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31 Days of Horror: GRINDHOUSE: BEE VIXENS FROM MARS

There’s definitely something to be said for the pulp infested, midnight movie essence, created in Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight Bee Vixens from Mars the Double Feature. Alex Di Campi (Ashes) has outdone himself with this homage to 70’s B-movie classics that it feels authentic, maybe even too much so.

Literature: overrated. Morality: expendable.” the synopsis reads, promising to deliver all of the outrageous sex, guts, and thrill staples for midnight movies. Exploitation films were derived in the 1970’s which sparked a subculture still very much alive today, 40 years later. With the aid of Chris Peterson’s minimalist but impactful lines and Nolan Woodward’s coloring, Bee Vixens from Mars retains a distinct appearance and voice despite being deeply married to its rich source material.

Story

Every good Texan knows you don’t take honey from the tree atop Cemetery Hill! Well, everyone except maybe Arlene and Betty, who both discover the intoxicating power of its mysteriously copious honey. The title kicks off with literal sex and glorious amounts of honey in nearly every panel. It doesn’t take long for Di Campi to introduce Garcia, the one-eyed latina deputy with blue hair, a low tolerance for riffraff, and a shotgun.

You’re driven to the scene of the first body, which looks as if it’d literally exploded. There are intestines and blood in panels which could almost be smelled through the pages. Turns out it was Arlene’s boy, and he won’t be the last male casualty for Deputy Garcia to track. After witnessing her partner being attacked by a giant creature in the roses, and then not show up for work, Garcia decides it’s time to get to the bottom of these murders before it’s too late.

On a hunch, she goes to destroy some of the hives turning up around town, and is immediately met by a swarm of sexy alien mutants, once members of her fine community. Garcia is trudged all across the southern swampy landscape eradicating the poisoned southern belles seduced by delicious alien honey.

Bee Vixens from Mars exudes Tarantino-esque plot devices and characters. Tarantino, who pulled from and married his own love of grindhouse, spaghetti westerns, and female snuff films to create his unique brand of cinema. Perhaps it’s this modern twist which allows Grindhouse to be so modern despite very vintage roots and at times hokey dialogue. Expect the expected devices, but the unexpected scares, shocks, and even laughs.

Gore & Scares

Bee Vixens from Mars proved to be a fun read with plenty of blood, guts, fornication, cheesecake, and the general outlandish to quench your grindhouse thirst. The panels are graphic, dismemberment is the name of the game. There is no shortage of hot lady torsos, limbs, and heads being splattered and dissected by seemingly infinite firepower.

Peterson’s drawn characters are colored by shadows, and ooze blood and sex when called upon. It’s strengths are certainly in the outrageous gore and titillation only horror can promise, one of the finer points in this work was the ambiance created by the Di Campi. There were some risky panels where he allowed ambiance to build, as all good chiller comics will, and delivered with some memorable jolts to the system.

Overall

Over the top sex and violence along side heavy exposition and characters driven by tropes older than the reader base may sound terrible, but in the context of exploitation cinema it’s exactly what readers demand. Dark Horse is known for their top-notch horror comics, and their freedom to take risks that the Big 2 simply ignore.

Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight seems to be giving readers exactly what it advertised: A cinematic styled bloody adventure for readers to genuinely enjoy. It delivers on all fronts for those of us enthused by the genre, and those in enamored with the milieu of gritty sexy horror. It’s not the best grindhouse comic ever, it stands as a deserving addition to the genre.

3.5 out of 5 stars

3.5 out of 5 stars

Cover image via

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Categories: Comic Reviews

Author:Paige Six

Blogger at coiledrose.wordpress.com. The Product Manager & Chief Operating Officer over at Another Castle. A Writer & Editor for Ladies of the Roundtable. Contributor to Aggressive Comix, Attack of the Fanboy, and so many more!

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2 Comments on “31 Days of Horror: GRINDHOUSE: BEE VIXENS FROM MARS”

  1. 10/13/2014 at 3:17 PM #

    Reblogged this on Coiled 薔薇 Rose.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Month of October Archive! | Coiled 薔薇 Rose - 11/02/2014

    […] Grind House: Bee Vixens From Mars (comic) […]

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