Many of the family relationships seen here are partially explored in the appendices to “'As Thou Has Decreed, So Have I Done!'” and “Claws of the Cat, Fangs of the Bat.” This story is meant to elaborate on the speculations provided in those notes. The story is set in the house of Leo Grainger from the film Fog Island (1945). Leo Grainger (played by George Zucco) is here given the full name of Leonard Grainger Renault.
Dr. George Zabor is the mad scientist from the dreadful “comedy” Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (1952). Zabor is merely the latest alias of Paul Orloff, youngest of the Orloff brothers; he was adopted into the Renault family under the name Paul Renault, and that was the name he used during the events of Zombies on Broadway (1945). In that film, Renault operated on the island of San Sebastian, which also featured in the films I Walked with a Zombie (1943) and The Ghost Ship (1943). Zabor/Renault was also studio manager Joseph Steiner, from The Death Kiss (1932); fraudulent medium Prince Saliano, from You'll Find Out (1940); Nazi spy/stage magician Emil Nardo, from Spooks Run Wild (1941) and Ghosts on the Loose (1943); ape scientist James Brewster, from The Ape Man (1943); and stage magician/psychic Professor Leonide, from Scared to Death (1947). All of Zabor's roles are played by Bela Lugosi. Zabor, like most of his guests, is descended from Dionysus Orloff, from the film The Awful Dr. Orloff (1962) and others.
Joseph van Ee is Professor Leonide's cousin (here, adoptive brother) from Scared to Death ; his birth name, Robert Parry Renault, signifies he is both Dr. Parry from The Monster and the Girl (1941) and Dr. Robert Renault from Dr. Renault's Secret (1942). Parry/Renault are scientists who experiment with crossing apes and humans. Van Ee, Parry, and Renault are all played by George Zucco.
Amos Bradford Renault, the third Renault triplets in the Renault-Clayton sextet, is Amos “the Black Raven” Bradford from the film The Black Raven (1943). Bradford is a criminal who helps smuggle other crooks across the Canadian border through his inn, also called “the Black Raven.” He, like van Ee and Leo Grainger, is played by George Zucco.
Lloyd and Elwyn Clayton are from Dead Men Walk (1943); both men are scientists, but Elwyn becomes drawn towards the occult and turns himself into a vampire. Lloyd dies destroying his evil brother. Both Claytons are played by George Zucco.
Paula Clayton is from the film Weird Woman (1944); she is the mother of Daniel Clay (Tor Johnson) from Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) by Dr. Joseph Javorski (Tor Johnson) of The Beast of Yucca Flats (1956), in an extramarital affair. The circumstances of this union will be revealed in a future story.
Boris Kolomb Orloff is a composite character who, at various stages of his life, was vengeful scientist Boris Karlov from Harold McGrath's The Drums of Jeopardy (1920); Boroff, from the serial SOS Coast Guard (1937); spy/surgeon Monsieur Colomb from Black Dragons (1942); and the inspiration for Boris Badenov from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show (1959-1964). (It is unknown if actor William Pratt derived his famous pseudonym of Boris Karloff from McGrath's account.)
Victor Orloff, aka Victor Poten, is from the serial/film Shadow of Chinatown (1936); Poten is a scientist/terrorist who is hired to wipe out various Chinatowns across America. His son, Victor Poten Jr., is a character cut from Katherine Avalon's The Fires of '16: Reign of Emperor Tromble (2016)—he corresponds to a real-life Russian leader of a similar name with a known opposition to democracy.
Merkil the butler is from One Body Too Many (1944)—he is a descendant of Mervyn Mirakle, one of Dr. Mirakle's children. Mervyn's sister Melissa married Dionysus Orloff, and Rebecca Mirakle's daughter was Rachel Renault, mother of the Clayton-Renaults by William Clayton. Hichcock the butler is from the film Vampire Over London (1952), which is also where Vaughn Orloff (Dr. Von Housen) comes from; Hichcock is a descendant of Dionysus Orloff by one of Orloff's two sons, either Dr. Bernard Hichcock from The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (1962) or Dr. John Hichcock from The Ghost (1963).
Vaughn Orloff/Von Housen's fate as one of the ghouls from Plan 9 from Outer Space is a reference to the unnamed Bela Lugosi character who is reanimated in that film, alongside Inspector Clay. Alex Zorka, also played by Lugosi but not related (as far as we know) to the Orloff clan, is another evil roboticist, from the serial/film The Phantom Creeps (1939).
Feodor Orloff, properly Feodor Orloff II, is from the 1939 film adaptation of Edgar Wallace's The Dark Eyes of London (1924); he is also George Lorenz from The Corpse Vanishes (1942), Richard Marlowe from Voodoo Man (1944), and Eric Vornoff from Bride of the Monster (1956).
Baltasar Orlak, Dionysus Orloff's grandson, is an amalgam of Baltasar from Dr. Satan (1966) and Dr. Orlak from Wrestling Women vs. the Killer Robot (1969). His grandmother's family, the Frankenhausens, come from The Bloody Vampire (1962) and The Invasion of the Vampires (1963); Carlos Agosti plays Baltasar, Dr. Orlak, and Count Frankenhausen. As seen here and in my story “The Curse of Orlac” ( Tales of the Shadowmen Vol. 14), the Orloffs really were descendants of Dracula.
Baltasar's brother Peter is Peter Ulov from The Amazing Transparent Man (1960); he also worked with Dr. Mabuse under the names Dr. Erasmus and Dr. Orloff in The Invisible Claws of Dr. Mabuse (1960) and The Vengeance of Dr. Mabuse (1972), respectively. (Dr. Mabuse is originally from the series of books by Norbert Jacques which started with Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler in 1922.) Peter Orloff's invisibility experiments are based on those undertaken by Dionysus Orloff in Dr. Orloff's Invisible Monster (1970). The mention of his “occult interests” is a reference to the fact that he is probably the same Dr. Orloff who appears in the film Female Vampire (1973). Ulov's study of super-speed is a reference to Pytor Orloff, who first appeared in the DC Comics stories of the Flash in 1987. The “American Flash” Boris mentions is Barry Allen, who debuted in comics in 1956.
Boris Orloff worked for KAOS, the evil spy agency from the show Get Smart (1965-1970). This is because Boris in Rocky and Bullwinkle worked ultimately for Mr. Big, a diminutive man who shared his name with Mr. Big, a high-ranking official for KAOS. Anya Karlova is Boris Karlov's daughter in Drums of Jeopardy; Tania Orloff is the niece or “niece” of '50s pulp hero Bob Morane's nemesis the Yellow Shadow.
The Fearless Leader being real-life Nazi Otto Skorzeny is based on the fact that Rocky and Bullwinkle 's Fearless Leader was visually modeled on Skorzeny, who survived the War. Natasha, also of Rocky and Bullwinkle, is revealed here to have been an exaggerated fictional take on Natasha Romanov, the Marvel Comics hero known as the Black Widow. SMERSH is from the James Bond books and films.
Rocky and Bullwinkle were created by the methods of Dr. Moreau, from H.G. Wells' The Island of Dr. Moreau ; but Robert Moreau is not his descendant. He is the son of Joseph van Ee, and his initials, R.G.V., recall those seen on Dr. Moreau's diploma in the infamous 1996 adaptation of Island. The implication is that that version of Moreau, played rather oddly by Marlon Brando, is actually Robert van Ee, who has a flair for the dramatic if his creation of Rocky and Bullwinkle is any indication. To say nothing of how he acts in that film.
Gamma 693 is the zombie-creating compound used by the Nazis in the film Night of the Zombies (1981). William van Ee, the future William Orloff, is the wicked psychiatrist from The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff (1973). He is the son of Joseph's son Ward and daughter-in-law Laura, both from Scared to Death.
Hydra is the terrorist organization from Marvel Comics. Dionysus Orloff's experiments with invisibility and apes recall the reveal at the end of Dr. Orloff's Invisible Monster, wherein his invisible “man” is revealed to be an invisible gorilla.
The Ghost Family—Katja Orloff and Terry Blood, their children Polyphema and Riven, and grandchildren Phorcys and Thusa—are my own creations. They are also known as the Wild Huntsmen, and many of them were possessed of genetic aberrations like those of John Wainwright. For now I will say that in another world, another life, they were called Katherine, Christopher, Scott, Alex, Nate, and Rachel. They were split between so many timelines that they were turned to Ghosts. Their stories will be told in the future. UPDATE: Katja Orloff is now retroactively the same as the character of the same name who appeared in Henry Richardson Waterhouse's "The Cuckoo-Girl" (1883), which I've made available for free. The Katja Orloff who appears in that story is slightly different from Terry Blood's wife, but the reason for that are explained in "The Cuckoo-Girl."
Madeline Bradford is Madeline Renault, Robert Renault's niece from Dr. Renault's Secret.
Satiin is from my novel The Divine Mrs. E (2017); he inherited his title of Prince from Saliano. He is inspired by Prince Sanit from Emanuelle in Bangkok (1976). Degar, Satiin's priest (unmentioned in Divine Mrs. E ), is originally from the film Night of Horror (1933).
Gayle Clayton is Elwyn's daughter from Dead Men Walk ; Leo Grainger, in Fog Island , has a stepdaughter named Gayle from his marriage to his wife Karma. Hence, Karma was first married to Elwyn Clayton, and married her husband's brother after Elwyn's death. Karma is Karma Sumlang, a partially-original creation who is the daughter of Datu Sumlang, the smuggler/cultist from Moro Witch Doctor (1967). Her third husband, Ortega, is from The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies?!? (1964); their son is Jobe Ortega from Jungle Trap (1990).
Alfred Orloff is Dionysus Orloff's son from The Sinister Dr. Orloff (1984); I suggest the events of that film take place in 1884. Melissa Orloff is one of the primary subjects of The Awful Dr. Orlof.
Sar Dubnotal was created by Norbert Sevestre and appeared in French pulp tales from 1909 to 1910. Feodor Orloff's death and encounter with Sar Dubnotal occurred in my story “The Curse of Orlac.”