Exclusive: Darren Lynn Bousman on His Comic Book 'Abattoir'


During our recent epic chat with director Darren Lynn Bousman (check out part 1 and part 2 of it if you've not already done so), the Repo! and Mother's Day helmer discussed another project he's been working on lately – his upcoming "haunted house" comic book Abattoir from Radical. From the way Bousman described the book to us, it's likely to prove just as controversial as his movies. Check out what Bousman had to say about Abattoir, and his movie plans for it, after the jump.

"Myself and my writing partner Michael Peterson came up with an idea for a movie," Bousman says, explaining the project's origins. "I wanted to make a haunted house movie, but every version of a haunted house movie's been done a thousand times. So we sat there and we struggled. ‘How can we make a haunted house movie that no one's seen before? Something that's unique and new to the genre…' It took us months and months and months, and finally an idea hit, and I was like, ‘I've never heard of this.' We did research and we never heard of this kind of take on it. Then we started writing the bible for it – what's it gonna be about? And it was huge, it was vast. It was too big to do in a movie. So I went in to my agent, and I pitched him the idea; and they flipped out. They were like, ‘This is a franchise. This is huge.' They took me in. The very first comic book company that I met with is a place called Radical Media. Radical Media immediately bought it, in the room. They said, ‘Do not show this to anyone else. We want to do it now.' What they did was they allowed us to tell the backstory in a series of three books that will be coming out. It may be more than that. There's gonna be three hardbound books, or issues. They were like, ‘We want to tell the mythology of this story and then make it into a movie.' So the first book is gonna come out, I believe, this October, which is Book 1 of it. It's cool, it's dark, it's fucked up. It's my version of a haunted house. And it's not like any one you've ever seen before."

"In fact, most of it doesn't have anything to do with a haunted house," Bousman explains. "It's just a back story that leads into what caused this house to be haunted and why it's haunted; and it deals with a lot of really uncomfortable scenarios – religion, murder, suicide – it deals with a ton of different shit. I tried to base it on religious fact. Because, here's the thing that's kind of screwed up but I always find fascinating: society – I don't care if you're Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Christian – believes in something, the majority do. Seventy-five percent believe in something. And we've taken society's belief system – no matter what religion it is – "If you believe in something, then you have to believe this, because here's what the Christian bible, the Buddhist, the Judaist, whoever, believe in, these fundamental things…" We've taken the belief system and caused a horror movie around it, which is I think is pretty fucked up.  The movies that I always find scary are The Exorcist or The Omen, these types of things. Still today, when I watch The Exorcist, I get pretty freaked out. So we wanted to take that and put it into a haunted house type thing. That's what Abattoir is.

Regarding the length of each book of Abattoir, Bousman remarks, "I don't know how many pages it is. Here's something else, to Radical's credit – we had been working on the comic for almost a year before they let us get a page run – because we didn't want to do something that was cheesy or ridiculous. Myself and Michael Peterson are writing the script of it. The comic book is the movie plus all the backstory that we could never film. So while we're writing the script – I don't know anything about comics, I don't read comics, I couldn't write a comic if my life depended on it – we went out and met with tons of writers. And it took months and months and months to find someone that got what we were trying to do. We told them basically what we wanted to be, and they came back to us with a take. That took months and months and months. It was back and forth – "No, no, no; yes, yes, yes." So we get the first script of the first book on Monday of this week. I have no idea how long it is now. But I'll tell you one thing… Reading the treatment for it, the treatment's fucked up. You feel dirty reading it. It's cool. That's Abattoir."