So we tend to be pretty tough critics here on the nerd farm when it comes to film adaptations of funnybooks. In this case, however, we’ve always been pretty impressed. Cólera first came to my attention a couple of years ago as an inventive little horror film that I enjoyed a good bit.
That’s good stuff, tense and violent and inventive. I like the one-shot effect, too. It’s one of my favorite directing gimmicks, and though there are cheats sprinkled through the film, they still do a nice job creating the illusion.
Now, I knew when I first saw Cólera that it was based on a comics story by Bruce Jones (or, well, I figured it out after I saw Jones’ name in the credits and did a little research). But until recently, I’d never been able to find the story itself. In part, my failure to find it was because I thought it had appeared in Creepy or Eerie (the black & white Warren horror magazines of the 1970s). But in actuality, it was published in Twisted Tales, a horror anthology Jones edited for Pacific Comics in the early 1980s. It also didn’t help that the original story was called “Terminated” (a great pulpy title, to be sure, but not what I was looking for).
Anyway. I finally found it, and since it’s only three pages long, I thought it would make an interesting comparison/contrast exercise. So here, with artwork by Richard Corben, is “Terminated.”
Heh. You just kinda expect the Crypt Keeper to pop up and say something smart-assed there, don’t you?
To be honest, though, I think Cólera is better than “Terminated.” The more serious tone serves the story well, as does their choice not to identify the illness of the victim. The storytelling’s more inventive, too, and in a short little vignette like this, style counts for a lot. Both are punchy horrific fun, though, so I hope you enjoyed them.