Dampyr 226 – Hellfire Club | Review


Published on Jan 04, 2019


The new year of the Sergio Bonelli Editore opens up immediately with the output of the register 226 of the series Dampyr. Harlan Draka has been rather central in the last year for the publishing house Via Buonarroti, especially thanks to the announcement of a film that will be released in 2020, but also to a volume of merit published during the Lucca Comics and Games that he has put in light all the skill and craftsmanship of the SBE.

The first issue of this 2019 is a tribute to the atmosphere of the Hammer, the home of English production which, between the Fifties and sixties, revived some of the monsters classic horror, with films became iconic, and consecrating actors such as Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. The atmosphere of the film later in the Hammer (those in which the profusion of blood was accompanied with an eroticism pushed) are a central point of the Hellfire Club, in which the eroticism and sex are the masters.

The story starts with a prologue set in the year 1762 on the inside of an ancient palace situated in the county of Kent, in which the noble aristocrats bored, which was part of the Hellfire Club, to organize parties orgiastiche in honor of the black goddess. It is a ritual that is not lost even in our days, and behind which lurk the exploiters of the weak and the needy.

The presence of Harlan Draka in London will deepen these insights, in addition to ascertain the truth about the investigations related to the death of a property developer, and the subsequent disappearance of an agent, Marion Wright, which delves in the ancient palace of the Kent, find terror, violence and blood.

With the Hellfire Club we are inside of a horror story from the anglo-saxon taste, and that, having basic an erotic component rather significant, could have even more push on a certain type of atmosphere. What Kubrick has done masterfully with Eyes Wide Shut (taking the novel Double Dream by Arthur Schintzler) could be a meaningful basis for the Hellfire Club.

The atmosphere of playing on the mystery, dream, and eroticism, are ideal in stories of this kind, while in the Hellfire Club Nicola Venanzetti gives more space to horror and thriller, putting the component of the visionary to the side slightly. Which is a shame considering that the designs of Fabrizio Longo, and by a dashed line, are ideal to give space to the rarefied atmosphere.

The fact remains that the Hellfire Club is a good register dampyriano, with a final a bit different from the usual, which usually Harlan clashes with the Master of the Night shift. This time Dampyr, to be able to fight the goddess at the centre of the orgiastic rites, will be in need of a support character from another world.

Also, the atmosphere and the setting in the English (not declined in his version of the medieval and fantasy), lend themselves well to stories with a central Harlan Draka and deserve some other book dedicated. We know that this will be a year of quite intense for Dampyr, rich in characters and events (expect, for example, a story that puts at the centre the creator of Conan the Barbarian, Robert E. Howard, barely glimpsed in a recent book dedicated to Lovecraft).

2019 will be used to launch Dampyr towards a 2020 memorable, considering that it will be the year of the twenty years, and the period in which will be released for the movie adaptation dedicated to Harlan Draka.

In short, the community dampyriana can already start rubbing their hands.

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