Returning guest Paul Stevenson is back with his thoughts on the Holy F*ck! comic published by Action Lab and Blumhouse Productions feature film The Gallows.
Hello everybody! It’s been a few weeks since was last able to write for you but sometimes real world responsibilities get the best of you. I hope that you’ve enjoyed my submissions to this website thus far as I have many more short series coming up that I’m eager to review. You can always find me on Instagram (@paultstevenson), Twitter (@paultstevenson), and email (email@example.com).
I originally planned to review something different than the story I chose for this, but it was a little more mainstream and I wanted to do something weird. So let’s get into the weirdness.
The comic miniseries I picked is called Holy F*ck and is published by Action Lab Comics. I have never read much from this indie comic label before but when I saw the title and the cover in the monthly previews catalogue I thought, “this looks like it’s right up my alley.” Irreverent, profane, offensive, sacrilegious, and a little bit sexy… yep that’s for me! The creators are writer Nick Marino and artist Daniel Arruda Massa. I don’t know much about their previous work, but they have made a fan out of me.
So this comic—oh boy. It’s pretty crazy and there’s not a lot of depth, but it’s very entertaining. It’s a very short run (four issues), there isn’t a lot of dialogue involved but there is lots of action and lots of use of the word “fuck.”
So the story goes like this: Zeus and Isis, the ancient mythological gods are alive in the present day and have formed a cabal of sorts, made up of several other mythological gods called Polydynamis, Inc. Their plans include setting off a dozen nuclear bombs, starting the apocalyse, saving the remaining people from the chaos who will become their followers, and rebuild their empire while ruling the world.
Now, lets meet the heroes: Jesus is a drinking, smoking, swearing, bisexual, muscular killing machine. Satan is an androgynous yet frumpy oddball who makes out with Jesus and gets a thrill out of killing in a gun fight or laughing about the “good old days.” And lastly, Maria, a nun who comes to ask Jesus for his help in stopping this apocalypse and finds herself swearing and toting machine guns alongside him. I’m sure you can tell the plot is completely ridiculous. If you like anything you’ve read about it here, I encourage you to check it out. All four issues of Holy F*ck are available in print and in digital formats.
I had a few ideas for what I wanted to talk in the second half of today’s article but I settled on the recently released horror movie, The Gallows. If you been watching any live TV during the past month or so, you’ve probably seen a trailer for it. The film is produced by Blumhouse Productions, which is known for high quality. It was written and directed by up-and-coming talents Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing. With a runtime of about 80 minutes, the film is paced quickly and everything makes sense (using horror/slasher movie logic, of course).
The synopsis, without spoiling too much, is that a high school in 2015 is performing a play (also entitled The Gallows) exactly 20 years after a boy was accidentally hanged during the performance. Now the ghost of that boy has come back to have revenge on the school and the play that cost him his life. I’m not a movie expert and I won’t offer any star ratings but I will gladly ramble on about some of my thoughts and you can make your own choices. Check the out trailers online and I’m sure this will be available through various VOD services and on blu-ray very soon.
The film has been billed as the start of a potential new franchise so we’ll see if they bring back the killer with a new group of kids.
At face value, I truly enjoyed this movie but it’s been met with a lot of skepticism and I understand why. Its not a perfect movie and most of the highlights are already in the trailers. The characters are basically unlikable asshole teens but I like having those be the kids that die anyways. This is a found footage movie but mostly shot on an HD handheld camera so you get a lot of clarity when it’s not too shaky to see (an important stylistic element of all found footage films). Overall, I think the quality of the camera work was pretty good for this genre. There’s also a clever splice where one kid uses a night vision app on his phone a few times to record parts of the action. I’m not sure if that really exists but it sounds cool. This movie is not gory, it’s not very scary, it’s not for everyone but I liked it and I’m glad to have paid to support an independent horror movie over a big blockbuster. I also believe if there are sequels made they will probably be more extreme, graphic and have higher body counts.
That’s all folks. Thanks to those who take the time to read these. Let me know your thoughts, ideas, comments and questions.