One thing I noticed I particularly liked in these things were the babes. Not only were they pleasant to look at, but their lack of acting skills was often highly amusing.
In fact, I started keeping a list of the ones I particularly liked, checking out their other movies, learning a little about them, even collecting their autographs. The next step – for someone as obsessive-compulsive as me, at least – was obviously this blog.
What Makes a B Movie Babe?
This may go without saying, but the first thing is to have to been in some B movies. So, forget the Shakespeare and the Tennessee Williams. What you need here are aliens, and vampires, and escapees from the local insane asylum.
Second, you do have to be a babe. I mean, you’re basically here as eye candy for hormonal male teenagers, right? (Sorry, Dolores Fuller.)
As a direct corollary to that, it’s also essential that you possess very limited acting skills. Hey, why distract or confuse your audience with stuff like that? Extra points, though, if you think you’re the next Meryl Streep.
Along those same lines, it also really helps if there is a wide, yawning gap between your extremely plebian origins and the glamorous image the studio has created for you. Who knew Dominique Vouvray was really Betty Jo Blatsky from Passaic? You know, “Miss Classy Chassis of 1956”? The one who got all nekkid in Randy Gentleman magazine?
There are also other certain off-screen requirements to follow as well. For example, what could possibly say “B movie babe” better than multiple marriages of very brief duration, catfights with co-stars, late-night arrests, overdoses, and various other evidence of borderline personality disorder?
One thing you’ll notice here is the time period I’ve emphasized. Basically, I’ve tried to hit what I see as the heyday of the B movie. And that’s why this blog is heavy on the ‘50s and ‘60s, with a fair amount of ‘70s and some ‘40s as well. Yeah, yeah, I know there are plenty of B movies in later years (and today), but they just don’t seem to have the same feel as those from that classic era.
Another thing you’ll notice is that this list doesn’t contain anyone even remotely famous. To me, obscurity just seems to go hand-in-hand with B movies. So, even though they were in some stinkers (and had rather florid bios to match) actresses like Joan Collins, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Veronica Lake, Jayne Mansfield, and Elke Sommer were simply too popular and well-known to make the cut.
Same goes for stars who became too intimately associated with one particular TV role. Believe me, I would love to have included Tina Louise, Yvonne DeCarlo, Barbara Eden, Diana Rigg, Elizabeth Montgomery, and Carolyn Jones. Unfortunately, they’re just too strongly associated in our minds with Ginger, Lily, Jeannie, Emma Peel, Samantha and Morticia.
One final thing you’ll notice here is that this list is totally subjective. For example, you’ll notice Barbara Steel [spoiler alert] is not number one! Now, this may be complete sacrilege to some of you out there, but I guess there’s no accounting for taste. Don’t like it? Start your own blog!