The Outer Limits – The Galaxy Being – Best Horror TV Shows for Halloween

outer-limits-the-galaxy-being-pic-1

The Outer Limits

Season 1, Episode 1 – The Galaxy Beingtop-horror-tv-shows

first aired Sept. 16th 1963 on ABC

 

What a truly frightening show this must have been when it aired. This episode still holds a sense of foreboding and dread today, even though most horror fans have moved beyond the fear of Alien lifeforms. A young radio station operator and amateur radio astronomer taps into a frequency transmitted from a far galaxy. Through his computers, oscillators, and electrical equipment he communicates with a being made of electromagnetic energy. He can see him in the spectrometer, a large glowing alien, a real spectacular sight in b&w.

When an overzealous disc-jockey boosts the radio station transmission levels to their highest output, the creature is yanked through the void and into our world. This hour segment rivals the great sci-fi films of the time in visual imagery, thought provoking existentialism and philosophical morality.

This is a real treat for sci-fi fans of the era and beyond. I would be remiss if I didn’t highly recommend it to sci-fi fans around the world. It’s a fantastic beginning to a show that would run for 3 years and offer some of the best sci-fi stories of the time to the TV viewing audience.

outer-limits-the-galaxy-being-pic-7

 


 

The Night Gallery (1969) – movie review

Night Gallery pic 18

The Night Gallery – Pilot Movie (1969)

The success of this TV pilot movie spawned the series that lasted for three seasons. Our host, Rod Serling, wrote all three stories in the pilot, all of which had a particular painting as an aspect of the tales. An interesting note is the second segment was directed by a young Steven Spielberg, his directing debut.

The Cemetery Roddy McDowall plays a scoundrel, Jeremy Evans, a distant cousin of a sick miserly estate owner. He shows up shortly before the millionaire’s death (suspicious death) to collect on the will. He derides the butler/assistant, Osmond Portifoy, who helped Uncle William Hendricks for 30 years being both a caretaker and a friend to the man. Uncle William was an artist before his disease crippled him. The last canvas he painted, a view of the family cemetery on the estate, hangs from the Night Gallery pic 11main stairway wall. Soon after the old man’s burial, Jeremy notices a difference in the painting, a fresh burial at a grave site. He calls Portifoy to look at it but the caretaker sees no difference. After being insulted by a drunken Jeremy, Portifoy leaves for the night. As dark falls, Jeremy sees the disinterment of the coffin in the painting. He races around the mansion calling for Portifoy, forgetting that the man had left. Every time he passes the painting he sees the image of his Uncle William move closer to the front door until finally he hears the massive door knocker summoning him.

Eyes – In the second segment, Joan Crawford plays a nasty, well-to-do woman with one distraction. She is blind. Through her lawyer, she finds a man that will donate his eyes for a nominal fee. He needs to pay his bookie before the mob rubs him out. She doesn’t care about the moral implications or the man’s motives, she wants both of his eyes for $9,000. She Night Gallery pic 10especially wants to see the recently finished portrait of herself commissioned by a top artist in the field. The sight will only last 12 – 13 hours. But there will be a price to pay for taking advantage of those less fortunate.

The Escape Route – In the final segment, a man can’t keep his terrible past a secret as memories of his work at Nazi concentration camps surface. Now living in Brazil, he spends time at a museum, under a peaceful painting of a lone man fishing on a docile lake. He imagines himself there at the lake many times. An international investigation team is closing in upon him and he has one wish from God. But God isn’t going to let his sins go unpunished.

These are three excellent tales with stronger themes than The Twilight Zone while still retaining the moral compass of the traditional Zone tales. If you like TZ you will like this also, it feels like an extension of the old show. The first segment is downright creepy and all the stories have a twist ending. Despite that there’s more dialogue than action, the stories will certainly hold your interest.

Excellent story telling in the tradition of the best TZ episodes.
I give it 4.0 walking corpses on the tortured twisted endings scale in the Rod Serling universe.

Night Gallery pic 1

Everything you would want to know about The Night Gallery series, including a gallery of the paintings used to introduce the individual stories can be found here: http://nightgallery.net/

————–
The Night Gallery – the series
The series began a year later in 1970 and ran for 3 seasons through 1973. Rod Serling was the host, introducing us to stories through paintings in the art gallery. Each hour long episode had up to three stories. Some of my favorite episodes include, Pickman’s Model, The Doll, and Since Aunt Ada Came to Stay. The third season and subsequent syndication format were only half hour episodes. They had a few unaired stories and had edited down some previous episodes to only one story in order to fit the half hour format. They also added in stories from a short lived series called, The Sixth Sense with newly recorded introductions by Rod Serling to round out the syndicated series and the VHS/dvd releases. However, the dvds/blurays of the first two seasons on the market today are the original hour episodes the way they had originally aired.

Leonard Nimoy, tribute

Live long and prosper in that big spacecraft in the sky. Leonard Nimoy, RIP

spock - long live the great ones leonard-nimoy-uncle-22

 

Just some of my fave Nimoy contributions and things I watched. In no way a complete list of his achievements. 

small parts in:

Them! (1954)

The Brain Eaters (1958)

The Twilight Zone – A Quality of Mercy (1961) 

The Outer Limits (1964)

The Night Gallery (2 episodes, 1972, 1973)L Nimoy

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) remake

Of course the BIG part:

Star Trek – Spock, TV and Films

Host of: 

In Search of… (1970’s)

Narrator for:

Ancient Mysteries

Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories (1991)

Thanks for enriching my life and as well as the live’s of so many others…

spock_

 

Night Gallery – S2 E3 – My Favorite Horror TV Episodes – Halloween Edition

night gallery pics 015Night Gallery 2-3 Aunt Ada pic 4

Night Gallery – S2 E3

Night Gallery is a series produced by Rod Serling and Jack Laird, that ran from 1970- 73. The Twilight Zone styled, one-hour show hadnight gallery pics 017 a wonderful introductory premise. Each week the host, Rod Serling, would swagger through an art gallery of nightmarish creations and pick one to tell us viewers about. The camera would zoom in on the painting, thus leading into the story. Each 1 hr. episode would have three stories; one main story, one minor story and one very brief tale with a comedic twist. The stories were not as timeless as the stories in The Twilight Zone, but some of the tales stood out as exceptionally creepy.

This episode has one of my favorite stories in the series, Since Aunt Ada Came to Stay, along with two shorter pieces.

Since Aunt Ada Came to Stay
Craig Lowell is a college professor whose wife has welcomed her Aunt Ada into their home. Ada is a gray-haired old woman with a cane who seems docile and innocent around her niece Joanna, wanting to share an afternoon ritual of having tea and talking. However, when Joanna is not around, she likes to challenge Craig’s authority in the home and doesn’t seem feeble at all. When the husband becomes suspicious of the woman he contacts a professor at the University that deals in night gallery pics 005the occult, Professor Porteus, played by Jonathan Harris (better known to most of us as Dr. Smith, from the TV show Lost in Space). The professor provides some valuable information about how a witch can jump from an old used up body into the body of a younger woman, and how to stop her. Craig suspects the ritual is taking place and he battles Aunt Ada in his home to defeat her. In the end he has successfully beaten her. Or has he? Stars James Farentino at Craig Lowell and Michele Lee as his wife Joanna.

With Apologies to Mr. Hyde
Adam West stars in this short vignette playing Dr. Jekyll in a moment of transformation.

The Flip Side of Satan
Arty Johnson plays an angry, washed-up, radio disc jockey starting a new job at a derelict station. Unhappy with the music he has to play he decides to quit but discovers he is locked in the studio and can’t leave.

The Aunt Ada story is the reason to view this episode. It’s a creepy witch story and the actress that plays Ada, Jeanette Nolan, is fantastic as the centuries old, body-jumping witch. The effects consist of camera and film tricks only slightly more creative than what you would see on Bewitched, or I Dream of Jeanie at the time. However, I think the acting and directing in this episode achieve a level of eerie foreboding that raises it above its limited budget.

night gallery pics 016

The stories in the series range from well-written, 70s style, TV horror, to just downright bland. They don’t have the message and introspect that Twilight Zone episodes had. The best Night Gallery to watch is the TV movie/pilot that started it all, but I’ll review that at a later date. If you are inclined to check out the series, this is one of the best of the bunch. A nasty witch tale always makes for good viewing on Halloween nights!

Horror Collectables: Things in my workshop

Twilight Zone bobbles

Horror Collectables: Things in my workshop

——————————————-

Twilight Zone – The Mystic Seer bobblehead

Twilight Zone - Mystic Seer bobblehead

This is from the episode with William Shatner. He keeps putting coins into the tabletop machine at a diner because he thinks it’s telling his fortune. Maybe it is?

——————————————-

Twilight Zone – Gremlin
Twilight Zone - gremlin bobblehead 2

This is from ‘Terror at 20,000 Feet’ also with William Shatner, where he sees a gremlin on the airplane wing while in flight. He freaks out!

——————————————-

Twilight Zone – Old style Television

Twilight Zone - Hallmark Television

This is from Hallmark. It’s the old style 1960’s console TV showing the Twilight Zone.

Twilight Zone - Hallmark Television lit

The screen lights up and it plays the Twilight Zone theme!

——————————————-

Bride of Frankenstein poster!

bride poster

OK, not Twilight Zone but just wanted to throw this in there.

———————————————

On my want list:

The full-sized Talking Tina doll from the Twilight Zone is currently going for about $150 – $175. I’m hoping to be able to get one while they are still available, but I’ll have to catch up from my holiday spending before I can purchase anything. They have a color version or a chromatic black & white version – I prefer the B&W.

talking tina TZ

The doll even talks, saying some of the lines it said in the Twilight Zone Episode – it’s a bit expensive but I have to have it…
(And I swear it’s the first doll I ever wanted for myself.)

Dinosaurus (1960) – movie review

Dinosaurus 1960 pic 3

Rare and Obscure Dinosaur films

Dinosaurus (1960)

Produced by Jack K. Harris (The Blob, 4D Man, Equinox), this 1960 B- movie is more likely fun for kids but adults might enjoy the campy humor, especially associated with the caveman (Gregg Martell). Construction crews building a port on a Caribbean Island accidentally dredge up two long buried dinosaurs from the ocean floor. They have been preserved by theDinosaurus_DVD cold deep waters. The Brontosaurus and Tyrannosaurus are pulled onto the beach and the foreman, Bart, calls a scientist to come investigate their find. Little do they know, but they have also beached a Neanderthal Man tangled in the seaweed. Overnight there is a violent thunder storm and the dinosaurs are struck by lightning, bringing them back to life (ala ‘Frankenstein’ science). An orphan boy, Julio, befriends the Brontosaurus, knowing he is a herbivore. The T. Rex is soon on the hunt putting Julio in jeopardy but Julio is saved by the caveman. The caveman falls in love with Betty. Later in the film Julio, Bart and Betty, are stuck in a cave as the T. Rex tries to gain entry. As the walls collapse, the caveman saves Julio again, along with Bart and Betty. The climax of the film has the foreman fighting the T. Rex in a steam shovel from the construction site. Filmed partly on the island of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, the film is campy entertainment for all ages.

dinosaurus 1960 bronto and Julio

B-movie fans will also be entertained by the trivia and correlations to other films:

Marcel Delgado (maker of King Kong) had only 2 weeks to design the dinosaur models used for the film.

During filming, the special effects crew also filmed a sequence for The Twilight Zone using the miniature set and the Brontosaurus. The footage can be seen in the TZ episode “The Odyssey of Flight 33.”

The steam shovel vs. T.Rex climax is reminiscent to Ripley fighting the Alien in the ‘pay-loader machine’ in the film Alien. It is also clearly ‘hijacked’ for the scene at the end of Carnosaur (1993).

In one scene, a bus full of tourists is confronted by the T. Rex who bends down low and peers into the bus windows at the screaming people. (see photo above) He then bangs the bus with the side of his head and eventually crushes the bus. The similarities between this scene and the scene in 1993’s Jurassic Park with the ‘tour jeeps’ are more than a coincidence and thought to be Spielberg’s homage to the earlier film.

Psuedo science:
By now most of you know, there was no actual Brontosaurus that ever walked the earth. The Brontosaurus was a mistake of having the wrong head on the body of an Apatosaurus. Through the 1980’s, most museums began removing the ‘Brontosaurus’ heads from their skeleton displays and replacing them with the proper, smaller heads. And naturally, millions of years passed between the time that Dinosaurs lived and Cavemen arrived on earth.

Related Articles:
The Legend of Dinosuars and Monster Birds
Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women