While it is not established in the '58 Dracula nor in Brides, Peter Cushing's original Van Helsing is named Lawrence rather than Abraham and his descendant is Lorrimer, although a suggestion in Brides is that his name should be something beginning with "J". Regardless, Peter Cushing is a Van Helsing's Van Helsing worthy of the name and character.
Three things really stand out about Cushing as Van Helsing. The first is in Dracula where Van Helsing uses two candlesticks to make a cross to defeat Dracula. Enterprising, brave, strong in his faith as a man fighting ultimate evil, this Van Helsing does what few others can pull off. Others might attempt it, but success is by no means guaranteed. The image of Peter Cushing with the candlesticks is iconic in the genre.
|When a collectible bust is made of you featuring a single scene in a movie you are a bloody icon!|
The third thing is the best of all. Baron Meinster had bitten Van Helsing and left him to be turned into a vile undead. Van Helsing awakes, discovers the puncture wounds and thinking quickly sets a piece of iron in a brazier to get it glowing hot then grasping a chain to support himself he PUTS THE GLOWING IRON ONTO HIS PUNCTURE WOUNDS! Staggering with the pain, but conscious, he splashes holy water on the burns and is thus cleansed of the taint of vampirism.
This guy is beyond bad ass.
Although he would not fight Dracula again until 1972 in Dracula AD 1972 and would do so as Lawrence's descendant Lorrimer Van Helsing, he still cuts a fine figure as a determined warrior against the forces of darkness, despite health troubles and advancing age. Peter Cushing always brings a slyness and cunning to the role but balances that with a paladin's devotion to good that might be surprising in a jaded culture that cannot fathom a character that is good for good's sake.
Might-6/10 in his youth
Tools of the Trade-Holy Water and Crosses, Stakes and even a Rosebush, used a Windmill as a weapon
Faith-10/10 (any two objects combined in his hands become a cross)
Cushing Score-Alpha Cushing
FttB-12 out of a possible 10 Foots to the Balls
Van Helsing as played by Peter Cushing is what all Van Helsings should aspire to be. He does his homework, he can be cunning or forthright, he is clever and has the knack for improvising, that he can turn two candlesticks (or a windmill) into a cross shows extreme heart, and his primary solution for dealing with a foe is a foot to the balls and a stake to the heart. Cushing Van Helsing fights against evil and to promote good not for some dark or tragic past but because it is the right thing to do. This is a hero among lesser men.
Keep your pumpkins lit.