Thursday, September 18, 2014

Watching this burnt DVD offering of THRILLER (disque 7, episodes 25-28) made me wonder---how ever did this series get forgotten among the same spiritual adolescents who still go gaga over the umpteenth ANDY GRIFFITH and TWILIGHT ZONE rerun to hit the ol' cathode tube! Yeah, I know that many of those kinda kids still exist if only in aging bodies (and I should know, I have one!) but really, I haven't read or heard any of the aging pre-teen twats I know blabbing about these old shows the same way they do every other once-biggie now appearing on one of the myriad assortment of small channels popping up on the dial even as we speak.

Rilly, I don't know hardly a soul that remembers THRILLER other'n maybe Bill Shute and this guy who bobs around the place with a one-week Poopdeck Pappy growth on his chin that looks like my aging scrotum who mindlessly babbles on about life with a brain syntax that makes Zippy's look like Isaac Newton, and I don't even think the guy has been in front of a boob tube within the last thirty years, y'know?

Sheesh, for years I wondered why Boris Karloff would warrant his own Gold Key comic book 'n after seeing this show, now I know! As far as anthology hosts go I would rank him up there with Rod and Alfred teasing you into sticking around for the subsequent saga that guaranteed to fray at least a few nerve endings. And, for a series on NBC, a network that perhaps came off third-rank because they tried to be so "Tiffany's", the production and general clarity does not get in the way for once. And the stories...well, in this day and age when even discovering a mass grave filled with crushed skulls doesn't even bat an eye maybe they ain't as creepazoid scary as OUTER LIMITS, but they sure got me glued to my seat and that ain't because my sweaty flesh got stuck to the Naugahyde either!

First 'un's a trio of weirdo sagas set in Olde Tymey England including one eerily Jack The Ripper-based tale where the nefarious ne'er-do-well hides out in a strange museum filled with stone relics of famous murderers and becomes a pillar himself when he gazes upon the face of none other than thee actual and it turns out to be non-mythical Medusa!  A strange one that I'm sure got Stan Lee on the horn to Steve Ditko within a few minutes with an idea for a new AMAZING ADULT FANTASY saga, though frankly the face that turns men to stone kinda reminded me of Reba from THE SOUPY SALES SHOW!

The second episode featured John Ireland as a big band leader on some Caribbean isle who discovers the sacred voodoo rhythms and incorporates them into his latest work. Of course the outcome to this plot's telegraphed well in advance, but I kinda get the idea that the writer of this 'un was not familiar with Chano Pozo, the Afro-Cuban conga player who was offed because he used some real-life secret signals to the beyond in the classic Dizzy Gillespie track "Cubano Be Cubano Bop".

After that comes this tale having to do with a younger brother's attempts to save his sibling (played by Edward Platt from GET SMART) by framing bro's murder of his cheating wife on the guy wifey was sluttin' around with. Of course you get all of the patented false alarms and actual close calls to contend with, before it all comes to a conclusion that really doesn't satisfy and frankly makes you feel lower'n your mother's boobies. At least the bad guy on ALFRED HITCHCOCK got away, at least until Alf came back after the commercial break and tells us all that the murderer was eventually caught and thusly punished just so's everything will play well in Peoria wink wink nudge nudge.

Closing out the disque's yet another Jack The Ripper-based saga which might seem strange considering how the matter was dealt with only three episodes earlier, but then again these television series were never known for spacing out similarly-themed programs between months or even years. This Jack The Ripper's a modern fellow though, and although he must be about ninety by the time this program hit the tube he's still at it, this time in Ameriga. John Williams plays the Scotland Yard detective on his trail while zilch-movie fave Donald Woods helps him, and eventually himself out heh-heh-heh!

Did I have funzies this past Sunday afternoon watching these? I most certainly did, re-living those blessed seventies-era feelings of lounging in front of the tube while some long-forgotten (by most attention-span-of-a-flea types) mooms and tee-vee shows would unveil themselves in front of my eyes. And all I hadda do was make sure that Sam wasn't prowling the kitchen nearby on the hunt for food to swipe off the counter. Of course I must have gained at least thirty pounds during those rather halcyon days when the only thing that seemed to get to me was work and humidity, but given the satisfaction of just being a layabout watching the local UHF maybe it was worth enlarging the ol' pectorals to at least a Sandy Duncan configuration.

'n now, if somebody would only dig up Karloff's '62 OUT OF THIS WORLD series and make it available again!

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