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5 Horror Movie Influences on Cult Classic: Creature Feature

Written by Eliot Rahal

Cult Classic from Vault Comics is returning next month with a brand new series called Cult Classic: Creature Feature. Writer Eliot Rahal, artist John Bivens, colorists Hannah Jerrie & Iris Monohan, letterer Taylor Esposito, and designer Tim Daniel have worked together to create a delightfully creepy tale. In celebration of the book's upcoming release, Eliot Rahal has shared five horror movie influences for Cult Classic. In reading this list, you can definitely see the impression they made in how the comic plays out.

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This might be one of the funniest films on the planet. I love everything about it. I love how the characters are over-the-top genre-teens (goth, punk, prep). I love how the first 15-20 minutes is a nice soft set up where the audience just gets to sort of watch the storytelling mechanism get put into place. I love that the entire first act is also a wink and a nod to Night of the Living Dead. And I love how the entire rest of the film is just total chaos. Just non-stop screaming. To this day, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. And I’m looking.

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I could go on and on about how the effects, make up, and music are spectacular. That they are a phenomenal achievement. And that they are awesome. However, what I most love about this story is that it’s just a loaded gun to the head. Like…because the characters and characterization are so well done, you can really feel the tension. You can taste the mistrust. It makes the drama of their situation feel real.

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3. NIGHT/DAWN OF THE DEAD (originals)

This one is cheating I know. But screw you. I’m gonna cheat. With that…I used to say Night only. I love Night because it’s just a great story that has so many layers to it. But I think I love it more because of who the people were, what they were doing, and the context that they were doing it in. They were low budget filmmakers who wanted to make a movie -- and did. They called in every favor. They worked every angle. They hustled. And I love that. It’s the same reason I love Sam Raimi. I love that. After watching Dawn a few more times in comparison, I’m realizing that the film is working out the same heavier themes that Night touched on, but more specifically. This movie has more experience and nuance. And it shows. It’s also more ridiculous. Which I love.

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I used to say Army of Darkness, but hey, that’s growth, right? I dunno. It’s still up in the air. However, the more I think about it…how this film blends both genres of horror and comedy together. They take the two different sides of the coin and balance them so effectively through a story about survival and ancient demons. Whereas I feel that AOD is just an out and out comedy at this point. It’s hard. I love both so much. However, again, my real love for this film and the series comes from Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi. They were, and still are, a huge inspiration for me.

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Gotta put in at least one super serial one. Although, I’d argue that Night of the Living Dead is super serial. It’s just that…and yes it might be a hack thing to say…this film stands in its own class. Everything about it is thoughtful, inventive, and still very scary. In fact, the movie has only gotten scarier to me as I’ve grown older. When I was a young man, I could at least write-off my fear with a conviction that the contents were pure fiction. But as I’ve grown older and I’ve regained some sense of my spirituality; the concepts in The Exorcist have become a lot more terrifying to me personally. And a lot more real. Also, really quick shout out to The Exorcist III. George C. Scott delivers the greatest monologue of all time – “I BELIEVE IN SLIME!”

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Honorable Mention: GODZILLA (1954)

Why is this even included? Well, one I didn’t put in the top because I’ve only seen it a handful of times, and also just recently might I add. And two, I know it’s not considered a specific horror film. At least I don’t. That being said, I’ve only watched this movie with adult eyes. Yes. I’ve seen other Godzilla movies, but none are like the original. And all though nothing is truly upsetting about the creature itself. The effects it has are truly disturbing. Some of the scenes in this movie are very clear expressions of the Japanese experience with atomic warfare. And I just find it flat out unsettling. It’s a real kind of horror. And it’s amazing to me that a film with such a fantastic premise can have such a real and bleeding heart for a core. Maybe that’s why I like horror so much? It’s honest that way.

Cult Classic: Creature Feature #1 is set for release on October 16th, 2019.

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About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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