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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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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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