Tuesday 17 November 2015

TOMB OF THE TRUMPS #11 - Devil Priest Pack Part XI

Yes, it's time once more to delve into the toybox of yesteryear, and have another pair of terrors from the original Horror Top Trumps. First up, we have this beaming down... 

Now then, here we have an genuine rarity! For despite looking up assorted alien invaders down the decades, I have yet to find a decent match for this chap! The lightning flash on his tunic certainly suggests an origin in the 1950s  but so far no matching monsters, Martian or otherwise, have yet been found. Some have suggested it is based on the titular Creature of Destruction (1967) but I remain to be convinced of anything other than a very flimsy passing resemblance. Most likely I think if the Martian Warrior has a definite origin, then it's a panel of an old and obscure comic book. In the mean time, keep watching the skies!

Now our next card is a similar cause of some confusion! Enter Mistress Vampire!

Now then most commentators have swung the direction of the legendary Ingrid Pitt - and let's be honest who can blame them! For Indeed Ingrid Pitt played some of the sexiest vampires ever to grace the screen, and it is hard not to think of her whenever female bloodsuckers are mentioned. However trawling through the assorted stills of her undead appearances in the Hammer classics Countess Dracula (1971) and The Vampire Lovers (1970), there isn't really a good match for the Mistress Vampire. Instead the closest we come is the following famous picture from her guest appearance in the celebrated Amicus anthology flick The House That Dripped Blood (1971).

However noting that this still only bears a slight resemblance to the card, another popular guess hails from the same era of Brit horror - another Hammer flick and a sequel to The Vampire Lovers - Lust for a Vampire (1971). Here's Yutte Stensgaard as Mircalla Herritzen the reincarnated/resurrected Carmilla Karnstein that la Pitt played in the earlier movie. 

Now if you can tear you eyes away from Yutte - c'mon you can do it! - yet another Hammer horror has been mooted as a source for Mistress Vampire. This time it's Lalla Ward, who would become more famous a few years later as the second Romana in Doctor Who. Here she is in Hammer's off-beat undead tale Vampire Circus (1972) 

Definitely closer, I think you will agree! However I think there is actually a better fit - and it is from The Vampire Lovers but surprisingly not Ingrid Pitt's Carmilla. Rather it's that character's previous incarnation who we see menacing Douglas Wilmer in the prologue, played by Kirsten Betts (later Kirsten Lindholm)

Yes, here I believe we have the winner, despite some (ahem) stiff competition from other memorable ladies from the early '70s blood and boobs era of classic Brit horror!


Matt Sharp said...

The UFOs in the background of Martian Warrior come from the poster for 'Invasion of the Saucer Men' - I suppose the Martian could be inspired by the Saucer Men themselves as well, if you squint... quite a lot.

Matt Sharp said...

Right, pay attention - this gets complicated!

Martian Warrior is based on the body of Buster Crabbe's Flash Gordon with the emblem of the Golden Age Flash from DC comics, while the head matches almost exactly the first appearance of Barlow from Salem's Lot (even though that came out in 1979) while the Flying Saucers in the background are from the poster for Invasion of the Saucer Men.