While the horror community tends to generally dismiss remakes as lazy writing–viewing the retellings of old stories as tired recyclables that are best left in the bin–there are certain historical tales that transcend redundancy precisely because of their generations of iterations. Since 1846, the story of Sweeney Todd has evolved from its penny dreadful origins into an ever-shifting tale that seems to greedily consume each new narrative and grow like a macabre, literary version of Telephone.
PRIME CUTS is a graphic novel that offers a modern incarnation of the Sweeney Todd mythos. Written by the experienced horror-writing team of John Franklin and Tim Sulka, it is packed full of sardonic twists on familiar elements of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
As screenwriters, Tim Sulka and John Franklin are no strangers to the horror genre. Their film, “Children of the Corn 666” was produced and distributed by Miramax/Dimension. You may recognize John Franklin as the talented actor who played ‘Isaac‘ in both the first “Children of the Corn” and again in “Children of the Corn 666”.
In PRIME CUTS, Todd is a sullen young man who gets out of cosmetology prison with the agenda of avenging his family. He navigates a degenerate setting that could have sprung from the mind of John Waters. In this world, mad cow disease has wiped out all the cattle in the USA, and everyone is obsessed with meat. Everyone is also some sort of sex-crazed, drugged-up bucket of human filth. Most everyone Todd comes into contact with seems to want to fuck, humiliate, or hurt him until he meets Electra Love, the Goth Princess of Pizza. Electra takes the role of Mrs. Lovett, and pizza replaces meat pies. With pepperoni at $32.99 a pound, Electra has been using dog food as a mystery meat topping, but when she meets Todd, we all know that will soon change…
PRIME CUTS is illustrated by Rob Gutman, an artist/graphic designer and musician out of Austin, TX. The art is unique: scratchy, exaggerated and almost juvenile–it’s like you’re looking over the shoulder of an angry kid in a Slayer shirt drawing this stuff in his tattered notebook in detention–and it works perfectly with the story.
If you’d like to get your hands on this sweet slice of Sweeney Todd homage (I think you do), PRIME CUTS Volume 1 can be purchased at IndyPlanet.com. You can also visit www.primecutsnovel.com for more information.