Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bookmonkey vs Hack/Slash: Day One

A Brief Definition of Slasher Films

"What's the Point?  They're all the same. Some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can't act, who is always running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door. It's Insulting." - Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) in the motion picture Scream (1996)

Cover of Issue #1
Since the early days of cinema, the horror film has always been a standard of the medium.  The first film adaption of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was released in cinemas in 1910, and from the earliest days forward horror films have become a successful staple of the medium; after all, they're often cheap to make, and kids always want to see movies about monsters.  

Beginning in the late 70s, a sub-genre of horror, the Slasher film, called "Daed Teenager Movies" by film critic Roger Ebert and defined as " Generic term for any movie primarily concerned with killing teenagers, without regard for logic, plot, performance, humor, etc. Often imitated; never worse than the "Friday the 13th" sequels," (Ebert, 1985) would largely dominate the horror genre from the late '70s to the early '90s.  Villains with names like Freddy Krueger, Michael Meyers, and Jason Vorhees gained their own infamy during this period and for the generation of kids who grew up with these films, a certain degree of celebrity as well.

This year I'll be spending my October looking at the comic book series Hack/Slash,  written by Tim Seeley and currently published by Image Comics.  The series focuses on a young woman named Cassie Hack, who having survived her own personal slasher story, decides to travel the world hunting down these slashers before they can do too much harm.  As a series it crosses over with horror film characters, comic book characters (both print and web-based), and works to turn many of the tropes of the Slasher genre sideways as Cassie works to make the world a safer place for those the Slashers would target.

A quick note: the series is definitely aimed at adults, with significant violence and many suggested scenes of sexuality throughout.  Although the series often works to satirize the Slasher sub-genre of Horror, it also works as a Slasher story itself.

Ebert, R. (1985) "Dead Teenager Movie" in Ebert's Guide to Practical Filmgoing: A Glossary of Terms for the Cinema of the '80s.  Retrieved online from http://www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journal/eberts-guide-to-practical-filmgoing-a-glossary-of-terms-for-the-cinema-of-the-80s

Hack/Slash Issue #1 Cover, retrieved online from http://www.newkadia.com/?HackSlash_The_Series_Comic-Book-Covers=1111127128

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