Sheriff, Deputy, Detective; along with the genres final girl, another omnipresent figure you can find assisting (or pursuing) our protagonists in one way or another are the men and women of law enforcement. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite police officers in horror that stand out for a myriad of reasons (one-liners, choice of weapon, but mainly so I can exercise my right to use puns), so check them out below or remain silent…forever (see)!

CF1 #5: Deputy WinstonCABIN FEVER and CABIN FEVER 2

Lets kick this off with a little fun, shall we? Eli Roth quite literally burst onto the scene with CABIN FEVER, a pretty nasty debut that includes one of my absolute favorite police officers amongst the decaying flesh and shouting of “pancakes!”: Deputy Winston. What I love most  about deputy Winston is that he is a terrible policeman, a bumbling idiot (accompanied by a comedic music cue ala Craven’s THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT) armed with the catchphrase “party man!” and whose sole concern is seeking out some good partying. Winston seemingly stumbled into the wrong film, and his bizarre presence provides some hilarious levity amongst the carnage. Hell, his scenes with filmmaking hero Mark Borchardt in Ti West’s unfortunately studio-mangled sequel are the main reason to watch it! Although he wouldn’t be able to save you from whatever flesh eating virus you may be afflicted with, you can sure count on deputy Winston to supply you with a .40 oz and a good time.

DR1 #4: Sheriff John Quincey WydellTHE DEVIL’S REJECTS

To put it lightly, Rob Zombie has his fair share of detractors towards his cinematic contributions. While I agree some criticisms are valid (Tarantinoesque dialogue, white trash dialogue, bad dialogue, the latter half of the HALLOWEEN remake…), I’m willing to ignore all that thanks to a little gem called LORDS OF SALEM (an IN DEFENSE OF article is in order) and one of his best creations, sheriff John Quincey Wydell. HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES and THE DEVIL’S REJECTS are populated with some really unique characters brought to life by a who’s who of genre stalwarts, but I’ll go one further in saying Wydell may be the writer-directors’ greatest achievement, portrayed with deep viciousness by William Forsythe. Right from the get-go we’re introduced to Wydell as fire and brimstone incarnate; a no bullshit taking, Elvis lovin’, force to be reckoned with that has no qualms in crossing the line to avenge the death of his brother at the hands of the Firefly clan. He is quite literally a terrifying character, evolving from a straight shooter to a cold-blooded villain during his plight that manages to eclipse the heinous acts of the killers he’s hunting. Sheriff Wydell maybe a crooked lawman that has negative feelings about Groucho Marx, but he’s a fascinating character that I thoroughly enjoy watching walk the fine line of justice.

mc2 #3: Officer Teresa MalloryMANIAC COP and MANIAC COP 2

Many have tried to take down the wrong arm of the law that is Matt Cordell, but only one has committed adultery with Bruce Campbell, survived to see the light of a sequel, and charge the titular MANIAC COP with a f!@#ing revved up chainsaw! That’s a normal night on the job for officer Teresa Mallory, played with fearlessness by Larry Cohen regular, Laurene Landon. Sure, her heroic effort to tear Cordell into pieces is thwarted with a swift snap of the neck, but it’s that sacrifice that makes her the baddest babe in law enforcement.

H1 #2: Sheriff Ben MeekerHALLOWEEN 4 and HALLOWEEN 5

I’ve always had an affinity for Sheriff Ben Meeker. He’s a no-nonsense cop that actually heeds Loomis’ warning that Myers has returned to Haddonfield, and promptly unloads hundreds of rounds from a super badass semi-automatic shotgun into him without a moments hesitation. Or it could be because his daughter (played by the BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR herself, Kathleen Kinmont) is a mega babe (“COPS DO IT BY THE BOOK“), and he’s Chainsaw’s dad in SUMMER SCHOOL. But  I digress. He just seems to get shit done, and I like that. It’s a shame that HALLOWEEN 5 doesn’t really know what to do with him, but I appreciate the continuity nonetheless. It’s assumed that Meeker dies in the police station massacre that bookends THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS, but thanks to a post over at the Official Halloween Message Board, a scan from an old Fangoria magazine shows the protector of Haddonfield being gunned down in a deleted scene. We salute you, Sheriff Meeker. sbm1

NOTC1 #1: Detective Ray CameronNIGHT OF THE CREEPS

Could it have been anyone else? NIGHT OF THE CREEPS is special for a number of reasons. It’s a pitch-perfect ode to the golden era of earnest and unironic B films that dominated drive-ins of yore, and stands as one of the best horror-comedies of all time. It’s already host to more than a few memorable characters, but when it comes to our genres greatest guy on the force, detective Ray Cameron has no equal. Tom Atkins’ Cameron is a walking embodiment of the hardboiled heroes upholding the law in pulpy paperbacks; knocking back multiple old fashioneds, shooting holes into scum with his hand cannon, coming to a distressed dames rescue, and politely notifying dolled up sorority sisters that their undead dates have arrived. His mustache alone signals unparalleled testosterone that would make any gender quiver. He may seem like a hungover asshole, but Ray Cameron is the kind of guy that’ll hold an alien slug in his bare hand and sacrifice himself to save humanity. He’s just that fucking cool.

Let us know what some of your favorite right arms of the law are!

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