Five Horror Comics that Need to Be Made into Movies
Criminal Macabre (Various)
Criminal Macabre has the all the elements of a good movie. Dark noir, gun-toting detectives, and monsters up the ying-yang! The love baby of 30 Days of Night creator Steve Niles, Criminal Macabre is centered around a pill-popping, tough-talking supernatural detective named Cal McDonald who solves ghostly mysteries with the help of his ghoul partner, Mo’loch. From werewolves to vampires, no one is safe from his quick wit and even quicker gun.
Criminal Macabre has gone from short stories, to novels, to comic books, so it’s not really that far of a jump to see it made into a movie, especially because there are plans to already get it made into one; did I not mention that? It’s still getting pushed around a bit, but when I spoke to Mr. Niles about it, he mentioned that Universal is interested, but they’re still working on getting a good director that would do Criminal Macabre justice. I would like to see Guillermo del Toro direct it because I love what he did with Hellboy and his organic (instead of CGI) take on monsters really brought the movie alive. If I had to pick actors though, I would choose Brad Pitt as the lead and Steve Buscemi as Mo’Loch, because that would be an awesome team! Brad Pitt has a great swagger about him that I think would really work for Cal and Buscemi is just plain weird looking, great for a ghoul.
The Sandman (DC/Vertigo)
I wrote about The Sandman back when I did the Top Six Greatest Horror Comics, but in case you missed it, The Sandman is about Morpheus, the king of dreams, as he hops from one plane of existence to another, from Heaven, Hell, Earth, and the subconscious stuff of dreams. As he travels, he stumbles upon many strange adventures, all the while lamenting on life and existence. A very existential comic with hints of horror and great scoops of the supernatural, The Sandman has won huge industry awards in and out of comics and is one of the few comics, along with Watchmen, to make the New Yorker’s Top 100 books.
While The Sandman would make one hell of a movie (and honestly, I’m surprised it hasn’t been one already), it would take an immense budget to pull off. Even just doing one of the graphic novels would probably set a movie studio back a huge amount of dough, but if they pull it off right, it would be the biggest movie of the decade. The comic is so beautiful and so detailed that to see it translated on the big screen would be amazing. They would need one hell of a director though, one who can handle the immense of grandiosity that this movie demands, like if Peter Jackson and Vincent Ward (What Dreams May Come) had a baby and that baby had waaaay too much money. To play the character Morpheus, I pick Keanu Reeves because he is already super brooding and super cute, so it would be an easy choice.
The Milkman Murders (Dark Horse/Image)
The Milkman Murders is one fucked up comic about a family in suburban America who hides dark secrets behind a wall of normalcy and smiles. It’s centered around the mother of the family who dreams of having a life like the one on TV, with well-behaved children and a loving husband. In reality, her daughter is fucking half the school staff, her son is killing local pets for fun, and her husband is addicted to meth and beats the ever living crap out of her any chance he gets. One day, while she’s putting away groceries in her empty home, the local milk man breaks in and rapes her. This is the beginning of the end, as she dives off into the deep end of insanity and starts to wreak justice on her family and everyone around her. Let’s just say shit gets real really quick.
This comic is one of the most depressing things I had ever read. I literally came out of reading that feeling bad about everything, especially that poor woman. I don’t know if mainstream audiences could really get behind it, but it would be a great independent film. Doesn’t even need that big of a budget really. For a director, it would need be someone who is not afraid of making the audience both squirm and cry, like maybe that guy who directed Bjork’s Dancer in the Dark, Lars von Trier, or Wayne Kramer, director of Running Scared. For actors, I pick John Goodman as the meth-addicted Dad, Charlize Theron in her Monster style acting for the Mom, Chloe Grace Mortez as the daughter, and Rupert Grint as the messed up son. I’m telling you straight, that would be one messed up movie.
MPD Psycho (Dark Horse Manga)
MPD Psycho is a Japanese comic about a detective with a multiple personality personality disorder, one of them being a notorious murderer. The comic starts off bouncing around from seemingly disconnected cases of psychotic murder, such as one killer who would kidnap women and grow flowers out of their brains while they were still alive. He would then kill the women when the flowers were in full bloom and bury the body with the flowers still attached to the brains, leaving just the plants to blossom. Yeah, it’s pretty fucked up. Anyway, as the detective and his fellow police begin to investigate this and other brutal crimes, they start to connect that everyone who committed the crimes were inscribed with a bar code on their eyeball from a young age. Exactly who are these kids and what are they capable of? As they delve deeper into the investigations, the detective himself struggles with his identity and which personality is actually the original.
MPD Psycho is an incredibly brutal comic that doesn’t skimp on the blood and torture. While there is already a mini-series that was released for Japanese TV back in 2000 and directed by the amazing Takashi Miike, I would love to see this either as a three movie release or an even longer TV series. Miike is already a great choice for a director, so I would stick with him as the director for the foreign film or a domestic adaptation. The movie would probably not need a super huge budget; a few squirts of blood, a touch of torture, and amazing acting would take it a long way. Once again, for acting I would pick actor/singer Rolly (Suicide Club) as the Detective Kobayashi in the foreign version, and Tom Hiddleston for the domestic version (and no, I didn’t just pick him because he’s cute.) Hiddleston has a great serious face that he inter-slices with moments of insanity that I think would really work for the whole multiple disorder thing.
Another comic that I covered in my Top Six Horror Comics, Preacher follows the tale of a of a one man crusade to find God and make him pay for all the atrocities on Earth. The main character, Jesse Custer, is a down-and-out man of God who finds himself infused with the bastard child of a demon and angel named Genesis, which crashed to earth and destroyed his entire church. Thanks to this sticky predicament, he becomes the privileged owner of the power of God’s Voice, an ability that allows him to command anyone to do whatever he wants. After he loses his ministry, he hits the road looking for the Lord himself accompanied by his one true love, Tulip O’Hare, and the cuss-word spewing Irish vampire, Cassidy. With demons, angels, and the Church itself on his tail, Jesse Custer soon finds himself on the shit list of every godly creature in existence.
Originally this comic was propositioned to be made into a movie back in 1998, but with a revolving door of directors, actors, and studios, it still has yet to see the light of day. Though it would probably not be as expensive to make as The Sandman, it would still require a pretty sizable budget to make all the demon and angel cities and creatures to look as beautiful as they would be believable. There was also talk about making it into an HBO series, but once again, it got abandoned, though this time it was due to religious controversy and the dark style that the series would require. It’s a shame, because a series would make a great alternative to the movie option, but we can still dream, can’t we? Sam Mendes (Road to Perdition) was originally slated to direct the movie, but I would pick Paul Thomas Anderson of There Will Be Blood fame because I love his huge, sweeping movie epics and he would be great for a dark Southern religious tale. For actors, I’d go with Sean Bean as Jesse Custer, Daniel Day-Lewis as Cassidy and, I’m gonna go on a limb here, but Jennifer Aniston as Tulip O’Hare. I really think she has the chops to play a tough, Southern belle, she just needs the chance.
Well, my dear readers, that’s my picks for Five Horror Comics that Need to Made into Movies. Is there anything you feel I left out? Feel free to drop a comment!