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How About a Little Fan-Casting?

But who could help bring the famed Cassie Hack to life? Funny you should ask, internet! (Yes, I know I keep talking to myself. No, I’m not OK. Let’s get past that.)

Maybe it’s my love of Evil Dead/Don’t Breathe and adoration of Monster Trucks (WE’LL GET THERE ANOTHER TIME, /FILM), but a fishnet-stockinged Jane Levy makes for quite the Cassie visual. She’s a take-no-shit actress who’s been battered, beaten and still persevered. Plus, her shorter size would accentuate just how mountainous Vlad stands. Levy has the attitude, physicality and cold, dead stare Cassie needs. She’s be a shoe-in.

Oh, you want more? OK. Alexandra Daddario. Boom. She’s had her go in horror movies both big and small (Bereavement/Texas Chainsaw 3D), and like Levy, knows how to kick some ass. Her sass in Baywatch would make her a fitting back-talker to Vlad, along with one-liners upon villain deaths. She’s a bit taller than Levy, but has the same steely vibe. Plus, she needs redemption for all the times Texas Chainsaw 3D made her fall like a clutz. You remember her tripping over the tiniest fence known to graveyards, correct? Give this girl a bat and let her blow off some steam.

How about Jena Malone? Why is everyone sleeping on her? Ever since her role as Rocket in the somewhat underrated Sucker Punch (COME. AT. ME.), I’ve been waiting to see her overtake a franchise. She’s popped up here and there, but The Hunger Games has been her only other showcase of bone-breaking potential. Paint her hair streaky black, emo her up, and you’ve got a pretty damn solid Cassie Hack if you ask me. Not the most conventional pick, but one I’d love to see.

Let’s not leave Vlad out of the fun! Give me a Dwayne Johnson or Dave Bautista and I’d be happy, no surprise. It might be generic to say, but that’s the kind of brute force you need for Vlad – a muscle mass who looks like he could toss a refrigerator 100 yards. The problem is, both Johnson and Bautista would be wasted if movie-Vlad is the silent type. With a mask, you can be a lot less picky. A Derek Mears or Kane Hodder could work. This is no knock on either actor, but they’re more accustomed to costumes and coverings. Hell, throw WWE’s Sheamus under there for all I care. As long as he’s massive, mean and militant when it counts, you’ve got your Vlad.

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How You Make This a Movie Series

Now, how to address progressive differentiation in a Hack/Slash franchise. Gee, how could you possibly milk numerous films and still forward a message of female involvement? Simple. New directors each film, each with their own unique take. Just like the comics. As you flip through separate narratives in any omnibus, style varies with drastic appeal. Blocky, vibrant colors might accentuate Cassie’s battle against an evil teddy bear (long story), while smudged water colors pit her against a giant smiley face (longer story). Why can’t numerous Hack/Slash movies follow suit?

During one of her shorter runs, Cassie goes up against a group of rockers who sell their soul for fame. These ’80s screamers are called Acid Washed (shirtless, glam hair, you know the type). It turns out that their growing popularity is due to sacrifices made at the end of every show, where “marked” virgins were led into a another realm to become impregnated by evil forces (still with me?). With this ’80s-chic-meets-Lovecraft vibe in mind, why not enlist The Lure’s Agnieszka Smoczynska for a bloody brutal arena-rock mindfuck? Let her re-team with musician Marcin Macuk, shred some tunes and deliver everything we loved about The Lure in Cassie form. Disfigured demons and juicy appendages are just as weird as killer cannibal mermaids. Fits like a glove!

The Hack/Slash comics also have a devious sense of humor, especially with Chucky and Ash hanging around. Maybe another entry airs more on this jovial slasher side? Possibly in the Charles Band realm, to get real silly. With Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich coming up, maybe there’s future crossover potential? All I can picture is a long-take of Cassie walking through an open room, smacking evil puppets out of mid-air as they lunge her way. Home runs all around! Give someone like Katie Dippold a writing attempt at such goofiness, and pair her with a director like…hmm…Rachel Talalay (Tank Girl/Freddy’s Dead)? I’ll take my producer credit now.

Okay, one last one while we’re here. Give me the heavier, more dangerous Karyn Kusama Hack/Slash entry where Cassie is forced to face her mother (and accompanying baggage). If you’ve seen Kusama’s XX segment, you know she can massage parental fear and torment. Who better to bring Cassie’s origin to light?

This is only the iceberg tip of potential for Hack/Slash. Tim Seeley’s universe offers more than dismemberment, grit and oh-so-wrong chuckles. Relationships somehow end up being tender despite a reality full of mutilated flesh and undead Revenants, with themes of gender and sexuality finding a platform (Cassie’s own sexual blossoming is a recurring topic). Cassie is a teenage punk at heart, except instead of damning the man, she’s condemning the blackest souls to their darkest demise. There’s also self exploration, promotion of individuality, and a heaping helping of gore to make all the emotional weight go down that much easier.

The time is now for Cassie Hack’s big-screen debut. We’ve not only waited long enough, but the iron is hot. Horror fans are clamoring for the next big genre “It Girl,” and you’ve got an icon in the making in Tim Seeley’s spunky reaper. Enough with the teases. It’s time to finally make a Hack/Slash movie and reshape a current genre landscape whose progress can still only be measured in inches. Need a catalyst for bigger changes? Well let me introduce you to a slasher bashin’ chick who’ll have your kissing her ring.

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