Review: Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight #5

Done in brilliant homage to the Grindhouse movie posters of the 70s, the cover of issue 5 ushers readers in with a three-tone, haunting image of a woman’s head and a sharp knife against a scarlet background.  Inside, however, we get a fairy-tale type setting that devolves into a brutal and savage assault on the princess and the comic readers’ sensibilities. Grindhouse understands its source material, and it has consistently delivered salacious, violent content that entertains as well as it shocks.  Although the last chapter dipped a little in execution, “Bride of Blood” resumes the macabre tone and shocking delivery one would expect from a Grindhouse comic.

Plus, anyone who uses an excerpt from a William Butler Yeats poem on the inside cover gets a gold star from this reviewer any day.  Great work, Alex!  But I’ll get to the writing in-depth in a moment.

First, I must say that Federica Manfredi’s illustrations created a storybook styling.  I felt like I was reading an expertly penciled fairy tale compilation.  The detailing for the dresses, along with the other images infused with acute accouterments, delivers a stunning visual presentation of a riveting story.  I particularly enjoyed the panels illustrated with a flowery, dreamlike pattern, which turned out to be the veil through a first-person perspective.

Grindhouse Doors Open At Midnight #5 CoverOkay, I could drone on about the great visuals all day.  Let me explain the story.  A young woman, Corrin, sets off on her wedding day to marry a prince and join two powerful family lines.  Things go Grindhouse when Reavers break up the wedding and murder the priest Monty Python style. The Reavers boob-stab the lady-in-waiting (Corrin’s Mom) and turn the white wedding into a Wes Craven inspired rape fest.

In the aftermath, a Reaver rides through the woods under moonlight.  He’s confronted by a beautiful vision looking to seduce him.

Pick up this book and check out what happens.  You will be intrigued.

Please keep in mind that this is an adult-oriented book.  The content is graphic, but the writing and art is deliberate and engrossing.   These are well-told tales done in a style and vein of the 70s exploitation films.  Yes, there’s an abundance of nudity and gore; however, to see that and overlook the expertly crafted stories would be shameful.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Alex De Campi Artist: Federica Manfredi Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/5/14