Last weekend we were introduced to a hidden era of one of the nation’s finest president when we learned Abraham Lincoln was in fact a vampire hunter in his prime. The film from Timur Bekmambetov has made waves with horror fans and enthusiasts alike and we look forward to seeing where his exploits bring him with his mighty axe in tow. In celebration of the film, we mulled over our ten favorite bad ass monster hunters from pop culture and celebrated the good guys who look out for the little guy against the big bads looming in the darkness.
Billy & Mandy
Often crooked, corrupt, and occasionally cowardly, Hoss Delgado is one of the finest characters of Billy & Mandy, every now and then appearing to hunt down a wicked monster or zombie and offering movie geeks a glimpse at a fine satire of Snake Plissken and Ash Williams.
With his multi-purpose artificial hand, he strikes down monsters with machine guns, grenade launchers, light sabers, and anything else that’s hidden in the crevice of his stump. Where is it all hidden? Where does he get it? Who knows? Hoss is one of the funnier characters of the series and offers some unique adventures for our title characters Billy and Mandy on more than one occasion.
When “Stakeland” came to theaters in 2011, it presented us with a world overrun by vampires. And not sparkly emotional vampires too conflicted to confess their love to some pale schoolgirl. These were foaming a the mouth, rabid, monstrous vampires who took over the world. When Martin witnesses his mother and father slaughtered at the hands and teeth of the vampire hordes, he escapes with his life and is taken in by the vampire hunter Mister.
Becoming his protégé, Mister is a scruffy, grumpy, and silent killer who teaches Martin how to survive in a world where the night is ruled by the vampire menaces and he proves his worth against their evil until the very end. When he’s caught by a local religious cult and thrown in to a group of vampires with no weapons, he manages to fight them all single handedly and make it back to his camp to tell the tale. Mister is a worthy adversary until the very end.
Sam and Dean Winchester come from a long line of monster hunters and killers who have spent and devoted their entire lives to killing and destroying evil. From their grandfather to their mother, from their mother to their father, and from their father came Dean and Sam. The legend of the Winchester clan can go back as far as the pilgrims for all we know. Sam and Dean are unfortunately two men confined to killing and hunting all forms of evil in their lives and no matter how much they seek out normality, they may never be able to claim it and accomplish it.
Dean has survived the hell dimension and death, while Sam was able to conquer purgatory and Satan himself. They’ve met Death, demons, the dogs of hell, fairies, Santa Claus’ evil twin, witches, werewolves, vampires, and even rival hunters, and they come out of it all the time looking pretty. Sam and Dean are opposites who have remarkable chemistry that allows them as brothers to conquer all forms of evil and destruction and tackle it with humor, skill, and finesse. The exploits of Sam and Dean Winchester are what make “Supernatural” so damn entertaining and they’re our favorite new age monster hunters on television.
The Monster Squad
The Monster Squad
What I love about “The Monster Squad” is that the kids in the monster squad are surprisingly fearless when confronting pure evil that begins to wreak havoc in their small town. Every single kid in the Monster Squad tackle the monsters brought back by Dracula with pure courage and heart and risk their lives for the better of mankind. Leader Sean tangles with Dracula more than once and gets a hit in on Wolfman, Horace battles Gillman and kicks Wolfman in the nards, and Rudy battles the brides of Dracula, figures out how to stop the mummy, and offs the Wolfman after the Wolfman destroys a whole unit of police officers. Let’s not forget Sean’s sister Phoebe tames and befriends Frankenstein. That’s hardcore. When the world is overrun by Dracula and his minions, these kids are going to be on the forefront of the battlefield ready to bring him to the pits of hell where he belongs. M-M-Monster Squad!
Vampire Hunter D
My first time watching “Vampire Hunter D,” the US cable station Cartoon Network was running a summer marathon of classic Anime films. Of course, they were heavily edited versions of adult anime films, but who cares? I sat and watched and fell in love with “Vampire Hunter D.” It’s one of the few anime films not from Studio Ghibli that I can actually stomach and watch at least a hundred times. I also really love the sequel. D is one of the most enigmatic vampire hunters in pop culture.
He’s a dhampir who is doomed to live out life as a mortal and a vampire, both of which are eternal curses on him. When we first meet him he storms in to the picture like a force of nature and manages to evade all sorts of evil around him slaying monsters and beasts alike and is capable of reviving himself from death by eating anything around him with his hand which dons a disfigured face that acts as his conscience and rival at the same time. Sadly it’s his only friend. D is a full force of good who I geek out on every time I watch both films he stars in. Sadly, I’ve yet to read the novels and manga.
One of the most iconic and early vampire hunters of pop culture and horror, Van Helsing is a very skilled and intelligent hunter of evil who manages to use his wits and know how to outdo Dracula and his vampire brides at every turn. In every incarnation of Dracula, Van Helsing is his eternal adversary who devotes his life to thwarting the evil of Dracula. Van Helsing is a compelling and often richly developed individual whose own drive to bring down Dracula and his vampire horde can sometimes destroy his own sense of self-preservation. Brought to life by countless talented actors, Van Helsing is one of the few vampire hunters who gets the job down with his brain instead of his muscles, and he’s a hunt we’d trust with our lives.
Truth, Wesley Snipes is one of the more memorable faces of Blade the Vampire Hunter, but if rumors are any indication, we wouldn’t mind Idris Elba taking on the mantle of Blade. Blade is a much more powerful and influential character than to be bound to one actor. Blade is one of the few memorable minority characters ever produced by Marvel Comics and is a truly hardcore no nonsense vampire hunter whose own drive to avenge his mother fuels his lust to destroy night walkers of all kinds and forms.
Blade is a shockingly easy character to adapt and the film trilogy proved it with three very entertaining movies that played the premise of Blade to its own functions. Blade has the glasses, the looks, the one-liners and the arsenal, and he’s a bad ass motherfucker who will take a vampire down without hesitation. We hope to see more of him in theaters very soon. He’s too cool to fade in to obscurity.
Sadly our education on Hellboy is very reliant on the fantastic films from Guillermo Del Toro and the spin off animated films. Thankfully they win us over and bring us to the side of Hellboy, a tough talking no nonsense monster killer whose entire life is devoted to contradicting his original intent to take over the world as the second coming of Satan. Gladly he’s won over by good and becomes a truly formidable foe against all forms of evil and carnage with his gigantic fist, his big gun, and his ability to take a licking and keep on ticking.
We’re more than glad he was brought to the big screen by a director who could respect the original premise from Mike Mignola and we hope to see Ron Perlman re-claim this role once again before it’s too late. With Hellboy on the side of BPRD in the fight against all forms of evil and darkness, there’s nothing that can stop the force of good Hellboy brings to the battlefield, and we love the red bastard and his cat loving, cartoon fanatic personality no matter how flawed an individual he is.
Cassie Hack and Vlad
We’ve expressed out love for Tim Seely’s “Hack/Slash” a bunch of times on this site. We’ve reviewed the comics with great enthusiasm, we interviewed creator Tim Seely, and we’ve featured star Cassie Hack in a few of our lists. The tale of Cassie Hack and Vlad is a powerful one and it makes for one of the best partnerships in comic book history. Cassie Hack hunts slashers and in the middle of hunting one she comes across Vlad who is living in a basement and hiding from the world.
She mistakes him for a slasher and after a tussle, the two come to an understanding and eventually form a friendship. With Vlad’s power and skill and Cassie’s abilities, the two are a perfect killing machine who battle slashers at every turn and barely make it out to tell the tale every single time. Vlad is a maniacal juggernaut with the heart and soul of a child, while Cassie’s a very confused young woman whose own battles to define her sexuality and place in the world put her at odds with her journey to strike down slashers. But when it’s time to get down to business, there’s no stopping these two. And we love them for that.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Occasionally self-righteous and sometimes sanctimonious, Buffy Summers is one of the few forces of good that can stand up to any form of evil and respond with a quick witted one liner prepared to kick some ass. Buffy has stopped the apocalypse on more than one occasion and has to face a life of solitude and isolation thanks to the gifts she was endowed with at puberty. And she can do nothing but keep saving the world time and time again meeting every form of evil that rears its ugly head.
Because if she doesn’t no one else will and then the world as we know it is screwed.
Buffy Summers is the quintessential Joss Whedon character and she’s perhaps his most iconic to date. Buffy is a complex and richly developed heroine who would love nothing more than to give up the life of the slayer and experience one day of absolute monotony, but every time she thinks she’s out, they keep pulling her back in. Buffy is the slayer and she has to be it until the day she finally croaks. And that’s the cross she must bear.