Today launches what I hope to be a fantastic week dedicated to the highly underrated but always appreciated, PJ Soles. We're going to start things off on Day of the Woman by showcasing the article that started it all, the very first Woman of the Week ever written on DotW.
This week, we are featuring P.J. Soles. While she has quite a resume ranging from television to the silver screen, she is being glorified for her two most recognizable roles in the horror genre. [Not to say Rock 'N' Roll High School wasn't awesome]. P.J. Soles got her BIG moment in horror as most memorable playing red hat wearing bitch Norma Watson in the adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie. Norma was a wonderful little toadie to the queen bee of bitchery Chris Hargensen. Norma is infamous for being the first person to laugh at the pig's blood covered Carrie White at the prom (all while still wearing that damn red hat). That first laugh is what sparked the haunting reprise of Margaret White pleading "They're All Going To Laugh AT You". P.J. really kept herself in character, as she received an actual injury on set. When Carrie starts to kill off all those who tormented and laughed at her, a firehouse begins spraying wickedly around the gym. Norma is infamously hit in the face with the hose and drops down on the floor (still wearing that damn hat). The scene we have all witnessed on film was P.J. Stoles actually having her eardrum burst by the water and passing out on the floor. Talk about commitment to a role!
On the night of October 31st, 1978, one Lynda Van Der Klock had planned to meet up with her friends [Annie Blackett and her boyfriend Paul] at the Wallace resident for some "fun". Little does Lynda know, Annie has been murdered by Michael Myers. Thus, sets us up for one of the most iconic scenes from Halloween ever.
Lynda has sex with her boyfriend Bob when he goes downstairs for a beer. While he is downstairs Michael pins him to the wall with a knife. He then disguises himself as Bob by wearing a white sheet over his head and Bob's glasses. Lynda of course believes it to be Bob and begins to flash him her breasts. Now, as a completely heterosexual female, P.J. Soles looks pretty decent naked, especially for the 70's. She gets up to call her buddy Laurie Strode to see if she knows where Annie and Paul are. The second that Laurie picks up, Michael Myers grabs the phone cord and strangles Lynda with it. Of course Laurie assumes its a prank call and just hangs up the phone. Lynda falls dead and Laurie finds them later on. Now for those who are thinking I'm a complete moron for describing one of the most infamous scenes that "everybody" knows about; there is a method to my madness. People don't realize how iconic P.J. Soles helped make that scene. Go check your local Hot Topic or Spencer's gift store to discover that you yourself can have your very own Michael Myers [wearing bed sheet and glasses] figurine. Now, this scene may not have been as wonderful without Soles. The role of Lynda was specifically written for Soles after John Carpenter had seen her in Carrie, and because of the way she said "totally". Without P.J. Soles, or the character of Lynda, this scene may never have even taken place.
A band originating from my hometown even has an album dedicated to her. Check out Local H's album "What Ever Happened to P.J. Soles?"
P.J. Soles will forever live in infamy as one of the most treasured women in horror. Everyone recognized her as dying in all of the horror films, but it is my goal to put a name to a face. Thank-you P.J. Soles for being wonderful, and making such classic films all the more memorable.