Rest in Power: Julie Strain (1961-2021); Five Great Movies from the Model and “Queen of the B Movies”

Sadly, yet another cult icon has left us. Julie Strain, on January 10th, the one and only Heavy Metal model died at the young age of 58 after complications from Dementia. Strain went in to star in a hundred movies, and was well known by pop culture fans. With her tall stature, and incredibly sexy good looks, not to mention her enthusiasm for pop culture, Strain was well known for her charisma, bright smile, and affable sense of humor.

Along with her highly publicized marriage to TMNT creator Kevin Eastman, she spent a lot of her career posing for amazing photo shoots with artists for magazines like Heavy Metal, and was a Penthouse Playmate of the Year in 1993. She also went on to star in myriad B movies where she showed off her curves and was able to have some fun working with people like Andy Sidaris, Jim Wynorski, and David DeCoteau, respectively. Strain developed Dementia in her early twenties after a terrible head injury rendered her incapable of remembering her childhood.

Strain will be sorely missed and remembered for her contributions to all kinds of media, her immense beauty, and her willingness to never take herself too seriously. 

Fit to Kill (1993)
One of the first films she ever collaborated on with director and schlock master Andy Sidaris, “Fit to Kill” is the same old Andy Sidaris we know and love. It’s a movie centered on tall, buxom, leggy women, there’s a plot involving espionage or a heist, a lot of big guns, and Roger Moore’s son R.J. Moore is even fetured. And of course, there’s Julie Strain. Strain is Blu Steele, an international assassin hell bent on stealing a priceless diamond all while battling a pair of agents played by Dona Speir and Roberta Vasquez, respectively. This is more Sidaris fun and is Strain’s introduction to feature films.

The Dallas Connection (1994)
The second outing with Sidaris’ (The second “L.E.T.H.A.L Ladies” series to not have been directed or written by Andy Sidaris, but by his son Christian Drew Sidaris) infamous movie series, Julie Strain became the unofficial mascot for Andy Sidaris’ series of movies, and even  features on the introductions of his movies on the newly restored Blu-Rays. A quasi-remake of “Fit to Kill,” this re-uses the cast from the 1993 movie and co-stars Strain as assassin Black Widow, who teams with other mercenaries to steal a top secret computer chip. 

Sorceress (1995)
In this underrated erotic thriller, Strain does battle with Linda Blair in a movie about scheming, insanely sexy witches and the lengths they’ll go through to one up each other. Co-starring Michael Parks, and Fred Olen Ray, director Jim Wynorski’s horror thriller is a very good witchcraft tale playing beautifully off of one another while also playing a pair of conniving femme fatales. Once OOP, it’s garnered a great Special Edition on Blu-Ray in the last few years.

Heavy Metal 2000 (2000)
Having almost nothing to do with the 1980’s predecessor, this rare animated movie stars Strain as her Heavy Metal persona Julie. Julie is a powerful warrior hellbent on revenge when a space miner named Tyler seizes an ancient entity that turns him in to a powerful overlord. With Tyler committing genocide on other planets, Julie hunts him down leaving a trail of bodies behind. This is Strain’s playground and it’s a fun, gory, and sleazy sci-fi film with a banging soundtrack. 

Battle Queen 2020 (2001)
Something of a spiritual sequel to “Heavy Metal 2000,” Strain plays a bordello owner who trains her girls to pleasure and keep local ruthless politicians known as “The Elite,” company. Meanwhile in the shadows she keeps tending to prisoners, all of whom are kept underground while their children are kidnapped and sold off. Strain is about as gorgeous and charismatic as ever, here, never shying away from walking around without a top, of course. Although it’s very low budget and low tech, “Battle Queen 2020” entertains with a schlocky post apocalypse tale.