We had talked about doing something as a group, and Cliff came up with a doozy. The Many Faces of Van Helsing is an anthology of vampire stories focusing not on Dracula but on the man that hunts him, Abraham Van Helsing.
Coincidentally, the anthology is slated to be published in May 2004, when Van Helsing, a movie featuring Hugh Jackman in the leading roll. The movie sounds like a remake of the 1987 classic, The Monster Squad, featuring Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein’s monster. I’m going to make a leap and guess that the new film will be a bit more serious than the one of my youth. In any case, the timing of the anthologies release is fortuitious. There will no doubt be a marketing blitz promoting the new movie, which can only help the book. This may also have the effect of stiffening the competition as well.
A few of us from group have decided to submit something to the anthology, myself included. I first read Dracula while I was in High School and it was a memorable experience. Late one night I sat near an open window, reading by candlelight. While deeply entranced by the story, and uncommon (but not unusual) event occurred. A bat flew in my window and I shrieked like a banshee. We had bats flying into open windows every summer we lived in that old house. It shouldn’t have scared the wits out of me but it did. That was the power the Dracula story had on me.
Some people rooted for Dracula, but I was always more interested in the vampire hunters, Van Helsing and his ilk. Movies like The Lost Boys and John Carpenter’s Vampires, and the ever-popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer. When I read the theme of the anthology I was hooked. I knew, even if no one else in the group was interested, that I would have to write a story and submit it. Vampires beware. Van Helsing hunts you.