Since this is the month of Halloween and all manner of monsters, ghosts, and goblins are seen prowling about, I thought I would give my list of top ten monster hunters as portrayed on film/television. Whether they are after ghost, ghoul or nightmare fiend these are the men and women who form that line of knowledge and experience to beat back the darkness and make the world safer one stake/ silver bullet/ trap at a time.
10) Angel (David Boreanaz: Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel) – Given that Angelus is on the top 10 vampire list I composed it seemed only right that his do-gooder alter ego only make the list. Angel does have an impressive track record, not only assisting Buffy and the Scooby Gang from stopping several different apocalypses but then going to LA and waging war against the evil Wolfram & Hart and its senior partners. He isn’t always nice and sometimes he can be a little brooding and maybe annoying about the whole prophecy thing but Angel always fought no matter the consequence.
9) Abraham Van Helsing (Anthony Hopkins: Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula) – Apart from casting Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker, this film is great. It is fairly close to the book in many parts, but what I enjoy the most is watching Anthony Hopkins play up the eccentric Dutch doctor that we always associate as the nemesis of Dracula. Hopkinsacted as if he was on a mission from God to seek out and destroy Dracula. Eventually he led the men to a fateful meeting with the count in the very courtyard of his castle. Best line ever though is: “She will become the bitch of the devil. Ha Ha.”
8) Ghostbusters (Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters 2) – No monster hunting list would not be complete without the 80’s eminent ghost catching organization. Even though they are classified as a comedy there is something great about the Ghostbusters. They did save the world twice. Not only did they man up and do what needed to be done, they did it while bringing us a smile. Plus I’m a massive Bill Murray fan and this is one of the few times he can make it onto one of these lists.
7) Blade (Wesley Snipes: Blade Trilogy) – For those of you not in the know, Blade has all the strengths of a vampire but none of the weaknesses, but he also has the thirst. So with the help of a few humans, he wages a secret war beneath the surface of our world against vampires. Wesley Snipes really did an awesome job as Blade with his vast martial arts knowledge and then excellent fight choreography. Blade is essentially fighting his own inner demons by fighting the vampires. He hates part of himself but at the same time he refused to find a cure for himself so that he could continue fighting the vampire scourge.
6) Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin: The Night Stalker film and tv series) – The intrepid reporter Carl Kolchak was unfortunately destined to last only one season on television after having two successful made for TV movies. In his time, he dealt with all manner of monster from witches, vampires, zombies, werewolves, ghosts, and other creatures of myth and legend. He was without a doubt one of the best examples of an occult detective in the 70’s. He always found the truth behind the wild and absurd stories that he was assigned and always managed to defeat the creatures. Despite his editor refusing to publish his stories, Kolchak never stopped telling the truth or destroying monsters.
5) Charlie Brewster & Peter Vincent (William Ragsdale and Roddy McDowell: Fright Night (1985)) – Charlie finds out his neighbor is a vampire and goes to local tv host of Fright Night the great vampire killer Peter Vincent. Unfortunately for Charlie, Peter is just an old actor known for playing a specific type of character. Once the realization that vampires exist, crashes onto Peter’s world, he goes and hides in his apartment fearful. Charlie is able to draw out the actor in order to save Amy. I admit I did not get a chance to see the remake and am interested in seeing the new Charlie/Peter duo, but the original was a good team in my opinion and showed Jerry Dandridge to his eternal resting place in a grand style.
4) Buffy & the Scooby Gang (Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series) – Buffy was a fun tv series and mainly because of the title vampire slayer and her close knit friends who helped her on her adventures. While the first season dealt primarily with vampires, the later episodes dealt with a plethora of other monsters, from demigods, to werewolves, to demons, and other evil beasts. It was Buffy’s fight to remain a teenage girl and balancing both her responsibilities at home, school, and as the slayer that led to a depth of character you could appreciate. With her band of friends, she stopped the world from ending seven times, destroyed the Hellmouth and died twice only to keep coming back for more. Buffy is by far one of my favorite heroines (and I am aware thatWillowhas quite her own fan base, still I’m a Buffy guy).
3) Mulder and Scully (The X-Files) – Do I really need to go into why David Duchovny and Gillian Andersen are on this list. They went up against almost anything that you can think of week after week, never giving up that the truth was out there. If you’ve never seen the X-Files then check it out I assure you it is well worth it.
2) Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell: Evil Dead Trilogy) – Anyone who knew me knew that Bruce Campbell was going to make this list. I mean not only did Ash cut off his own hand with a chainsaw because it had been possessed by a Candarian demon (much different than a Canadian demon) he also hacked his friends to pieces when they became possessed in an attempt to free their soul. Then through a cruel twist of fate was sucked back to the 14th century to fight an army of the dead (commonly known as deadites) so that he could use the Necronomicon Ex Mortis to open a time portal and make his way back home. So chainsaw handed, shotgun-wielding S-Mart clerk, Ash Williams battles monsters across at least six centuries, thus he rates in at number 2, groovy.
1) Abraham Van Helsing (Peter Cushing: Hammer Dracula series) – I realize that I have been making a lot of mentions of the Hammer films lately and it is mainly because I have been rewatching them. Peter Cushing’s performance really is fantastic. He is not a large man in fact he is rather small in size compared to the villains that he is facing. However Cushing’s Van Helsing is played with a level of intelligence that most are not. He is not above jumping into danger but it is his knowledge of his quarry that makes him most formidable. One of the greatest scenes of his devotion to his ongoing battle against vampirism is seen in the Brides of Dracula. He has been bitten by the vampire and rather than succumb to the disease he burns the wound and douses it with Holy Water to purge the infection from him. It goes a long way to show his dedication to the good fight. Plus Peter Cushing is just another example of excellent English acting.
Believe me when I say that there were many people for me to consider putting on the list. Edward Van Sloan as the original Van Helsing in the 1931 Dracula, Gabriel Van Helsing played by Hugh Jackman in Van Helsing, the Frog Brothers from the Lost Boys films, and believe me when I say there are a myriad of others that have taken on the forces of darkness in television and film and done admirably but unfortunately this is a top 10 list and I have numbered them as I saw fit. So sound off and let me know what you think should have been put on the list instead.