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REVIEW: Godkiller: Walk Among Us (Episode #1) directed by Matt Pizzolo

REVIEW SUMMARY: An intriguing (but incomplete) introduction to a post-apocalyptic future.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The first episode of a new post-apocalyptic motion comic based on Matt Pizollo’s graphic novel.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Intriguing world; artwork is unique and uses appropriately dark visuals.
CONS: Needed more world-building (which admittedly may come in later episodes); this episode is all about character introductions and thus lacks story cohesion.
BOTTOM LINE: Enjoyable overall, but it was hard to get a handle on the story in a mere 30-minute episode.


The motion-comic Godkiller: Walk Among Us (created, written and directed by Matt Pizzolo) mixes dark visuals, graphic violence, profanity and a speed metal soundtrack into an oddly alluring post-nuclear holocaust. The society it portrays is divided in two: the Republic commands the last vestiges of civilization while Outer City is deemed the wasteland where flesh is sold for purposes of prostitution and organ harvesting (the latter to cure radiation sickness).

As interesting as this is, the main focus of episode #1 seems to be about character introductions rather than world-building. Viewers are introduced first to the enigmatic Dr. Mulciber, a loner who is investigating (an otherwise unexplained) corporate espionage. Mulciber (voiced by Lance Henriksen) commands some control over the Ether, a Matrix-like network that somehow (again unexplained) warns him of impending danger and allows him to become invisible. Meanwhile, young Tommy Stark lives in an orphanage with his sister Lucy who is in desperate need of medical attention. Tommy vows to find her the organs she needs and so follows a pair of organ thieves into Outer City: and they would be Halfpipe and Angelf**k (Danielle Harris and Tiffany Shepis), who are actually prostitutes as well as organ thieves and who have a few interesting abilities of their own. And finally, there is evil bad-ass Dragos, who is has some nefarious (and again unexplained) goal of his own.

Since the focus of this episode is on the character introductions, the story itself feels as if it lacks some cohesion. Besides showing story threads that seem disconnected from one another, they also leave too many questions unanswered. While this does lead to some frustration (What is the Ether? How does it give Mulciber seemingly supernatural powers? Why does Tommy blood-mark his sister with an “X”? What is Dragos’ goals and motive?), I must also admit there is also an air of anticipation to see what happens next.

Godkiller: Walk Among Us is a motion-comic, which means that it uses as its foundation artwork from the original comic, and animates panels while adding embellishments here and there. Actors bring the comics to life adequately, though none of the performances really stand out. The artwork from Anna Muckracker (sprinkled throughout this review) is excellent; its style and use of dark colors and abrasive textures perfectly suits the post-apocalyptic setting. Brian Giberson’s animation brings these static visuals as much as a motion comic is able. The speed metal soundtrack adds to its sharp edges.

Ultimately, Godkiller was intriguing, but it was hard to get a handle on what its really about in a mere 30 minute episode.

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.
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