Thursday, December 28, 2006

Comics: The good bad girl versus the bad Good Guy doll.

Hack/Slash, an irregularly released series of mini-series from Devil's Due Press, is one of those guilty pleasures that makes horror comic reading at once so embarrassing and, yet, so much damn fun.

The premise, cooked up by writer Tim Seeley, is so brilliantly obvious that it makes you wonder how we've gone through more than 20 years of slasher flicks without somebody hitting on it. Follow me here: Cassie Hack was kinda the pretty/ugly girl at high school. Apparently, regardless of how obviously hot one is, not being blonde is enough to ensure you grief. Her mother, the slightly over-protective lunch lady at Cassie's school, took revenge for her daughter's constant petty humiliations by killing and serving up several of Cassie's tormentors. Eventually, Cassie had a confrontation with her own mother and killed her.

Unfortunately for Cassie (but luckily for fans of clever meta-horror cheese), her mother came back as The Lunch Lady, a classic post-Jason style supernatural slasher. In the world of Hack/Slash, the slasher is a specific type of undead – denied the pleasures of life, the vengeful creatures hunt out youth, sex, fun and so on, killing that which they can never have. Cassie was forced to once again put her mother down. And in doing so, found her calling. Cassie (after trading in her pretty/ugly look for something with a more naughty Goth school girl vibe) travels the country with her hulking, reformed slasher-trainee sidekick Vlad, hunting down and disposing of slashers.

That's whole premise: Hot chick in naughty Goth schoolgirl outfits and heavily armed Frankenstein-looking mammer jammer hunt down and kill slashers.

Sure, The Watchmen it ain't – but who cares when you've got a hot chick in naughty Goth schoolgirl outfits and heavily armed Frankenstein-looking mammer jammer hunting down and killing slashers? Honestly. Sure, the entire character of Cassie Hack is sort of nothing more than a over the top experiement in the delivery of fan service. And sure the whole thing is often more goofy then scary. But I mentioned the whole "hot chick . . . mammer jammer . . . kill slasher" thing, right? The defense rests.

I bring the comic up now because, normally, the slashers Cassie and Vlad face (when not fighting demonically possessed toys or zombie house pets) are satiric homages to famous slasher characters and not, actually, famous monsters from filmland. However, according to an interview with the series writer, Devil's Due plans to produce a genuine franchise cross-over. That's right! My favorite subgenre of horror cheese: a freakin' Monster Mash!

The cinematic slasher in question is the pint-sized psycho Chucky. Look for the dame versus doll battle royale to hit shelves this March.

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