October 3, 2020

Monster Trading Cards: Heinous Henchmen of Classic Horror #1

Back in May of this year I introduced my first set of virtual monster trading cards, featuring “Accidental Monsters of ‘50s Sci-fi and Horror.” I had a lot of fun creating that set, so, to celebrate the Halloween season, I decided to do a follow-up.

As every horror fan knows, it’s very hard work being a mad doctor or a blood-sucking count. There are bodies to dig up, lab equipment to move around, dusty dungeons to sweep up, and coffins to prepare for a well-earned rest. If you’re going to flout the laws of Man and God on a regular basis, you’re going to need a trustworthy, reliable henchman to sweat all the small stuff.

In most cases, we don’t get to see how the madmen or monsters recruited their henchmen -- they’re just there; ready, willing and able to do anything the master asks. Back in the classic monster era, it must have been much harder to get good help.

Colin Clive and Dwight Frye, Frankenstein, 1931
"Lift with your legs Fritz, not your back!"

Without recruiting sites like Monster.com or LinkedIn, they had to rely on word of mouth or at best, a few lines in the local paper’s classifieds.

Wanted: Blindly loyal assistant willing to work a variety of odd jobs, including digging, hauling heavy loads, cobweb clearing, and kidnapping. Must be comfortable working in the dark. No formal education required; utmost discretion essential.

Loyal horror henchmen did not have an easy time of it. They literally labored in the shadows, often sacrificing their sanity and/or their very lives for their masters.

So this Halloween season I’m giving them their due with a series of virtual “Heinous Henchmen of Classic Horror” cards with an added bonus -- a performance evaluation straight from Hell’s HR department.

Heinous Henchmen of Classic Horror - Dwight Frye as Fritz, Frankenstein, 1931


Name:  Fritz           Date:   1931       

Supervisor:  Dr. Frankenstein              

Category Unsatisfactory Satisfactory Excellent Comment
Work Productivity X Fritz is very proficient with a shovel, and is able to scramble up tall gallows to cut down bodies.
Work Quality X The employee has problems with attention to detail; he recently brought back a criminal brain instead of a normal one.
Work Relationships
X Fritz is not an attentive listener, and he sometimes goes out of his way to antagonize the lab subjects.
Initiative X The employee has taken initiative to brighten up the castle with lit torches.
Dependability X Fritz' attendance is exemplary.

Summary: Fritz is reliable and proficient, especially when digging up things. He needs to work on his attention to detail and his relationships with the creatures I create in the lab.


  1. There are several blogs I read or listen to, but yours is the only one that's still posting regularly. All the others have gone inactive. So thank you for keeping it going, pandemic or not!

    1. The blog is one of the things that's keeping me busy and reasonably sane. I'm still having fun with it, which is all that matters. Stay tuned, there are more Heinous Henchmen posts coming this month.