Who is this strange lady? And who is this Zoltan fella anyway? Well, that's a mystery we might not solve today, but I can tell you that this striking High Priestess is not, as many have supposed, the product of a bad acid flashback. Although, come to think of it, perhaps in a way perhaps she is...

While our intrepid Unknown Artist often copied his source photos and stills very closely (as seen with the Karloff Frankenstein in the preceding card), sometimes he did embellish the images to make them that bit more horrific and outrageous. And possibky to avoid a copyright lawsuit. However whatever the reasons, when he found a picture of horror icon Barbara Steele, dolled up in cult regalia, he just had to go the extra mile and make her a cyclops. And added a bit of decay and rotting flesh into the bargain! Here's the beautiful Babs in all her glory!

Barbara Steele in Curse of the Crimson Altar

And while she does look blue here, in some prints she does look green as shown in the card! Now the still is from a movie made by Tigon Films, Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968)- a psychedelic tale of black magic starring Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee and of course the lovely Ms. Steele. Allegedly the movie is based upon a classic tale by the great HP Lovecraft, The Dreams In the Witch-House. But to be honest, other than featuring witches and dream sequences this Tigon feature has little to do with Lovecraft's famous tale. However it is a rather fun flick, simply because it is so colourfully demented! Certainly the High Priestess of Zoltan would not be out of place in the freakily costumed cult scenes in this movie!

If you are wondering who 'Zoltan' was when he was at home, well it is NOT a reference to the not-so-classic Zoltan Hound of Dracula (1978) sadly (which you can hear about here). But there was another card simply entitled 'Zoltan' and we'll uncover his story in a later article...

Curse of the Crimson Altar poster
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