Morbid Mayflowers

Horror & Supernatural paperbacks ’60’s & ’70’s

Archive for the ‘Peter Saxon’ Category

Peter Saxon – The Haunting Of Alan Mais

Posted by demonik on August 20, 2007

Peter Saxon – The Haunting Of Alan Mais (Mayflower, 1970)

Witchcraft, Necromancy, Voodoo, Vampirism, Satanism, Black Magic, Sorcery

…. wherever and whatever the agents of occult Evil are, The Guardians are there to combat them with their own more-than-mortal powers. An amusing investigation of a haunted house turns to nightmare as Guardian Anne Ashby is transformed into a sadistic wanton, focus of the malignant force of an ancient curse, and an enemy to her fellow-Guardians!

When his latest purchase Beacon Old Farm in Medway, Kent, shows signs of being haunted, Langford Layton, Playboy, calls in The Guardians to investigate. Steven Kane and Father Dyball accompany him down to the crumbling mansion but Gideon Cross initially dissuades Anne from joining them on account of that particular part of Kent being dangerous for her. This may or may not have something to do with a witch named ‘Anne Ashby’ having been burnt there during Cromwell’s time. Anne displays a snap of temper at the leader and eventually gets her own way, slips on her best miniskirt and zooms down South. Her colleagues are amazed at her aggressive vamping of Layton who really isn’t her type at all (nobody is), but soon she’s slipped off her jodhpurs for some soulless outdoor sex with their moneybags client and is generally acting out of character. Could it be something to do with the ghostly disembodied face that appears to Dyball beseeching his aid?

A very busy plot with plenty of mysterious goings-on: why is there no record of any ‘Langford Layton’? What does the voyeuristic sexton Pauncefoot know that he’s not letting on? Did the previous owner, General Quinn, dabble in black magic? What’s up with Anne?

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Peter Saxon – Darkest Night

Posted by demonik on July 13, 2007

Peter Saxon – The Darkest Night (Mayflower Dell, Oct. 1966)

The darkest night … the night when the devotees of Kali, goddess of destruction, make their unholy puja.

This was the night when Dennis Wood faced the grimmest challenge of his whole life: a test that was to bring him face to face with the unspeakable horrors of a worship based on death and destruction.

A young English girl stripped for sacrifice … blood-maddened, lust-crazed worshippers … and the esoteric mysteries of a faith founded on the ultimate Negation.

These were the elements that came together on the Darkest Night: Kali’s festival of unbridled licence and foulest murder.

Who could resist? I’m only just through the prequel, which concerns an incident in the Sepoy mutiny. Ten British women are captured by forces loyal to the Maharajah of Mahadhrana (“Scourge of Islam, Lord of the Seventy-Nine Elephants and a most infinite rascal”) and imprisoned in a dungeon to await the darkest night. Their menfolk gallantly ride to the rescue but, alas, they are too late to save one of the women, who is sacrificed to a very animated statue of Kali. The Maharajah and his goons are taken outside and hung. The evil old scoundrel takes it all in his stride and warns that “I will be back”, wherupon all the flesh falls away from his dangling body to briefly reveal a skeleton, which almost instantly becomes powder and dust.

We now shoot forward 40 years to 1897 when the story proper is about to kick off as we’ve just been introduced to Dennis Wood. I’ve not checked which version of Saxon wrote this yet, but it seems very The Torturer thus far.

For the rest of this review and the responses see Vault Of Evil again.

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Peter Saxon – The Torturer

Posted by demonik on July 13, 2007

Peter Saxon – The Torturer (Mayflower-Dell, Dec. 1966)

More film-crew-in-peril fun and games.

This time the location is the mud flats and lagoons of the Marismas in Spain, which makes a welcome change from Transylvania. The Wonder Films team have flown out with not much idea of what they intend shooting, but you get the feeling that’s about to change as they’ve just discovered a deserted castle with it’s own satellite ghost village nearby. This seems to have been abandoned in a hurry. “They were probably running from the plague” opines one cheerless soul.

Chapter 2 is a mini-soap opera in which we learn of the convoluted relationships between the main players. Max Grant, the director, is onto his fifth marriage, this one to charm-free zone Petronella who devotes her life to making his a misery. She’s rumoured to have slept with everybody, ever, not because she particularly enjoys sex, but more to further demoralise her husband.
Buggie driver #1 is Heimie. He detests Petronella, but wouldn’t say no.
Gela is Max’s girl Friday, secretory, general factotum. A former Miss World contestant, she is besotted with Max who hardly notices she exists. The same cannot be said for buggie driver #2, lady killer Liam O’Hagan, a self-styled Don Juan but a rapist to the rest of us. Niko Kovacs (ace lensman), “The Englishman” (screenwriter) and Francisco “Fattie” Perez (backer) are all disgruntled with their lot. Fattie consoles himself by lusting after Petronella.

So, they’ve decided on the Castle as their premier location, and Max and his boys have just discovered a skeleton. The only “Torturer” we’ve met so far is Petronella, but I’ve just had a double-check of the blurb, and the real one’s due to introduce himself shortly.

For the rest of this “review” see Vault Of Evil

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