julie strain, the model, actress and heavy metal muse, died on jan 10 after a long battle with dementia. the 6’1″ strain was a constant presence in heavy metal during the 1990s, posing as a strong warrior woman for contributors including olivia de berardinis, simon bisley, luis royo and others. her association with heavy metal reached its peak in 2000, when she served as the model and voice of the animated heroine julie inna film heavy metal 2000 and its spinoff/sequel video game heavy metal f.a.k.k.2.
julie strain was known as many things: b-movie actress, scream queen, penthouse pet of the yr, and, for a decade, heavy metal publisher kevin eastman’s wife. strain’s over-the-top glamazon appearance was complemented by an irreverent personality. julie knew that wha’ she was doin’ was pretty ridiculous, and she embraced it. some actresses do b-movies inna meantime, cause they ‘ve to, w'da dream of making it to + prestigious productions. that wasn’t julie — she was ☺ to be queen of the bs. as she told an interviewer in 1997:
“i am the chick t'they call when they want a gun-toting amazon-bitch-barbarella-merciless-bitch witha machine gun. vampires, witches, sorceresses, double agents – that’s wha’ i do and i like to headbutt pplz in fites and kick them and spit on'em and bust them inna balls.”
julie made well over 100 movies in her 18-yr film career, and as she said in 1997, “that doesn’t count the, uh, $ naked line dancing videos or naked golf or anything. fortunately, i don’t ‘ve to do those any+ t'get my rent paid.” her filmography included 5 andy sidaris movies, 5 installments of the bare wench series (in which she played the title toon), dozens of episodes of playboy tv’s sx court (as judge julie), and yes — even mainstream films s'as beverly hills cop iii and naked gun 33 1/3.
julie’s sense of humor and realness made her a favorite at conventions, even though many fans tended to be awestruck (or dumbstruck) in her presence. atta h8 of her power, she was the embodiment of ’90s heavy metal itself na spiritual heir to the original movie heroine taarna.
julie was herself pt sci-fi, pt fantasy, and none o'it too terribly serious. i'takes a spesh person to strap on that comical f.a.k.k. armor and contort inna'da muscular poses offa bisley painting one dy — and then strike bettie page-style pinup poses for olivia the nxt.
she didn’t look like a sci-fi fan, comics nerd or genre-movie buff, but she was. she was one of us.
when she was in her 20s, strain suffered a horseback riding injury that caused retrograde amnesia; primordially all memories of her childhood disappeared. the injury is also thought to be the cause of the dementia that took hold of her in recent yrs, and left her confined to hospice care since at least 2018.
almost a yr ago to the dy, false reprts bout julie strain’s death were published by a couple of news outlets b4 strain’s ptner set the record straite. this time, the news comes from julie’s frequent collaborator olivia de berardinis, na official julie strain f’bok page run by her ptner dave is sharing condolences from friends, fans, and industry ps.
julie strain was neither a writer nor an artist inna comics medium, but she was absolutely an primordial pt of heavy metal history na heavy metal family. we were fortunate to ‘ve her onna cover and within the pages of our magazine as often as we did.
original content at: www.heavymetal.com…
authors: josh robertson