First published in a collected volume back in December of 2014, Dark Horse Comics’ graphic novel double-feature ‘Grindhouse: Doors Open At Midnight - Volume Two’ featured the stories ‘Bride Of Blood’ and ‘Flesh Feast Of The Devil Doll’, written by Alex De Campi with artwork by Federica Manfredi and Gary Erskine respectively.

Bride Of Blood - 50 Pages
It was to be their wedding day.  The day when Branwyn of Creagh Mawr would wed the Lord Rowan of Callyreath.  But what should have been the happiest day of Branwyn’s life, turned into a bloodbath of rape and murder.

Before anyone could prepare themselves for the onslaught, the Reavers appeared out of the surrounding woodland, cutting down the wedding guests and ending the despicable slaughter by raping the bride-to-be.

Lord Callyreath escaped down the river with his life, but not without sacrificing those he was due to accept into his royal family.  Those who should have been dearest to him.

As for Branwyn, her body would recover from the wounds it suffered.  Although she would forever remain silent, having had her tongue cut out by the barbaric Reavers.  But the worst damage lay with her spirit.  What she witnessed that day, what she suffered, would forever stay with her.

She’d lost everything.  And the man she thought she loved, had abandoned her and her family both on that terrible day and ever since.  He’d left them to die.

But now she would have her revenge.  Now the bride would finally have her blood…

Some of the goriest, most blood-thirsty and barbaric stories are those written about the medieval period.  A time when double-crossing meant ramming a sword through someone’s gut until their entrails slop out the other side.  A time of torture, rape and pillaging.  A fucking brutal period where murder and torture was dished out on almost a daily basis.

The Grindhouse boys know this well, and have brought the lowbrow grindhouse gorefest to the time of knights in shining armour.

What unfurls is a story of murder, greed and coldhearted vengeance.  It’s ‘I Spit On Your Grave’ (1978) flung into the fifteenth century.  You see, our Branwyn turns out to be a bit of a badass.  She’s pretty damn capable with a broadsword, and has a fair few devious tricks up her sleeve to ensure revenge is well and truly hers.

It’s all a bit of fun.  At no time whatsoever should you take any of the shenanigans in these stories remotely seriously.  It’s just grindhouse entertainment, with the bodies piling up by the second.  And here’s another example of how damn entertaining that can be.

Flesh Feast Of The Devil Doll - 50 Pages
Back in the eighteenth century, a group of Satanists opened a doorway to Hell in upstate New York.  Their attempts at summoning a demon were thwarted by the native tribes, and the gateway to Hell was left buried beneath the ground.

Now, some three-hundred years later and the natural gas companies have started fracking in the area.  Unbeknown to them, their work has disturbed the doorway to Hell, allowing one of its demons to escape.

Worse still, built directly above Hell’s gateway stands the Oneida Field Hockey Camp.  And the hockey season has just commenced – the dorms full of pie-fighting, bra-strap-snapping hockey girls – ready for all sorts of action.

And action is exactly what they get when one of Hell’s multi-toothed demons starts zombiefying as many of the local males as the she-demon can find.  The hockey camp girls will have to face down a mob of brainwashed locals and Hell’s demon itself, if they are to save not just upstate New York, but very possibly the entire world.

The fight is on…

This one’s an absolute blast.  It’s so over-the-top, so randomly chaotic and monumentally without any grip on reality, that it’s nothing short of sheer unadulterated grindhouse entertainment.  Literally anything can happen in it.  There’s virtually no need for a proper explanation or a convincing purpose.  The characters are mere puppets to the story’s goal.  As long as what they’re doing has an undertone of sleaze in it, then it’s got a place in the unfolding storyline.

In a nutshell what we have is a ferocious she-demon that’s come up out of Hell and is on the rampage and looking for virgins.  Lucky for the multi-toothed demon, it’s come up out of the ground right beside a hockey camp that’s full of fun-loving young girls experimenting with their sexuality (I kid you not).  Spotting a virgin amongst these frisky young girls isn’t the easiest of tasks, but there are nevertheless a few of the untouched left.  And so with the plot well-and-truly in motion, what’s left to come is scene after scene of hockey stick violence and demonic possession to the extreme.

Due to the magnificently ludicrous nature of the tale, there’s little to no serious characterisation.  Instead we’re treated to some pretty wild and wacky characters, mostly blabbering on about the fun of being complete sluts.  There’s certainly plenty of dirty-old-man’s-wet-dream shit going on in the story.  But it works well with the over-the-top grindhouse vibe.

It fast-paced and fun, with plenty of action and gore bursting out of every page.  The story doesn’t take itself seriously, and nor should you.  It’s all about the entertainment factor.  And that’s exactly what it excels at.

The double feature graphic novel runs for a total of 120 pages (which includes ten mock-up ‘coming soon’ movie adverts, as well as ten pages of bonus material).

© DLS Reviews

Other ‘Grindhouse: Doors Open At Midnight’ instalments:

Make a free website with Yola