GRINDHOUSE- DOORS OPEN AT MIDNIGHT DOUBLE FEATURE VOL. 2: BRIDE OF BLOOD/ FLESH FEAST OF THE DEVIL DOLL (Dark Horse, 2014; Softcover)
Collects Grindhouse: Doors Open At Midnight #5-8 (cover dates February- May, 2014)
Writer: Alex De Campi
Artists: Federica Manfredi (Bride Of Blood- #5, 6) and Gary Erskine (Flesh Feast Of The Devil Doll- #7, 8)
So my Instocktrades.com order was like $4-5 below the $50 free shipping mark. Rather than pay for shipping I threw this in my cart since it was a little over $10, which is actually like $5 since I would have had to pay for shipping anyways.
Grindhouses were shitty rundown theatres in less than desirable neighborhoods that showed double feature B-films to a largely adolescent male audience. While I was too young to partake in them, when we were younger my brother and I loved the garbage cultural wasteland of bad movies and loud music which were the byproducts of these grindhouse films. My older brother had this criteria during the 1980s for determining whether a movie was good or not: Graphic violence, excessive profanity, and fleeting nudity. These are the things that all adolescent males want to see before adulthood comes along and sucks the life right out of you.
This book is presented in a flipbook format, meaning that you read the first two issues and then flip it over to read the other side. This is the “double feature” aspect. There were still double features well into the '80s, so I experienced them as a kid. I remember my Mom taking me to see Megaforce and Psycho 2 at one when I was 9 years old. Psycho 2 made me lose sleep for days. Thanks Mom!
The first half of the book is Bride Of Blood, a medieval Horror story. Lots of blood and guts here. I tried to read this stuff with an adolescent mindset, as this type of stuff doesn't work as well if you read it as a forty-something year old adult. A virgin bride is violated, ergo...bride of blood. Yeah. This stuff is so cheesy but it works in the framework provided. The artwork is too modern and polished to fit in with the era that Grindhouse tries to emulate, though. Flat colors and smaller panels would work better. The rest of this book is presented as an artifact yet the features look modern and polished, a contrast that falls flat on it's face.
The flipside of the book is Flesh Feast Of The Devil Doll, this one evoking more of a turn-of-the-1980s slasher flick vibe. It has a gossamer thin plot and all of the trappings of post-Friday The 13th knock-offs, which is meant as a compliment. The summer camp. Desecrated burial ground. Horny teens. Virginity. So on and so forth. Nothing that you haven't seen before if you have seen a dozen or more movies from that era. It's fun and entertaining. The twist is that they inject the 21st century into it, with fracking opening up a “gate to Hell”, so to speak. Now that is rich!
This was an enjoyable enough light read that I recommend for Horror fans. You could certainly do worse.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3 out of 5.
The OCD zone- I absolutely loathe the faux-distressed spots and blemishes added to give the cover a thrift store look to it. I dislike it because if this book actually were an artifact from the 1970s it would not look like that when it was new. Nostalgic affectations like this are the domain of hipsters who enjoy thrift store flea market culture. I like old stuff that looks new, as that is what you would experience if you were around at that time.
Paper stock: Sweet toxic smelling third world country made coated stock.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: The cover is closer to a flexi-cover than a standard trade cover due to the flaps that fold around the corner. It has a dull matte coating that is scuff resistant, which is ironic since it looks beat to Hell when it is brand new.