Wednesday, April 15, 2009

WOMEN OF THE WEEK: The Farrow Sisters

Today I bring you a two-for-one special of femme fatale awesomeness. I've been fielding requests for Woman of the Week, and I've gotten an alarming number of responses. And it never fails--every single list of recommendations includes at least one of the Farrow sisters. So I figured, why not kill two birds with one stone?

Everyone knows Mia Farrow, of course. But good friend B-Sol of
The Vault of Horror has been begging for a Tisa Farrow WotW since I started it. Both of these women have made incredible contributions to the horror genre (Not to mention their sister Prudence is the Prudence from the Beatles song...) So ladies and germs, I give you: THE FARROW SISTERS.

Perhaps the most attractive of the sisters, Tisa Farrow was born Theresa Magdalena Farrow. She made her film debut in the obscure hippie counterculture flick Homer (from which this behind-the-scenes set pic was taken).

Tisa was impressive as the timid Mouse in the made-for-TV flick The Initiation of Sarah, and solid as Carol in the fabulously gritty Fingers. But it was the starring roles in three entertainingly trashy Italian exploitation features--her final film roles--that would make her the darling of horror fans the world over.

Most well-known is her turn as Anne Bowles in Lucio Fulci's grisly classic
Zombi 2. She also is memorable as spunky photojournalist Jane Foster in Antonio Margheriti's L'ultimo cacciatore part in the infamous "video nasty," The Antropophagus Beast.

But her work in Zombi 2 is what caught the attention of the horror audience first and foremost. The film itself is monumental as well as classic, and her role rocked. As far as I'm concerned, Tisa will always be remembered for Anne Bowles, the girl who didn't get
a piece of wood shoved through her eye.

Mia Farrow was born Maria de Lourdes Villiers-Farrow. Her first leading film role was in Rosemary's Baby, which was a critical and commercial success at the time, and continues to be widely regarded as a classic of the horror genre--some would even consider it the first "modern" horror film.

Farrow's performance in Rosemary's Baby garnered numerous awards, including the Golden Globe for New Star Of The Year - Actress. Film critic and author Stephen Farber described her performance as having:

"[an] electrifying impact… one of the rare instances of actor and character achieving a miraculous, almost mythical match. If Ira Levin's story shrewdly taps into every pregnant woman's fears about the stranger growing inside her, Mia Farrow gives those fears an achingly real and human force."

Roger Ebert noted that:

"the brilliance of the film comes... from a series of genuinely inspired performances… The characters emerge as human beings actually doing these things. A great deal of the credit for this achievement must go to Mia Farrow, as Rosemary."

While the sisters may not have been regular faces in the horror industry, the impact they made is for more important than that of many others who made a longer career in horror out of basically playing the same character over and over again.

2 comment(s):

Soap Magic said...

Wow, I'm surprised that all of the recommendations had at least one of the Farrow sisters on it! I was going to put Tisa Farrow on my second list of recommendations, but I decided to put Catriona MacColl instead.

BJ-C, these WotW posts are wonderful. This is what makes this blog unique from all other horror-related blogs. Keep up the good work! :)

B-Sol said...

Catriona MacColl would definitely make a terrific future WotW--the heroine of Fulci's infamous trilogy of terror!

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