Disclaimer: Halloween is totally a Thea thing when she hijacks the blog and makes me watch and read all sorts of stuff that are way outside my comfort zone (I am SO NOT a horror/Halloween fan). Last year, it was The Evil Dead movies, which, wouldn’t you know, I ended up loving. This year, I was given another list of movies that I had to watch, one of each day of the week. Ana’s Halloween Marathon is now an official part of our annual Halloween celebration. Let the
torture fun begins! Also: there will be spoilers!
Ana’s Halloween TV/Movie Marathon: Day 1 – The Twilight Zone
Why The Twilight Zone: It is one of Thea’s fave shows of all time and one that I NEVER watched. And given how the show is commemorating its 50th anniversary this year, we thought it would only be fitting that I watched it now. Thea came up with a list of Must See episodes and here we are.
Trivia: I told Thea that one of the reasons why I never watched the show is because I grew up in Brazil and it was never on TV. Turns out, I was wrong. As soon as I watched the first episode for this marathon, I recognised the opening song and realised that the show was on in Brazil. But it was called “Além da Imaginação” which literally translates as “Beyond the Imagination”.
Yeah, seriously. I can reveal now that the REAL reason why I never watched it is : the intro scared the bejesus out of me and I recall that I always left the room whenever the show was on.
The viewing Party: it was with a bit of trepidation that I started my viewing party. I was expecting to be scared to death or worse, bored to death. Bored to death because well, in my mind, a TV show from the 50’s? Really? How good could it possibly be?
So, I got a bag of chocolate covered raisins and with those expectations and very half-heartedly I lined up the episodes on Youtube/ Veoh and started watching them. And OMG, the intro, which once scared me, now is actually proves to be so cool! I love it!!!
“There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.”
1. Nightmare at 20,000ft
This episode is the one with William Shatner and The Freaking Face in the Window. You know, the one where William Shatner plays a guy who had a nervous breakdown six years ago. Now, he is flying home with his wife, sitting comfortably on the plane when all of a sudden he looks outside the window and there is something out there in the wing! Oh, my freaking god! Every time he looks outside the weird ape-like creature is crawling towards the engine thingy but every time he tells someone about it , the creature is out of sight and everybody starts thinking that he is mucho loco and then he closes the curtains and I know, I KNOW , something is going to happen and I sort of cover my eyes and then he opens the curtain and the CREATURE IS RIGHT THERE and I scream like there is no tomorrow and Dear Partner comes running into the room and tells me he thinks he is having a heart attack. Oopsie daisies.
Anyways, the story escalates to a point where Shatner wants to open the freaking window to go after the creature himself and he steals a weapon (wow, no one can say that he is not spry) ! Holy guacamoles, he OPENS THE WINDOW. How is the pressure not sucking everybody out of the plane? Huuum….. anyways. He stops the creature but he is taken out of the plane in a straightjacket. But wait! There is evidence that the creature DID exist.
And I loved Rod Serling’s opening words: “
Tonight, he’s traveling all the way to his appointed destination, which, contrary to Mr. Wilson’s plan, happens to be in the darkest corner of the Twilight Zone.”
DUM DUM DUM.
This is so quirky, I mean, does he always interrupt the story to narrate it? (I think he does, right? This is the Twilight Zone “thing” isn’t it? I know, I am like 50 years late to this party) but yeah I so loved it! And, oh, William Shatner how much you amuse me.
2 – Eye of the Beholder
This episode is the one with the woman at the hospital (but not just any hospital, it is a hospital in the Twilight Zone muwahahahaha) with her face covered in bandages. Apparently she is disfigured or something and just had a procedure.
The doctors are all over her, they have been trying to fix what is wrong with her for ages. This is the 11th procedure and if it doesn’t work…well, she might need to live outside this society. The camera work is pretty cool on this one and I love that we only get to hear their voices . The female protagonist’s is quite soothing as she goes on and on about her face and what will happen next, full of hope that she will lead a normal life now. I am growing increasingly agitated though because I realise that I have not seen the doctor’s or the nurses’ faces. She is described as not being “normal” and I am pretty sure the “normal” here does not mean what I think it means. And I was right, they remove the bandages to reveal a VERY beautiful woman but the doctors and nurses are HORRIFIED because IT DIDN’T WORK and right there, I close my eyes because I know something is gonna happen and holy moses, the people , they are all disfigured! EW. And they need to take her away to a ghetto for freaks like her, because in this society (with a Hitler-like leader, it seems) , everybody must look the same. Poor girl. awwww
I also loved the closing narration:
” Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, in this year or a hundred years hence, on this planet or wherever there is human life, perhaps out amongst the stars. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. A lesson to be learned— in The Twilight Zone.”
3 – Time Enough at Last
This the one with the bloke who works at the bank and he is constantly talking about books and reading (oh, I can SO relate) ; He has a hard time at home because his wife does not like him to read (the biotch) and then his boss calls him to his office and tells him that he is a READER (OMG I am one too!) and that his wife is so right to be like that because he is wasting time. The poor guy goes home and his wife (the biotch) has written all over his poetry book and and and SHE RIPS IT APART. Oh the nerve. Then one day he hides in the bank’s vault to read and whilst he is there a bomb destroys the entire world and he walks away and he is the only one alive. I am all like mumbling to myself “yeah, right, so there is no sign of radiation or anything”. Dear Partner who happens to be standing right behind me says “It’s The Twilight Zone, luv” . I give him The Look. WhatEVER.
Anyways, the guy is now aaaaaaaall alone and he despairs. Solitude! Boredom! Hunger! All looms in the horizon and he finds a gun and is about to shot himself and then he sees the sign for the public library! And OMG he has all the books in the world now at his disposal. He makes piles for every month for the rest of his years and oh noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooes. His glasses! He broke his glasses!!!!!!! OH MY GOD, this is so twisted! Bad Twilight Zone! BAD!
I loved this episode!
“The best laid plans of mice and men and Henry Bemis, the small man in the glasses who wanted nothing but time. Henry Bemis, now just a part of a smashed landscape, just a piece of the rubble, just a fragment of what man has deeded to himself. Mr. Henry Bemis…in the Twilight Zone.”
4. The Hitchhiker
This is the one with the young woman driving cross-country and as she drives she keeps seeing the same hitch-hiker, a strange man, who appears at Every.Single.Stop along the way.
I am completely TERRIFIED of this episode. This is the one that is scaring me the most so far. The tension increases as the woman drives away, running from him…talking to herself inside the car. It is rather claustrophobic and then she stops to call home and is told that OMG SHE IS DEAD. SHE IS DEEEEEEEEEEEEEAD. How did I not see this coming? She is dead and the guy is Death! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa *thud*
“Nan Adams, age twenty-seven. She was driving to California, to Los Angeles. She didn’t make it. There was a detour, through the Twilight Zone. “
5 – Five Characters in Search of an Exit
This is one of Thea’s top favourites and the last one I watched. Five people inside what seems to be a cylinder-like place? A major of the army, a ballerina, a homeless guy, a bagpiper and a clown.
They don’t know who they are or where they are. The major is quite determined to find out.
The Ballerina is telling him ““we are in the darkness, nameless things with no memory – no knowledge of what went before, no understanding of what is now, no knowledge of what will be” and I am thinking: are they characters from a book? I am sure they are not alive, this is going to be the twist right? Each of them believes they are in a different place: a spaceship or hell. They are quite desperate: we must have names! I am all like, OMG the angst! WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THESE POOR PEOPLE. I have to say, the acting is quite good and the directing conveys such a sense of entrapment….they come up with a plan , by forming a tower of people and the major manages to go up but once he gets there he falls to the outside. The Ballerina is all like: come back for us! And I am like awwww and then the story is all like ZOMFG, they are DOLLS! They are dolls! Inside a box to be sold! Aaaaaaaaaa, nooooooooooo awwww. Someone returns the major and then and then the Ballerina doll holds his hands and cries.
The Closing Narration made me cry:
“Just a barrel, a dark depository where are kept the counterfeit, make-believe pieces of plaster and cloth, wrought in the distorted image of human life. But this added, hopeful note: perhaps they are unloved only for the moment. In the arms of children, there can be nothing but love. A clown, a tramp, a bagpipe player, a ballet dancer, and a major. Tonight’s cast of players on the odd stage known as the Twilight Zone.”
This was definitely my favourite! Love the twist! And how sad it was.
Verdict: I loved all the episodes I watched. I was VERY surprised about the quality of the episodes, how some of them were even rather arty. Of course, the black and white photography really helps. I was also taken by surprise at how (at least the episodes I watched)they were not really THAT scary and were much more about psychological horror by showing the way these weird happenings affected the people involved in them more than anything else. I think Thea chose a good mixture of episodes for me to watch varying from sci-fi to horror and to Fantasy. And how I love Rod Serling’s narration!
I will definitely go back for seconds and I can totally understand how this is still in syndication after all these years.
So, this is my experience watching The Twilight Zone. Are you a fan of the show? What are your favourite episodes? Do share!