The doors close on the third arc of ‘Grindhouse: Doors Open At Midnight.’ This month sees yet another blood soaked descent into madness. The issue is jam packed with typical De Campi charm and topped with a flair for the theatrical. “Bride of Blood” doesn’t shy away from the grisly details. Artist Federica Manfredi shows the brutal reality of medieval death in all it’s disgusting glory.
Anyone who has talked to me recently knows I love this comic. I mean it’s every grindhouse fan’s dream come true. De Campi knows the history of this particular film subculture and smartly shifts between genres while keeping a trashy vibe throughout. “Bride of Blood” continues the tradition flawlessly. De Campi heavily entrenches herself in the medieval world as if its second nature. The savagery of the time lends itself well to the violence this comic flaunts. This is the story of revenge. The barbaric bastards who aimed to destroy a wedding actually created a monster and this month our bride gets what she seeks most.
Visually Manfredi is a gift to the medieval world. She understands the scenery and the characters of the time. Yet, the true magic comes with the gore. Things are brutal here. The script or the panels don’t shy away from incredible and horrific detail. The scene with the pack of dogs is sure to make your skin crawl.
With all that being said the story does feel particularly flimsy. Revenge stories are often simple tales with clear goals. However, we never really spent enough time with any of the characters to understand what they want outside of revenge. It’s strange, because previous chapters of this book were able to balance character and plot almost seamlessly.
However, if you’re just looking for a gory good time then look no further. This month’s story doesn’t deliver much in the way of thought provoking narrative, but it does push the creepy up to eleven. The bride is staggeringly awesome in her suit of armor. She is cool, calm, and collected. She is a killing machine. So it’s a beautiful thing to watch her exact her revenge. Failure is never an option and you don’t feel it for a second. The end of the story is haunting, and just the right amount of horrendous that you’ve come to expect from this title.
De Campi has a certain relentless talent for shameless violence and gratuitous nudity that commands the page. Her understanding of grindhouse conventions allow her to play with expectations in ways you could never imagine, and she actually elevates her stories to a level the stories that inspired them could never reach. “Bride of Blood” may not be the best chapter, but it proves she hasn’t run out of ways to shock and disgust.
Rating: 3/5 Skulls.