Halloween. Friday The 13th. Scream.
These classics in the slasher horror genre of film contain two commonalities: a vicious killer and a resilient heroine. It is this traditional balance that fuels the history of the slasher. No matter how vicious and rage-driven the killer, it is countered by the drive to survive that fuels the young, female protagonist. She does just enough to defeat the evil slasher and escape to safety. Yet, what if there were slasher flicks that flipped the traditional formula? What if Laurie Strode hunted down Michael Myers? What if Sydney Prescott spent the majority of her cinematic story tracking down and killing anyone attempting to don the Ghostface mask?
Enter Cassie Hack. The bloody, revenge-driven horror goddess you didn't know you needed and you will never forget.
Cassie Hack is the main character of the comic book series Hack/Slash, created by Tim Seeley (Revival, Batman Eternal, Nightwing) for Devil's Due Publishing in 2004. In the Hack/Slash stories, Cassie Hack survives an attack by a slasher and from that moment on, wages a war against the vicious slashers that prey on partying teenagers. After numerous one-shots, stand alone story arcs, a move to Image Comics and huge collections of her stories titled "Omnibus", Cassie Hack will be returning to physical and digital comic pages on October 25th when writer Tini Howard releases her take, Hack/Slash Resurrection #1.
Yet, what about introducing Cassie to the general, media-consuming public? Why has there yet to be a Cassie Hack television series or film franchise?
If there were ever a time that was primed for a strong female protagonist who takes the vicious battle to the horror villains, it is now. Not only does the horror genre have established filmmakers like Robert Rodriguez, James Wan and Eli Roth, but the genre has a rise in talented female filmmakers who can tackle the essence of horror just as well, and in some cases better, than their male counterparts. Names like Jennifer Kent (The Babadook), Julia Ducournau (Raw), Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night) and of course the horror princess herself, actress and filmmaker Danielle Harris. Whether it be male, female or a cross-gender writer/director duo, there is more than enough talent in the industry today to accurately develop the tales of Ms. Hack.
But does flipping the formula take away the scares of a horror film? Not at all.
The fact that the Cassie Hack stories center on a young woman who hunts down frightening, murderous psychopaths does not take away from the fact that these stories feature frightening, murderous psychopaths. These antagonists still impose their will on innocent high school victims. They stalk, they terrorize, and they murder. They do everything the typical horror villain does. The only difference is they are unaware that they will eventually meet their doom at the hands of what they would once consider their prey. It is a balance of horrific fear and gory satisfying reckoning.
Cassie's actions are a response to their terror. She learns where the killing takes place. She embeds herself in a high school. She disguises herself as a new student who just so happens to be dressed in the manner these monsters prefer their victims: scantily clad. She attends the alcohol-infused parties and just when the evil slasher pops up to start the mayhem, it is Cassie who reveals her true intentions... using a knife, axe or one of her favorites: a baseball bat with nails protruding from it. It is bloody delightful.
Finally, there is the person that is Cassie Hack. She's smart. She's independent. Shes sarcastic. She's a smart ass. She is at times the combination of moody gothic chick sporting a catholic schoolgirl skirt... hiked up, of course. Her strength is empowering. She is a symbol of someone who chooses to no longer be the victim and instead, takes the fight to those who impose fear. In a time where it is so important to promote the rights of women and those in the LGBTQ community, Cassie Hack is a champion for those who look for equality in a genre that can be one-sided. She is woman. She is queer. She is strength. You will hear her roar and her vengeance will not be denied.
Cassie Hack has made a name for herself in the world of comics and graphic novels. It is time that this vicious beauty with a brain makes her way to the big screen. Whether it be one film, a film franchise or a television series, Hack/Slash needs to be presented to the mainstream. There is no better time than the present. This has been my demand for Cassie Hack.
- “The Azorean One” Anthony Esteves of The Capeless Crusaders.