Where in the Horror are they Now? Linda Hamilton!

Last Updated on August 5, 2021


THEN: I just finished watching the trailer for the upcoming TERMINATOR: GENISYS. While I’ll resist my temptation to judge too quickly, I will say one thing for sure… Emilia Clarke is no Linda Hamilton! And here we are with another edition of Where in the Horror, and what a perfect time to talk about one of the most badass leading ladies of all time. Yet she wasn’t always the protective Sarah Connor who could kick your ass and not break a sweat. In fact, the talented actress has a very prolific and impressive career which began in the late Seventies. If you are lucky enough, you might have caught her in TAG: THE ASSASSINATION GAME (1982) which happened to be directed by the one and only Nick Castle. It’s a fun little Eighties gem that is worth hunting down.

While TAG may have had a little genre cred thanks to Castle directing, it wasn’t until 1984 when action and horror fans got a taste of what she can really do. To start things off, I have to give props to the Stephen King adaptation CHILDREN OF THE CORN directed by Fritz Kiersch. Sure it is not one of the better King novel to screen flicks, but the charisma and down-to-earth beauty of its leading lady really stood out. She was one cinematic scream queen with the ability to add a sense of honesty and heart to her terrorized character. However her next endeavor was the beginning of a modern day icon.

In THE TERMINATOR, the actress played the damsel in distress almost too well. I’ve heard some say that she is a bit weak in the role, but hell, if Arnold Schwarzenegger was hunting you down you may be a little bit of a wimp too. This classic James Cameron flick is the perfect blend of horror, science fiction and action, complete with a great leading lady, a menacing villain and a fantastically tension filled script. Cameron really knew what the hell he was doing here. It also helped that the lovely Ms. Hamilton shared a remarkable on-screen chemistry with Michael Biehn, which helped up the ante when things got really brutal.

After that one-two punch of genre goodness, the actress continued to work steadily. She appeared opposite Tommy Lee Jones in BLACK MOON RISING in 1986. That same year she starred opposite a big bad ape in KING KONG LIVES. Okay, it wasn’t necessarily a good movie, but she was worth watching. However, television audiences soon discovered her in a romantically compelling – if a little bizarre – relationship with Ron Perlman in the series “Beauty and the Beast.” While short-lived, the series gained a cult following and any show that stars Hamilton and Perlman has to be worth checking out.

While Sarah Connor survived in THE TERMINATOR, it wasn’t until TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY (1991) that she simply commanded the screen. In fact, this meaner and leaner take on the character was a landmark for women in film – especially action roles. Along with Sigourney Weaver as Ripley in the ALIEN franchise, Hamilton helped pave the way for a modern action star, one where gender didn’t matter. This is one fantastic performance that still holds up to this day. And while Lena Headey was pretty great in the role on the short-lived series “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” it is impossible to not think of Hamilton as a mother ready to do battle for her son, as well as the fate of the entire world.

Since then, Linda Hamilton has worked semi-consistently including such films as SILENT FALL (1994), DANTE’S PEAK (1997) as well as SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET (2001) with Treat Williams. Unfortunately for genre fans she mostly stayed away from horror and science fiction. Thankfully she still embraced the Sarah Connor character in video games and a theme park attraction at Universal Studios, but for this fan, it is a shame that we couldn’t have continued to see her grow in the role.

NOW: With a ton of TV-movies and appearances, as well as a few modestly budgeted feature films, it seems that Ms. Hamilton is once again gracing all sci-fi fans with her wonderful presence. She has continued to lend her voice to a number of animated series and most recently she appeared in a twelve episode arc of the long running, fan favorite series “Chuck.” As well she added a little spark to SyFy’s “Lost Girl” and “Defiance.” I’m only minimally familiar with each of the series in question because I have yet to watch a single episode of either of them. That may change however thanks to both bringing Linda Hamilton back to action oriented science fiction.

For fans of funny, the actress also appeared in the campy TV movie from The Asylum entitled “Bermuda Tentacles.” And from what I’ve heard, she couldn’t have been more pleasant and awesome on the set. According to her IMDB page, she is set to star opposite Katee Sackhoff, Gina Carano, Sharni Vinson and Pam Grier in what is currently billed as the “Untitled Adi Shanker Project.” However this project turns out, it is one that will be a must see in my book. Hopefully with “Lost Girl” and “Defiance” – and how awesome would it be to see her in an EXPENDABELLES flick – we will continue to see Linda Hamilton kicking ass and taking names. She will always be my one true Sarah Connor.

Source: Arrow in the Head

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JimmyO is one of JoBlo.com’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.