Wednesday, 17 February 2016

TOMB OF THE TRUMPS #18 - Dracula Pack II


Welcome dear friends to another of our strange voyages through the realm of vintage Horror Top Trumps! Once again we shall be rooting through obscure tomes and old magazines in search of the images and stills that inspired these delightfully lurid and frequently demented cards. And first up, we have a real tough one...


Now I'm guessing that several of you are bouncing up and down and shouting 'Killer Klowns from Outer Space'! But sadly, despite the uncanny resemblance to those fabled celestial circus psychos, these decks of cards were made many years - in fact about a decade by my reckoning - before the Chiodo Brothers' kult klassic was unleashed on an unsuspecting world. And before you mention him, the same goes for the shape-shifting cosmic horror that is Pennywise from Stephen King's It too.

Now this is a card that is naggingly familiar, and yet has proven very hard to identify. Indeed it's got all us Horror Top Trumpologists completely stumped! I've looked through countless stills from circus-based horror flicks, I've leafed through a myriad of horror comics, but sadly, to no avail! So if you recognise this nightmare in greasepaint, please do get in touch!

However in the meantime, here's the afore-mentioned Killer Klowns...



Fortunately though our next card is far easier to identify! Indeed it is the title trump of this pack, and obviously needs no introduction....


Now not only is Dracula instantly recognisable, but here we quite clearly have his celebrated incarnation on screen in Hammer movies, with the immortal Count being played by the late great Sir Christopher Lee! If memory serves, this particular image is modeled on a publicity still from the very first Hammer Dracula way back in 1958. Directed by the great Terence Fisher, Dracula or Horror of Dracula as it is known in the US, is rightly regarded as one of the great movie versions of Stoker's immortal tale, and it would spawn nine sequels, although Lee only starred in seven of those, bowing out of the first follow-up Brides of Dracula (1960) and the last entry Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires (1973). 

We don't normally remark on the often contentious figures bandied about on the stats, but as the star of one of the most frequently adapted horror novels, one of the most recognisable monsters in the world, and indeed the role model for nearly all fictional vampires, Dracula certainly deserves his horror rating of 100!




4 comments:

Ben Heathcote said...

Could The Circus of Death card be based on the early Human League song of the same name about an evil clown called Dominion?

Jim Moon said...

Hmmm interesting! Circus of Death by the mighty League first hit vinyl as a B side in 1978... That could well be possible Ben!

Handsome Dan said...

Hi,

Could Circus of Death be based on Gwynplaine in the 1928 film 'The Man Who Laughs?' Admittedly the card looks much more 'clowny' but to me there is a niggling resemblance.

Thank you for writing these posts, I find them hugely entertaining and slightly nostalgic...

Jim Moon said...

there is a certain resemblance - but I've not been able to locate a matching still - there very few in full profile like the clown on the card! But I'll keep looking!