Friday, October 31, 2008

Weekly Dose Of Weird

The Vault Of Horror #17 -- Here's a guy who needs to try the Schick® Quattro® shaving system!

I. "Terror On The Moors!" -- American tourish Jim Ryan is hopelessly lost in a British fog, so he comes around to the estate of Andrew Claymore, and is given food and a place to sleep.  He hears bizarre shrieks and growls, but can find no evidence of what they are coming from.  The next morning Jim is told by the butler Evers that Mr. Claymore is dead, and they must creamte the body as soon as possbile.  The urgency is due to Mr. Claymore's only son, a feral beast who recently has developed a taste for dead human flesh!  Stymied by the rainy weather, the two men cannot get the body creamted, and the beast attacks -- killing Evers, devouring parts of his father, and setting the mansion ablaze, from which Jim barely escapes.

II. "Baby... It's Cold Inside!" -- Barton Gordon, desperate for work, takes a job as superintendant in an apartment building owned by the strange Marcus Kingsley, who has a sickly pallor and keeps his apartment below freezing!  As winter turns to spring and then summer, Kingsley installs industrial chillers in his apartmentm, turning it into a meat locker.  But when the electrical systems fail, and Gordon is unable to repair them, Kingsley melts away to a putrid black ichor -- for without the freezing cold, his body could not live, having had his cancerous heart removed from his body and surviving on sheer willpower alone.

III. "The Beast Of The Full Moon!" -- Tom's financee June runs to his side after another werewolf attack in their village.  Tom suspects his brother Andrew, who was bitten by a supposed werewolf on a trip to Corocoa.  Laying in wait for the beast, Tom manages to stab it in the right paw.  The next morning, Andrew's right hand is wounded.  Confirming his suspicions, Tom lays a pit trap for the werewolf, and tracks it that night.  Pulled into the pit, he struggled for his life until a shot rings out... fired by Andrew!  He has killed the werewolf... who was really June!

IV. "Voodoo Horror!" -- George Barker travels to Haiti and has a voodoo statue of himself made -- a statue that will age instead of him, as well as reflect all of his sins and misdeeds.  Barker lives on for years and years, looking as young and strong as ever, when he eyes the pretty young Jean Frank.  George threatens her father into forcing her to marry him, and once again he comes out on top.  The years continue to go by, the statue growing uglier and uglier.  When Jean tries to get rid of it, George slaps her and locks it in the den.  He underestimates her resolve though, as she finds the spare key, and cuts the bust in half with a machete -- and George's head at the same time!

Overall Weird Factor: 4 (out of 5).

I figured an EC Comic was appropriate for Halloween.  And, as is typical with most ECs, this is a superior effort, even if it lacks a lot of the more, ahem, colorful elements which the books were notorious for.  All four of the features here are pretty straightforward, but they are all well produced and entertaining spook-fare.  "Baby," with very nice art by Graham Ingels, is the best one this time out, if only for the really gross-out ending and his op-art style Old Witch.

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