Saturday, November 29, 2014

More Flaming Horror!

Just when you thought your horror couldn't get any more flaming, comes this extra grim pot-boiler from the May 1952 issue of Witches Tales #10. Strangulation, stabbing, poker to the skull, and of course bodies flambe'd to a crisp-- they certainly don't come more mean-spirited than this! (Art by Joe Certa)







8 comments:

Brian Barnes said...

As the previous story was heart felt and had sympathetic characters, this one has every main player a selfish, evil, and wholly unlikeable!

It's always a fun horror story to watch this kind of rolling evil where each person does each other in until the inevitable vengeance from beyond, though the art made him look more like a orange gorilla with a human head then somebody on fire!

Of course, there's one plot goof -- didn't our scientist survive the first with -1 from competition shots, and wasn't the dwarf at that same number? Shouldn't he have survived the flames, too? And did the scientist survive the house collapsing? Needs a part 2!

Mestiere said...

"You see that I have succeeded in surviving the hellish flames of the fire!!" I have gained the secret of eternal life!!!"

"Perhaps one more injection and the fire of the furnace would not have singed me!!"


It didn't seem to singe him at all. His skin looks fine, even his hair and those long eyebrows look untouched. Although his right wrist looks mysteriously broken on panel two, page six. So at first I thought: "Since Tonio has been injecting himself with the same hormones as his master the house fire won't get him." But the fire seems to later kill both villains. Was there a miscommunication between writer and artist? Perhaps Frederick Barcley was supposed to look much more burned up, indicating that his survival from that furnace was merely temporary. Otherwise, they should have shown Barclay at the end walking away from the smoldering ruins of his house, immortal.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Hmm... The story itself is quite a mess, but the "Tonio" character and the clever use of the furnace made me think about one of my favourite movies from the 70's, "The Boss" directed by Fernando di Leo starring the ever-lovable Henry Silva...

Trevor Markwart said...

For me the real value of this story is the inventive use of flames and fire in the drawing and colour. Difficult to do with the reproduction methods of the day -- and pulled off pretty well here! Though I admit I don't know why he was suddenly drawn with that giant gorilla body, like Brian says!

Grant said...

Somehow this one more than others immediately makes me think of it as a BW reprint in an Eerie Publishing magazine. Did it ever become one?

Karswell said...

Click the GCD issue link in my intro Grant, all the reprint info is right there

Mr. Cavin said...

I wonder why Barclay was so hell-bent on exacting revenge on his manservant? I take the story to mean that some uncompleted state of deathlessness allows him to exist in the fulcrum between life and cremation--no problem, I'm imaginative enough to handle that--but does this account for his apparently omniscient understanding of his (dwarf?) butler's murderous intent towards him earlier? That's the kind of spooky insight that usually comes after death in stories like this. But without this kind of spectral access to Tonio's inner musings--from back when Barclay was still alive, no less--the servant's subsequent actions seem like any devoted employee's brutally exacted and loyal vengeance. Were I his master, Id have been quite pleased with his good deed.

Grant said...

Thank you for letting me know that. Coincidentally, I just sent for one of those magazine CD-R's of WITCHES TALES, so it should be in that one.