Top 10: Horror Comics We Want On Screen

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With the all the superhero blockbusters hogging theaters this summer, it seems that film producers are relying more and more on comic books for their source material. On top of the big-budget superhero movies, the success of The Walking Dead TV series, and films like 30 Days of Night and Blade, are perhaps a sign that we’ll be seeing more horror comics being adapted for the screen in the near future. While the horror genre hasn’t always been the most accessible, recent trends in pop culture have veered towards the darker side of fiction, opening the door for horror comic adaptation. We’ve done some wishful thinking and put together a list of comics we’re dying to see in live action, some of which are already in the works.

Sandman

Neil Gaiman’s masterpiece comic series centers around Morpheus, who is dream personified, and his quest to retrieve his lost objects of power. It’s a haunting, elegant, and disturbing tale that examines the complexity of our dream world, and the TV rumor mills love to gossip about it. “Sandman” is one comic that fans have been screaming to see on the small screen for over a decade. Last year, Supernatural creator Eric Kripke was said to be behind the adaptation…but sadly, that never went through. Part of the reason the series didn’t go into production is that Sandman universe is so vast that it would be difficult to translate into live action. However, it’s pretty evident that we have the technology to make this series and it’s time for Warner Bros. to get on it. There’s little doubt that, if the right players are involved, this would be a huge success.

Hack/Slash

Alright, so the “Hack/Slash” film is already in the works (fingers crossed), with Marcus Nispel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) attached to direct, but we’ve been waiting a long time to see Cassie Hack on the Silver Screen. This tongue in cheek satire of classic slasher films will fit right in with recent movies like The Cabin in the Woods and Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil, that turn the genre upside down in order to offer a new perspective on the craft. As an added bonus, I think we all want to see Cassie Hack in a bikini and fish nets running around slaying our favorite movie “slashers” like Jason Voorhees and Michael Meyers. Whether or not Nispel will be able to make a film with some substance to it is unsure, but here’s to hoping.

Hellblazer

Sadly, “Hellblazer” was already been made into a movie. Remember that flick with a tattooed, chain smoking Keanu Reeves mixed up in a battle between the heaven and hell? Yeah, that was supposed to be an adaptation of “Hellblazer”, but it completely failed to capture what the essence of the comic. We want to see a real adaptation. “Hellblazer “is a dark and gritty story that takes place in the seedy streets of London. Not in big town USA. The real Constantine’s a miserable wretch of a magician who’s got style, and doesn’t take sh*t from anyone. He’s a Sting look-a-like who doesn’t waste his time dealing with religious feuding. We’d love to see John Constantine done right, without all the religion, and focusing more on his investigations of the paranormal happenings in bogged out London.

Locke & Key

Joe Hill, son of Stephen King, has been penning this groundbreaking dark fantasy series for the past few years, and what a magnificent book it is. As expected, FOX blew it once again this past year by choosing not to continue developing the Locke & Key series after the pilot was released. The pilot, from what I saw, looked pretty damn good. It had all the essential elements of the book and the creators were more than passionate about the project. For the less well read, the series follows the Locke family who are forced to move into a new house after their father is brutally murdered. Their new house is filled with mysterious keys that grant powers to those who wield them. There are ghosts, shape shifters, giants, shadow walkers, and more drama than your heart can handle. In the vein of shows like American Horror Story, “Locke & Key” would fit right into current TV trends.

Severed

Co-writers Scott Snyder and Scott Tuft delivered one of the most intense horror/thriller comics of all time with their seven-issue series, “Severed”. It’s a brilliantly executed historical horror story with enough tension to cut with a spoon. Without using tawdry gimmicks, the team created a truly haunting portrait of a serial killer (loosely based on the demented Albert Fish) in the early 20th Century. Nearly ever moment of the book brings you to the edge of your seat, and it’s filled with cringe worthy scenes that are definitely not for the weak of heart. The combination of the time period, the theme of lost innocence, and the terrifying serial killer who eats his victim with razor sharp teeth demands to be put on the big screen. If adapted faithfully, it would bring new life to the psychological thriller genre, which has been lacking as of late.

The Darkness

There’s already a video game series, so I suppose this will turn into a film sooner or later. In the same school as horror game to film adaptations like Resident Evil and Silent Hill, The Darkness is exactly what big wig studio heads love…hopefully this time they’ll stick closer to the source material. “The Darkness”, which recently reached it’s landmark 100th issue is about a primal force in the universe called, The Darkness, that inhabits a male host. The kicker is that the power lays dormant within the host’s body until their 21st birthday. There’ a lot of potential with this to be made into a more cerebral style of horror that doesn’t involve high school kids and their relationship problems. We want to see a horror flick for young adults, one that fully embraces “The Darkness” and brings us into a disturbing universe. Given the serious nature of the book, we think it’s time for a serious film version that doesn’t end up like Spawn.

Crossed

Sick, twisted, perverted, gory, sexual, provocative, and absolutely amazing. Garth Ennis’ “Crossed” would be one of those movies that turns the tide, causing a stir in the film industry for it’s extreme graphic content. But, unlike films such as The Human Centipede, there’s potential for gore that actually revolves around a sensible, and intriguing plot. The series was introduced in the midst of the zombie craze almost as a big f*ck you to everyone making zombie stories. It’s a viral outbreak tale where the infected turn into maniacs who will stop at nothing to fulfill their most vile and barbaric fantasies. We’d love to see someone take this concept and run with it, keeping in as much gore as possible. Think Full Metal Jacket meets Cannibal Holocaust.

Swamp Thing

The brilliance of Alan Moore in the comics industry is second to none, whether you think he’s crazy or not. Although he spits venom at films based on his work, it’s going to keep happening. “Swamp Thing” is another one of those heroes who already had a big screen debut, but it was a big stinky flop…twice. The problem so far has been the refusal to use Moore’s darker, more horror oriented run. Instead, the past film versions simply use the character as a symbol of sad nature. Considering the amount of people who love Moore’s run on the series, and the success (read exploitation) of other films based on his work like V for Vendetta, From Hell, and Watchmen, we don’t know why this hasn’t been put into production yet. While on the surface Swampy looks like a depraved monster that nobody could love, Moore gave the character so much more. “Swamp Thing” is an engrossing existential look at ecology and the magic of nature with tons of “sophisticated horror” (as advertised back in the 80s). Not to mention the potential for a cross with “Hellblazer’s” John Constantine, who made his first appearance in Moore’s Swamp Thing.

Black Hole

Imagine a world where a new sexually transmitted infection causes strange mutations to the human body, and everyone reacts differently. Some grow tails, some develop second mouths, while others become horribly disfigured. A sexually transmitted infection that you cannot hide. Such is the premise if Charles Burns’ magnum opus, “Black Hole”. There are few teenage horror flicks that take on a serious mood, and fewer still that attempt to honestly depict the horrors of puberty, sexuality, and first love. “Black Hole” affords the chance to completely change the way we see teen horror. Despite what it sounds like, this is not a metaphor warning of the dangers of sexual promiscuity, rather it is a book that showcases how horrifying and beautiful growing up can be simultaneously. There have been rumors about an adaptation since 2005 which stated Neil Gaiman as the script writer, David Fincher as producer, and Alex Aja as director, but sadly there has been no news since Gaiman left the project. As you can see, There’s a lot of talented minds who want to get behind this, and hopefully they do so soon.

Uzumaki

The Japanese make some very bizarre, very terrifying films. Legendary manga creator, Junji Ito, has a little series called “Uzumaki” that centers around a small town who’s citizens become utterly obsessed with spirals, yeah that’s right, spirals of all shapes and sizes. As their strange obsession develops, things “spiral” out of control, leading to horrific and grotesque scenes of deaths and suicide. There was a very low budget Japanese adaptation made in 2000, but it’s time for a makeover. Looking at pages from the manga, it’s easy to see how gorgeous and surreal this movie could be. Abstract horror is far and few between these days, and under the right hands, “Uzumaki” could be one incredible film.

  • marioncrane

    Nice list. Sandman would be amazing provided a good enough director got a hold of it. Another one I’d love to see is Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum, it’s not straight horror but it’s definitely not a superhero comic and it’s pretty dark and psychologically disturbing.

  • Nothing333

    Great list. Although I would never like to see Sandman on screen. I don’t feel it could ever be done justice in film form. It’s just fine as a piece of literature and never needs to be anything else.

  • Laugh Riot

    I’d love to see a lot of these as movies too. Locke & Key needs to be on TV sad no one wanted to run it on their network. I think Black Hole could make it as a TV series. Crossed would get a X rating but I’d watch it. Spiral in 3d would be scary. Anything Junji Ito would be good to see in theaters.

  • babagloom

    I’d love to see Cronenberg or Solondz directing Black Hole.

  • babagloom

    I thought Spiral was a good fucked up movie.

  • H666

    while i love the comics i think Sandman and Swamp Thing wouldn’t work. the stories are just too complex to cram into 90 or even 120 mins, and even with TV, as good as it can be today, not sure they’d get the budget to really do them justice (in terms of FX etc). i think some things just don’t translate to another medium

    • Lonmonster

      I think Swamp Thing could be a great film. Look at how big the Batman canon is, and they still managed to make amazing movies by picking certain plot lines. Sandman would have to be a TV series for sure though, and probably require a ridiculous budget.