Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Haunt of Fear #26

Cover dated August 1954
Cover by Graham Ingels

"Marriage Vow" - Art by Graham Ingels/Story by Otto Binder
"The Shadow Knows" - Art by Reed Crandall/Story by Otto Binder
"Spoiled" - Art by Jack Kamen/Story by Otto Binder
"Comes the Dawn!" - Art by Jack Davis/Story by Otto Binder

"Marriage Vow" - A man named Martin marries a beautiful, rich woman named Eva for her money. After a year of being married however, he gets bored with her and decides to kill her for her money. After convincing her to put him in her will, he tampers with their balcony and when she steps on it she falls to her death, being impaled on a spike fence he had installed. Eva comes back from the dead however, convinced that they cannot be seperated until he dies as well and forces Martin to continue living, eating and sleeping with her or she'll go to the police. Somewhat different than the typical EC formula (where you'd expect Eva to come back from the dead at the end of the story), which helps set this story apart from the typical EC fare.

"The Shadow Knows" - A salesman named Eric is carrying on an affair with a rich woman named Jondra who asks him to marry her. Since he is already married, Eric comes up with a plan to murder his wife, Mabel, and make it look like a suicide. He cuts of a letter from her making it look like a suicide note, then, sneaks out of his hotel at night, drives to his home and hangs his wife in the basement. Once Mabel is buried however, her shadow starts following Eric along. Jondra sees her shadow and thinks he is with another woman. He is able to convince her otherwise, but the shadow then murders Jondra and makes it appear as if Eric killed her. He is sentenced to die and following his burial Mabel's shadow returns to her grave. This is one of a couple of stories in this issue sharing very similar themes with stories from the past year that were in Tales from the Crypt. This particular story is a rehash of "Shadow of Death" from Tales from the Crypt #39.

"Spoiled" - A woman named becomes bored with her surgeon husband, who is either always away tending to patients, or spending time in his lab in the basement working on a new anesthetic. She starts going out to bars and starts carrying on an affair with another man. The two repeatedly see each other including at her own home since she can tell when her husband is finished with work in his lab by the light in his lab going off. One night however he is able to finish his new anesthetic and comes upstairs in a rush without turning the light off, finding them together. He decides to get revenge on the two of them by using his new anesthetic on them. He then switches their heads. The two wake up approximately a week later, and in horror discover their new bodies. A so-so story; the fact that the main character and her lover would carry on an affair while her husband was in the basement seemed quite foolhardy. They should have taken much better precautions (of course then we wouldn't have a story!). This story was adapted as a Tales from the Crypt episode.

"Comes the Dawn!" - Three men, Jack, Sam and Olaf pool their money and go on an expedition to the Arctic, hoping to find uraninum. They soon find a large amount of uranium, and land their plane near where they found it. They hire an eskimo named Kalak to bring them to where they detected the uranium and find a frozen coffin there. Kalak says it is a vampire that kills many of the eskimos in the spring time when it thaws. Kalak, scared, flees, stranding the 3 men. Luckily they find a cabin nearby where they can spend the night. Jack plots to kill his 2 colleagues so he alone can stake the claim to the uranium they found. He lights a fire around the coffin, letting the vampire loose. He then tricks Sam and Olaf into going outside and locks them out of the cabin such that the vampire kills them. Jack plans to destroy the vampire once the sun comes up, but realizes that based on the latitude he is at, the sun won't come up for another week and he'll starve to death before being able to leave the cabin. A so-so story which was very similar in theme to the story "By the Dawn's Early Light" which had appeared only a few months earlier in Tales from the Crypt #42. This is another story adapted for the Tales from the Crypt TV show.

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