Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Halloween Haunted Viewings so far

I've squeezed in a smattering of horror viewings over the past couple of weeks.  Here are some quick thoughts.
Mark of the Vampire
I'd always heard of this one, and finally got around to watching it.  Quirky, at best.  Some good visuals.  Some moments that made little sense.  Lugosi has no dialog until the very end.  And (spoiler) if you didn't know - it all turns out to be non-supernatural; a very elaborate sting operation.  Caroll Borland made for a fine vampire bride, though.  One does wonder if the lost film, London After Midnight (of which Mark of the Vampire is a loose remake) was better executed.

Night Gallery:  The House
An odd tale of a haunted house, dreams and potential madness.  It might have been atmospheric, but the bright California sunshine and color wash out any visual sense of dread on this one.

Night Gallery: Certain Shadows on the Wall
This was the second half of the same episode.  Much better creep factor as three siblings who loathe each other await for the fourth to die.  And when she does, her shadow appears on the wall permanently.

THRILLER: The Watcher
A serial killer is on the loose, and he is a quiet face among his own neighbors in a coastal tourist town.  Perhaps most enjoyable for the sheer irony of Richard Chamberlain not only playing the leading ladies' man, but also for the villain trying to "protect" Chamberlain's character's innocence from the charms of women. (Chamberlain came out of the closet awhile back, but during the 1960s his homosexuality was a well-kept secret.)

THRILLER: The Grim Reaper
A cursed painting is acquired by a fading Hollywood star.  Her nephew tries to warn her of impending personal doom.  Starring William Shatner, screenplay by Robert Bloch (adapted from a Weird Tales story by Harold Lawlor) and music by Jerry Goldsmith.  This was one tour de force of old suspense/horror television!


  1. The only Thriller episode I've seen was "Pigeons from Hell" at Howard Days a number of years back. It sounds like I need to see some more.

    1. They went to the Weird Tales well at least a handful of times that I am aware of. I need to research if they did more.

    2. I'm assuming the old episodes are available in DVD somewhere. I'll look later today.

    3. Keith - there is a "Fan Favorites" single disk of 10 episodes (including "Pigeons from Hell" and "The Grim Reaper") if you don't want to shell out for the entire series.

      I just recently grabbed the full series set because it was half-off on an Amazon Daily Special two weeks ago.

  2. I enjoyed Night Gallery quite a bit when I first watched it. I've forgotten most of it though. I wish they'd rerun these sometime on regular tv.

  3. The kids and I have been doing some Twilight Zone marathons, along with a host of old monster movies.

  4. Watched most of Night Gallery a few years ago and was surprised how many good ones there really were. I say this as someone who hates most of the Twilight Zone.

  5. Ah. Someone on the Conan/REH forums was most helpful. There is already a post about various Weird Tales adaptations for THRILLER.

  6. BTW - if you have cable or other provider t.v., the METV network airs THRILLER in the dead of night. So, if you get it and have a DV-R and don't want to shell out for DVDs, that's an option, too.