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Thursday, 13 October 2011

Roy Steel's Guide to Monster Hunting

- Today's blogpost is a guest spot from one half of The Monster Hunters, London's dynamic detectives of the diabolical -

The man himself...Roy Steel

Hello there! And a warm welcome to any lady users of the internet out there. Congratulations for breaking through this, the electronic barrier of sexism. I’ve always felt that the information superhighway needs some female drivers. It helps you slow down around corners without forfeiting your masculinity.

My name is Roy Steel. Back in the ‘60s, I was voted one of the world’s greatest big game hunters. Not the world’s greatest, but quite close to the top. But that’s fine. I’m over it now, and I think deeds speak louder than actions, don’t they, father? A lot of people frown on big game hunting now, but back in 1967, there were literally too many animals. You can look that up on your internet as well before you get all PC on me. It was the skills that I learned as a hunter that lead me to the most fascinating and dangerous chapter of my long career. Without them, I think it’s fair to say that I wouldn’t be sitting here in my Kensington pad, eating my branded instant soup, typing this now. And it would be fair to say you wouldn’t be reading it either. Because you would be dead.

In the early 1970’s, at one of the lowest points in my life, I received an invitation. That invitation was sent by a man. That man was Sir Maxwell House. Back then, he was one of the world’s richest millionaires and still as much of an enigma as he is today, in spite of that press expose. He introduced me to Professor Lorrimer Chesterfield, and although initially sceptical, I soon came to see that unearthly creatures from the depths of Hell stalked this planet. Creatures that needed a serious sorting out. Most worryingly, they are still out there. So sit back, relax, and let me impart wisdom to you that could just save your beautiful life.


Even when going into battle against a monster created entirely of butcher’s shop off-cuts, it’s important to look stylish. Remember, no girl is going to be impressed if you’re not dressed for the occasion, even if you have just put down Frankenstein’s Monster. I favour a well tailored safari jacket, in a quality fabric like Polyester. The cravat is the most versatile of neckwear for a monster hunter – you can wear it loose, you can tie it formally, you can quickly remove it to garrotte a zombie if required. Be warned: Do not re-apply cravat after decapitating said zombie. That’s poor form.

Lorrimer Chesterfield - owner of the second largest brain in Britain
Thinking is an important tool in any monster hunter’s arsenal. But it’s a big tool, and one best wielded by more than one individual. Look, how do I put this? There’s thinking and there’s doing. I do the doing. I leave the thinking to Lorrimer Chesterfield. His brain weighs a lot – when I took him on a flight to Monaco in ’73, he had to pay extra because the weight of his brain exceeded baggage allowance. What we’re really talking about here is teamwork. If it wasn’t for Lorrimer’s degree in the occult, we wouldn’t know what we’re dealing with. And that’s important. The last thing you want to do is construct a life sized replica of the Prime Minister’s daughter out of garlic if what you’re fighting isn’t a vampire. We laughed about it later.


Brains without action is like fish without water, or a lady without a bikini: it’s a damn shame. Lorrimer and I worked so well together because we played to our strengths. He would diagnose the problem, and I’d write the prescription. Usually with my fists. You should never underestimate the power of a decent uppercut to the chin. It usually takes them by surprise. Most monsters tend to lumber at you or go for the neck. None of them ever expect a direct blow to the face. Be careful though, man-eating plants are impervious to a beating, and may just try and eat your arm off. Try industrial insecticide. I usually bribe a pretty technician at Porton Down for mine, so I’m sure you can do the same.


Let’s face it, gents, hunting monsters and putting a stop to their reign of terror is a sexy profession. It just is. And nearly 90% of all victims of monster attack are pretty girls. They WILL be grateful to you for rescuing them and it would be impolite to turn them down. If they have been seduced by a vampire or attached to a machine that removes their brain so it can be replaced by the brain of an escaped murderer, they are likely to be a bit disorientated. Some may also have lost a brain. Be prepared to put them at their ease. A witty line, a compliment on their sacrificial tabard; anything like this will distract them from their peril and bring them gently back down to earth. Then invite them out to dinner. 

Be warned: some women can turn out to be evil. Be on your guard: if she’s coming on to you, it’s very likely she’s been turned and the moves she’s dancing are to a deadly rhythm. Vampire girls are not good fun. Same goes for witches. A roomful of scantily clad ladies might seem like a good night out, but you’ll regret it in the morning when you wake up without a heart.


Finally, it’s important to make sure that you find time for you, as the kids say today. You’re no use to anyone if you’re wound up too tight, or you’ve devoted all your days and nights to slaying. It blunts your aim, and a blunt aim is like a blunt stake. It’s blunt. I make sure I regularly take myself off for a well deserved rest. Nice, or Cannes, is very welcoming at any time of year. And you don’t need a yacht to get there either. Some of these places also have hotels.

I also found it necessary to cultivate a taste for the finer things in life. Food and drink are very popular these days and can easily help you distinguish between human and monster. After all, what monster enjoys a rare steak?

Why not try one of my patented cocktails such as the Roy’s Rocket: mix three parts scotch to one part soda. Put it in a glass. Heaven. Unfortunately, you may find that hunting gives you little time for a well prepared meal. To that I say, try harder. Batchelors and Findus provide fine quality products which take little time to prepare. These are fine foods for a gentleman. I’ve served these to friends and they’ve always greeted them with a quick smile and an embarrassed nod. It’s for my own good: they wouldn’t want me to be overcome with their praise.

I hope this gives you an idea of the basics of modern monster hunting. To those wishing to become a hunter, I wish you luck. It’s not for everyone. Make a decision early about which body parts you can do without.  And why not visit us at where you can learn more about the profession? There are some wonderful pictures of me. There are also some of Lorrimer, if you like that kind of thing.

Roy Steel was talking to Matthew Woodcock. The Monster Hunters runs 11-13th November as part of the London Horror Festival.

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