The Nail is a 4-part comic series created by Rob Zombie, a famous rock-star and horror filmmaker with an unparalleled love for all things dark and macabre, and Steve Niles, a talented and well-known horror writer and creator of 30 Days of Night. Simon Bisley (Batman: Black and White, Lobo) serves as the cover artist for all four comics. When you sign up for one of these amazing Charter Internet Plans you can find more crazy stuff like this online.

The collaborative project had been well-anticipated by audience members and fans, and was released in June of 2004 under Dark Horse Comics to eager fans. Both Niles and Zombie have their roots in the more macabre arts, and indulge themselves in the more horrific aspects of entertainment, seeking to understand the darker aspects of the human nature and bringing that darkness to life in their creations. The Nail is no different in this regard, presenting a sort of age-old quandary of the “good vs evil” that mankind is so eager to address and understand.

Together, Zombie and Niles created the dark and terrifying world of pro-wrestler Rex Hauser, the Nail and introduced audiences to a new kind of terror perfectly fit for the comic book world. Following in the footsteps of other comic book series, The Nail will become a full-length movie in the coming years. Given its style and art, molded in the ways of Duel and The Hills Have Eyes, the feature-length version will undoubtedly bring to life some of the darker aspects of the story that Zombie and Niles created.

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The Nail

 

The comic follows the story of Rex Hauser and his family. Hauser is a small-time professional wrestler who performs under the title The Nail. To make his living, The Nail tours the small circuit of the wrestling community in their town, where the wrestler performs for audiences. Unknowingly, however, the lives of the Hauser family is about to become very different when they accidentally cross paths with a band of Satanic bikers out for blood and gore. Unfortunately, these aren’t the typical bad-ass, devil-worshipping bikers that roam the Badlands far and wide: These guys are pure evil, the stuff of nightmares brought to life.

With no other choice, The Nail and his family take to the roads, only to learn that these Satanic bikers are relentless. Stalked across the Badlands of North Dakota, The Nail and his family must do their best to outrun these hellions on wheels, or find themselves torn apart by whatever evil these bikers worship so devotedly. But when their only choice of running away for as long as they can is no longer an option, The Nail must abandon the bravado of his pro-wrestling life and gather up his courage to face this evil head-on in order to protect his family from whatever unspeakable horrors these hellions plan to unleash upon them. In the toughest, realest and bloodiest battle of his life, The Nail must overcome evil in its purest form if he ever hopes to escape alive.

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The Good vs Evil Paradigm

The Nail is most assuredly a gruesomely dark tale of blood, gore, death and hellions on wheels. It’s a story of nightmares and terrors brought to life and given flesh. However, at its very heart, like any good horror story, The Nail is one of courage and the continuous struggle of good and evil as it presents itself within mankind. The Nail is little more than an entertainer, an actor who performs for cheering crowds and fanatical fans. He is not a fighter. He is not a warrior. And yet, when he’s taken away from his comfort zone and thrust into an unknown and unfamiliar world, he must adapt or die. The evil that plagues him and his family will offer him no time to come to terms with his new life. He must learn to accept this as a new aspect of himself, or die.

In the lives of many, such drastic changes in life aren’t commonplace, but there are similarities. Like many, The Nail is faced with a seemingly impossible task, but he knows there is no other choice but to face it headlong. In his case, it’s an evil hell-bent on destruction and chaos, a reckless force of nature that The Nail must defeat in order to protect himself and his family from further harm. This is a struggle known only too well by mankind. It’s a struggle that shapes and molds the very existence of humanity and forces them constantly to change, adapt and grow, lest they fall prey to their challenges.

Horror has a unique way of offering up the darkest aspects of human nature on a platter and examining those features on a deeper level. Many viewers can understand and empathize with The Nail’s desperate struggle to protect his family from the terrifying evil that haunts them. It’s the fear that many humans have at their very cores, even if not painted in so drastic a fashion. Zombie and Niles created a dark and gruesome tale for certain, and painted a dark aspect of human nature, and how human kind must overcome that struggle, that fear in order to survive.

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Critical Reception

Steve Niles, co-writer for the series, commented on The Nail, saying, “Blood, guts, wrestlers, the ’70s, and a satanic biker. Now that’s a recipe for a good time! Honestly, The Nail is one of the strangest projects I’ve ever worked on, and that’s a good thing! I think this one will make people squirm… and that’s a good thing, too!” And given how positively audience members responded to the release of the series, he’s absolutely right in his assessment.

The Nail was generally well-received by audience members. The comic series received generally favorable reviews from both Goodreads and Google Books, receiving a 3.6/5 and a 3/5 respectively. Similarly, the series received a score of 4.7/5 from Amazon.com. Most commonly, reviews complained of the shortness of the story, wishing for more story in order to flesh out some of the more vague aspects of the narrative. However, the series was highly praised for its darkness and gruesome scenes. Relatable characters and terrifying, skin-crawling villains are a staple aspect of the story, and serve to endear readers to the happenings of The Nail and his family. The artwork of the comic is both beautiful and bloody, and serves to capture the nightmarish feel of the narrative perfectly. You can find out more online with a subscription to one of the amazing Charter Internet Plans.

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