Chan Wook Park’s THIRST opens this Friday, and if you haven’t seen the trailer or read up in the genre flick, it’s about a priest who gets turned into a blood-sucking vampire. Pretty saucy sh*t for a man of the cloth. The film ended up winning the Grand Jury prize at Cannes, but it’s not the first time we’ve seen Priests and Preachers go all badass on film and it’s almost as sure as the Pope is Catholic that it won’t be the last. Clint Eastwood’s aptly named "Preacher" from PALE RIDER is potentially one of the most iconic badasses ever committed to celluloid period, let alone a clergyman. (He’s so classically badass, he’s too good for this list). But you need a chapel to house all the other unorthodox preachers who’ve graced the silver screen.
So pray for forgiveness, sinners – or anyone who gets in these guys’ way, really. Here come ten of cinema’s mos kick-ass holy men looking to raise holy hell!
FROM DUSK TILL DAWN (1996)
A pastor experiencing a crisis of faith, Jacob is kidnapped, along with his family, by the Geck brothers (George Clooney & Quentin Tarantino), two criminals on the run from the law. The Geckos force Jacob to drive them into Mexico, where they stop off at "The Titty Twister," a strip club whose employees turn out to be – you guessed it – vampires. What’s a man of waning faith to do? Kill the vampires with a shotgun and baseball bat forged into the shape of a crucifix, of course.
BORDELLO OF BLOOD (1996)
THE PRINCESS BRIDE’s own Prince Humperdinck, Chris Sarandon plays a corrupt evangelist whose organization is on the take from a brothel run out of a funeral home. Oh, and the hookers are bloodsuckers. When a private investigator named Rafe (Dennis Miller) uncovers the brothel and its supernatural inhabitants, the Reverend switches teams, repenting for his sins and teaming up with Rafe to Super-soak the sh*t out of the vampire hookers with holy water.
It’s been announced that Robert Rodriguez‘s next project will be the feature-length version on MACHETE, a fake trailer in the middle of his and QT’s GRINDHOUSE double feature. The bad news? We have to wait until next year to see it. The good news? We’ll likely get a whole helluvalot more Fr. Benicio spewing awesome one-liners like in the clip below.
In this overlooked Troma flick, rocker Mojo Nixon plays a gun-totin’, Bible-thumpin’ holy man name "Preacher Man Bob," who must right the universal karma accidently set wrong when a member of his congregation inadvertently kills his obnoxious butt-cleavaged roommate, Wade. Memorable quote from the Preacher Man himself: "Now God, I done said all I had to say at Brother Wade’s first funeral. I just hope you can call him home this time so we don’t have to kill him and go through this all over again."
THE PATRIOT (2000)
You may recognize him as the shape-shifting Odo from "Deep Space 9," but character actor Rene Auberjonois was never more kick-ass than as the Reverend Oliver, a man of the cloth recruited by Gabriel Martin (Heath Ledger) to fight against the Redcoats in the militia. Oliver may be a peaceful man, but during wartime, all pacts with God are put on hold.
LESBIAN VAMPIRE KILLERS (2009)
When two lovable losers escape the real world by taking a backwoods adventure, they soon find out sh*t is even realer outside the city. As you might be able to tell from the title, they have a run-in with a bunch of lesbian vampires. But they have help in the form of the kick-ass Vicar, who believes that one of the heroes is actually the descendant of a local vampire slayer. Convenient.
Robin Hood: PRINCE OF THIEVES (1991)
He starts out the movie as a humble, quiet holy man, but ends the movie as a rough-and-tumble, loud-as-hell fighter in Robin Hood‘s (Kevin Costner) band of Merry Men. He also kicks the ever loving sh*t out of his antagonistic opposite, a henchman of the awesome but treacherous Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman). Check it out below.
THE BELLS OF ST. MARY’S (1945)
While he doesn’t physically kick anyone’s ass, Fr. O’Malley nonetheless holds beliefs that don’t necessarily click with the other clergy at St. Mary’s. When a couple of his students get into a scuffle, the good padre waxing poetic about his appreciation for a man who can take care of himself, implying that when the time calls for it, Jesus is okay with you beating an adversary senseless. Check out Bing Crosby‘s eyes in the scene below and it’s not hard to imagine a character not unlike Viggo Mortensen‘s from A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE.
HOT FUZZ (2007)
Dude! It’s f**king Belloq from RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, playing a priest who comes after Simon Pegg and Nick Frost with twin cap-busters. He’s on the list. No explanation needed.
BRAINDEAD/DEAD ALIVE (1992)
With six words – "I kick ass for the Lord!" – and some Kung Fu, Stuart Devenie, and solidified himself as the most memorable kick-ass movie preacher ever (yes, aside from Eastwood in PALE RIDER). If you still haven’t seen Peter Jackson‘s 1992 flick about a virus spread from a Sumatran Rat-Monkey, do yourself a favor and drop everything. The second half is still one of cinema’s goriest and outrageous zombie bloodbaths. You may need to talk to a priest after witnessing it.
ANYONE WE MISSED? THINK YOU COULD KICK THE ASS OF ANY ONE OF THESE PRIESTS?
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