Van Helsinki is the protagonist and eponymous character of the film Van Helsinki. He is an ex-police officer called in to deal with the strange and unusual cases, after a case he was on went disastrously wrong and he was fired from the police department.
"I once knew a man named Geoff. It didn't end well."-Van Helsinki
Van Helsinki and Geoff Vampire are known to have been acquaintances from an early age. Geoff seems to have won a cuddly duck at a church fete, a duck which Van felt was rightfully his. Thanks to this early 'betrayal', Van swore to hunt down Geoff in vengeance.
The Løren incidentEdit
Van Helsinki joined the police, and was reputedly 'the best'. However, he had a reputation as being somewhat 'gung-ho'. This was also when Van Helsinki met Professor Ford, his assistant. Eventually, Helsinki and Ford were tasked to investigate a Mr. Løren, who had telephoned the police mentioning 'death threats and a man named Geoff'. Helsinki and Ford went to Mr. Løren's house. There they met and confronted Løren and Geoff. Van seemed to believe that Geoff had instigated the event to draw the two together, but Geoff in fact wanted Løren's soul. Geoff killed Mr. Løren in front of his young daughter Fay, and Van responded by instigating a shootout. Geoff escaped, and Word of God states that in the confusion Helsinki shot Esmé, Mr. Løren's wife. Fay, unknown to everybody, escaped. After Van refused to explain anything to the Inspector, he was fired and told to 'lie low'. Instead, Helsinki started planning Geoff's death in earnest.
Sometime later, Van was contacted again by the Inspector. The agents he had sent into a village had come out mad, and what's more, a picture of Geoff had been recovered. Helsinki got on the case, despite Ford warning him not to let the job get 'personal'. In the village, Van recieved a phone call from a mysterious woman, who told him to meet her in the picknicking area and to bring sandwich pickle. Helsinki, having little choice and no allies, decided to do it. As he was leaving the phone box, he encountered the Creepy Man, who disappeared into thin air.
"You still haven't told me who you are. I mean, I take it we’re at least pretending to trust each other now."-Van Helsinki.
After giving the pickle to the woman, who used it for her sandwich, Helsinki questioned her on whether she had seen Geoff. The woman slammed a knife into the Vampire's picture, but refused to explain, instead warning Van to go home. Helsinki refused, and, as the tension mounted, both Helsinki and the woman drew guns on each other. Following a brief duel in which they shot each other's bullets out of the air, the woman and Helsinki decided to work together against Geoff.
"Say hello to Norty Nigel!"-Van Helsinki
Van Helsinki, using skills picked up in the police, had determined that the woman was 'not from round here'. She revealed that she was in fact Fay Løren, who had come back for revenge on Geoff. Helsinki wisely decided to say nothing about his killing of her mother, and instead the two formed a pact, where Van could kill Geoff if Fay got to make him suffer. They then executed a raid on the house Geoff was living in. Helsinki knocked on the door, which was opened by Jim, one of the mind-controlled pawns of Geoff. Van opened fire, 'killing' Jim. Fay re-killed him, and the two confronted Geoff, ending when Van attempted to shoot Geoff, who 'poofed' away. Telling Fay to check downstairs, Van moved upstairs, where he encountered the Creepy Man for a second time. While he was distracted, Man, another of Geoff's pawns, knocked him out with a baseball bat. Fay attempted to rescue him, instigating a gunfight, but she was also knocked unconscious and captured by Geoff himself.
"Geoff, you buggershop! You'll never get away with this!"-Van Helsinki
Helsinki and Fay were taken down to Geoff's lair, located in a shed to the side of the main house. They were tied to chairs while Geoff explained that he was in fact an alien, and planned to transport everybody back to his home galaxy of Stevenage. Helpless to resist, Helsinki and Fay were mind-controlled by Geoff's infernal machine, and then forced to fight against Svetlana when she came to stop him. Helsinki armed himsefl with a spade, and, after being taken out by Man's baseball bat by accident, was then kicked and sliced across the chest by Svetlana. Geoff 'poofed' away again, and Svetlana deactivated the controlling device, restoring Helsinki and the rest's free will. Fay and Van Helsinki rushed outside to continue their hunt for Geoff. However, the strain of being to close to Geoff without killing him, twice, and the brain control and 'death', had unhinged Van Helsinki even more than usual.
"The deal's off"-Van Helsinki
Van, together with Fay, met the Creepy Man for a third time. He directed them to the Red Herring Church, where Geoff had first won that cuddly duck. Fay wanted to come to, but in Van's ultra-paranoid and deranged state, brought on by the combination of brainwashing, death and un-death, and being so close to Geoff twice without being able to kill him, he felt he couldn't risk any loose ends. Word of St. Paul states that Van felt Fay's presence had slowed him down at the house raid, and he would have got Geoff if she hasdn't been there, and that it was onlyy right that he and Geoff be the only ones to witness the final showdown.. This made her a liability. As Fay protested that the two of them had a deal, Van executed the Mozambique Drill on her in cold blood, gunning her down where she stood. By then, running purely on adrenaline, he began to run to the Red Herring Church.
The Final ShowdownEdit
"I said Eat Stake, Motherfucker!"-Van Helsinki
Helsinki ran all the way to the Red Herring church without stopping. (Word of God says he ran all through the night). He found Geoff, and, as he walked up to him, all Helsinki's anger faded. After some casual discussion, Geoff realised that Helsinki's sole motivation was the duck and his revenge. Helsinki argued back that the duck was worth it. The two of them had a shouting match which Geoff won, only for Van Helsinki to attempt to stake him. Geoff easily deflected this attack, and shrugged off the bullet's from Van's M1911, then began a brutal beatdown on Helsinki. Geoff too snapped, and began shouting abuse at Van while hitting him. Geoff broke Van's right hand during this fight, but as the Vampire-Alien prepared to deliver the final blow, Helsinki caught his foot with both hands, and, fighting through the pain of his broken hand, broke Geoff's leg. Helsinki dived on top of Geoff, and, after slamming him into the ground, staked him. Helsinki, battered and bruised, staggered off Geoff's corpse, picked up his equipment, and began the slow walk back.
See Van Helsinki's weaponry for more details.
Van seems to be a master of guns, carrying no less than eight over the course of the film. He never reloads, possibly because he never needs to. Van is shown to be a master shooter during the fight with Fay, when he manages to shoot her bullet out of the air. He is also capable in hand to hand combat, though with little finesse, resorting to brawling with Geoff. We never see Van on a proper 'gunfight', so his combat capabilities are unknown, though it seems likely that he is among the best shooters in the film, along with Fay.
- Fay Løren
- Professor Ford
- Inspector Someone-Who-Is-Not-David-Bowie
- Italian Operator
- Man (when Geoff brainwashed both of them)
- Woman (when Geoff brainwashed both of them)
- Jim (when Geoff brainwashed both of them)
- Geoff Vampire (when Geoff brainwashed him)
Behind the scenes and triviaEdit
- Van Helsinki was played by Paul Reynolds in the film.
- Van Helsinki's name is obviously a reference to the character Abraham Van Helsing from the book Dracula by Bram Stoker, though the character himself shares more similarities with gritty film noir detectives and more modern portrayals of Van Helsing as a character.
- Fay was never originally shot by Van Helsinki, this was a decision brought on by lacking of time to film the showdown with her involved.
- Van Helsinki hold the record for most guns wielded throughout this film, at 8 in total. Next is Fay at 4.
- The original ending had Van have a much happier final scene, with him and Professor Ford going for a drink together. This was cut as 'too happy and settled an ending' for him.
- Van Helsinki never reloads in the entire film.
- Van Helsinki is ambidextrous as he uses alternate hands in different parts of the film (though Paul Reynolds, the actor playing him, is left handed).
- Van Helsinki is probably the second earliest created character in the film, with only Professor Ford beating him. The original Van Helsinki appeared in a film (again called 'Van Helsinki') and was also a monster hunting loner (and wore the same hat as the 'new' Van did). However, apart from fighting a blood drinking alien, and a general immunity to bullets displayed by most of the cast, there is very little else to connect the two films besides the actors.
- Van appeas to have practically superhuman resilience to damage, surviving a multitude of cuts and blows, as detailed here.
- Van Helsinki is never described explicitally as a detective or a vampire hunter. He is ex-police, but were are only told he is called into cases which are not as 'simple' as murder.
- Interestingly, originally Ollie Tallis, who ended up playing Jim, was intended to play Van Helsinki, with Paul playing Jim.
- Paul Reynolds, who played Van Helsinki, is both the main creator and editor of this site and provided the voice of the Italian Operator for the film during post-production.