Annotations

Annotations are coded by part, page and panel number. For example, the annotation 1:3:2 would indicate part 1, page 3, panel 2.

Story Title Progs
Going Underground 2003 / 1322-1326
Moving In 1331-1333
Breaking Out 1337-1340
Downtime 1363-1368
Krystalnacht 2004
Picking Up The Pieces 1400
Creepshow 1401-1408

Going Underground

Going Underground 1:1:~

The title is a compound of two words:

The story title, Going Underground, is a reference both to the storyline of this particular episode and the name of a song by The Jam.

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Going Underground 1:3:2

"Bletchley" is a reference to Bletchley Park, the centre of British WWII counter-intelligence, and the group that broke the German Enigma code.

"Turing" is Alan Turing, the father of computing and one of the many members of staff at Bletchley Park.

"Cabbala" is an alternate spelling of Kabbalah. Kabbalah is a body of Jewish mystical teachings, or a secret doctrine resembling those teachings.

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Going Underground 1:3:3

Doodlebug is a nickname for the V-1 flying bomb used by the Germans in WWII.

U-boat is a translated abbreviation for unterseeboot, literally "undersea boat", a generic name for the German submarines operating during WWII.

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Going Underground 3:2:4

The "boys" from the Hereford Barracks are clearly meant to be the SAS, an elite branch of the British Army. The SAS were traditionally based at Stirling Lines, just south-east of Hereford.

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Going Underground 3:2:5

"Hobbs End" is the scene of events in the Hammer film version of Quatermass & The Pit. In the movie, a spaceship is discovered during building works at the Hobbs End tube station.

"Yetis" is a reference to a group of monsters from Dr Who. First encountered in the Dr Who TV serial, The Abominable Snowman, the Yetis were fur-covered robots who served a malevolent entity called the Great Intelligence. They reappeared in The Web of Fear, where they were used by the Great Intelligence to invade London through the Underground system.

By this point, it is clear that the military man briefing the group is Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, a character from BBC's Dr Who. The Brigadier was involved in The Web of Fear, and Dr Who and the Silurians, referenced later in the series.

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Going Underground 4:5:1

A "hand of power"; has several different meanings. It refers to an ancient Roman talisman, a hand covered in symbolic images that was kept in the house to protect and bless the family. It is also the name given by modern Catholics to the crucified hand of Jesus Christ.

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Going Underground 4:5:5

"Sonderkommando Thule". Literally, "special unit", the Sonderkommando were prisoner slave labour groups that were assigned to duties in the killing areas of the Nazi concentration camps. They assisted in the disposal of the corpses of their fellow prisoners, believing that if they helped in this way they would survive the camp. Few did.

Thule is a legendary island in the northernmost reaches of the globe, supposedly the home of an advanced race. The Thule-Gesellschaft, or Thule Society was a quasi-mystical organisation founded in 1918. It was instrumental in the formation of the German Worker's Party which in turn became NSDAP - the Nazi Party. Prominent members of the Nazi Party were also members of the Thule Society.

It's not entirely clear whether the fictional Sonderkommando Thule here is meant to be linked to the Special Units of the concentration camps, or whether the name is just meant to imply that the group is a special unit tasked with occult warfare. I'd favour the latter.

The V3 Hellbomb is a fictional third version of the German series of Vergeltungswaffe - "Vengeance" - weapons. The V1 and V2 were rocket bombs used during WWII to attack mainland Britain. A V3 was developed, but bore no resemblance to the Hellbomb - it was a series of long-range cannon designed to fire barrages of rockets across the Channel.

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Going Underground 5:1:1

Peenemunde was a German rocket development and test site during WWII.

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Going Underground 5:3:5

"Alhazred" was the infamous "Mad Arab", a creation of the horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. He was:

..a mad poet of SanaŠ, in Yemen, who is said to have flourished during the period of the Ommiade caliphs, circa 700 A.D. He visited the ruins of Babylon and the subterranean secrets of Memphis and spent ten years alone in the great southern desert of Arabia - the Roba el Khaliyeh or "Empty Space" of the ancients - and "Dahna" or "Crimson" desert of the modern Arabs, which is held to be inhabited by protective evil spirits and monsters of death. Of this desert many strange and unbelievable marvels are told by those who pretend to have penetrated it. In his last years Alhazred dwelt in Damascus.

In the Cthulhu mythos, the lamp was found in the ruins of the ancient city of Irem, and eventually ended up in the hands of an American writer, Ward Phillips. When lit, the lamp showed him marvellous visions that inspired him to write succesful stories. He re-lit it many years later, and it took him from his world and back in time to his youth.

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Going Underground 5:4:2

"Gehanna" is an alternate spelling of "Gehenna". It is, variously, a place of torment or suffering, the abode of condemned souls and an abbreviated translation of the Hebrew name for a valley south of Jerusalem.

"Sheol" is a Hebrew concept; the place people go when they die.

"Yuggoth" is an alternate name for Pluto in the Cthulhu mythos. First mentioned in The Whisperer in Darkness and later The Fungi from Yuggoth, it is the outpost of a race of winged crustaceans that visit earth to mine for natural resources.

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Going Underground 6:5:~

The translation of the German spoken here is roughly: The devil! It is him! It is the devil himself!

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Moving In

Moving In 1:1:1

The Great Beast and The King of Depravity were names used to refer to Aleister Crowley, the English writer and occult figure. Critchley is clearly meant to be a Caballistics version of Crowley, though it appears from comments later in the story that Crowley also exists in this fictional world.

The Tetragrammaton is a series of four Hebrew letters - Yod, He, Waw and He - that transliterate to "Yahweh", the name of God. If you look closely, you can see the four letters marked on Critchley's forehead in some of the panels.

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Moving In 1:2:1

Exham Priory is the fictional setting of H.P. Lovecraft's short story, The Rats in the Walls. In the story, Exham Priory is located near Anchester in England, and has a dark history of sacrifice, cannibalism and witchcraft.

Hannah, obviously a Lovecraft fan, recognises the name and makes reference to it later in the story.

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Moving In 1:3:1

Cryptozoology is the study of "hidden animals" - creatures like the Yeti, Loch Ness Monster or Black Cats. The term was coined by Dr Bernard Heuvelmans and translates literally as the "study of hidden life", though it refers mainly to animal life.

"Arkham U" is another name for Arkham University, more commonly known as Miskatonic University. It is a fictional centre of learning in the tales of H.P. Lovecraft, and would be the ideal place for the study of cryptozoology.

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Moving In 1:4:2

The story about Houdini that Ravne refers to here is a sly reference to Necronauts, an earlier 2000AD story written by Gordon Rennie. It also implies that, while there's no direct link between Caballistics and Necronauts, the earlier story takes place in the same 'universe'.

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Moving In 1:5:1

The British Rocket Group is the fictional organisation headed by Professor Bernard Quatermass in the classic BBC serial, The Quatermass Experiment. Along with the earlier reference to the events of Quatermass & The Pit, this is another indication that the events of the Quatermass series actually happened in the Caballistics universe.

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Moving In 1:5:3

Butler's Lives of the Saints is a classic text that documents the lives of all the major Christian patron saints. Ideal bedtime reading for the devout Laurence Verse.

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Moving In 1:5:4

'Jack Yeovil' is a pseudonym for the writer and critic Kim Newman. 'Orgy of the Blood Parasites' is a genuine Yeovil novel.

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Breaking Out

Breaking Out 1:1:1

'Wenley Moor' is another Dr Who reference. In the TV serial, 'Doctor Who and the Silurians', Wenley Moor nuclear research centre is built into a series of caves in Derbyshire.

Abraxas was a Gnostic god with the head of a rooster, a man's body and snake-like legs. Abraxas is said to reign beyond the worlds. The Abraxas company logo in the story is an accurate representation of the deity.

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Breaking Out 1:3:1

Dr Faustus is Christopher Marlowe's tale of an educated German scientist who promises to serve the Devil in hell, if the Devil will serve him on Earth and grant him knowledge and power. At the end of the story, Faustus realises what he has done and begs God to save him, but he's gone too far. The Devil tears him apart and drags his soul to Hell.

It's an interesting book to see here, and it's possible that it's a hint to readers - perhaps Ethan Kostabi has something in common with the good doctor?

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Breaking Out 1:5:1

Fleshmarket Close is a close off the Royal Mile, in Edinburgh. It used to be the meat market in the Old Town of Edinburgh.

'Auld Reekie' is an old name for Edinburgh, from the days when black smoke in the Old Town tenements used to shroud the city in a permanent haze.

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Breaking Out 2:1:1

Clive Barker is a popular modern horror novelist. The reference here is to the chains hanging from the ceiling, an image familiar from a scene in the film Hellraiser, an adaptation of one of Barker's novellas.

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Breaking Out 2:3:2

Mary, Mungo & Midge is the title of a British animated series from the late 60s. Mary was a young girl who lived in a tower block with Mungo, her dog, and Midge the mouse.

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Breaking Out 2:5:2

Nuremberg is a reference to the Nuremberg Trials held after WWII to try Nazi war criminals.

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Breaking Out 2:5:3

Obergruppenfuhrer (literally 'upper group leader') was an SS rank equivalent to the rank of general.

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Breaking Out 3:1:1

The 'Exit Wounds' novel Hannah is reading is the one by the 'emperor of excess' himself, Shaun Hutson. The acknowledgemnts page in it contains a thanks to one Matt Smith, who was copy editor on it.  -Gordon Rennie

Hannah seems to have a fondness for trashy novels...

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Breaking Out 3:2:4

The Carnacki-Hodgson scale is obviously some kind of fictional measurement of psychic potential. The name itself seems to have been taken from the character of Thomas Carnacki, a character created by weird fiction writer William Hope Hodgson. Carnacki was a 'detective of the occult' and featured in several short stories.

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Breaking Out 3:3:1

Inferaphim appears to be an invented word, sounding very like 'seraphim' - an order of angels. I'd guess that the 'infer' at the beginning is meant to be linked to 'infernal', and the name is meant to imply that these creatures are a kind of satanic angel.

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Breaking Out 4:4:1

Akkad was a city & region in ancient Mesopotamia, now part of present-day Iraq.

Elam was the land of the ancient Elamite empire in what is now south-western Iran.

Baarish-shammon appears to be an invented name, with no meaning.

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Breaking Out 4:4:2

Nephren-Ka is another invention of H.P. Lovecraft, from the short story 'The Haunter in the Dark'. Also referred to as the Black Pharaoh, he was said to have built a temple in which he held sacrifices to the Haunter in the Dark. His deeds were so horrendous, that his name was struck from all records.

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Breaking Out 4:4:3

Kadath is another Lovecraft reference; a place in the cold wastes of the Dreamlands.

Hidden Irem is a legendary Arabian city in the Cthulhu mythos.

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Breaking Out 4:4:4

Carchemish was an ancient city built on a crossing of the Euphrates river.

Ashur was the first capital of the Assyrian Empire. Built on the Tigris River in Mesopotamia - now Iraq - it was destroyed by the Babylonians.

There's a throwaway reference to 'the jasper terraces of Kiran' and it's temple in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by Lovecraft.  -Smiley

Sarnath is either a reference to another city from the Cthulhu mythos, or the site of the Buddha's first teachings in India. (Most likely from Lovecraft's The Doom That Came to Sarnath.  -Smiley)

Luxor is an Egyptian city, built on the banks of the Nile.

Ib is another mysterious land from the Cthulhu mythos.

Hali is possibly referring to the Lake of Hali, a body of water along which lies the city of Carcossa. Both are the creation of horror writer Robert W. Chambers, and were also used by H.P. Lovecraft and other weird fiction writers. Carcossa was said to be the home of the god Hastur.

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Downtime

Downtime 1:1:3

The Illuminati is a name given to many real and fictional groups, but commonly refers to the Bavarian Illuminati, a secret order in 18th century Europe. The organisation was shut down in 1790, but conspiracy theorists allege that it survived and continues to manipulate world events to this day.

The Templars Resurgent are a secret order mentioned in Umberto Eco's 'Foucault's Pendulum'.

Opus Dei is a Roman Catholic evangelical organisation that is alleged to have links to various far-right groups. Some people consider it a religious cult.

Hidden Inquisition. I'm unsure whether this is a reference to a real or fictional organisation.

Starry Wisdom was the name of a religious order in H.P. Lovecraft's 'The Haunter of the Dark'.

Hollow Earth Theory is the esoteric idea that the planet is hollow, and that the inner surface is habitable. It was a staple of adventure stories, most notably Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym' and Jules Verne's 'A Journey to the Centre of the Earth'. As a scientific hypothesis, it's long discredited.

Delta Green is the name of a roleplaying supplement to the popular Call of Cthulhu RPG. It provides rules and background for players to work as part of a modern-day US government group called Delta Green, dedicated to investigating Cthulhu Mythos-related events.

The Rosicrucians were a secret order in the 15th century.

The Cult of the Black Sun is a reference to the organisation of the same name in the classic 2000AD series, Zenith. The Black Sun were funded by the Nazi party to conduct occult experiments. They succeeded in contacting the Lloigor, an extradimensional entity that they then channelled into the body of the Nazi superhuman, Masterman. Another fun reference that could be taken to imply that the events of Zenith were 'real' in Caballistics, Inc.

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Downtime 1:1:4

'That movie about the guys in the black suits' is a reference to the movie, 'Men in Black'. Linda Fiorentino was the female lead in the movie. Hannah obviously has good taste in women, if not in fiction...

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Downtime 1:4:1

Red Hook is a reference to the H.P. Lovecraft story, 'The Horror at Red Hook'. In the story, Red Hook is a district in Brooklyn and the headquarters of a criminal cult.

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Downtime 1:4:3

Ahriman is an ancient Zoroastrian demon who opposed Ahura Mazda, the supreme god.

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Downtime 1:4:5

Quantico is the common name for the FBI Academy located on the United States Marine Corp base at Quantico, in Virginia.

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Downtime 1:5:4

'Shikse' is a derogatory Yiddish term for a non-Jewish woman.

'Schtupping' is Yiddish slang. The English equivalent would be something like 'fucking' or 'banging'.

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Downtime 2:2:5

The French that Laurence speaks in this panel translates roughly as:

Don't be afraid, Marie. It's me, it's Laurence.

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Downtime 2:3:3

Palo Mayombe is an African shamanic religion, with elements of Catholicism. It is sometimes thought of as a form of witchcraft, and while there is a darker side, that isn't strictly true.

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Downtime 2:5:5

'Schwartze' is a very offensive Yiddish term for a black person. The nearest equivalent in English would probably be 'nigger'.

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Downtime 2:5:7

Although it's not clear until later, the hulking figure in the van is a golem.

The golem is a creature from Jewish folklore, a being crafted of inanimate material, typically clay. Classically, a golem was created by a holy man or Rabbi, and life was breathed into the creature by inscribing a word of power on its forehead or on a tablet placed beneath its tongue.

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Downtime 3:4:3

'Bravo Two Zero' was the codename of a top-secret British mission during the Gulf War. An SAS team was inserted behind Iraqi lines to seek out & destroy missile emplacements and cut communications lines. The mission went disastrously wrong, with three men killed and four captured.

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Downtime 5:2:3

'Resurrection Men' was a euphemism for the body-snatchers who supplied 19th century doctors with specimens for their research. Most infamous were Burke and Hare, a pair of resurrection men from Edinburgh who murdered to obtain their specimens.

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Downtime 5:5:5

'Goyim' is a Yiddish term for a non-Jew.

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Downtime 6:2:4

The man sitting across from Ethan Kostabi in this panel is Jimi Hendrix. I'm not sure if the other people in the panel are meant to be other major figures from this period.

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Downtime 6:3:2

The word scrawled in blood, 'Nyarlahotep' is a mis-spelling of 'Nyarlathotep', the name of a deity in the Cthulhu mythos. One of the few of the old gods who could take on human form.

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Krystalnacht

Krystalnacht ~:~:~

The title is an alternate spelling of 'Kristallnacht', the name of the 1938 pogrom against Jews in Germany. Literally, 'the Night of Broken Glass', it was a vicious mob assault on German Jews that left hundreds dead & injured and led to tens of thousands being arrested and sent to concentration camps.

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Krystalnacht 1:4:2

'Kether' is an alternate spelling of 'Keter'. In Jewish mysticism, Keter is the topmost symbol on the Sephirot, or Tree of Life, and represents a kind of divine good.

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Krystalnacht 1:8:9

When Verse mentions that the last recorded golem was in 15th century Prague, this is entirely true. It refers to events during the reign of Rudolf II, when an old jewish Rabbi called Judah Loew made a golem from clay from the banks of the Vltava to protect the jews there from the persecution they were facing. He placed the word 'emet', meaning truth, on its forehead.

The golem worked to protect the jews but gradually became larger and more violent, killing many people, so Loew was promised his people would be left alone and was asked to destroy the golem. The 'e' was taken off 'emet' to make the word 'met', meaning death, and the golem died. A further legend claims his son later revived it and that it still protects Prague today.

  -Dark Jimbo

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Picking Up The Pieces

Picking Up The Pieces 1:4:1

'The Ceremony of the Seven Daggers' is an invented ritual, based on the one that is supposed to destroy the Anti-Christ in the movie, 'The Omen'. In the film, the Seven Daggers were the Seven Daggers of Meggido, and to kill the Anti-Christ, you had to pierce him with all seven daggers, forming a cross. The ritual had to be carried out on consecrated ground.

'The Merrin Rite' is another nod to classic horror movies. Father Lankester Merrin was the priest charged with exorcising the possessed girl in 'The Exorcist'.

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Creepshow

Creepshow 1:1:1

'Ludgate Films' is a fictional film studio.

Ludgate was the westernmost gate in London Wall, and Ludgate Hill is a hill in the city of London near the site of the old gate.

Alan Barnes is the current editor of the Judge Dredd Megazine, but along with Marcus Hearn, he's also the writer of a series of books on the film industry, including 'The Hammer Story' and 'A to Zed: The Films of Quentin Tarantino'. It's amusing - and apt - to see the two writers credited on the fictional history of Ludgate Films.

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Creepshow 1:1:2

None of the movies Hannah mentions here - Tales of the Iron Maiden, the remake of Caligari, Abyss of the Damned, The Lair of Otranto, The Rats in the Walls and Empire of Blood - were ever filmed.

The title of 'The Lair of Otranto' may be taken from Horace Walpole's 'The Castle of Otranto', an 18th century gothic novel.

The Rats in the Walls is the name of a Lovecraft short story, but it was never adapted for screen.

The fictional Ludgate remake of Caligari would have been a remake of the classic horror film, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari.

'Polanski' is Roman Polanski, the Polish film director. He was responsible for cinema classics like Chinatown and Repulsion, as well as accomplished horror movies like Rosemary's Baby and The Ninth Gate.

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Creepshow 1:3:1

'The studio built on death' sounds like a reference to Hammer: the studio that dripped blood (title of a Channel 4 documentary, itself paraphrasing the title of a Hammer production).  -House of Usher

Channel 4 got it wrong, unfortunately. 'The Studio That Dripped Blood' is the title of a book about Amicus, and is a direct rif on the name of one of their anthology films, The House That Dripped Blood. (But, yes, The Studio That... was probably the inspiration for Ludgate's publicity-friendly nickname.)  -Gordon Rennie

The 'plague pits' mentioned here do actually exist. They were dug to accomodate victims of the Great Plague of London in the 17th century, as graveyards filled to overflowing.

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Creepshow 1:4:3

'The Terror of Madame Guillotine' is another invented movie.

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Creepshow 1:4:4

'The House at World's End' is another fictional Ludgate production.

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Creepshow 2:1:2

'The House on the Borderlands' is the title of a story by William Hope Hodgson. It was never filmed, but would have been a perfect choice for Ludgate Films.

'Murders in the Rue Morgue' is the title of a short story by Edgar Allan Poe.

I wondered if there was an intended link between 'Tales of the Iron Maiden' and 'Murders in the Rue Morgue' - as 'Murders in the Rue Morgue' was also the title of a track on rock band Iron Maiden's 2nd album 'Killers'.  -Oddboy

'Corman' is Roger Corman, the legendary producer/director.

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Creepshow 2:2:3

The only reference I've been able to find for the 'Dominion Ritual' is to a Chaos magic spell, also known as the Rite of Dominion. The purpose of the spell is to gain or strengthen control, either over the caster or over a target.

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Creepshow 2:3:3

'The Matheson Machine' is a device very similar to the one used by the pyshic investigators to cleanse the house in The Haunting of Hell House, screenplay by Richard Matheson, based on his own novel, hence the name I gave the device in the story.  -Gordon Rennie

Richard Matheson, an American writer, has written widely, but is most notable for his work on the US TV series, The Twilight Zone, and for several genre classics, including The Shrinking Man and I Am Legend.

The 'Carnacki-Silence' spectrum is another reference to William Hope Hodgson's Carnacki the Ghost-Hunter character. The 'Silence' part is a nod to Algernon Blackwood's similar character, John Silence.  -Gordon Rennie

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Creepshow 2:4:1

Industrial Light & Magic is the movie special effects company who worked on the Star Wars, Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones movies, among others.

'The Pigalle' is the name of an area in Paris around the Place Pigalle. It's a notorious red-light district.

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Creepshow 3:1:1

Nigel Kneale is the writer of, among others, the classic Quatermass series of TV serials.

Kim Newman did write 'Nightmare Movies', but a 3rd edition was never published. It should go without saying that Ludgate Films never featured!

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Creepshow 3:1:2

Annette Pickman appears to be a fictional film star. (Annette Pickman, is her name another nod to Lovercraft, in relation to the story Pickman's Model?  -His Lordship rac)

Christopher Lee is a famous British actor, most notable for his work in the horror genre. Perhaps his most famous role was as Count Dracula in the Hammer series of movies, though younger viewers may be more familiar with his performance as Saruman in the film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings.

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Creepshow 3:5:4

Professor Quinterman is a Caballistics version of Professor Quatermass, from the Quatermass series of TV serials and films.

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Creepshow 4:1:3

'The Quinterman Xperiment' is clearly a Caballistics universe version of classic British TV serial and movie, 'The Quatermass Xperiment'. As the text here makes clear, the events of 'The Quatermass Xperiment' are actually supposed to have happened in the Caballistics timeline, and 'Quinterman' is a dramatization of these 'real' events.

The Quatermass Xperiment was first screened on British TV in 1953. The basic plot is this: the British Rocket Group, led by Professor Bernard Quatermass, have launched an experimental manned rocket into orbit. A malfunction brings the rocket crashing back to Earth, and it lands at Wimbledon. A team is dispatched to recover the craft and crew. They have to wait for the rocket to cool before they can free the crew, but when they do, there is only one man left inside the craft. Over the course of the movie, it becomes clear that the survivor has been affected in some way, and that he's becoming slowly more alien. A final confrontation at Westminster Abbey results in the destruction of the creature.

The cast and crew list in the summary here is the same as for 'The Quatermass Xperiment', with one notable exception: Brian Donlevy

Brian Donlevy was the American lead in the film version of 'The Quatermass Xperiment', and his performance as Quatermass was one of the most criticised elements in the movie. It's an entertaining conceit of Rennie's to have him blocked in favour of Trevor Howard, one of the leads in 'The Third Man' and a far more suitable actor for the role.

The Essential Monster Movie Guide is a real book.

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Creepshow 4:5:1

Wallachia was a Romanian principality in eastern Europe. In 1859, it united with Moldavia to form the state of Romania. During the 15th century it was ruled by Vlad Tepes, the real-life figure who many believe was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Count Dracula.

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