Something strange is abuzz this hot midsummer night somewhere in what appears to be, at least superficially, a rather low class town filled with skimpily dressed country girls named Arlene and Veronica and one eyed police women. You see, Arlene and Veronica are simply hooked on the honey that is dripping from a rather large bee hive hanging from "that ol' apple tree up on Cemetery Hill," and this honey packs a bigger punch than a pair of barefoot, Daisy Dukes wearing, sex deprived young girls swilling aphrodisiac laced beer would on a hall filled with Puritanical farmers. This honey is special, as it has apparently not of this Earth. It's the secreted resin of the Bee Vixens of Mars(!), and heaven help any man who gets in their way...or woman.
Alex de Campi (Smoke, Kat and Mouse) cooks up one sweetly disturbed, B-Movie inspired, graphically gory, and sexually exploitative grindhouse of a comic book with Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight #1 "Bee Vixens From Mars"Part One. Playing with nearly every 1970s B-Movie/Grindhouse trope, Campi manages to put together the most campy (no pun intended) first issue of a comic that I've read in quite some time...all on purpose. While it might appear to be totally devoid of any type of redeeming quality at first glance, Campi, in spite of her mild protest against "authorial intent" in the issue's afterword, definitely displays some savvy authorial intent to stir up themes of female empowerment with her portrayals of Betty, Arlene, and Garcia, the one eyed female cop (and only competent residents of this backwater town). Garcia is the atypical tough, take no prisoners type of cop, and Betty and Arlene have more sexual virility than any male character thus far introduced (one of which needs three beers to "get in the mood").
Being a grindhouse inspired work though, this one is definitely not for the kids. Artist Chris Peterson brings this blood soaked, sexually charged, camp fest to suitably gory and graphic life. The body missing its head (and genitals), and the aforementioned sexually hyped up country girls...henceforth to be referred to as the Bee Vixens...are all rendered with an appropriate twinge of cartoon-ish camp and dimly lit horror. Just about every body posture, facial expression, and action is over exaggerated just enough to induce the look and feel of the over exaggerated grindhouse exploitation films that Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight is meant to both parody and emulate.
A must read for fans of 1970s grindhouse, Tarantino films, and well written and drawn comic books for mature readers, Grindhouse Doors Open at Midnight is not to be missed.
Grindhouse Doors Open at Midnight #1 goes on sale Oct 2nd.