"Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out #3" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Alex de Campi
Illustrated by Chris Peterson
2015, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on March 25th, 2015
After defeating the Bee Vixens from Mars, Deputy Garcia was patched up with some cybernetic enhancements thanks to her Russian buddies Sergei and Wayne. Now she's ready to kick back and relax with a road trip to see Wayne's father out in the boonies. Unfortunately, trouble seems to follow her, as she encounters some giant ticks from outer space that crash land nearby. They're destroying the town and killing everyone in sight. It's a good thing Garcia knows a thing or two about killing giant monsters.
The first half of this issue (approximately 25% of the two-part story) is spent with Garcia and Wayne traveling and meeting Wayne's old codger of a father. We meet some of the neighbors and even get a brief history of this podunk town. It's a lot more jovial than previous Grindhouse tales. Wayne is barely in Bee Vixens from Mars, so it's tough to care much about his background and why this trip back home means so much to him.
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Garcia is the real draw (and those big ticks of course). She's a total badass who takes no shit from anyone, but instead of clamping down and taking the fight to the monsters, she's cracking jokes. It's like she's a stereotypical “funny guy” in a horror movie now.
As a whole, this issue takes a swing into the humor territory. There are subtle things like the heart that appears in Garcia's good eye when she spots something she really likes. Then there's the outright cartoonish like the tick that's pumped full of air and flies away like an untied balloon. It's not what you'd expect from this series, especially with some of the previous stories.
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I don't think I've ever seen a tick up close, but after seeing artist Chris Peterson's giant versions, I'm never going into the woods again. They're so friggin' creepy. They crawl out of the lagoon like crabs, sucking the blood from anything they encounter with their hideous...beaks? Tongues? I have no idea what those things are, but they freak me out. As they move around, there's a little “chitter” sound effect popping up that adds to this unease.
It should also be noted that Francesco Francavilla provided a downright gorgeous cover for this issue. It's something that should be framed and hung on a wall. It's also a nice contrast to Bee Vixens from Mars. The images are flipped, so they're kind of like a mirror image, albeit with different creatures floating above the female head.
This is a lot goofier than the other Grindhouse comics. In a weird way it reminds me of Tremors in that you've got a small group of people out in the middle of nowhere facing off against a bunch of giant creatures. The first chapter of Blood Lagoon got all the pieces in order for a big bug-squashing battle royale, which I know that writer Alex de Campi can deliver in spades.