How ’80s horror films inspired Antoine Maillard’s graphic novel ‘Slash Them All’ – San Bernardino Sun

As a young boy, French-born illustrator Antoine Maillard spent his weekends at the local video store. He’d search the racks for his favorite genre of movies, which included a variety of American horror and slasher flicks from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.

He fell in love with classics like “Halloween,” “The Thing,” “Christine,” the films in “The Friday the 13th” franchise and newer releases of that time including Wes Craven’s 1996 slasher-reviving movie, “Scream.” While the now 32-year-old admits that he may have been a little too young for some of these gory films, they ended up having a lasting impact on Maillard as they served as inspiration for his debut graphic novel, “Slash Them All.”

“I started this project as a way to mix all the things I like,” he said during a phone interview from his home in Toulouse, France, ahead of the Sept. 20 release of his hardcover novel, which he wrote and illustrated.

“The thing that was the most fascinating for me in these movies is that there was a big focus on mundane, everyday life,” he continued. “In ‘Halloween’ or ‘Scream’ you see teenagers in everyday life.”

Much like the movies he loves, Maillard focused his book on teens living in the idyllic beach town of Playa Falsa, which translates to “fake beach.” The students at Playa Falsa High School are getting ready for summer break when, in classic horror film fashion, two teens are found dead. They’d been bludgeoned to death by a baseball bat.

Maillard doesn’t hold anything back as he jumps into the story with a violent start and blood being shed by the third page.

“I wanted, at the beginning, to catch the attention of the reader,” he said. “And this was also a trend in many movies; a very violent introduction and after that, a more atmospheric rhythm.”

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