Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Meet Me in the Cemetery

More tootie-frooti colored Ace horror for you today… this is a fun, though slightly odd and predictable pre-code yarn that sort of reminds me of Hammer’s classic The Reptile (’66.)

From the November 1952 issue of Hand of Fate #14









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PLUS: Bonus Hand of Fate quickie!

18 comments:

Tim Tylor said...

"I knew it would end like this!" That second-last panel seems... worryingly suggestive somehow. (And hysterically funny, but maybe that's just me.)

Yes, the cemetary is a great meeting-place. Everyone goes there!

Mr. Cavin said...

Yeah, you can't tell me those last two panels aren't psychosexual. "I'll cut off the man's snake and take his woman". Spit! Spit!

Stories like this always seem to just be some excuse to present one or two irresistible scenes. The top two-thirds of page two are awesome. Who cares why? And the art in this one, which started out sort of humdrum, seemed to evolve into a moody primitivism as the story progressed. I'd hang the second panel of page seven between a Lichtenstein and a Matisse. You just have to imagine it two by two in oils.

Kate (upset): "Why--who?"
Cobra Woman: "Zhj! Zhj!"
Kate (flying): "I... She..."
George: "It's the craziest thing I ever heard!"

Absinthe said...

Best line - "I don't like to hit a lady, but you aren't giving me much choice." And I also love the snake's attack of "ZHJ! ZHJ! ZHJ!". Great art with the LSD colors - reminds me of an Argento film.

oeconomist.com said...

I never married a girl with the soul of a cobra, but I dated one with the soul of W. ægyptia. Man, that was no fun.

Anonymous said...

SAME REASON I LOVE PREDICTABLE OLD HORROR MOVIES IS THE SAME REASON I LOVE MANY OF THESE PREDICTABLE OLD PRECODE STORIES. SIMPLY THEY DELIVER THE GOODS.

I REALLY LIKED THE ART HERE TOO, AND THE STRANGE COLORING ADDED TO THE SURREAL NIGHTMARE.........LIKE ABSINTHE SAID IN AN ARGENTO OR BAVA MANNER. OR YES EVEN A HAMMERFILM

The Vicar of VHS said...

"I married a girl with the soul of a cobra! Not until we were married did I realize that she was a she-devil who could change into a poisonous snake at will!"

It's the same old story! ;) I wonder if any of these story writers were happily married. Oh well, this and the whiskey is cheaper than psychotherapy...

This is really a wild one. That Kate Sefton, she seems like a real solid chick--of course the moral is, the dead wife of your fiance DESERVES NO COMPASSION. She's an EVIL SNAKE WOMAN WHO WILL KILL YOU. So don't feel bad about dancing on her grave. :S

I love the Cobrastrictor's sound too--"ZHJ! ZHJ! ZHJ!" I can just hear it. It kind of makes me wonder if those are the initials of someone close to the letterer...

I also love the "venom" of a lot of the dialog. "Get out, you interfering fools!" "DON'T BE AN IDIOT!" And Yates doesn't seem the brightest bulb on the tree. Why didn't he chop the snake up in India? Or just burn the coffin? I guess it didn't occur to him--keeping it a secret and killing anyone who finds out seemed a lot more reasonable at the time.

And finally, what a convoluted romantic quadrangle we've got going on here--Kate loves Yates, who married Rae but is now back with Kate...Young Brigham loves Kate, who was loved by both Brigham AND Yates, but now Kate and Yates have set the date...IS IT FATE? (Also, George seems QUITE willing to spill the beans about it to anyone. He's HURTING, people!)

Nice middle-of-the-week pick-me-up, K!

Tim Tylor said...

The absence of blood on the wax executioner's axe and plinth is the most fantastic part of the HoF for me...

I don't think I've been in a waxworks for literally decades, come to think of it. They've probably lost some of their pulling power in the era of plastic celebrities. Far as text stories are concerned you can't get better than W L George's appropriately titled Waxworks (pdf from HorrorMasters library) which has the perfect nasty atmosphere for nasty surprises.

Patrick said...

When Yates says " I knew it would end like this", it makes me wonder if he had been reading a lot of pre-code horror comics...

I guess it's wise to steer clear of dating women with the ability to change into a snake!

Kitty LeClaw said...

I can't help but think Yates' secret would have been much safer if he'd left it back in India.

I wonder what happened to all of her VENOM CDs?? She had some ultra-rarities.

Jeffos said...

I'm a little confused about Yates' motivation here: "I'm so concerned about my dead cobra-wife's murderous tendencies that I'm going to kill you both to keep her secret." Wha???

And he wasn't very concerned about George: "Ah, he's dead anyway. Screw him."

And why didn't Yates kill the thing when it was in snake form in India? It would be a lot easier to explain the death of a snake than your wife's strangulation.

Man, I'm starting to wonder who's the antagonist here.

Karswell said...

People! Some of you are a bit too questioning today... I mean, afterall this is a story about a woman who can turn into a COBRA! Next it'll be, "why did't she just turn into an invisible vulture and fly away?"

All fun and kidding aside, tomorrow I'm turning things over to Brian Hirsch again who has a weirdly wicked Matt Fox classic for ya'll. And on Friday I have a Jack Cole monstrosity ready to kick down your walls! Best get prepared...

prof. grewbeard said...

i dated a girl with the soul of a Humboldt Squid once- that really sucked!

prof. grewbeard said...

damn, Karswell, i was so caught up in the crazy colors of this story that i didn't even notice the plug for my site, thanx a big ol' bunch!

silvano said...

Great unintentional funny story ;this seems material for an Ed Wood movie :"I don't like to hit a lady" while hitting the cobra is just the peak of the iceberg ,and the snake itself is one of the fakest I've ever seen , but still ,fun as hell ...
Thanks for sharing

Horror pariah said...

I dunno,a gal with a forked tounge ssssssssssssssounds okay to me.

todd said...

If this had followed any sort of logic, it would not be nearly so awesome.

I had to reread the ending to make sure I got it right who died.

Laser Potato said...

WHAT THE HELL?!
This story fails biology forever.
1.) Cobras don't kill by strangulation.
2.) Snakes don't have vocal cords.
3.) REPTILES ARE NOT SLIMY. EVER.

Mr. Cavin said...

Number 3.)

Not even when I roll the reptile in mayonnaise?