The orgy of sex and death doesn’t quite get off to the rollicking bang it usually does in ‘Grindhouse: Doors Open At Midnight.’ Did I worry you? Both are still very much present, but they take some time. De Campi’s “Bride of Blood” has a slower start than pervious chapters. While artist Federica Manfredi treats us to fluttering birds and the embrace of a beautiful medieval wedding before tearing everything to shreds.
The medieval world can be quaint and beautiful. Nature hadn’t been conquered by modern technology, excessively joyful clothing is prominent but so is rape and murder. Of course De Campi knows how to sow seeds of shock and awe. This isn’t her first rodeo of disgust. A wedding is about to commence. So naturally we’re treated to a beautiful ceremony in more ways than one.
Needless to say the whole thing comes crumbling down very quickly. Horrifying displays of medieval violence are certainly in high supply on these pages. Yet, lost within the shuffle of it all is the protagonist. She has some horrible things done to her, but she feels like an afterthought in this issue.
On the flipside the chaos that disrupts the wedding is filled with beautiful displays of savagery. Limbs are lopped off, arrows are sunk into skulls, and blood paints the forest floor. It’s all a ton of fun, and its in great contrast to Manfredi’s wonderfully glowing style that begins the story. Everything feels frail and warm. The landscapes are untouched and flowery. The paneling is even framed in an ornate style that antiques the entire experience.
When that ideal is shattered the story is able to sink into debauchery with relative ease. Although, for some reason it didn’t do it for me here like in previous months. The setting is still outstanding, the art is totally stellar, but I felt like I didn’t know the characters well enough. Perhaps that’s a testament to De Campi not making flat characters. This series can so easily fall into throwaway characters who require little more than a couple action beats to fulfill their “arc,” but here I just didn’t get the time with the bride that I craved.
It looks like all will be well come next month. The end of the issue provides a tantalizing tease for what’s to come next. I sincerely cannot wait to see how the finale plays out, because if it even remotely scratches the surface of the insanity from the second half this month than it might prove to be Grindhouse’s best chapter yet.
Your monthly ticket to debauchery has arrived and it’s still the same glorious book you missed since December. Such perverted wonders cannot be found elsewhere and if gore is your thing, will prepare to have your pants in a bunch, this book has death erection written all over it.
Rating: 3/5 Skulls.