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Terror Cards were a series of trading cards released by Necroscope LLC in 2004. Terror Cards feature images and character bios from 15 different indie horror films released from 1989 to 2004. (Actually up to 2007, but I’ll explain that later). The cards were released in boxes of 12 packs, each pack containing 8 cards. There are 50 cards in the complete standard set.
As with most modern trading card sets, Terror Cards featured its own collection of “chase cards”, randomly inserted cards of lesser print quantities that serve as “incentive” for collectors to continue buying them after they’ve presumably acquired a complete standard set. In this case, Terror Cards feature a 3 card series of “Scream Queen” cards, featuring 2 indie horror actresses on one card, as well as cards autographed by both Debbie Rochon and Brinke Stevens (2 cards each). The odds of finding the “Scream Queens” card are 1:41 (or 1 in every 3.5 12-pack box), while autograph cards appear 1:62 (1 in every 5+ boxes). It is reported that 50 of each autograph card were produced, so I’m sure that the odds of finding one have slimmed in the years since their initial release.
The films featured on the cards are:
- The Dead Next Door (1989)
- Robot Ninja (1989)
- Skinned Alive (1990)
- The Sandman (1995)
- Ozone (1995)
- Addicted to Murder (1995)
- Alien Agenda: Endangered Species (1998)
- Witchouse II: Blood Coven (2000)
- Witchouse III: Demon Fire (2001)
- Binge & Purge (2002)
- Demon Slaughter (2003)
- Exhumed (2003)
- The Halfway House (2004)
- Dead Body Man (2004)
- Realms of Blood (2004)
- Day of the Ax (although included in this set, the film did not see release until 2007)
As with any set like this, the selling point (other than the autographed cards) is in the films featured. This is the point in the review where I lose some “horror cred” as I openly admit that I am not familiar with most of the films featured in the set. To be even more honest, of the films that I have seen, The Dead Next Door was the only one that I somewhat enjoyed. Somewhat.
As for the cards themselves? Each card features a different image from the films listed above, usually showcasing a various character, monster, or make-up effect for their respective film. I applaud the image selection as those used do an exceptional job of highlighting the more intriguing moments or characters of their respective films. Want to sell an indie film? Show off the gore effect, monster make-up, or “hot chick”! While the cards do not have a glossy finish, the images are still clear and crisp. The lack of gloss also keeps the cards from sticking together, which is beneficial to keeping them in collector quality condition.
Where the cards do fail is in the lettering department. Lettering is more than a little on the small side on the backs of the cards. As there is more than enough “empty space” on the back of each card, this definitely should have been corrected before being sent to print. More detrimental, however, is the lettering on the front of the card. Character names are in a dark red ink that almost disappears into the grey background, while the movie titles are in the same microscopic letting featured on the backs. Besides being difficult to read, the letting simply has no “pop”.
For this review, I purchased a sealed pack box on Amazon direct from the distributor. While I did not pull an autograph card, I did pull a Debbie Rochon/Sasha Graham “Scream Queens” card. Obviously, this wasn’t as gratifying as pulling an autograph…. even more so when you consider the abysmal lettering, making it seem like just another card in the standard set. I was, however, able to make a complete set from just the one box.
Terror Cards are a decent quality card series, but not a great one. As these were the creation of a fan trying to give something new to other horror fan/collectors, I can’t be too hard on it. And at only $17 and some change (on Amazon), they’re also a fairly inexpensive one. Hardcore indie horror fans should appreciate these, but the “casual” horror fan may not be as impressed, presumably due to a lack of familiarity with the films and actors/actresses featured.
What may be of interest to those casual fans is that Terror Cards’ website features images from a second series of cards containing autographs from some more widely known horror names. This includes cards signed by Reggie Bannister, Kane Hodder, Bill Hinzman, Gunner Hansen, PJ Soles, Linnea Quigley, Joe Bob Briggs, and more. Necroscope seemingly got the hint about lettering as this series features a much brighter red ink.
The only problem is….. I’m not sure where to find them. Terror Cards still has a website featuring images of the cards, but the site also appears to have crashed at some point. I’ve found the cards on eBay, with sellers asking prices starting at around $25 and up to as much as $200. I will continue to dig into the availability of these cards and will update this review if any additional information is uncovered.