Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Wicker Man

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THE WICKER MAN (FILM)
Release Date: December 1973 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: The Wicker Man
The Story: A police officer is investigating a missing girl case that leads him to the Scottish Isle of Summerisle, where he falls into something much bigger than he expected.

Notes: Later, in THE EUGENICS WARS, it’s revealed that Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln are secretly involved in these events. This film is followed by the Wicker Tree in 2011 and the upcoming The Wrath of the Gods due 2015. There was also a remake in 2006. The film has been referenced as fictional many times in other films and on television. It has also been spoofed on Brass Eye.

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THE EUGENICS WARS: THE RISE AND FALL OF KHAN NOONIEN SINGH, VOLUME TWO (NOVEL BY GREG COX)
Release Date: 2002 (Setting is June 14, 1992 to February 2, 1996)
Series: Star Trek
Horror Crosses: The Wicker Man; Children of the Shroud
Non-Horror Crosses: Johnny Quest; Black Panther; Fantastic Four; Team Knight Rider
The Story: Khan begins his plan for world conquest, and only Seven and Lincoln can stop him.

Notes: This story serves as a prequel to the Star Trek episode Space Seed. Seven and Lincoln claim to have been involved in the events of the film The Wicker Man. References to other attempts at genetic cloning include a reference to the events of Children of the Shroud. The book features an appearance of an Indian delegate whose description would match that of an adult Hadji from the cartoon Johnny Quest. Since Johnny Quest was a 1960s cartoon, the timing seems right. There is also a submarine made out of Vibranium, a material only found in the African nation of Wakanda. Wakanda is a fictional nation ruled by the Black Panther, who first appeared in the pages of Fantastic Four. Scientist Jackson Roykirk appears. Roykirk was first mentioned in a Star Trek episode, but also figured in an episode of Team Knight Rider. This is the second part of a two novel series. The first novel is brought in via crosses with Frankenstein and others. This second novel is brought in on the basis that its the second part of a story already brought in. And on that basis, this second half brings in The Wicker Man and Children of the Shroud as horror series to the Horror Universe. Knight Rider was already brought in with the first part of this story. The Fantastic Four have also already been brought in via crosses with Marvel horror characters. Johnny Quest is brought in via this story.

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THE UNNATURAL INQUIRER (NOVEL BY SIMON R. GREEN)
Release Date: December 30, 2008 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Nightside
Horror Crosses: Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos; War of the Worlds (novel); Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde; Elvira; Doctor Strange; Doctor Druid; The Wicker Man; The Addams Family; The Mummy (Universal)
Non-Horror Crosses: 2001: A Space Odyssey; Lassie; Doctor Who; Get Smart; James Bond; The Avengers (TV); Shadows Fall; Maltese Falcon; Star Trek
The Story: A man claims to have proof of the afterlife on DVD, and the Nightside’s top rag hires John Taylor to find him and the DVD.
Notes: It’s not unusual for the Nightside stories to have Lovecraft references, and this one has at least five that my Nightside researcher John D. Lindsey Jr. has found. The character Harry Fabulous has access to the drug Martian Red Weed from War of the Worlds. He also has a version of the Hyde formula. This wouldn’t be the first story to see the Hyde formula as a street drug. In an old issue of the Inquirer is a story of Jacqueline Hyde, one of Henry’s descendants, who was in love with her male alter ego of Mister Hyde. In an interesting twist, the film Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde features a male descendant of Jekyll who transforms into a beautiful but evil female Hyde. A personal ad in the Inquirer reads “Desperately Seeking Elvira”. Seen gathered in conference are the Travelling Doctor (Doctor Who), the Strange Doctor (Doctor Strange) and the Druid Doctor (Doctor Druid). “The Collector” has “the Wicker Man” with dead police officer inside. At the bar is a living active disembodied hand, most likely Thing from the Addams Family. A drink at the bar is Mummy’s Favorite, with tanna leaves as the main ingredient. Another old Inquirer article mentions the monoliths on the moon (from 2001: A Space Odyssey). The newspaper has a personal ad that reads “Lassie come home, or the kid gets it”. At a bar, Taylor compares a jukebox to the TARDIS. Three secret agents matching the descriptions of Maxwell Smart (Get Smart), James Bond, and John Steed (The Avengers) are seen comparing gadgets. There is a train that goes to Shadows Fall. Reporter Betty Devine wonders if “the Collector” has the Maltese Falcon. Also at the bar is what appears to be a tribble from Star Trek.

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A HARD DAY’S KNIGHT (NOVEL BY SIMON R. GREEN)
Release Date: December 27, 2011 (Contemporary Setting, immediately after the Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny)
Series: Nightside
Horror Crosses: Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos; Creature from the Black Lagoon; King in Yellow; Hawk & Fisher; 1408; Frankenstein (all of them); The Enquiries of Doctor Eszterhazy; The Wicker Man
Non-Horror Crosses: Secret Histories; Shadows Fall; The Door in the Wall; The Teletubbies (no, you didn’t misread); Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser; Alice in Wonderland; Doctor Who
The Story: John Taylor receives the legendary Excalibur in the mail and decides to deliver it to the descendants of the original Knights of the Round Table who reside in London. Along the way, Taylor finds himself in a dark mirror universe where England is called Albion and Merlin chose a different path and became the Anti-Christ.
Notes: Like most of the Nightside stories, this one is loaded with numerous Lovecraft references. Taylor passes a sushi stall run by “something from a black lagoon”. There is graffiti in the Nightside that includes the Yellow Sign from the King in Yellow. The train runs to Haven from Green’s Hawk & Fisher series. Hawk and Fisher themselves also appear in the story. In the mirror reality, King Arthur hides in room 1408 of the castle. At a bazaar, there is tattooing using Frankenstein blood. I’m not sure if this means the blood of a Frankenstein or a Frankenstein monster. Previous Nightside stories have confirmed that many of the Frankenstein family have created numerous monsters, thus confirming one of the major crossover connection rules of the Horror Universe. In the mirror reality of Albion, the streets are lined with Wicker Men filled with dead men. Green again makes numerous references to his Secret Histories series. The Nightside train also runs to Shadows Fall, as also seen in previous Nightside stories. Shadows Fall is another Green series. The only entrance to the castle of the knights is a green door, which may be a reference to H.G. Wells’ The Door in the Wall, in which a green door is a portal to a magical garden. At the bar called Strangefellows, there are four fuzzy little creatures with working televisions implanted in the stomachs. These would be the Teletubbies. They are said to be post-nuclear apocalypse mutants. Thus, we may assume that the Teletubbies exists in one possible alternate timeline of the Horror Universe. The Nightside exists outside of time and space, so it’s easy for visitors from other time periods to show up. John and his partner Suzie pass the Bazaar of the Bizarre from the Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series. John and Suzie visit the dormouse. The dormouse has several doors that work as portals to other places, including Shadows Fall and Carcosa. Carcosa is a city that once existed. It is mentioned in the King in Yellow, though it’s first literary appearance was in Ambrose Bierce’s 1891 “An Inhabitant of Carcosa”. The fictional city may have been inspired by a real city, Carcassonne (Carcaso in Latin), that was in medieval France. There is also a door to Scytha-Pannonia-Transbalkania from Avram Davidson’s The Enquiries of Dr. Eszterhazy. Taylor mentions that his portable timeslip only works in time and space but not dimension. He adds that it’s not a TARDIS.

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