Friday, 13 July 2007

The Best of the Hunters

I wanted to touch briefly on the topic of the Vampire's other half, and what a better time then Friday the 13th!

It has been said that if you believe in vampires then you need to believe in Vampire Hunters. Some have been more popular then others, but this is my list of the vampire's mortal (or immortal) enemy.

  1. Van Helsing
  2. Buffy/Angel
  3. Mr. Peter Vincent Fearless Vampire Killer
  4. Blade
  5. Monster Squad
  6. Roman Polanski's Fearless Vampire Killers
  7. Lost Boys
  8. Jack Crow from Vampires
Taking a look at the idea of team work being used runs through most of the above character list. Usually, one hunter has the brains but a group is needed to hold down, encase, or distract the vampire in question.
The Lost Boys and Monster Squad were released around the same time, each taking the approach of a group of teens who stumble upon the bad guys and without help from parents or police (until it's too late) they carve stakes and smash garlic themselves to protect the town.
Roman Polanski took a very comical approach to the topic. Playing on Europe's folklore and downright silly means to trap the vampires. One thing it did do was bring up the idea that the cross isn't always useful. One of the vampires in this film was Jewish.
Fright Night 1 and 2 played on all hunters that had been created up to that point. It combined the names of Peter Cushing and Vincent Price to create the movie's main hero, Mr Peter Vincent the Fearless Vampire Killer. Also a take on Roman Polanski's film (not just the title, but the fact that Polanski played the starring role)
Blade turned everything sideways. Here the myth of the dhampir is used, making Blade a half human half vampire. He makes the best hunter because he knows their weaknesses and their strengths first hand. This theme is also touched on in the Buffy/Angel myth.
Buffy is a creature unto herself. Something born in response to vampires. Her sole purpose is to find them and kill them. Her male counterpart is a rare thing as well, a vampire with a soul. It's the old fear of becoming what you fear/hate.
Van Helsing. Old, young, British, or otherwise he is the icon of hunters. Always a strong mind, strong will and the books to back it up. No one seems to ever really question his belief or the tales of monsters or that it is for the good of mankind to destroy the vampires that the characters come across. Maybe not the most violent of the hunters, but the most ruthless.
Top Van Helsings
  1. Anthony Hopkins
  2. Peter Cushing
  3. Edward Van Sloan
  4. Hugh Jackman
In many stories the hunter is not prepared. A person who is thrown into the chaos and disbelief. But on the flipside, a very readily trained hunter such as James Wood's verison of Jack Crow from John Carpenters' Vampires is infact backed by the church. (Jon Bon Jovi played another one of the team in the second film) Christianity runs through most modern vampire mythology once again giving the idea that the vampire is an all destructive character soul less and demonic therefore needing to inlist a priest.

Happy Hunting

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