You Have the Right to Remain Silent. Forever.
To protect and sever… er… serve. That’s the motto of law enforcement’s finest and this list is a representation of some of horror’s finest. From the mean streets of New York, to the quiet small towns of the Midwest, these cops go beyond the call of duty to save the day.
It takes a certain breed of civil servant to do a job where getting shot is the least of your worries. They all carry their own brand of justice, whether it be by the book or – not. So without further adieu, here’s our list of the 10 Best Cops of Horror!
10. Sheriff Eben Oleson – 30 Days of Night (2007)
Sheriff Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett) walks the walk and talks the talk, no joke. Not only does Oleson have to deal with living in Alaska, he also has to deal with a 30-day long polar night, a pack of hungry vampires who rolling into town for a feast on the town’s folk and a crippling blizzard that is set to bury the whole town. While in hiding, Oleson and his group run out of food, so he waits for the oncoming blizzard to give them cover from the lurking vamps. As the storm hits they move to the grocery store but when the squall is shorter than expected he uses himself as bait, luring the bloodsuckers away from the rest of the group so they can seek safety. Oleson should have to protect and serve tattooed on his chest.
9. Sheriff Ben Meeker – Halloween 4 (1988) & 5 (1989)
I don’t think there is anyone on this list who is more even keel than Haddonfield’s Sheriff Ben Meeker (Beau Starr). This walkin’ tall type of everyman even keeps his proverbial crap together when he calls out a young gentleman caller for groping his daughter. But when the good Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) comes to town spouting off about the return of Michael Myers (George P. Wilbur/Don Shanks) and the inevitable poop hits the fan, Meeker, while concerned, barely breaks a sweat. He deals with Loomis, Myers, drunken redneck vigilantes, asshole teenagers and a whole host of other bad day scenarios. He has so much resolve in his character that he actually sticks around for two movies. Quite a feat in a slasher franchise. That’s either a solid cop or a stubborn one, either way, it’s not such a bad thing when it comes to Halloween in Haddonfield.
8. Officer Ralph Sarchie – Deliver us from Evil (2014)
This cop is based on a real guy. That alone is enough to qualify Officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) for this list. The 2014 film is based on the non-fiction book entitled Beware the Night (2001) by Ralph Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool. It tells the tale of a New York City cop who loses his faith in religion, only to find himself in a battle with the devil. The case in which he finds himself embroiled gives him pause as to his absence of faith. You see, he deals with some ugly, evil things that have Satan written all over them. Sarchie, through these experiences, eventually allows the evil he’s experiencing to solidify a new-found faith all while doing his job as professionally as chasing the devil will acquiesce. Pretty profound for a New York cop.
7. Sheriff David Dutton – The Crazies (2010)
Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) just wanted to enjoy the local baseball when a shotgun-toting local shows up to ruin everyone’s day. Then people all over town start acting strangely. A short time later most of the town’s residents are running around like a bunch of Crazies trying to kill each other. Dutton has to deal with a bullheaded mayor who won’t listen, the military swooping in and quarantining everyone, including Dutton, escaping the quarantine, rescuing his pregnant wife, getting out of Ogden Marsh, facing off with dozens of infected citizens, and dealing with the military a second time. Then the guy still has to get out of Ogen Marsh alive! Somebody give this guy a medal, a beer and a day off, this dude earned it.
6. Sheriff Bill Prady – Slither (2006)
Slither (2006) features Nathan Fillion in the role of Sheriff Bill Prady, a small town cop who answers a call to his first love, Starla’s (Elizabeth Banks) farm. At the farm, Prady soon discovers Starla’s husband Grant’s weird reaction to a “bee sting” as well as Grant’s mistress being locked in the barn where she has blown up to the size of the Good Year Blimp. If that isn’t strange enough, said mistress then explodes sending hundreds of space slugs everywhere. These intergalactic mollusks infect folks all over town, turning them into zombies. That would be enough to send me packing but Bill Prady is of a different ilk. The man has a solid moral code and set of cajones to match.
5. Clarice Starling – Silence of the Lambs (1991)
The late Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs was a surprise hit that not many saw coming. Jodi Foster’s brilliant portrayal of Quantico protege, Agent Clarice Starling was a huge reason for that success. Starling doesn’t have it easy as she is selected to work a case involving the serial killer known as Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine). She is thrown to the wolves right out of the gate having to team up with an incarcerated cannibal named Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). Lecter helps her profile Buffalo Bill but of course, the good doctor has his own agenda. And Starling is right smack in the middle of it. But through it all, she gets her man, showing that it doesn’t take a man to catch a killer. And that puts Agent Starling square in the Good Cop list!
4. Sgt. Lou Garou – WolfCop (2014)
Sgt. Lou Garou (Leo Fafard) is lazy. He sleeps on the job a lot, drinks a lot, and he’s doesn’t work enough. How can this guy land on a Good Cop list with the track record of a college stoner, you ask? After being injured and blacking out while investigating an incident, he essentially becomes a new man. When he wakes up at home the next day – his senses are suddenly heightened. Wounds from the previous night have healed almost instantly and his lazy attitude seems all but gone. The only problem is… he’s a werewolf. But not in the animalistic ways that most lycans are prone to. You see, Lou is able to retain his intelligence while transformed into a wolfman. Realizing his new powers, he targets only the scumbags and criminals of the city, finally becoming really good at his job. Talk about a man finding his way to redemption… bloody, violent redemption. Fun Fact; the name Lou Garou is French for wolf. (loup-garou)
3. Detective William Somerset – Se7en (1995)
To say that Se7en’s Detective Somerset (Morgan Freeman) has been around would be an understatement. Dealing with the dregs of the city after so many years would make anyone long for retirement. But not Somerset. He thrives on it. Perhaps the methodical nature of the killer he’s chasing strikes a chord with Somerset’s own precise nature. Late night knife throwing, perfectly aligned closets, ol’ William’s got some OCD issues. But that’s what makes him such a great cop. Even when the wheels come off of the whole case in the intense climax of the film, Somerset still somehow conveys a sense of control. When his partner is carted off for psych eval, he knows that when you’re that good at your job, retirement isn’t an option.
2. Detective Mike Norris – Child’s Play (1988)
Just when Detective Mike Norris (Chris Sarandon) (a cop’s name if ever there was one) thinks he has serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) (a serial killer’s name if ever there was one) wrapped up in a body bag things gets weird. Real weird. Like a possessed talking (and stalking) Good Guy doll named Chucky, weird. Despite all the weirdness, Norris doesn’t back down. He survives strangulation, a car accident and knife slashes from Chucky but he still doesn’t throw in his badge and go home. He must get his man! Even if he is a foot and a half tall, made of plastic and wearing a super cute denim overall/stripy henley combo.
1. Chief Martin Brody – Jaws (1975)
For a guy who doesn’t like water, Amity Island’s Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) spends an awful lot of time around it. Brody puts up with a lot in this movie and he does so in the most judicious of ways. Between shark attacks, an idiot mayor, pissed off fishermen, panicky townsfolk and his own kids (stay out of the damn water!), he has no time to breathe. But brave Martin Brody goes that extra mile when he charters a little, tiny boat to go and hunt a giant man-eating shark… in the middle of the ocean. Now there’s a cop that loves his town and his family.