Dearie dearie me! What on earth is going on here? Yes, we've hit my nomination for Worst Card in either of the old Horror Top Trumps decks! And that's nothing to do with the stats either - although they are pretty mediocre generally. No, for me this earns the title of Worst Card thanks to the dreadful artistic execution. Now it is true that the simple lines and colours of these cards excited many a kid's imagination, not just for the lurid hues and ghoulish gore, but also because they were drawn in a style that was easy to emulate with the contents of the average pencil case. However the Gorgon sadly tips over the line and actually looks like a child's drawing. While many of these old Horror Top Trumps were the stuff of nightmares, this on the other hand looks like the artist was having an absolute 'mare drawing it!

But where did this demented vision spring from? Well of course, gorgons are a staple of Greek mythology and as one of the oldest famous monsters in the world they have turned up in a few movies over the years. However the artistic horror on this card resembles none of the Classical gorgon's cinematic outings. It certainly isn't remotely like the Gorgon conjured up by Hammer in their classic 1964 movie, and while some top trumpologists reckon this card was inspired by 1981's Clash of the Titans there are a couple of problems with that theory. For while this Top Trumps Gorgon has a snakey lower half like the Medusa in that movie, I'm not entirely sure that the film was actually out when these decks were being created. Of course, secondly and more importantly, the abomination above looks feck all like the late great Ray Harryhausen's wonderful creature.

However there was something naggingly familiar about this card, and eventually I remembered what it reminded me of - this poster for an old HP Lovecraft adaptation!

The Dunwich Horror poster

Now you may well think that there is just a superficial resemblance, but look closer! We have the same triangular eyes and beast-like visage, and while the snake hair has been pushed down the sides, there some similarities in the monstrous barnet (although thanks to the crude rendition it is hard to tell).

Much like Thor in the last deck, here the demented Unknown Artist was seemingly having trouble getting the image to fit into the dimensions of the card and ended up squashing the image to get it in. Furthermore, learned visitors of the Tomb of the Trumps, it is my contention that the burly body of the Gorgon on the card is in fact nothing more than the torso of the nudie lady on the poster turned upside with some inexpertly rendered scales bunged on! Certainly that would explain a) the weird body and b) why our Unknown Artist has chosen to keep the hands off camera!

Just for the record, the daemoniac abomination show in such luird detail on the poster sadly never really appears in the movie... All we get are some pseychedelic flashes of something with tentacles and/or dreadlocks. Quite cool in a tripped out way, but far from the mad beast of the poster!

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