Locke & Key: Grindhouse delivers a graphic and brutal tale set in Key House’s past. Hill drops readers right in the middle of a successful robbery, and as the thieves escape they head to Key House to await a boat that will aid in their getaway. However, this will be the most intense and terrifying three hours of their lives, as Mary Locke and her family won’t be so easily manipulated.
Where the first one-shot set in this world was a very heart warming tale, Grindhouse yanks you in by the collar and slaps you around a bit. From the first exploding skull to the last severed hand, you’ll be more than pleased with the story in between. These villains are about as low as you can get, so it’s an even bigger payoff when they receive their comeuppance, which is both gruesome and humorous at times. It was great to see how deadly the house can be when the keyholders are fully aware of the power they have at their disposal.
What longtime fans of the series will immediately notice when they open the book is the change in Gabriel Rodriguez’s artwork. He masterfully morphs from his usual style to resemble that of the pulp tales told in this time period. However, it’s the lettering of Robbie Robins that puts it all over the top and completes this homage to those crime/fantasy tales from back in the day.
Grindhouse is a fantastically laid out sixteen page story, whereas the rest of the book is a detailed look at Key House itself. Joe Hill takes us on a behind the scenes journey detailing how things came together, and confirms (at least my) suspicions regarding Gabriel Rodriguez’s meticulous attention to detail regarding the actual house. This part of the book would probably satisfy those of us who have been reading the series from the beginning a bit more than say a new reader. Regardless of which category you fall into, this is a great one-shot that deserves your attention!