Charles Birkin – My Name Is Death (Panther, 1966).
My Name Is Death
King Of The Castle
Parlez Moi D’Amour
Who’s Your Lady Friend?
The Finger Of Fear
Hard To Get
My Name Is Death: (AKA The Terror On Tobit) The Scilly Isles, 1920’s. Despite all warnings to the contrary, Daphne and Aline bully a young man to row them out to a shunned island, where a creature reputedly appears after dark, hungry for human flesh. One girl spends the rest of her days in an asylum. The other isn’t so lucky.
Kitty Fisher: Hubert, babysitting while his parents are a party, is coerced into giving his girlfriend a lift home, leaving baby Lucy in the hands of her sister Kitty. But Kitty is trying to put on a performance of “Cinderella” with her dolls, and the kid won’t stop bawling …
The Finger Of Fear:When six year old Peter has a toothache, miserly Cornelia Jamieson decides – after a bottle of gin – that it would be cheaper to have the boy driven around to the dentist rather than vive versa. So she decapitates him with an axe and has the unsuspecting chauffeur Tomlin take his head over to the surgery in a hat box.
King Of The Castle: Christmas time at Blackwood. One of the Regulars at The Green Archer, farmer Jack Tetbury, despises his son, Harry, due to his slow-wittedness and the birthmark on his cheek. When, in a particularly violent drunken rage, he beats the boy for spilling some of his tobacco, his belt buckle catches the boy in the face and makes a gash across the livid stain. It proves to be the final straw. Shortly afterward Harry goes missing. Meanwhile, his mother enthuses over her favored son’s striking snowman. Until it begins to melt …
Parlez Moi D’Amour: Macabre ghost story with a Parisian setting. Edouard De Louvier went to the guillotine after hacking Nicolle’s body to pieces then taking plaster casts of the ears, hands and feet as moulds for his bizarre statuettes. Now the narrator, a young English artist, is staying in the room where the slaying took place as the anniversary approaches.
Who’s Your Lady Friend?: London theatre life in the early ‘twenties. The secret of Albert ‘Victor de Vere’ Rodinberry’s ventriloquist doll. Albert’s wife, Madge, deserted him three years ago, leaving him holding the baby, Norman, whose condition is giving cause for concern. Within three days the little boy dies of pneumonia, but he has remained vital to his father’s act ever since. Madge, now a prostitute and drifting into alcoholism is too befuddled to realise the truth.
Hosanna!: Birkin, via hapless longhair Noel Carter, explores the dangers of hitch-hiking and concludes that it’s not advisable to accept a lift from an artist who specialises in depicting scenes from the Bible.
Hard To Get: A rakish officer takes a beautiful woman to dinner at an exclusive London hotel and sets about seducing her. Nothing particularly odd about that except in appearance they resemble loathsome gigantic spiders and their physical attributes include antennae and “a dual row of saucer shaped suckers … sunk under the hair of their arms.” These are the conquerors of earth and they prefer to eat their meat raw and alive. Bad news for the few humans who survived the conflict.
For more Charles Birkin see Gruesome Cargoes