Dating from 1976, these cards from Topps came in packs of three, together with a slice of rock-hard, revolting and potentially mouth-lacerating chewing gum that would be quickly consigned to the bin.
The stills were from Warner Bros Hammer releases – Dracula Has Risen for the Grave, Taste the Blood of Dracula, Dracula AD 1972, The Satanic Rites of Dracula and a token Frankenstein title, Frankenstein Must be Destroyed. The back of the cards featured cheesy jokes (“shocking laffs”) and a straight-faced caption for the photo. There were 50 cards in the set (including no number 47 but two number 17s!).
A year before this set appeared in the UK, there was a US version that only got as far as test copies. This 1975 American version (Shock Theater) is notable for having different films included – non-Warner Brothers Hammer titles like Horror of Frankenstein, The Curse of Frankenstein and Scars of Dracula – and different captions on some cards. To make things even more mysterious, this set has no number 17, but two number 47s! Here are a few examples – if anyone has anymore they’d care to share with us, please get in touch!
Can you imagine the outrage if these gory images were marketed to kids now?