Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter comes out today, and gets to the much-needed business of describing our fifteenth president’s life before he lived in the White House. Of course he wandered the American frontier, killing vampires and making silver edged axes that double as shotguns. Of course. Vampire hunting/slaying has a proud literary tradition that dates all the way back to Van Helsing, the hunter of Dracula. Since then, slayers have come in all shapes, sizes, and political affiliations. Here are our favorites.
Blade’s appearances in comics such as the Avengers, X-Men, and Spider-Man usually signal an unwanted detour of an arc into vampire mythology. It usually ends up with an infected superhero, and Wolverine or Morbius have to donate their blood to fix it. Boring. However, the Blade movies (at least the first two) are classics of the vampire genre. Wesley Snipes’ Blade is a Daywalker; half human and half vampire. He spends his free time roaming around New York, cutting off vampire heads with swords and boomerangs, and shooting silver stakes through hearts, usually with a cool one-liner afterward. He also ends the occasional world domination plot or two.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV Version)
Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy was falling in love with brooding vampires before Stephanie Meyer even dreamed of Twilight. She died at least twice on duty, but it never really took. Buffy and her gang of Scoobies patrolled the mean streets of Sunnydale, and saved the world repeatedly from all manner of vamps, gods, monsters, and witches. Over the course of the series, Buffy racked up a vamp body count (or is it pile of dust count?) that numbers in the hundreds, and maybe even thousands. And she looked good while doing it.
This is for all the Whovians. In Fright Night, David Tennant plays Peter Vincent, a Las Vegas magician in the Criss Angel vein who’s heavily into vampire mythology. He’s a total phony. Once necks start getting bitten, Vincent is forced into action reluctantly. He spends most of the movie staggering drunk, but it’s the Doctor, for Dracula’s sake!
Edgar Frog, Alan Frog, and Sam Emerson
There’s a reason why your parents tell you never to go to beachfront concerts featuring super-ripped saxophone players. You’ll wake up the next morning as a vampire. When Sam’s brother is turned into a vampire in The Lost Boys, it’s up to him and his friends to take them all out. Improvised stakes, holy water in squirt guns, antler horns, and jeeps all figure heavily. No other hunters have used so much ingenuity to kill vampires.
You may recognize that last name. Miroslav shares a last name with former Serbian dictator and genocide perpetrator Slobodan Milosovic. Coincidentally, that’s exactly who he targeted. After the war criminal died while on trial in 2006, he was buried in the small town of Pozarevac, Serbia. A year later, Miroslav Milosevic and crew took to the cemetery and dug up Slobodan. Then they pounded a three-foot stake through his heart. Miroslav explained that he “acted to stop the former dictator returning from the dead to haunt the country.” Many may call what he did ridiculous. To them, he can only say, “You don’t see a vampire Slobodan Milosevic walking around, do you?”
Did we miss any?