This Is a Thriller: Site for vintage horror & nuggets series collectors.
Friday, January 13, 2006
The WAY OUT of the Twilight Zone!
I found the Way Out of the Twilight Zone!
It was a good life for the first few TZ marathons. Until I smelled the KOFY and woke up.
Scenes we had seen in the 60's were missing. It was as though they'd never existed.
Here's one example of a glaring continuity cut occuring in syndication prints:
"And When The Sky Was Opened", 3 astronauts vanish one by one.
Rod Taylor knocks but the bar is closed for the night. He smashes thru the glass door to gain entry.
Look at it on any commercial TV channel: Taylor knocks on the closed door, and gets in without even breaking a sweat.
A casual viewer might not consciouslynotice the cut. Or one might dismiss it as typical low budget production. But Serling didn't make those kind of slip-ups. When he first saw the show in reruns, Rod was appalled by the edits.
There was nothing he could do, having sold off his share of the series.
Nevertheless, the reruns stirred up memories and interest in other series from the Twilight Zone era. We hadn't seen episodes of THRILLER in so long, some hed merged in our minds with TZ episodes.
Like the one where the guy deals with the devil, literally gets burned (off-camera), and smoke pours out from under the door.
I mixed that up with the TZ where Satan is locked in a room until a woman hears his howling and opens the door.
The smoke scene was from a THRILLER segment, "The Devil's Ticket".
I started tracking down copies of the series in 1986 to share with friends who had helped alert me to the best episodes.
The Thriller Club (not the Michael Jackson Thriller!) began giving weekly TV parties in 1988.
Underground artist Jim Osborne and power popster Cyril Jordan were among our special guests.
After blasting b-sides. we'd run a THRILLER people especially wanted to see, such as "Pigeons From Hell".
"Well of Doom" had Cyril J. roaring with contageous laughter.
"The Cheaters" tore us up when Dean played the final "meltdown" scene over and over, and over again.
"Dissolve, dissolve, dissolve!"
Eager for even more thrillers one step beyond the outer limits of the twilight zone, we unearthed episodes of WAY OUT.
Way Out's distinctive opening combined the electronic music of Robert (Dark Shadows) Cobert with a view of hands reaching up from a smoldering grave.
Roald Dahl, infinitely reflected in mirrors, calmly introduced the episodes with understated black humor.
Twilight Zone and Way Out aired back to back on Friday nights in 1961.
Way Out has grown in cult status in spite of never having been rerun.
Way Out fans currently share 5 circulating episodes:
William & Mary I Heard You Calling Me The Croaker Dissolve to Black Death Wish
Soft Focus Side Show Button, Button can be seen in NYC at The Museum of Television & Radio.
1.The Sign of Satan - Based on Robert Bloch's short story "Return to the Sabbath" first published in the July 1938 issue of Weird Tales. Starts off with chilling music score set to scenes reminiscent of HORROR HOTEL (also starring Christopher Lee) and BLACK SUNDAY!
2. The Final Escape - Bernard Herrman's warped music adds chills to the final breathtaking moments!
3. Captive Audience - James Mason plays absent-minded author who blends fact with fiction
4. Forecast: Low Clouds and Coastal Fog - Some pretty strange people pop by or play hide and seek undetected at an isolated beach bungalow Muggy suspense with a twist...it's twisted!
5. Water's Edge - Rejected prior to being filmed at first as unsuitable, with too gruesome an ending. Jaded losers (John Cassevettes and Ann Southern) look high and low for loot.
6.The Life Work of Juan Diaz - Perhaps the finest Hitchcock Hour, beautifully written by Ray Bradbury. Subtle ending.
7. Memo from Purgatory - Written by Harlan Ellison; Walter Koenig ("Scotty" on Star Trek) as gang leader, and James Caan as undercover author who joins the gang. Tony Musante is great as vicious vice-pres of the Barons. Musante played a j.d. again, terrorizing late night subway riders, in the 1967 film THE INCIDENT.
8. Consider Her Ways - one of the series' only sci-fi stories, definitely a weird one! Woman wakes up in the future, wieghing about 300 lbs. heavier.
9. Where the Woodbine Twineth - Unusual story of a sassy little girl with a make believe friend .
10. Death Scene - with John Carradine as outdated film legend who still has a few tricks up his sleeve.
Also among the very best Hitchcock Hours: A Home Away from Home, The Magic Shop, Wally the Beard, Hangover, A Piece of the Action, Beast In View,
The Photographer & the Undertaker, Bonfire, Lonely Place, The McGregor Affair, Thanatos Palace Hotel, Annabel,
The World's Oldest Motive, The Monkey's Paw- A Retelling
Recommended episodes of the half hour HITCHCOCK PRESENTS: THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE, SPECIALTY OF THE HOUSE, THE GLASS EYE, AND SO DIED RIABOUCHINSKA, HUMAN INTEREST STORY, GENTLEMAN FROM AMERICA, SPECIAL DELIVERY, THE LITTLE MAN WHO WAS THERE, DESIGN FOR LOVING
DARK INTRUDER - '65 TV series pilot expanded and released theatrically. Network execs said it was too scary to broadcast! With Leslie Nielsen Telefilm about demonic possession still packs a punch today!
THE JAR -(1964) Hitchcock Hour Ray Bradbury classic. New print
An Unlocked Window- '65, Hitchcock Hour 1st gen. print
The Lifework of Juan Diaz - Hitchcock Hour, 1st gen. print
My 20 Favorite THRILLER Episodes:
PIGEONS FROM HELL (Brandon de Wilde) THE PURPLE ROOM (Rip Torn, Richard Anderson) THE WELL OF DOOM (Henry Daniel, Richard Kiel) THE DEVIL'S TICKET (John Emery) PARASITE MANSION (Jeanette Nolan)
TERROR IN TEAKWOOD (Reggie Nalder, Hazel Court) THE RETURN OF ANDREW BENTLEY (Reggie Nalder, John Newland) THE PRISONER IN THE MIRROR (Lloyd Bockner, Henry Daniel) WAXWORKS (Oscar Homolka, Martin Koslek) LA STREGA (Ursula Andress, Jeannette Nolan)
A WIG FOR MISS DEVORE (John Fiedler, Patricia Barry) THE INCREDIBLE DOKTOR MARKESAN (Boris Karloff, Dick York) THE PREMATURE BURIAL (Boris Karloff) THE HUNGRY GLASS (William Shatner) THE WEIRD TAILOR (George McCready, Henry Jones)
THE CHEATERS (Harry Townes) DIALOGUES WITH DEATH (Boris Karloff) COUSIN TUNDIFER (Vaughn Taylor) THE HOLLOW WATCHER (Warren Oates) DARK LEGACY (Henry Silva, Harry Townes)
THRILLER episodes I have with original "Next week" prevues: The Cheaters The Hungry Glass Pigeons from Hell Twisted Image
SUSPICION - "Voices In The Night" 60 mins. adaptation of William Hope Hodgeson weird tale. superb print, from 16mm. Patrick MacNee and James Coburn Suspicion's only supernatural segment.
Suspicion did air a classic suspense episode: "Four O'Clock" directed by Alfred Hitchcock
JOHNNY STACCATO - new prints of cool crime series. Starring John Cassavettes, produced by (Thriller) William Frye.
NORLISS TAPES - Roy Thinnes. Dan Curtis shocker 1973. New print.
Picture of Dorian Gray (1961, Dick Smith make-up) Breck Golden Showcase (60 mins.)
WAY OUT (30 mins.)(Make-up by Dick Smith) 5 episodes available, with original 1961 ads
WILLIAM & MARY - DISSOLVE TO BLACK - I HEARD YOU CALLING ME - THE CROAKER - DEATH WISH
TALES OF FRANKENSTEIN (pilot - 30 MINS) Hammer Studios tries TV
BUS STOP - (1 HOUR) "I KISS YOUR SHADOW"
Stephen King, in Danse Macabre called it the most terrifying TV episode he ever saw.
The other infamous Bus Stop episode: A LION WALKS AMONG US starring Fabian as a unrepentant hep-cat playing musical chairs with the hot seat.
Singled out by PTA and Senate Sub-Committee hearings investigating TV violence Never aired on prime time TV since.
"Martian Eyes" with Burgess Meredith
"Will of the Wisp", "For Release Today" (with an early appearence of Grayson Hall), "The Faceless Man" (weird!), "Strange Legacy",
"Perchance To Dream"(David White, + a rare pre-code horror comic book), "The Meddlers",
"Dead Man's Coat" "The Deal", "And Adam Begot" (Kent Smith), "The Deal", "Lost Will of Dr. Rant" (Leslie Nielsen), superb despite low budgets.
Suspense: "All Hallow's Eve"...Mean old man sick of trick or treaters!
Panic: "Moth & The Flame".. One that finally lives up to Panic's promising opening sequence, always featuring the mysterious talking head hiding in the shadows and titles punctuated by shattered glass. Clammy chills as psycho voyeur (Alan Napier) stalks exotic dancer!
Inner Sanctum: "Face of the Dead", and others.
Dick Powell Theatre (60 mins.): "The Clock". Eerie supernatural gem! "Out of The Night" "Crazy Sunday" with Rip Torn;
NAKED CITY: Rip Torn as country boy killer wild in the streets of the big apple with no respect! "Case Study of Two Savages" (other episodes avail.)
STACCATO: Great noir TV series, starring John Cassavettes. 10 episodes available.
ONE STEP BEYOND all episodes.
TALES OF TOMORROW: various eps., with James Dean, Paul Newman, Karloff, and: "The Duplicates"(Darren McGavin), "Youth on Tap" (Harry Townes), "Search for the Flying Saucers" (Vaughn Taylor as lunatic)
DARK CARNIVALS 2 hour ride from Coney Island to Playland-at-the-Beach
Comic Book Vid-Scene 2 hr. histeria of the Pre-Code crime, headlight and horror comics that ruined minds! featuring 50's footage of anti-comic crusaders and blue-nosed buffoons Bettie Page, Irving Klaw, Bill Gaines, and Dr. Wertham. Interviews with MAD artists Kelly Freas, Don Martin, Al Feldstein
ZACHERLEY: Shock Theatre 1958 kinescopes 1966 color home movie of Zacherley at zoo 1967 teen music show -Zacherley hosting
BEWITCHED: 4 episodes (color) with original commercials (from 16 mm)
An hour of horror, exactly as aired March 3, 1961: TWILIGHT ZONE: "Long Distance Call" / WAY OUT: "William and Mary" -
Both episodes with original prevues and commercials as broadcast. (from 16mm)
6 episodes of Twilight Zone with original ads and prevues: The Dummy, The Lateness of the Hour, The Whole Truth, Sounds and Silences, Night of the Meek, Long Distance Call
Alfred Hitchcock Presents "Beast In View", "The Jar", "The Little Man Who Was There";
DARK INTRUDER, 1964 "The Clocks" 1962
Weird Tales, America's
longest running pulp sci-fi/terror magazine, was used eighteen times as
source material for Thriller's teleplays.
"The Purple Room" 1961 The first segment to criss-cross suspense with the supernatural.
Rip Torn excellent as heir who dares to stay in The Purple Room.
Written and directed by Douglas Heyes, dir. Twilight Zone eps:
"And When The Sky Was Opened", "Elegy", "The Howling Man", "The Invaders",
"Eye Of The Beholder".
Story by Robert Bloch. A pair of spectacles possess peculiar powers: Looking through the glasses reveal the truth people hide, and incite the wearer to blood lust. The hallucinatory perception of infidelities influence the wearer to react without restraint.
1st version of the get-your-crash-helmet warning, "As sure as my name is Boris Karloff... This...is a THRILLER!" The final moments are among the most nightmarish ever created for TV.