Some of the most ruthless kills in action films come from actresses who stole action movies, as in the action movies wouldn't kick as much butt as they do without the following evil action heroine moments. Much like the most cold-blooded villain moments, the scenes in question here concern heroines who make no bones about dishing out pain.
Audiences are used to villains and their henchmen wielding ruthlessness like a weapon, but by the '80s, female action heroes started to get straight-up cruel. This doesn't mean that you can't be on their side. On the contrary, the ruthlessness shown by these female action heroes is often accompanied by an entire theater full of fist pumps. Audiences want their heroines to be cold-blooded.
Don't get it twisted, not all of these cold-blooded action heroine moments are created equally. Some of these ruthless moments are carried out as acts of revenge, others seemingly come out of nowhere, and a few are born from necessity. It's up to you to let us know which cold-blooded action heroine moments show that protagonists can be just as cruel as their enemies.
- Photo: Miramax Films
Beatrix Kiddo, AKA the Bride, dishes out brutality throughout the Kill Bill films, but there's really only one moment that could be included here. It's not when she lays waste to the Crazy 88. It's not when she takes out one of her old assassin partners in front of the woman's daughter. It's when she leaves one of her worst enemies bleeding out in a trailer with a poisonous snake.
Elle lost her right eye after the martial arts master Pei Mei ripped it out due to her insolence. Kiddo finishes the job after going head-to-head with Elle in their old partner Bud's trailer. The two turn the place into kindling, literally ripping out the walls to destroy one another. Rather than simply whomping Elle to death, Kiddo rips the woman's eye out and leaves her flailing on the ground near an extremely venomous black mamba.
- Photo: Focus Features
Hanna is full of cold-blooded moments that show just how ruthless a teenage girl can be, but the audience sees just how cold the film's hero can be early on in the film when Hanna lays waste to a group of operatives attempting to console her. After she's brought in by the CIA to be studied in an underground base, Hanna pulls the ol' cry card as soon as she comes face-to-face with a decoy version of Marissa Wiegler, the head of a military group that creates young super soldiers.
The decoy does her best to comfort the crying Hanna, and that's exactly when Hanna cuts the tears. She immediately snaps the decoy's neck without a thought before taking out the guards in the room and destroying all of the cameras recording her every movement. It's hard to undersell just how hard this scene rocks.
- Photo: Tri-Star Pictures
Don't mess with Sarah Connor. That's really the main takeaway from Terminator 2: Judgment Day (that and John Connor is kind of a little jerk), and throughout the film, Connor shows why she's more ruthless than either cyborg that's hunting down her son.
Aside from being extremely ripped, Connor has a mind like a steel trap, and she remembers every single person who wronged her during her stay in a psychiatric institution. Case in point: the orderly who is extremely creepy to Connor while she's locked in her room. This creep goes so far as to lick her face while she's restrained, which earns him a broken mop handle to his face and the back of his head.
Connor whomps this guy within an inch of his life before locking him in her old room and threatening to inject the lead doctor with Drano. The only thing that stops her from putting everyone in the facility on ice is the arrival of the T-800. It's a good thing he shows up because Connor was about to get even more brutal.
- Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
Furiosa is easily one of the most intense action heroes of the last 30 years - regardless of gender. She's so ruthless in Fury Road that she makes the titular Mad Max look like he's just along for the ride. Throughout the film, she pushes people around, outsmarts the genuinely unhinged and super creepy Immortan Joe, and tears through the desert with little regard to anything but the safety of the girls she's transporting, but the moment that proves she's the realest of the real comes at the end of the movie.
After discovering that there is no sacred "green place" as discussed in her clan's history, Furiosa returns with a vengeance to Immortan Joe's Citadel. In this climactic battle, Furiosa is thrashed so hard that her prosthetic arm is pulled off, but that doesn't stop her from making her way to the driver-side door of Joe's big rig, where she mutters, "Remember me?" before ripping his jaw clean off with the help of a chain and one of Joe's tires.