Since this issue is about rock n’ roll women, it only seems fitting to highlight some of cinema’s baddest bitches. Although not all of these babes are necessarily the typical Nancy Spungen-style punk rockers, they embody a certain spirit of genuinely, wonderfully not giving a fuck and being themselves, despite everyone telling them to be someone else. They’re rebels and they don’t give a damn about their bad reputations. It’s also no coincidence that every film on this list has a super bitchin’ soundtrack. Because we all know rock n’ roll is a woman’s game, as proven here.
Diane Lane as Corinne in Ladies and Gentlemen, the fabulous Stains
One thousand percent because this:
Corinne: “You are so jealous of me. I’m everything you wanted to be.”
Billy: “A cunt?!?!?”
I give that exchange a zillion
P.J. Soles as Riff Randall in Rock N’ Roll High School
Her commitment to rock n’ roll and specifically The Ramones is goddamn beautiful. She’ll cancel a date with an oily beau hunk at the drop of a hat if she wins tickets to see her boys live in concert and she’ll burn her school to the goddamn ground if Miss Togar tries to get in the way of her rock n’ roll high school dreams. Now that’s a true fan! Plus, her fucking outfits.
Robin Johnson as Nicky and Trini Alvarado as Pamela in Times Square
A truly underrated gem of a motion picture. Nicky and Pamela meet in a mental hospital and quickly become partners in crime. Often literally. They find a squat, make a life together, and try to hold onto their friendship as parents and authorities try to tear them apart. Oh, and they form a band called the Sleez Sisters. And they totally fuckin’ rip.
Tina Turner as Aunty Entity in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
Because there is no more punk rock woman than Tina Turner. Take her bad self and make her the queen of the post-apocalyptic “Bartertown” where she makes Mel Gibson her lil bitch and you’ve got some serious shit. Fuck yeah, Tina.
Justine Bateman, Trini Alvarado, Britta Phillips, and Julia Roberts as members of the band Mystery in Satisfaction
Yet another Trini Alvarado joint (what a CAREER!). Mystery is a band who drive to the coast to get a gig as the house act at a popular bar owned by sexy-ass Liam Neeson. When their lead singer Jennie (Bateman) falls for his sexy ass, what does that mean for the band – who just got an offer to play in Europe? The best character in this film is absolutely Phillips’ Billy, a consummate stoner and the biggest badass in the band. Her cover of Mr. Big Stuff is so goddamn adorable I barfed glitter.
Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Stella Maeve, Scout Taylor-Compton, and Alia Shawkat as the Runaways in The Runaways.
Everyone knows the story of The Runaways, and if you don’t you better go back to rock n’ roll high school and graduate. These street-walking cheetahs with hearts full of napalm were the very beginning of the legend of Joan Jett (played by Stewart). It’s not the greatest movie, admittedly, but I’ll be goddamned if it’s not fun as hell. If nothing else, watch it for the music, which is obviously amazing cuz fuckin’ DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
Mira Barkhammar as Bobo, Mira Grosin as Klara, and Liv LeMoyne as Hedvig in We Are the Best!
This Swedish treasure is about two best pals who hate sports, look like boys, and love punk music. When they decide to start a band (despite having no skills or instruments) they team up with actual musician Hedvig and show her how much fun it is to be a punk rock girl. Their first song, “Hate the Sport”, will make you wanna start a punk band of your own. Or want to be 13 again- just for a second.
Pam Grier as Coffy in Coffy
Pam Grier in fucking anything ever. Even when she was the (mostly) straight one in “The L-Word” she was being so much punker than everyone else. In Coffy she’s a gun-toting lady on a path to avenge the perps who got her sister addicted to drugs. Look the fuck out. Pam for president of everything ever.
Helen Hunt as Lynne in Girls Just Want to Have Fun
This broad. She’s the “bad influence” on Sarah Jessica Parker’s Janey’s dance-loving military brat good girl. Although SJP crushes that dance competish it’s Lynne who is the true hero of this film. Her attitude and her outfits are pretty much the dictionary definition of “punk as fuck”.
Thora Birch as Enid Coleslaw in Ghost World
Even without her vintage 1970’s punk look Enid embodies the punk rock spirit with her rebellious nature and her bad attitude. She also had one of the best movie bedrooms of all-time and Bob Balaban was her dad. So fuck yeah.
Mary Stuart Masterson as Watts in Some Kind of Wonderful
What do you do when you’re a tough drummer babe and you fall for your best pal but he wants some basic bitch instead? You dress as a chauffeur and drive them around all night until that dum-dum realizes you’re the girl of his wet dreams and gives you diamond earrings. OBVIOUSLY! You knew you was getting’ them earrings, gurl. You look good as hell wearing Eric Stoltz’s motherfucking future.
Deborah Foreman as Julie in Valley Girl
It’s really hard to be a non-conformist in high school. Even if you have cool-as-shit hippie parents who only mildly give a fuck when you’re out all night. Julie is a totally bitchin’ Valley girl who meets Randy (Nicholas “NOT THE BEEEEEEEES” Cage!), a grody Hollywood dude and falls for his hot beach bod. But her friends don’t approve and her ex is a world-class douche. Julie is pretty much Pat Benetar and her friends want her to be “normal”. Will Julie do what her fucking friends want or will she follow her heart and be with Randy? She’ll do what’s punk as hell. Like, totally, for sure.
Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander in Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Also played by Rooney Mara in the David Fincher American version (also tough as hell) but Noomi’s version is so totally hard as fuck. She doesn’t just LOOK punk rock, she defines punk rock.