Lana’s Legacy: The Feminist Sexpert remembers Lana Clarkson

Lana Clarkson shone like a star in the heavens, her strength, talent, beauty and charm igniting and glorifying every role she played. An actress. A singer. A Stuntwoman. She did it all.

Sadly, when one looks up Lana’s name on the Internet, they see only the end of her story. She was murdered by a horrid individual who just happened to be famous. He is meaningless and unimportant. His name will not be mentioned anywhere in this column. But again, sadly, Lana’s mother recently told the LA Times that she fears her daughter’s memory will be forever linked to he who is unimportant and shall not be named. 

Well, Donna Clarkson, worry no more. We love Lana. And we got your back.

Aside from my writing about feminist erotica, I’ve also written extensively about softcore, B and indie movies, for sites that include the fantastic Fangirltastic, Planet Fury and Cinema de Bizarre. If I could cite a common link among actresses who appear in adult productions, and those who appear in “B” movies, it’s the lack of respect that they sometimes receive from the general public.

Yes, “B” movies are frequently R-rated and contain nudity and sexual situations. Yet as a good number of these films feature female lead characters, they also feature some of the strongest characterizations of women on a mission that one will ever see.

This is certainly the case with Barbarian Queen, in which Lana Clarkson shines in the title role as a warrior woman who took no crap or prisoners–protecting her people and liberating them from oppressive forces; and in the film’s sequel, Barbarian Queen II: The Empress Strikes Back. And in Deathstalker, she played another warrior woman who stands toe to toe with a male warrior.

Although some may consider these films to be exploitation flicks, the fact is that Barbarian Queen predated Xena, the wrestling Divas,Thelma and Louise, and the modern incarnation of Captain Marvel–indeed, Lana paved the way!

In addition, much has been made of the fact that she appeared in the classic teen sex comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High–less has been made of her appearances on truly classic films, ranging from Scarface to My Favorite Year. On TV, she appeared in The Love Boat, Three’s Company, Hotel and The Jeffersons. She showed off her comic chops in the classic cult comedy Amazon Women on the Moon, and her versatility as a stuntwoman in Retroactive and a vocalist as a soundtrack artist on the Knight Rider television series.

After her death, Lana Clarkson has been made a victim across mass media. For most of her life, Lana Clarkson’s talents were overshadowed by her status as a sex symbol–a status that, according to B movie expert Joe Bob Briggs, she often decried. But in life and death, she is a wonder, a marvel, a queen–and Donna Clarkson’s little girl.

As Joe Bob wrote in his UPI tribute to Lana Clarkson, “She’s a heroine, and not because she was the Barbarian Queen.”



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