Top Five: Rodney Barnes Sinks His Teeth Into The Horror Genre
Oct 26, 2021
Top 5 by Rodney Barnes
Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen
"It's tough to name my top five horror films because my list of favorite horror films is literally in the hundreds," Rodney Barnes admits to PREVIEWSworld. "That said, I'll try!"
Producer-writer Rodney Barnes understands genre. With a television career that stretches across more than three decades, Barnes' creative touch has imprinted everything from comedy (Adult Swim's The Boondocks) and street dramas (Wu-Tang: An American Saga) to superheroes (Marvel's Runaways) and fantasy (Starz's American Gods). It's comics, however, that really allowed Barnes' to explore one of his all-time favorite genres. Horror.
In 2019, Rodney sunk his teeth into the world of vampires with his Image Comics title Killadelphia. Critically acclaimed and guaranteed to make readers look over their shoulder. Killadelphia was the beginning of what would become his Zombie Love Studios imprint. Branching out into this year's Killadelphia spin-off, Nita Hawkes Nightmare Blog, and the upcoming Blacula graphic novel.
PREVIEWSWorld managed to steal a few minutes with the prolific creator to talk about his five favorite horror films. In the process, we learn a little bit about what scares Rodney and what inspired his love of the genre. Keep scrolling. And Happy Halloween.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
"Wes Craven, much like George Romero and John Carpenter, heavily influenced my taste in horror films. They all spoke to societal issues in a unique and creative way. None more than A Nightmare on Elm Street, which spoke to the fear of folks who’d fled to the suburbs seeking safety from America’s inner cities. Beyond the theme, there were great special effects, a hilarious Freddy Krueger, and a young Johnny Depp. What’s not to love?" - Rodney Barnes
"Another movie I saw at an age I shouldn’t have that also had a profound effect on me. Until then, I’d never seen people that looked like me in horror films. Sitting in the theater with folks of my culture, screaming at the frights the vampire brought on the good folks of South Central was great fun." - Rodney Barnes
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
"This one snuck up on me as I went into the theater, not knowing what to expect. But the human/vampire connection actually influenced the creation of Killadelphia. Up to that point, to my knowledge, vampires were seemingly only interested in blood. The implication of loneliness was there in other stories, but the idea of love amongst the living and undead hit me hard. Great film." - Rodney Barnes
DAWN OF THE DEAD
"So, I actually hitchhiked to the only theater in the state of Maryland that was showing this movie. It was playing at midnight, which added to the anticipation of seeing it. It was love at first sight. Tom Savini’s special effects blew my mind. The subtext regarding the dangers of capitalism was great, and the cast—especially the great Ken Foree—was fantastic. George Romero was the man!" - Rodney Barnes
"I'm old enough to have seen this movie in the theaters. And although I was a kid and had no business seeing the movie, I thank God (ironically since the devil was one of the movie’s leads) that I did. It had everything; story, great acting, sound, effects, the cinematography was on point, and having read the book before I saw the movie, I felt it was a great adaptation. It molded my taste in horror. Trivia note: I was a security guard on the set of The Exorcist 3." - Rodney Barnes
Special thanks to maestro Rodney Barnes for letting us peer into the dark inspirations that led to Zombie Love Studios.
Discover more about Rodney's work below.
About Killadeplhia: When small-town beat cop Jimmy Sangster returns to his Philadelphia roots to bury his murdered father, he stumbles into a mystery that will lead him down a path of horrors and shake his beliefs to their core. The city that was once the symbol of liberty and freedom has fallen prey to corruption, poverty, unemployment, brutality...and vampires. There's a reason they say you can't go home again. Welcome to Killadelphia.
Adams' battle to reshape the United States in his own twisted vision might have been thwarted for now, giving Jimmy Sangster a moment of respite, but the war for a new America rages on! Now, as Abigail steps out of the shadows, she unleashes a new violent terror upon the city some have renamed Killadelphia. But this time, it's about creating as widespread a web of fear imaginable as she rips the beating heart from the city itself.
Can Jimmy stop her, or will history repeat and force him to meet the same fate as his father?
Collects KILLADELPHIA #7-12 and the pulse-pounding werewolf saga, ELYSIUM GARDENS.
A new vampire king has entered the game, and his name is Thomas Jefferson! The third president of the United States plans to (literally) raise hell as he sets forth to craft a new America far more twisted than the one he sought to create two and a half centuries ago.
Meanwhile, young Jimmy Sangster has been bitten and is quickly becoming a bloodthirsty creature of the night. Will SeeSaw and James Sangster Sr. be able to find a way to reverse his condition before his soul is lost forever, or will Jimmy's newborn instincts take over and put everyone he loves in harm's way?
Collects KILLADELPHIA #13-18 and part two of werewolf tie-in story "Elysium Gardens"
From the universe of Eisner-nominated series KILLADELPHIA comes a terrifying new tie-in horror series by acclaimed Marvel writer RODNEY BARNES and fan-favorite SPAWN artist JASON SHAWN ALEXANDER.
Jimmy Sangster might have left Maryland for the vampire-infested city of "Killadelphia," but there is still untold evil lurking the streets of Baltimore. The demon Corson has surfaced from the underworld to possess a once-wronged man, and his vengeance will come at the cost of humanity's despair! But Jimmy's former lover Nita Hawes - a woman with demons of her own - has begun a quest to root the evil out of her city. Guided by the ghost of her dead brother, she must come to terms with her own past, lest she join her brother in a state worse than death!
ASH IS BACK, BABY!
After his most recent appearance in Die!namite Lives, Ashley Williams is retired. Settled down. Haunted by the Deadites and the Necronomicon no more- wait, no, that ain't right... None of that is true! In fact, not only is Ash still haunted by Deadites and the Necronomicon, but he's haunted by the both of them in the 1970s (kids, ask your parents. Parents, ask yourselves!)! And what does he find in the South Bronx of the late 70s? Gangs! And what have those gangs found? The Necronomicon. So, what does that make the gangs? Bad-Ass Mxxxerfxxxers.
Dynamite proudly presents a brand new Army of Darkness series, written by Rodney Barnes (Killadelphia), drawn by Tom Garcia and featuring an awesome array of cover artists, including the Dynamite return of Jason Shawn Alexander, along with Junggeun Yoon, and Stuart Sayger and the Zombie King himself -- Arthur Suydam!
Rodney Barnes is an American screenwriter and producer. Barnes has written and produced The Boondocks, My Wife and Kids, Everybody Hates Chris, Those Who Can't, Marvel's Runaways, American Gods, Wu-Tang: An American Saga, and is currently an executive producer/writer on HBO's Untitled Los Angeles Lakers drama. In comics, Barnes is the creator of the critically acclaimed Killadelphia from Image Comics, and has written Falcon and Lando (Star Wars) for Marvel Comics.
Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. He is also the Consumer Marketing Manager for Geppi Family Enterprises. Troy's comics work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy's Apocalpyse '91, the Glyph Award-nominated Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Award-nominated Magic Bullet.