Set in 1983 during the British moral panic over violent horror movies, movies that would be dubbed video nasties. This horror comic deals with the censorship of media & over-reaction by police forces while actual murders take place.
The real life video nasty story is a fascinating one & something we’ve talked & covered at length on this site. Nowadays you get almost all of the nasty list uncut & the ones that have cuts have ones that are so minor you wouldn’t even notice.
Witten by Mario Covone, Video Nasty begins on a rainy night in Kettering. A man is walking through a dark park when he is suddenly attacked by some sort of large demonic looking creature. It easily overpowers the man & kills him with a sort of ritualistic dagger that has a Nazi symbol on the handle.
The next day the body is found & the police are called in. This is where we meet Clive, an inspector in the force tasked with investigating these murders. His job is hindered by his superior who is quick to blame fanatics obsessed with video nasties. He goes as far as to call the films evil, compares them to pornography & calls those who watch them, deviants. All of this on national TV.
Meanwhile Alan Derry, a film maker dealing in video nasties realises that the police & politicians are looking for a scapegoat & his kind of movies are going to get thrown under a bus in an attempt to explain away these murders.
He sets out for Kettering to meet a reporter in the hope of getting a live interview where he can put to rest many of the fears regarding the movies he makes.
Clive continues to dig for more evidence & links to the murder but coming up short time & time again much to his boss’s annoyance. Clive is unconvinced that the movies had any involvement but under extreme pressure he begins to look deeper into the video nasty craze. As the body count begins to rise people are desperate for an explanation & all signs point towards someone inspired by video nasties.
The story is brilliant, gripping you from the first page to the very end. It’s a mix of reality & fantasy leaving you fully satisfied at the end. It plays out at a pace that you’d expect to see in a movie with character development, side-stories & a frantic final few pages.
A lot of this is helped by the wonderful art (Vasilis Logios) which has an ‘of the era’ kind of look but really detailed. The use of dark colours & shadings for outfits & locations means when the blood flows it really stands out on the pages. The vibrancy makes it more horrific & unsettling.
Perhaps my favourite thing about these comics are the covers though (Graham Humphreys) with each one (a set of 6) having its own unique style but tying into the overall story. Made to look like covers of movies (video nasties, I guess) the detail is incredible & it really hammers home the horror that waits within the pages.