Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Movie House Horror!

When the TV set was first introduced everyone initially thought it was just another fad gadget that would disappear after time. But once the 50’s kicked in, drive-in and theatre owners began noticing their audience numbers were dwindling fast, and of course the blame fell completely on the TV. It didn’t take a genius to see that people were now staying home and watching movies instead of going out. But what could theatre owners do? This is where 3D movies and madmen like William Castle come in, creating gimmicks and other outrageously exciting promotions to lure people back to the silver screen. Kind of like the madman in this story…

From the Jan. 1954 issue of Mystery Tales #17





9 comments:

Dave B. said...

I love 3-D (though I never got to see many 3-D movies). Great ending.

Anonymous said...

great splash page, kind of silly overall but for once I didn't see that ending coming

Anonymous said...

Excellent artwork. Definitely EC worthy. Kind of a combination of George Evans and Al Williamson.

Karswell said...

I sometimes wonder if there were any REAL death related accidents in the world of 50's gimmick cinema. I'm sure no one ever got crushed by a 50ft phoney vampire, but what about an electrical mishap with the tingler under a seat? Or a flying skeleton on a wire getting tangled up and ripping someone's head off?

Uncle Ernie said...

I had wondered if this was an early Buscema; but Overstreet #35 lists 4 artists in issue #17:

Berg, Heath, Reinman, Shores

Ed Sizemore said...

It's hard not to read this and think they're taking a potshot at William Castle. Especially, since the movie theater owner has the same first name. Karswell, I wonder the samething. Now, I'm going to have to read the Castle biography to find out.

Anonymous said...

Television really was met with mixed reactions back then,in this one,you could assume Atlas was all for it,but in others,like the first one you posted,one gets the opposite reaction,maybe the writers were trying to teach kids a valuable lesson:sometimes its good to get off your lazy butt and stop watching movies and tv.,and read....the next issue of MENACE!.PS:MYSTERY TALES had yet another movie-based story,"SKULL FACE" in issue #6,it's kind of famous because of it's illogic and the later use of the character in the MU.

Karswell said...

Have you read the Mystery Tales Skull-Face story? I don't have this issue but was curious about it when I was looking for pre-code stories based around a movie theme. There's one teaser scan on the Atlas site but whoever scanned it obviously did it with their eyes closed.

Max the drunken severed head said...

There have been a couple of documented deaths at horror movies due to the victim's having an undiagnosed heart abnormality or disease. One was a kid-- a boy-- sadly.

As to the tinglers, I have seen the installation manuals for them. (You can buy reprints online.) They were merely small motors that made the seat vibrate. They were installed only in a relatively small number of theaters.

Man, I love all these comics you share. This is one of my favorite sites!