Fangs God It’s Friday: Jack Crow

Cover to John Steakley's Vampire$One of my favorite vampire hunter novels (there aren’t enough of them) is John Steakley’s Vampire$. That the title cleverly replaces the “s” with a dollar sign immediately earns it an extra bit of style cred. The book features a team of hunters led by vampire hunting bad boy Jack Crow. His team makes its money (lots of money) from towns plagued with vampires. However, the team is also secretly funded by the Catholic Church. The “secretly” part would be because there’s no way the Catholic Church will openly acknowledge vampires exist.

The book itself is a blast. These vampires don’t go down easily. The hunters still use wooden stakes to kill the vampires, but these stakes are more like fence-post-sized spears. As a result of the vampires being so super-powered deadly, the average lifespan for a vampire hunter makes a strong argument against wasting money on a retirement plan. If there was any doubt as to how hard core these vampire hunters were, every member even has his/her own personalized stake prepared for their eventual death. They work hard and party even harder. Jack Crow has managed to last longer than any other member of the team. I remember reading this book when I was a teenager and thinking how awesome Crow was.

James Woods as Jack Crow in John Carpenter's Vampires

In 1998, horror director John Carpenter adapted this gem to film. The first warning sign this wasn’t going to be a great adaptation was the title. Gone was the dollar sign and the movie was simply called Vampires. Then Carpenter cast James Woods, who was in his fifties at the time, as Jack Crow. While Woods gives a fun performance, the Jack Crow written for the film didn’t resemble the Jack Crow from the book. Very little of the book translated. Even one of the coolest characters of the book was hacked out of it.

Personally, I’m still holding out hope that we’ll one day see Jack Crow in a film with a slightly more faithful adaptation. If we can reboot Spider-Man twice in less than a decade, surely Vampire$ can get at least one reboot within two decades.

About Bill Blume

Bill Blume discovered his love for the written word while in high school and has been writing ever since. His latest book Gidion's Blood is being released on August 11th by Diversion Books. His short stories have been in many fantasy anthologies and various ezines. Just like the father figure in his first novel, Bill works as a 911 dispatcher for Henrico County Police and has done so for more than a decade. He also served as the 2013 chair for James River Writers in Richmond, which produces one of the nation’s best annual conferences for educating and connecting writers.
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2 Responses to Fangs God It’s Friday: Jack Crow

  1. Matt Kincade says:

    Hey, great minds think alike. I just reviewed this book on my blog. Cool to find another Steakley fan.

    Liked by 1 person

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