July 17, 2014

When the Grindhouse, When the Bee Stings: a review of Alex de Campi's "Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight Vol. 1"

Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight Vol. 1
by Alex de Campi
artwork by Francesco Frankavilla, Simon Fraser, Chris Peterson, Nolan Woodard, and Dan Panosian
Dark Horse Comics (2014)
112 pages
ISBN-10: 1616553774
ISBN-13: 978-1616553777

What would summer be without a little sex and violence? Perhaps the real question is: what would summer be without A LOT of sex and violence?

Well, there's no need to worry, because Alex de Campi has got your covered, which is more than can be said for the buxom babes populating the pages of this graphic novel.

Collecting the first four issues of this ferocious series, we are treated to two two-part tales. And you may as well flip a coin to choose which is the more debauched and delectable.

First up is "Bee Vixens from Mars," which I originally reviewed over at I Smell Sheep as it was released in single-issue format (#1 and #2). A small southern town finds itself infiltrated by a bevy of honey-suckling beauties bent on world domination. How do they do it? Why, the honey of course. This has all the gusto of a sci-fi movie from the 60s and some 70s-caliber titillation thrown in for good measure. It sets the tone for the series as a whole really well, so if you wind up offended by this one, you better stay the hell away from "Prison Ship Antares".

Ever heard of Orange Is the New Black? Yeah, well, "Prison Ship Antares" ain't that. Instead, it's lesbian prison exploitation ... in space. Just picture a the OITNB cast terrorized by a sadomasochistic warden dominatrix. Yeah, the level of sex and violence is somewhere north of 10 with this one. And somehow, Alex de Campi creates a heartfelt moment or two in the cacophony of screams and explosions. Not too shabby.

If you grew up loving those campy, racy, shooty, stabby, movies of yesteryear, the kind that really did not give f**k one about the sensibilities of school marms and anal retentive malcontents, then this is the graphic novel for you. It was certainly the graphic novel for me.

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