and instead choose to revel in their lives and bodies. Of course, this being the world of horror and monsters, this particular form of self-acceptance does not benefit all.

It’s a weird state of being for female monsters in particular. All will become very apparent, they are often vilified for being overly sexual, or else for using their sexual “wiles” in threatening ways.

That’s certainly the case with Santanico Pandemonium, the queen vampire played most memorably by Salma Hayek. She’s also portrayed by Ara Celi and Eiza Gonzalez in other films in the From Dusk Till Dawn series. But it’s Hayek who stands out the most, largely because of her highly sensual dance in the first film.

One of the most interesting things about female monsters is the way they often switch from sensuality to outright horror. As beautiful as Santanico Pandemonium may look in some scenes, she can also turn into a true beast. In the 1996 film From Dusk Till Dawn, she enraptures the central characters, then turns into a sharp-fanged, yellow-eyed lizard monster.

Santanico began life as a daughter of a vampire and a mysterious hangman in 19th century Mexico, so this monstrousness is in her heritage. And even though she is rudely dispatched by some bikers in her own establishment, at least she is not ashamed. Yes, we’re probably supposed to be repulsed by her methods and animalistic transformation, but you can’t really fault her for her confidence and business acumen. She manages to extract a 30% cover charge for her bar, which doesn’t stop the protagonists from entering the establishment. Now, if only she had been better at dodging chandeliers.