3 April 2004 | laffinsal
Haunting and Effective Program
There's no doubt about it, that this show had some of the eeriest and most unsettling stories to ever be aired on network TV. However, it would (I feel), be naive to think this show was the best of its kind. Like other anthology shows of its genre (NIGHT GALLERY, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, etc.) it suffers from a hodgepodge of dull scripts, mixed in with some genuinely effective ones. While the good on this series could be really good, the weaker shows could be insufferably boring. As a horror/fantasy enthusiast, it's those shows which I enjoy the most from this series, but the non-horror, the crime "thriller"s, those are generally a disappointment.
That aside, the horror segments on this show are some of the best ever done for television. Very moody, atmospheric pieces, suitably filmed in black and white. I suppose one could say that this series is what THE TWILIGHT ZONE would have been like, had it been a horror show, or what NIGHT GALLERY would have been like, had it been in black and white. Boris Karloff introduces each segment, in his usual drawl, but although he does fairly well at that, he doesn't have quite the same eerie restraint that Serling had on his series'.
Among some of the better segments on this show, that I enjoy:
"The Weird Tailor": Extremely clever story, with perhaps the most chilling final moments of any of the THRILLER episodes.
"A Wig for Miss Devore": One of Patricia Barry's best roles, and one of THRILLER's best shows.
"The Remarkable Mrs. Hawk": Jo Van Fleet is great in this one, as is John Carradine. This plays like a dark comedy...twisted and fun.
"The Cheaters": Most remember the final moments from this episode, but the whole show is very well done.
Definitely a series worth checking out for horror fans, and those who appreciate quality television. It's a shame this series doesn't get enough of the credence it deserves. It's not perfect, but it's certainly not without its laurels.