Thursday, April 17, 2008

HYBRID: Building The Beast

If you're reading this, then somehow, some way, you know that a comic book named "Hybrid" is debuting on June 27, that a feature film is scheduled to be made from it through Myriad Pictures, and you're intrigued to learn more. You've also probably guessed that I am the friendly, neighborhood writer responsible for it, so if you're expecting this blog to be critical and clear eyed, then you should just keep moving. Nothing to see here.

You see, I'm in love. Creature love. Have been ever since I was a kid and spent many a Saturday afternoon watching any number of Ray Harryhausen movies. Ever since those damn flying monkeys in "Wizard of Oz". And, yeah, ever since Luke Skywalker walked into a dive bar in Mos Eisley. When writing "Hybrid", as both comic book and screenplay, I reached back to those kinds of stories that originally fired my imagination: the creature feature. These monsters didn't just take up screen space, but seemed to be lifted from the dreams of every child who was ever afraid of the dark. The great monsters were primal, sensual, and yeah, not unlike us. They had needs as deep as any Shakespearean character. Would King Kong be as memorable if he weren't in love (or lust)? Frankenstein didn't just destroy, it hungered for human connection. And Godzilla didn't just destroy Tokyo, it was taking revenge on those whose power lust for weapons of mass destruction messed up his nap time.

The creature in "Hybrid" was conceived in this spirit. Is it a killing machine? You bet. But it's also a whole lot more. It thinks. It hides. It learns. And, as is apparent early on, it's not too crazy with those of us who litter, don't recycle, and drive SUV's. Are you going to see it in issue one? Better. You'll feel it, in every panel, every page. The dread, I hope, will be unnerving. And when you do see it, you'll think twice the next time someone invites you out for an afternoon of smooth sailing.

My other approach was to write the kind of horror story that had been MIA for some time. As a fan of the genre, I feel disenfranchised by the current, and ugly, obsession with "torture porn". Social commentary readings aside, there hasn't been anything particularly frightening about this sub genre. Since when does gore and bodily mutilation equal scary? For me, it's a lazy plot device, and I'm glad it appears to be playing itself out. No. "Hybrid" is classic monster movie stuff. It was done in the great spirit of other maritime adventures like "Jaws", "Dead Calm", and even "Knife In The Water". These movies all taught me the same lesson: Atmosphere, character, suspense, action, gore, and sincere humor can all fit into one movie, even one scene, and even onto one small, claustrophobic schooner, adrift and lost at sea, with no help in sight.

So come aboard. Dramamine to your left, life jackets to the right. Don't play with the spear gun if you've been drinking. Still, it should be fun. Just don't expect to see anyone tortured.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

More Coverage of Night & Fog

Some more excellent write-ups on more of our favorite horror sites...


Shock Till You Drop

Everything Scary



That last link features an interview with Alex and myself about writing Night & Fog.