October is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as “31 days of horror.” Don’t bother looking it up; it’s true. Most people take that to mean highlighting one horror movie a day, but here at FSR, we’ve taken that up a spooky notch or nine by celebrating each day with a top ten list. This article about the top ten best horror himbos is part of our ongoing series 31 Days of Horror Lists.
For too long, bimbos have monopolized the conversation in horror movies. How many bodacious babes have we seen run screaming into the woods to their deaths, or earnestly ask “who’s there?” after a break-in? Their presence is so ubiquitous it has become a genre staple, a trope to be subverted or (more boringly), mocked outright. Well, the time has come to recognize a worthy and under-appreciated competitor in horror’s hot dumb-ass hall of fame: the himbo.
That’s right the himbo: they’re not the brightest bulbs in the beefcake chandelier, but they’re earnest and endearing and have precisely one thought (maximum) at a time. Which, in the literally cutthroat world of horror, isn’t exactly a recipe for survival. But damn it if we don’t love these idiots anyway. They’re not malicious bullies or sinister psychos; they’re just big, dumb boys doing their best under the circumstances.
The attractive, naive, vacuous men of genre cinema have been ignored for far too long! They have a lush history of being extremely hot and stupid and that deserves to be celebrated! Keep reading for a look at the top ten best horror himbos as voted on by Anna Swanson, Brad Gullickson, Chris Coffel, Jacob Trussell, Kieran Fisher, Rob Hunter, Valerie Ettenhofer, and myself.
10. Jonathan Harker in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Is there anyone more earning of the title himbo than early ’90s Keanu Reeves? Of course not, just look at the man. He’s got the floppy hair of early-career Hugh Grant and the charisma of an amateur actor really trying to master Old English, and it’s endlessly endearing. What’s not to appreciate about a Jonathan Harker who is finally played the way he was written: handsome and dumb?
Our love affair with Reeves has never been about his quality as an actor, but rather how in tune he is with the mood a film is trying to exude. With Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Reeves was more than up to the challenge of synthesizing Francis Ford Coppola’s vision of Golden Age Hollywood elegance into a modern, mainstream horror film.
So was it an intentional choice from Reeves to fully embrace the hokey charm of classic-era acting? Of course not, but goddammit it doesn’t matter. You can’t tear your eyes away from him, and that’s a quality that isn’t earned or learned but rather genetically bestowed to a himbo of Keanu’s caliber. (Jacob Trussell)
9. Sam Hell in Hell Comes to Frogtown (1988)
If you’re looking for the himbo-est of all himbos, look no further Sam Hell (Roddy Piper), the dreamy but stupid protagonist in 1988’s bonkers cautionary tale Hell Comes to Frogtown. Sam is one of the last remaining fertile men in an atomic wasteland, which makes him and his junk a hot commodity.
Sam is captured by a group of sexy nurses that plan to harvest his seed to save the planet, but before they can do so, they need to send Sam into Frogtown and rescue their fertile women. They strap a protective codpiece to his baby-making parts that also doubles as a shock collar and send him off to save the day. Despite his mental inadequacies, Sam is able to overcome the evil frogs, save the girls, and get down to business. (Chris Coffel)
8. Mitch Downe in ParaNorman (2012)
Beware the square-jawed jock. That’s what movies have taught us. They’re meatheads with fragile egos itching to pound their self-loathing into the mugs of geeks, dorks, and dweebs. When Mitch (voiced by Casey Affleck) first steps on screen in ParaNorman, your spidey-sense starts tingling. As the muscly cool older brother of pudgy Neil, he’s too perfect a specimen to be anything other than an asshole.
Shame on you. Didn’t your mom teach you to not judge a book by its cover? Mitch is a total babe, and his synapses don’t snap speedily, but his heart is strong, and his power of empathy matches the rest of our zombie-bashing heroes. After a few minutes alongside his titanic frame, you’ll be swooning as much as Courtney’s cheerleader. This dude is an absolute snack, but Courtney, he’s not for you. (Brad Gullickson)
7. Caleb Colton in Near Dark (1987)
The name pretty much tells you everything you need to know: Caleb Colton (Adrian Pasdar) is a young cowboy who dreams of bigger things than his small Oklahoma town can provide. He wants to figure out what kind of man he’s going to be. But he wasn’t expecting a roving gang of Southern vampires to expedite the process. This horror himbo’s a walking advert for Lee’s jeans. He’s rugged yet gentle and gives off very strong horse-boy-next-door energy.
Caleb’s a lover, not a fighter, but he’ll commandeer a tractor-trailer if he has to. Our reluctant hero is a sweet Southern boy and what he lacks in brains (e.g. getting himself bitten by a beautiful drifter lady) he makes up for in charm, politeness, and a knuckle-headed dedication to the people he loves. Maybe it’s best that Caleb doesn’t intellectualize his circumstance; when you’re suddenly running with a gang of vampire cowboys headed by a sadistic undead confederate soldier, country boy instinct may be just the ticket, in the end (Meg Shields)
6. Dan Cain in Re-Animator (1985)
Don’t tell any of my fellow Boo Crewers, but the term himbo is new to me. Bimbos I’m familiar with, but I never really saw their kind as stupid. Hot, sure. Pliable, of course. Kind, usually. But stupid? To me, they’re women playing a role for the men in their lives. It’s maybe not the choice I would make in their high-heeled shoes, but I understand both their need and their intention. But himbos? Men don’t typically have to walk that same path, so a hot, stupid guy is often just that.
Which brings us to Bruce Abbott and his character Dan Cain in Re-Animator. Is he hot? Sure, if you dig guys in wife-beaters. And well-intentioned? Absolutely, as he just wants to help his friends. But stupid? Hell to the yes. A smart person wouldn’t choose to spend time with a sweaty little bastard like Herbert West (no offense to Jeffrey Combs) over the dean’s lovely, non-bimbo daughter Megan (Barbara Crampton). An intelligent man would have booted the little weirdo out of the apartment the second he found his girlfriend’s dead cat in the dude’s mini-fridge.
That he continues to go along with West’s increasingly insane schemes — and then after seeing them all implode in blood and madness, he still thinks it a good idea to inject poor Megan with a serum he knows won’t end well for anyone — just seals his inclusion on this list of horror himbos. (Rob Hunter)