Revisiting the (Radio) Classics: THE CURSE OF THE NEANDERTHAL
I have waxed eloquent on previous occasions over my appreciation, discovered only in the last couple’a three years, for the lost artform of radio dramas. Having satellite radio in my car enables me to enjoy a wide variety of these old treats, these pieces of “vintage” entertainment that take me back to a simpler age. There’s some good stuff out there, waiting to be found, for the Horror junkies of the modern world. Just as it is today, the scary stuff is wildly popular. Numerous weekly programs catered to the lovers of all things spooky. One of those programs, which I first learned about this past week, was entitled simply “Dark Fantasy.” A little googling on my part revealed that this was a short-lived series, lasting only one season, the entirety of which is available here for free download.
The episode I heard was “The Curse of the Neanderthal.” Though it plays loose with the Science of the extinct hominid species—Neanderthals were nowhere near eight feet tall—and the ending is a tad on the cheesy side (not that this is necessarily a bad thing), the overall story is intriguing. A woman, trapped in a canyon by a landslide, is aided by the ghost of a Neanderthal man, a ghost that takes the form of the woman’s sister. Subsequent exploration of the canyon reveals the Neanderthal’s skeleton, along with a tablet containing a curse on anyone who moves said bones. (Neanderthals are not known to have had writing, and it’s a real stretch that the professor character would be able to so easily decipher it, but just go with it.) Of course the Professor scoffs at the curse and moves the skeleton. That’s when the helpful and benevolent Neanderthal returns to life, speaking perfect English (again, just go with it) to exact revenge. (One has to wonder if the whole ensuing unpleasantness could have been avoided if the guy had just explained to the Neanderthal that the skeleton would be handled with respect and was being moved to a prominent location in a museum where it would be cared for and appreciated.) If you don’t think too much, it’s a lot of fun. You can listen to it at the link provided. It’s the seventh one down the list.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!