Friday, January 9, 2009
Weekly Dose Of Weird!
House of Mystery #191 -- Man, another sequel to Demonic Toys? C'mon Charles Band, give us a break already!
I. (Introductory Story) -- Cain welcomes us to the House of Mystery, and tells some ungrateful brats an apparently unsatisfactory story. When they demand he tell them another, he complies...
II. "No Strings Attached!" -- Gramps Miller is a kindly old tinkerer who lives on the outskirts of town, beloved by the local children for his ability to fix toys as well as his puppet show. One day, a Mr. Stone shows up at his door, offering him $25000 to sell his house. Miller refuses, and Stone returns later holding the mortgage. Forcing Miller into debtors' prison, Stone intends to sell the property for a fortune when the highway comes through. Gramps dies in prison (the many letters from the town's children hidden from him by Stone), and the collective anguish from the dreams of the children rise up, animating the toys and puppets in the house, who string up Mr. Stone like a marionette.
III. "Cain's Game Room" -- Various mishaps and hijinks.
IV. "The Hanging Tree" -- In Salem, MA, the crone Hecubah is hanged from a Lover's Tree for Witchcraft, placing a death curse upon all who carve their initials into it. Issac Irvington, descendant of the Salem settlers, stops a honeymooning couple from carving their name in the tree, raving about the curse. The tourists laugh him off, then return later to finish the job. Issac follows close behind, and chisels out their initials... creating a perfect pair of I's in the process, and being dragged to Hell by Hecubah for his troubles.
V. "Night Prowler" -- Fred and his wife hear a strange noise downstairs. Thinking it is the prowler the police have spotted in the area, Fred grabs his shotgun and heads downstairs... but returns to bed, smiling, wishing his wife a Merry Christmas amid the sound of hoof-falls and jingle bells.
Overall Weird Rating: 1.5 (out 5).
Yes, this would have come out in December, as it is the March/April 1971 issue. The stories themselves are well done but not the most creative I have ever read. Still, there's some neat stuff in here, including the army of angry toys rendered by "Wild" Bill Draut.