Thursday, May 17, 2007

Weird Tales of the Macabre # 4

Weird Tales of the Macabre #4

Morgan's Ghost
Hector Castellon
Possibly from an issue of Witches Tales, Eerie Publishing

The Rack

Voodoo Terror
Appears to be from Weird Vol. 5 #1, February 1971, Eerie Publishing

I, The Coffin
Appears to be from Weird Vol. 4 #5, October 1970, Eerie Publishing

Dead Man's Train


Night of Terror

Bad Blood!

The Bloody Stream!
Appears to be from Weird Vol. 5 #2, April 1971, Eerie Publishing

Dearest Deadest Dummy
Haunted Thrills #6, 1953
Appears to be from Weird Vol. 2 #6, 1967 and/or Horror Tales, March 1970. Eerie Publishing

The Skeleton

As I’ve noted above, many of the reprints in this issue appear to have been sourced from magazines published by Eerie Publishing. I assume that’s where the grey shading comes from too. I also understand there may have been other modifications to the reprints in the Eerie Publishing mags and others of a similar ilk - I've heard it said that pre-Code material was made bloodier to satisfy the appetites of 1970's readers! TBC.

There’s some great horror yarns in this issue. (Well, they’re ‘great’ if you’re into this stuff – cheap thrills, excessive gory violence, dismemberment, blood spurts and split heads… silly guilty pleasures! Pre-Code Gold! What’s not to like…?!)
For example...

"Voodoo Terror" has a fair lashing of zombies and an axe-wielding madman cutting off the limbs of a voodoo doll, which naturally results in “ unrecognizable heap of mutilated flesh and crushed bones lying in a massive pool of blood…”. Poetry.

"Dearest Deadest Dummy" is a weird story about an ugly fella and his love for a mannequin which comes to life, satisfies his dreams, and ends up with him turning into a dummy himself to escape prosecution for murder. Seriously.

"The Skeleton" has a gruesome trick ending – a recluse confesses his sins: the murder of his siamese twin who is, of course, still attached after all these years! Sweet! This story includes a couple of very detailed scenes of dismemberment - not for the faint-hearted, but cheap fun for the rest of us hairy-chested types.

And "I, The Coffin" is worth mentioning, not for the contrived gimmick in which a coffin speaks to the reader in the first person, but for the splash panel which shows an open coffin with a body, with the face whited out, and the message Is This You? written on it. Creepy!

I note that all the issues I’ve seen for this series have similar covers, that is, a photorealistic image of some deformed face/head. It suggests a theme of sorts for the series. A small observation such as reveals itself the more I look into these magazines.

And now I just need to wash my hands...

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