We’ve all heard stories about high-maintenance, difficult “Bridezillas,” but even those demanding damsels having nothing on the wayward women who top our list of the best monster brides of horror!
Whether you’re gearing up for a wedding or just looking for a weekend marathon of monster movies, we’ve got you covered.
10. Mina Murray – Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Winona Rider is Mina Murray, an intelligent and virtuous schoolmistress who is engaged to barrister Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves, John Wick). She finds herself under the influence of the centuries-old vampire, Count Dracula (Gary Oldman, The Darkest Hour) after meeting him as the charming Prince Vlad in a London marketplace. Eventually, Mina is bitten by Dracula and accepts his blood, causing her to begin the transformation into his vampiric bride. As the company of vampire hunters seek Dracula in Romania, Mina begins to lose herself to her vampirism on the Borgo Pass and attempts an attack on Van Helsing (Anthony Hopkins, The Silence of the Lambs) at the urging of Dracula’s brides. While not the fiercest of the brides on the list, once Mina succumbs to the darkness of her prince, her intelligence and strength of will are turned against her allies, making their daunting task of destroying Dracula that much more challenging.
9. Shige – Kuroneko (1968)
Based on a supernatural folk tale, this Japanese horror film features a young bride, Shige (Kiwako Taichi), whose home is within a bamboo grove where she resides with her mother-in-law, Yone. While her husband, Hachi, is fighting in the North, Shige and Yone are assaulted and murdered by soldiers who burn down their home. After the house is reduced to smoldering remains, a black cat visits the corpses of the dead women and licks their faces. As a result of the violence, the women make a pact in the underworld to return as spirits to seek revenge on the samurai for the brutal things that were done to them. After their return, Shige’s vengeful spirit lures the soldiers back to an illusionary mansion, takes the form of a vicious cat, and attacks and kills the samurai. Filmed in black and white, the film is tragic and haunting leaving you torn about who you feel for the most.
8. Ligeia – Tomb of Ligeia (1964)
Black cats and bitter brides join forces again in the Edgar Allan Poe inspired film The Tomb of Ligeia. Vincent Price is widower Verden Fell, whose wife, Ligeia, is being laid to rest during the opening scene. Elizabeth Shepherd (Omen II: Damien) portrays the deceased bride whose spirit is too defiant to stay beyond the veil for long. Pulling double duty, Shepherd is also The Lady Rowena Trevanion, who becomes involved with Fell after a chance meeting. Ligeia returns to haunt the mansion she shared with her husband in life, appearing as a black cat who becomes more sinister as Fell gets closer to Trevanion. The couple are terrorized by Ligeia’s angry new feline form who wreaks havoc on the already ailing widower. While departing from Poe’s story Ligeia, the film relies on similar fears and themes to bring it’s bloodthirsty bride to (un)life.
7. Susan Murphy – Monsters Vs. Aliens (2009)
Susan Murphy, voiced by Reese Witherspoon, was just your typical happy bride-to-be preparing to walk down the aisle on her wedding day. That is, until a distant planet exploded, sending a meteorite plummeting to earth, landing directly on our blushing bride. Only instead of blushing with rosy red cheeks, Susan’s skin glows green, her hair turns white, and she grows to be 49 feet, 11 inches tall (a not-quite-fifty-foot-woman, you might say). After being tranquilized and taken away to a top secret government facility, she is renamed Ginormica and housed alongside other monsters. She is given the chance to help save mankind and win her freedom when aliens, looking for the source of the radiation that transformed Susan into Ginormica, attack the earth. This animated feature plays on mid-century sci-fi / monster movies, melding together characters inspired by The Blob, The Fly, and Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, with a focus on the larger-than-life bride to be.
6. Lydia Deetz – Beetlejuice (1988)
Entering the list for a second time, Winona Ryder plays Lydia Deetz, a grim, gothic teen who moves into a farmhouse in CT with her dad and step-mom, Charles (Jeffery Jones, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and Delia Deetz (Catherine O’Hara, Best in Show). Unbeknownst to the Deetz family, Adam (Alec Baldwin,The Departed) and Barbara Maitland (Geena Davis, A League of Their Own) are haunting their the home after a fatal accident. Hoping to drive out the new homeowners, Adam and Barbara summon Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton, Batman), a ghostly bio-exorcist, to do the job. However, they discover that Lydia can not only see the dead, but wishes she could also be amongst them. Once Betelgeuse realizes this wish, he makes a bargain with Lydia to be his bride in exchange for helping The Maitlands out of a sticky situation. While Lydia isn’t technically a monster, her bridegroom is certainly ghastly, and she herself is strange and unusual enough to be counted alongside our supernatural spouses.
5. Harriet Michaels – So I Married An Axe Murderer (1993)
After a string of break-ups due to his fear of commitment, San Fransisco poet Charle Mackenzie (Michael Myers, Wayne’s World), believes he’s finally found the woman of his dreams. Nancy Travis (Mr. Mercedes) is Harriet Michaels, a “hard-hearted harbinger of haggis,” or as normal, non-poets would say, a butcher. The only trouble is, Charlie starts worrying that Harriet may actually be a butcher of men, more specifically, her past bridegrooms. Could the quick-witted, fun-loving Harriet actually have a dark side and be the notorious Mrs. X? You’ll have to watch this dark comedy to find out for yourself, but either way, Harriet is a delightfully dangerous addition to our monster bride roll call.
4. Tiffany Valentine – Bride of Chucky (1998)
They say there’s a match for everyone, and that apparently includes demonic dolls! In the fourth installment of the Child’s Play franchise, Charles Lee Ray, aka Chucky, (Brad Dourif, Alien Resurrection) finds himself being resurrected by his former girlfriend, Tiffany Valentine (Jennifer Tilly, The Haunted Mansion). Tiffany, believing Ray was going to propose to her before his death, patiently pieces the remains of the Good Guy doll back together in hopes of bringing back her beau. However, Chucky has other plans for Tiffany, including a sacrifice, a ritual, and a doll dressed as a bride. But it’s only when Tiffany goes all hack and slash that Chucky is truly struck by Cupid’s arrow. The demented duo wreak havoc on just about anyone in their path while attempting to find vessels for their souls. With all her horrific hijinks, of course Tiffany had to make the cut!
3. The Re-Animated Bride – The Bride of Re-Animator (1989)
This gory, over-the-top sequel to (the equally over-the-top) Re-Animator goes beyond giving life to the dead. Taking a cue from the Frankenstein franchise, Dr. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs, The Frighteners), convinces his lab partner, Dr. Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott) to assist him in cobbling together a woman from various body parts. While the head of the bride-to-be is from one of Dr. Cain’s late patients, Gloria (Kathleen Kinmont, Halloween 4), the heart of their latest creation is from Cain’s deceased fiancée, Megan (Mary Sheldon). Will their glowing, green reagent be enough to animate this amalgamation of Megan and Gloria or will the entire scheme fall to pieces?
2. Emily – The Corpse Bride (2005)
Inspired by Jewish folklore, Tim Burton brings us one of our most haunting brides with Emily (Helena Bonham Carter, Fight Club) in The Corpse Bride. Her story is tragic, full of deceit and pain, but then she meets Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp, Sleepy Hollow), who changes her un-life. As Victor is practicing his wedding vows in the woods, he places a ring on a tree branch, which turns out to be the bony finger of our jubiliciously lovely Corpse Bride. Thinking the pledge he was practicing was meant for her, Emily is ecstatic that she has found a sincere man who loves her… only, Victor is already engaged to another woman. This touching tale has fantastic animation and catchy musical numbers, but most importantly, it features a blushing, blue-faced bride who is the true heroine of the film.
1. The Bride – The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
The grand dame of all monster brides should come as no surprise to anyone, horror movie mavens and newbies alike. She stands tall among the Universal Classic Monsters, screaming and hissing her way to the top of our list. She is The Bride of Frankenstein. This follow-up to 1931’s Frankenstein is widely considered to be one of the rare examples of a sequel actually outshining the original film. Elsa Lanchester (Mary Poppins) not only portrays our streaky-haired siren, she also plays Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley who tells the story at the start of the film. Although The Bride herself only appears on screen for a total of four and a half minutes, (from the time they’re unwrapping her bandages until the final scene), she has an incredibly commanding presence, a striking appearance, and a strong will right from the start. Lanchester’s Bride has left an indelible mark in horror movies and pop culture, inspiring other filmmakers and movies (including several on our list) making her the highest ranking monster bride on our list.
Where do your favorite monster brides fall on our list, fiends? Let us know who you would add to the list of matrimonial madness by heading over to Twitter, Reddit, or in the Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook!