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ADAPT THIS: It’s Bigfoot vs. werewolves in Steve Niles’ “Savage”

ADAPT THIS: It’s Bigfoot vs. werewolves in Steve Niles’ “Savage” (photo)

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With Hollywood turning more of its attention to the world of graphic novels for inspiration, I’ll cast the spotlight on a new comic book each week that has the potential to pack a theater or keep you glued to your television screens. At the end of some “Adapt This” columns, you’ll also find thoughts from the industry’s top comic creators about the books they’d like to see make the jump from page to screen.


This Week’s Book: Savage by Steve Niles, Jeff Frank, Dan Wickline, and Mike Mayhew

The Premise: It’s Bigfoot vs. a pack of werewolves, with a serial killer and some extra supernatural monsters thrown into the mix to make it the complete package for horror fans.

The Pitch: Sadly, I’m a week late in suggesting Savage for adaptation, as it would’ve made a great recommendation for the week of Halloween. Still, Steve Niles’ monster-packed tale would make a great, blood-soaked creature feature no matter what time of year it comes together, and it’s actually a bit surprising that we haven’t seen a “Savage” movie already.

The story follows a mysterious (and potentially psychotic) killer as he hunts down supernatural creatures, and looks for someone to inherit his “special” abilities. Without giving too much away, Savage manages to provide a plausible matchup between one of horror’s most popular monsters, werewolves, and one that hasn’t had quite the same success on the big screen (or in literature), Bigfoot.

Projects that pit well-known monsters or pop-culture archetypes against each other generally develop a lot of early buzz due to the novelty of the matchup, but the final product usually falls short of expectations. Franchises like the “True Blood” television series and “Underworld” movies have found success in mixing all manner of supernatural creatures, and it’s the storytelling that often means the difference between a laughably bad film and a compelling, legitimately scary story.

Savage is a co-creation of Jeff Frank, Dan Wickline, and Steve Niles, but it’s easy to see Niles’ fingerprints all over the four-issue miniseries that introduces the characters and the world they inhabit. As far as storytellers go, Niles has proven himself in the horror genre with 30 Days of Night, Freaks of the Heartland, Wake the Dead, Criminal Macabre, and a number of other projects that have been snatched up by movie studios or television networks (as well as his work on the video game F.E.A.R. 3). Basically, there’s no one more capable of making the “Bigfoot vs. Werewolves” premise something to frighten audiences instead of making them laugh.

As far as effects go, a “Savage” adaptation would likely require a similar level of digital effects as the aforementioned “Underworld” films. While the transformation scenes would likely be a mix of both makeup and computer-generated effects, brawls between Bigfoot and the werewolves would rely heavily on the sort of technology that made the “werewolf vs. vampire” fights look so darn good in the “Underworld” movies and many of the other recent projects pitting alien or supernatural creatures against each other.

It’s also worth pointing out that, unlike previous “Adapt This” selections, an adaptation of Savage isn’t the sort of project that relies on A-list actors to drive it forward. Outside of the story’s two or three main characters – most of which spend half the film as hairy monsters – the supporting cast could be summed up as either monster fodder or characters that keep the story grounded in the real world. Find a few talented actors who could sell their monstrous alter egos, a horror-friendly director, and a great effects team, and the pieces are all there for a great “Savage” movie.

The Closing Argument: It’s a story about Bigfoot fighting werewolves and other supernatural creatures, co-written by one of the best horror authors in the comics world. Honestly, that’s probably all that needs to be said about Savage to prove that it’s an awesome action-horror film waiting to happen.

Heck, we’ve seen countless “vs.” variations involving vampires, werewolves, zombies, and robots – how about giving Bigfoot a try?


Would “Savage” make a good movie? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.