Welcome boys and girls to another Tomb of the Trumps! Look, you lot all the know the score by now,so then lets get right on with it! And we open with a familiar face, although one with a title that will have pedants everywhere twitching as if they'd gotten a 1.21 gigawatt jolt from the Baron's own tesla coils!
Now then, no prizes for guessing what the origin of this card is! Yes, it's quite clearly sourced from the old Universal Frankenstein movies, and yes it is from a still of the great Boris Karloff as the monster. And yes, technically the card is quite incorrectly titled as it shows the creature made by Frankenstein. Happy now pedants?
Actually the above still comes from The Bride of Frankenstein, and appropriately enough it was most likely this movie in particular that kicked off the long-running tradition of confusing of the name of the creator with the monster he made. For while Henry Frankenstein (as played by Colin Clive) does indeed get to marry his fiancee Elizabeth (Valerie Hobson) in the course of this movie, the title clearly is referring to the bride that he and the villainous Dr Pretorious (Ernest Thesiger) make for Karloff's creature. And the resulting bride they create, as played by Elsa Lanchester, made such an impression on the popular imagination, that the creature took on his maker's name in most folks' minds.
And our next card has a Karloff link too! Yes, this strange lady is not, as many have supposed, the product of a bad acid flashback. Although, come to think of it, perhaps in a way perhaps she is...
While our intrepid Unknown Artist often copied his source photos and stills very closely (as seen with Frankie above), sometimes he did embellish the images to make them that bit more horrific and outrageous. And hence when he found a picture of horror star Barbara Steele, dolled up in cult regalia, he just had to go the extra mile and make her a cyclops and add at bit of what looks like decay and rotting flesh! Here's the beautiful Babs in all her glory!
And while she does look blue here, in some prints she does look green as shown in the card! The still is from a movie made by Tigon Films, Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968)- a psychedelic tale of black magic starring Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee and of course the lovely Ms. Steele. Allegedly the movie is based upon a classic tale by the great HP Lovecraft, The Dreams In the Witch-House. But to be honest, other than featuring witches and dream sequences this Tigon feature has little to do with Lovecraft's famous tale. However it is a rather fun flick, simply because it is so colourfully demented! Certainly the High Priestess of Zoltan would not be out of place in the freakily costumed cult scenes in this movie!
If you are wondering who 'Zoltan' was when he was at home, well it is NOT a reference to the not-so-classic Zoltan Hound of Dracula (1978) sadly (more on which you can hear about here). For there was another card simply entitled 'Zoltan' and we'll uncover his story in a later episode...