One of my favorite vampire hunter novels (there aren’t enough of them) is John Steakley’s Vampire$. That the title cleverly replaces the “s” with a dollar sign immediately earns it an extra bit of style cred. The book features a team of hunters led by vampire hunting bad boy Jack Crow. His team makes its money (lots of money) from towns plagued with vampires. However, the team is also secretly funded by the Catholic Church. The “secretly” part would be because there’s no way the Catholic Church will openly acknowledge vampires exist.
The book itself is a blast. These vampires don’t go down easily. The hunters still use wooden stakes to kill the vampires, but these stakes are more like fence-post-sized spears. As a result of the vampires being so super-powered deadly, the average lifespan for a vampire hunter makes a strong argument against wasting money on a retirement plan. If there was any doubt as to how hard core these vampire hunters were, every member even has his/her own personalized stake prepared for their eventual death. They work hard and party even harder. Jack Crow has managed to last longer than any other member of the team. I remember reading this book when I was a teenager and thinking how awesome Crow was.
In 1998, horror director John Carpenter adapted this gem to film. The first warning sign this wasn’t going to be a great adaptation was the title. Gone was the dollar sign and the movie was simply called Vampires. Then Carpenter cast James Woods, who was in his fifties at the time, as Jack Crow. While Woods gives a fun performance, the Jack Crow written for the film didn’t resemble the Jack Crow from the book. Very little of the book translated. Even one of the coolest characters of the book was hacked out of it.
Personally, I’m still holding out hope that we’ll one day see Jack Crow in a film with a slightly more faithful adaptation. If we can reboot Spider-Man twice in less than a decade, surely Vampire$ can get at least one reboot within two decades.