Review – Blood Feud (#3 of 5) (Oni Press)


Click to enlarge.

Publisher: Oni Press
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Drew Moss and Nick Filardi
Release Date: 23 December 2015

With its alternative cover pages that mimic iconic posters for classic horror films, it is clear from the outset that Blood Feud is a mini-series created by horror fans for horror fans. The third instalment of the series features a wonderful alternative cover, designed by Dylan Todd, that presents the vampiric creatures from Blood Feud in the infamous film poster for Fright Night (1985), even playing on the tagline from the film: “There are some very good reasons to be afraid of the South”.

The comic therefore has a very knowing, playful and nostalgic feel that horror fans will appreciate and this very much created by the art and colouring. Moss and Filardi combine a heavy line and distinctive, angled design to the characters and world with strong, block colours to create an overall product that is very reminiscent of 1980s staple horror comics, such as the Twisted Tales anthology from Pacific and Eclipse Comics.

The mini-series, described as “A Southern slasher with bloodsucking bastards”, is thus very much a labour of love for writer Cullen Bunn, who apparently formed the story years ago, basing the characters and setting on real people and his experiences of growing up in North Carolina. The characters are truly endearing and this is a result of Bunn’s wonderful dialogue, which immediately sets up the chemistry between the characters. His captions, which narrate the tale from the perspective of protagonist R. F. in a retrospective style, provide just enough nuanced detail to define this character and the Southern gothic setting.

The story is simple, fun and summed up perfectly in the title: in a rural Southern town where everyone knows everyone, feuding families the Stubbs and the Whatelys have been fighting for as long as locals can recall. While the Stubbs are regarded as nuisance trouble-makers, there are whispers that the Whatelys are involved in dark dealings. R. F., with two of his oldest friends and a female scientist who is surveying the tarantula population in the area, find out the hard way just how diabolical the Whatelys truly are when they realise that they are the last four people standing in the way of a growing legion of vampires that has butchered their community.

In this instalment of the series, the action continues at a running pace: R. F. returns to his friend’s house after fighting and escaping from the vampiric children of the Whately clan, where he must fend off an attack from a newly-turned vampire he once called a friend, battle an army of tarantulas, and try to warn the town, only to discover just how endemic the evil is…

Overall, the simple story and nostalgic artwork, combined with a wonderfully gothic Southern setting, create a fun, easy read that will put a smile on any horror fan’s face.

Rating: 2.5/5.

The writer of this piece was: Rebecca Booth

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