Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ghoul’s Bride

Story #2, (scans courtesy of Brian Hirsch) from the February 1953 issue of Voodoo #6... it’s another pleasantly grim, ill-fated entry that makes good on the ‘ol WTF?!, leaving you with a screwball closing panel that beckons: Laugh? Cry? Scream? Sympathize? The first 5 people to give me a good detailed reason behind their reaction today win a FREE TCM 31 Days of Oscar composition notebook, (courtesy of my friend Sakeenah Johnson at Turner Classic Movies.)








TOMORROW: She Wanted to Know…

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Barbara Steele fans will be happy to know that An Angel for Satan (’66) has finally received a US DVD release this week by some company called Midnight Choir. Paired on a double feature disc with Steele’s previously available, English dubbed, public domain staple The Long Hair of Death ('66), An Angel for Satan thankfully appears to be in its original Italian language w/ English subtitles.

Click the image below for more info and to order.



And if that’s not enough, Raunchy Tonk this week released a 50th Anniversary Edition of the William Castle classic House on Haunted Hill (‘59.) The difference here: A brand new widescreen transfer PLUS “Ninety minutes of mind blasting bonuses” (so says the cover.)

Click the image below for more info and to order.

15 comments:

oeconomist.com said...

Excellent! We know that Rita was evil ex hypothesi. We know that the ghoul was evil because, knowing that Rita was evil, he tried to rescure her. And we know that the governor was evil because he was a governor. Rita is hanged, the ghouls hopes are crushed, and the governor gets the bejeezus scared out of him. A hat trick!

Mr. Cavin said...

I have to admit, my reaction to the end of the story was to roll my eyes. I can give you as much detail about that as you’d like. I am sorry the story didn’t cash the check promised at the beginning when it was revealed that the girl was going to be “marrying death”. That might have been a really neat story, as the murderess goes on hubby’s adventures with him, performing a civil service that even she might find fulfilling. But no. And here I would like to introduce the concept of the “twist beginning”. Instead of marrying anybody, the woman “dates a ghoul” who promises that “death will not touch [her].” What kind of a marriage is that? Unconsummated, I’d say. And anyway, it’s a pretty empty promise, what with her death-by-hanging a page later. Course, he’s given her a vial of what can only be vampire bat blood, which resurrects her and turns her into Martin Landau, but the potion’s been weakened with the provision that even glancing at a velvet servant bell pull will instantly kill her. I mean, what the hell? What kind of undead power is that? There’s rope laying around everywhere. That bat woman would die just breaking into the trunk of my car.

Anyway, I loved this story!

And thanks for the heads up on the Barbara Steele double feature. Not sure how that one was slipping by me, but it has now been duly wishlisted. I have a question about this new House on Haunted Hill aspect ratio, which Amazon lists as 1.66:1. This is the third version I've seen hit the shelves. Mine is the typical 1.33:1 version, cleaned up some and very presentable. It doesn't look oddly-cropped to me, and Castle frequently worked with the less-expensive standards of the time. His bravado was usually saved for cheaper in-house gimmickry. I'd always assumed my version had the right formatting. Back in '99, Warner issued an anamorphic version at 1.85:1 that I seem to remember was obviously clipped top and bottom to wrongheadedly appeal to the burgeoning letterbox crowd. I'm in no danger of bothering to replace my version of this movie, but at the same time this release has raised the question, one I'd thought already answered, as to what the original aspect ratio of this film really was.

Anybody have any insight on that?

Squa Tront said...

Think Mr Calvin covered all the points in his critique. The whole tale was as mad as a chicken with lips ...but very enjoyable hokum all the same.

Anonymous said...

sheer poppycock

Jonathan Burns said...

In truth that last panel gave me a strange frisson, in that the poor ghoul is getting the bad news from an ordinary newspaper, as if it were any other news item. For a moment I'm thinking, does he get it delivered? Is it a special newpaper for ghosties and ghoulies? Can I subscribe?

And then by implication, an eerie world opens before me, where this sort of thing goes on all the time. Somewhere between Bizarro Earth and the Addams Family. So that the next day's headline will read "Expedition lost in Guatemala", and then "Giant Beetles Terrorize Farm", and then "Museum Fire Closes Egypt Exhibit", and so on. And it will still be just the paper us stooges are reading on the subway.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize the state run executions allowed stiletto heels...

Maybe the extra couple of inches was needed to ensure the proper drop for a smaller person.

jpmorgan said...

"AGGGG! A ROPE!" Wow, it's really something how the bell rope jumps out and throttles her, like it was some kind of snake!

Karswell said...

The rope is like the dreaded Snake Grass of earlier tales. You'll learn alot you didn't know about destroying monsters from pre-code comics.

Kitty LeClaw said...

Looks supa-fline in here, I really dig the new colour scheme! Very chemical wasteland!

Anonymous said...

HAAAAAAAAA! GUESS I HAD TO LAUGH, THE LOOK ON HIS CREEPY FACE IN THAT LAST PANEL IS JUST PRICELESS. NO MORE NECROPHILIA FOR YOU BUB. AND HER TRANSFORMATION LOOKS MORE LIKE A LIZARD TO ME. TOTALLY WEIRD TALE TODAY, LOVED IT!!

Karswell said...

Michael H. Price writes in:

"A choice selection. The reaction here to that whiplash denouement on “Ghoul’s Bride” is more a matter of sorrow for the wage-slave art-hacks who populated the Jerry Iger Studio during this period. I sense that the malnourished writing and often desultory (tho’ nonetheless professionally wrought) artwork that Iger sweatshopped for the Ajax and Superior lines have as much to do with the nothing-to-lose attitudes of the talents who found themselves thus enslaved. Something of a will-work-for-booze-money vibe, there. The story’s sympathy with a social-outcast character is typical of the work of talents who believe they have nothing left to lose. This period of Iger-shop horrors may have exerted a greater bearing than even that of EC Comics upon the underground horror comics (SKULL, SLOW DEATH, etc.) of the following two decades.

Further interpretations, pontifications, and consternations about the Iger Studio: Check out my recurring “Forgotten Horrors” column at www.janalanhenderson.com.

Usual best,

-- Michael H. Price"

Thanks Michael!
---Karswell

prof. grewbeard said...

"where oh where shall i find another at once so fair and so evil?"

craigslist?

Anonymous said...

"where oh where shall i find another at once so fair and so evil?"

And does she really need to be so fair if you're just gonna turn her into a malevolent flying Kermit anyway?

Horror pariah said...

Deals with the Devil usually make a lot more sense than deals with Death, i guess. Gotta agree that i like the new color scheme, too.

8thRay said...

Check out page 4, with the skulls on the bed posts. This comic was published in 1953, four years before Ed Gein was arrested (and his own bed post skulls were discovered). Something tells me old Ed read this comic at some point, and the only reason he didn't have a severed arm candelabra holder was because he just hadn't gotten around to it yet.