Suspense was an anthology series that aired from 1949 to 1953. As you can probably guess from the show’s title, each episode was a thriller of some sort. Occasionally, the episodes were also horror-themed. Suspense was also a live production, with each episode essentially functioning as a 30-minute play.
Tonight’s episode of Suspense originally aired on April 26th, 1949 and it features Boris Karloff. It deals with four thieves hiding out in a British Inn, after having stolen a ruby eye from a holy statue in India. Needless to say, that was not a particularly wise decision.
Ulli Lommel’s 1980 slasher film The Boogey Man is a pretty silly movie but I do like this scene. The idea of seeing something in the reflection of a mirror that doesn’t appear to actually be in the room is one of my top nightmare fuels.
Plus, after the storms we had last night and the fact that there’s still debris all over the place and just driving from one location to another is kind of a pain in the ass right now, there’s just something satisfying about watching a mirror get destroyed.
Along with The Haunt of Fear and Tales From The Crypt, The Vault of Horror was a horror anthology comic book that was published, from 1950 to 1955, by EC Comics. Hosted by The Vault-Keeper, The Vault of Horror featured adaptations of classic horror stories along with totally original tales of terror and fright. The Vault of Horror was so popular among young readers that eventually a psychiatrist named Fredric Wertham claimed that it, along with other comics, was responsible for juvenile delinquency and every other social ill facing 1950s America. Congress investigated and, because of all the bad publicity, EC canceled all of their horror titles.
However, the jokes on Wertham and Congress because The Vault of Horror is now eagerly sought after by collectors and is viewed as a high point in comic book history. Below are a few covers from The Vault of Horror, all done by artist Johnny Craig.
Today’s horror on the lens is 1966’s Curse of the Swamp Creature!
Probably the best thing about Curse of the Swamp Creature is that it was filmed in the town of Uncertain, Texas, which is right near the Texas/Louisiana border. Uncertain, which sits on the shores of Caddo Lake, was incorporated in 1961. Reportedly, when filling out the paperwork, the town’s founders wrote “Uncertain” in the blank for the name because they genuinely hadn’t come up with a name. And …. well, you know what happens when you try to make a joke on an official document.
Anyway, this film was directed by Larry Buchanan and that’s really all you need to know about it. Buchanan specialized in making low-budget remakes of other films, though he always claimed that Curse of the Swamp Creature was a totally original idea on his part. The film is about a mad scientist who lives in the swamp and is trying to reverse evolution. Things don’t always work out the way that they should and occasionally, the mad scientist has to feed his alligators. John Agar’s in the movie, of course.
Needless to say, the part with the dancer being controlled and then transformed into something else totally freaked me out, mostly because I’ve had nightmares like that.
And then, of course, you have the tentacles and the graffiti, which feels like something that H.P. Lovecraft would have come up with if he had lived in New York City in the 1970s and had to travel on the subway everyday. It’s easy to imagine old Howard Lovecraft, heading to an accounting job while staring at the graffiti all around him and wondering what type of monster was responsible for it. Cthulhu tags his territory.
As for the wizard with the eyes — well, glowing eyes are always freaky.
Hi, everyone. As I type this, we’ve got a tornado moving through my hometown so I’m going to go ahead and schedule this to post now, just in case we lose power. If today’s list is incomplete, just assume I lost power before I could complete it and I will complete it when the power returns!