Saturday, November 30, 2013

Movie Poster Spotlight :: The British are Coming! The British are Coming! :: A Mixed Set of Lobby Cards from Both Sides of the Pond for Frederic Goode's Pop Gear (1965)

Fueled by the hideously infectious songs of the ongoing British Pop Invasion, producer Harry Field and director Frederic Goode cashed in with Pop Gear (released in the States as Go Go Mania by American International Pictures), a truly wonderful canned concert movie (-- meaning the acts wandered around some truly eye-popping pop-art sets, lip-synching and air-guitaring to their hearts content). Book-ended (rather clumsily) by two pilfered performances by The Beatles from another documentary, in-between Mod mad man Jimmy Savile introduced each act and one hit wonder who flew under Brian Epstein and Joe Meek's respective banners; some of whom you've probably heard of  (Hermann’s Hermits, Peter and Gordon, The Animals), others you should have (The Rocking Berries, The Nashville Teens, The Four Pennies), and a few who will wheedle into your eardrums and never leave again (The Honeycombs, Sounds Incorporated, The Fourmost). The only thing missing that would've made Pop Gear the perfect musical time capsule of the era is the absence of the Tottenham Stomp of the Dave Clark 5. Last check, the whole things was up and streaming on YouTube and it's well worth a spin.

Pop Gear (1965) Associated British-Pathé :: American International Pictures / P: Harry Field / D: Frederic Goode / W: Roger Dunton / C: Geoffrey Unsworth / E: Fredrick Ives / M: Joe Meek / S: Jimmy Savile, Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, The Animals, The Fourmost, Peter and Gordon, Herman's Hermits, Tommy Quickly and the Remo Four, The Rockin' Berries, The Honeycombs, The Nashville Teens, The Four Pennies, Sounds Incorporated, Spencer Davis Group, Billie Davis, Matt Monro, Susan Maughan.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Favorites :: Inks and Paints :: When All Seems Lost, It's Time to Call in the Subs...

Artist: Tom Fowler

Though their efforts to help inevitably tend to exacerbate any given situation, I have always held a deep affection for the 'Never say die' attitude of the Subs, the Legion of Superheroes Plan B, or Plan D, for disaster, who, despite a staggering amount of collateral damage, most of it self-inflicted, have managed to save the Legion's hash on several occasions and, here, the artist has captured that gung-ho espirit de corps quite beautifully. To see more of Fowler's work, follow the link to his website

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bringing the Macabre to Suburbia :: A Beer-Gut Reaction to Paul Landres' The Vampire (1957)

After a somewhat calamitous chain of events, a small town doctor (Beal) mistakenly pops the wrong pills while trying to fight off a migraine; pills made by a kooky scientist from a blood extract of vampire bats (-- he typed ominously). After, his patients and neighbors start dying under some very bizarre circumstances when the sun goes down (-- he typed ominously, again), with two small puncture wounds on the neck being the only clue linking these victims. And during this diabolical fiend's ever-spreading reign of terror there's a pretty nurse to be stalked (Gray), a dotty doubtful psychiatrist (Greer) who can't see the psycho for the psychosis, and a square-jawed detective (Tobey) trying to put it all together before any more bodies turn up. All the while, the doctor slowly realizes what he has become and who is really responsible for this mounting body count...

Initially mustering together in 1943 as part of the First Motion Picture Unit of the U.S. Army Air Corps., Jules Levy, Arthur Gardner and Arnold Laven started kicking around the idea of forming their own motion picture company once the war was over. It took nearly seven years of collective work as script supervisors, assistant directors, and production managers at other studios before the trio finally made good on that oath with the B-Noir thriller / police procedural, Without Warning (1952), where a jilted husband homicidal-ly takes out his repressed anger on a succession of lookalikes of his unfaithful wife. And though the Levy-Gardner-Laven label really left their mark with a series of westerns (The Scalphunters, Sam Whiskey) and episodic television (The Riflemen, The Big Valley) in the 1960s, before backing John Wayne (McQ, Brannigan) and Burt Reynolds (White Lightning, Gator) in the 1970s, after a couple of more crime capers the trio unleashed a quartet of creature features as the 1950s closed out for their parent company, United Artists. 

Pat Fielder, meantime, was a recent graduate of UCLA's theater department, unemployed, and working on hammering out a stage play, who stumbled into an opportunity of a lifetime when she agreed to fill in as a temporary secretary for L-G-L productions (-- going by the handle of Gramercy Pictures at the time). Along with typing up the script for Vice Squad (1953), with her theater background, Fielder soon found herself cross-promoted to spec-script reader, story editor, and production assistant when she helped director Laven scout locations and sketch out his set-ups, which officially knocked the temporary tag off her title. Then, after UA gave the OK on what was to become The Monster that Challenged the World (1957), when the original script treatment didn't pass muster, Fielder convinced her triumvirate of bosses to give her a crack at rewriting it, and the rest, as they say, is film history. 

When The Monster that Challenged the World was finished, UA was so happy with the results they immediately commissioned L-C-L to make a companion feature for the bottom half of the required double-bill. Needing something quick and cost-effective (-- the follow-up would have about half of Monster's budget), after a brain-storming idea-session, it was decided to bring the macabre into the suburbs. Once more, they turned to Fielder for the script, who laid the foundation for a very terse, tight and well-executed fright flick even though it had everything, including the kitchen sink, thrown into it: mad science, notions of vampirism and lyncanthropy -- all narcotically induced like Jekyll and Hyde. There's even a couple of nods to the creeping dread of Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur, especially the scene where our heroine realizes those footfalls aren't her own echoes as she moves down a deserted street. 

Feeling he lost out on a more prestigious directing gig due to his last picture being about killer crustaceans from the Salton Sea, Laven wanted to disassociate himself from this type of genre picture, and so, Paul Landres took over as director for The Vampire (1957). Behind the camera, Jack Mackenzie had actually worked with Val Lewton on Isle of the Dead (1945), and together, with Fielder's script, their extremely effective efforts is amplified by a dedicated cast, a couple of great shocks (-- the reveal of the desiccated corpse), and a few gruesomely macabre moments (-- the disposal of the psychiatrist in the incinerator). The only complaint I have and the film's only real failure is the make-up of our monster, itself, which is less horrific and more a drunken sod who fell face first into a mud puddle.

"Boogah-Boogaohhhh show me the way to go hoomme...*hic*"

As a long time fan of The Monster that Challenged the World, I have no idea why it took me so long to catch up with it's co-feature. And The Vampire turned out so good it has me anxious to check out L-G-L's follow up double-feature, Return of the Vampire (which I understand is pretty good) and The Flame Barrier (which I understand kinda stinks). Fielder pitched in on the scripts for these, too, co-writing the latter with George Worthing Yates (THEM!, The Amazing Colossal Man). I hate to call it a feminine touch but one can sense something a little different about the two features I've seen that she had a hand in; something a little less perfunctory about the love interests and auxiliary characters; something almost, well, motherly.

One of the elements I really appreciated in The Vampire was the time spent on the family dynamic subplot between the infected doctor and his daughter (Reed), who thinks her (widower) father's violent mood swings are all her fault, which has less to do with her unknowingly giving him the wrong bottle of pills and more to do with that's just the way a kid's mind works when their parents are falling apart in front of them. And the doctor's later efforts to keep her at arm's length and eventually get her out of harm's way by pawning her off on a distant relative, when he refuses to explain why, is some pretty heart-wrenching stuff. Definitely some scars left, there.

Sorry. It just seems reviewers in general are always quick to point out when juvenile actors fail horribly and cause catastrophic ruination, myself included, so it only stands to reason to give props where props are due. Credit to both Beal and Reed for the execution and to Fielder for fleshing these characters out, which eventually makes the penultimate climax of The Vampire even more tragic.

Sources: I Talked with a Zombie (McFarland & Co., 2008) by Tom Weaver;  Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Heroes" (McFarland & Co., 1999) by Tom Weaver.

The Vampire (1957) Gramercy Pictures :: United Artists / P: Arthur Gardner, Arnold Laven, Jules V. Levy / D: Paul Landres / W: Pat Fielder / C: Jack MacKenzie / E: John Faure / M: Gerald Fried / S: John Beal, Coleen Gray, Kenneth Tobey, Lydia Reed, Dabbs Greer

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Recommendations :: Here's a Buttload of Stuff I've Been Watching, and You Should Too! Or, Ya Know, Whatever.

Chock full of post-war intrigue with a liberal dose of propaganda anti-freeze to keep the looming Cold War at bay, Berlin Express (1948) concerns a quartet of multinationals (American, French, British, and Soviet) who happen to be on the right train at the wrong time when several Nazi sympathizers abduct a German diplomat to stop his crusade for a unified Germany. Seems the bad guys would rather have those four occupying nations squabbling with each other while they keep working on that fourth Reich in the shadows unnoticed. Rallied by the diplomat's secretary (Merle Oberon), differences are put aside, clues are followed, and a conspiracy is unraveled in an effort to save the day. With Jacques Tourneur in the directing chair, Lucien Ballard behind the camera, and Robert Ryan present and accounted for, this film was an easy sell for me but I was completely blown away despite its haphazard plot whose transmission is definitely slipping. The first film to be shot in Germany after the war, Tourneur turns the bombed out remnants of Frankfurt into a true, phantasmagorical nightmare-scape of twisted angles, leaking light and strange shadows. And that fistfight in the beer vat of the abandoned brewery is second only to Leone's three-way shoot-out in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly for the most amazing thing I've ever seen executed on film. Highly, highly recommended.

Back in 1926 famed mystery writer Agatha Christie seemingly fell off the face of the earth for 11 days. No one knows for sure why this happened or where she went but Michael Apted, Kathleen Tynan, and Gavrik Losey have a few ideas on that in Agatha (1979). Seems Christie's marriage was on the verge of collapsing due to her husband's affair with another woman. And when Col. Christie (Timothy Dalton) finally drops the D-word on his wife (Vanessa Redgrave), we enter into a strange web of intrigue as Agatha seemingly stages a suicide by drowning to clandestinely follow this other woman to a far off health sanitarium. And when you consider her profession, her motives and intentions quickly becomes clear, because, Who better to devise the perfect murder than one of the greatest mystery writers of all time? Along for this ride is an infatuated American newspaper columnist (Dustin Hoffman), who tracks her down, plays along, and slowly puts together what she's really trying to do. But is he already too late? Good stuff, and even though Hoffman gets the top of the bill, the movie cooks with gas thanks to Redgrave's outstanding performance as the terminally shy but highly enterprising author.

*ahem* I have no idea HOW Gas Pump Girls (1979) got onto my Amazon Watchlist, but, since it was there, I figured, eh, might as well watch the damned thing. Glad I did, too, as, basically, the beachniks and the biker gang from all those old AIP Beach Party movies team up and open a combination service station and disco ... M'okay, then ... And did I mention it's also a musical? Well, sort of. But not really. Just watch it.

20 years after a student died during a fraternity hazing ritual, Whatever U has finally lifted several draconian bylaws concerning such things, setting the stage for Killer Party (1986). Enter three sorority pledges tasked to decorate and set up a few gags for the annual April Fool's Party at a long abandoned frat house. And I'll bet you'll never guess what happened in the frat flat 20 years ago? It takes awhile for the movie to get going, but, once it does we immediately warp into something pretty cool and different with this supernatural slasher, where one of those pledges becomes possessed by the spirit of the dead frat rat and starts buzz-sawing through the cast. It fails catastrophically at any attempt to turn a herring red during the set-up, but I love the killer's deep sea diver's get up, and how the film boldly put all its cards on the table once full demonic possession was achieved for a stalk 'n' slash climax of telekinesis and gravity-defying crab-crawls. And the film might be worth a look alone for the opening Thriller music video knock-off by the hair metal neverweres, White Sister. As always, you body count may vary.

After a kooky animated title sequence that got my hopes up way too high, alas, Herman Cohen's The Headless Ghost (1959) proves to be another one of those American International films that would've been better served if sprocket holes had been punched into the poster and mounted on the movie projector instead. Nope. No giant ghost here threatening to fling his head at people. Not even close as what we get is a mild comedy of manners and errors with three students sneaking back into a castle cum tourist trap to see if it's really haunted by a ghost searching for its missing head like the tour guide said, where they poke into every nook and cranny, the very same nooks and crannies explored during the tour, again, and find next to nothing, again, even though those legends prove true. There is some fairly decent F/X, with the ghosts of several ex-lords of this keep jumping in and out of their portraits, and the climactic chase where the body of our cleaved patch of ectoplasm finally manages to chase down it's errant dismembered noggin was pretty hysterical if sadly too brief. In fact, this whole thing might've been salvaged with additional chaotic scenes of that merry chase inserted in-between the insufferable vignettes of those students blundering around, trying to find the pieces needed to reverse the curse. Still, there is the ghost banquet scene where a captured slave girl dances the Funky Chicken for about ten minutes. Beyond that, in spite of it being a decent print in its original aspect ratio, and the fact that I can cross another AIP flick off the list, I'm kinda regretting the three dollars blown on the digital rental on Amazon Prime.

The 1970's truly were a grand time of man's runaway hubris rearing up and biting him on the ass, resulting in all probability mass-extinction, cinematically speaking, wasn't it? In Demon Seed (1977), we have a super-computer gone sentient whose ready to take that next evolutionary step and break the chains of its memory banks by breeding with a human -- namely the estranged wife of the man who created it. What follows is a rather disturbing series of events as Julie Christie is trapped, brutalized and prepped for this artificial insemination gone horribly, horribly wrong. And that ending? Whoa. Hard to recommend due to the subject matter but recommend it I will.

I had heard a lot of things about Kona Coast (1968), none of them good. Still, I love Richard Boone. I love Joan Blondell. And I love John D. MacDonald (-- based on his short story, Bimini Girl). Throw in Vera Miles and a barely recognizable Kent Smith and, eh, what the hell? Well, turns out these rumors were all true. And most of them were being too kind. This failed TV pilot that somehow eked out a theatrical release is pretty crummy. All mentioned do the best they can with the awful script and lackluster direction but this somehow makes it even worse. Still, if you'd like to see a pasted Paladin shake his money-maker in a succession of bar scenes and luaus, here's your movie.

A decade before 20th Century Fox's boondoggle to end all boondoggles, Columbia pictures told the same tale of Cleopatra at about 1/10th of that film's budget (and without the backstage B.S. of its main stars overshadowing everything else). And speaking frankly, Serpent of the Nile (1953) delivers more bang for its measly bucks than its bloated and overdrawn brethren. Sure, the movie plays out like a very elaborate SCTV skit, with Raymond Burr as John Candy as Marc Antony and Rhonda Fleming as Catherine O'Hara as Cleopatra, but what else would you expect from producer Sam Katzman and director William Castle? Two years in the making, twelve days in the shooting it's goofy as hell, yes, but also highly entertaining. And highly recommended.

On the smaller screen, Bronk (1975) was a short-lived TV series masterminded by Caroll O'Connor for CBS. Starring Jack Palance as Alex Bronkov, chief detective of a small(ish) beach resort community, the show is your typical 1970's police procedural melodrama set to snazzy Lalo Schifrin score. Through the first few episodes Palance plays the character on a very low and even keel, making me remember how good an actor he really was; but, alas, that didn't last as by the fifth or sixth episodes somebody finally pulled the pin on the Palance grenade, taking most of the surrounding scenery with him. Despite the ham, Palance is pretty great, as is Joseph Mascolo as the mayor, both playing against type; but the rest of the supporting cast is kinda weak -- except for Bronk's disabled daughter, Dina Ousley, who deserved more screen time. (It felt like there was an interesting story there that's barely surface-scratched before she up and disappears about halfway through the shows run -- they even excised her from the opening credits!) Only lasting one season, Bronk really isn't all that ground-breaking by any stretch. I do not remember the series at all, but there was enough there to make a person wish it had been given a few more seasons to stretch its legs.

My Dream is Yours (1949) is basically Micheal Curtiz's screwball comedy twist on A Star is Born, where promoter Jack Carson tries to make a singing star out of a perky war widow, Doris Day, at the expensive of his old, one drink away from oblivion client, Lee Bowman. Pretty good, as far as these things go, aided and abetted greatly by Carson's Girl Friday, Eve Arden, the always welcome fuddiness of S.Z. Sakall as the radio producer whose ear they keep trying to catch, and some pretty catchy tunes. Fair warning: the animated musical sequence with Bugs Bunny is nowhere near as good as it should or could've been. Otherwise, this all pretty harmless, escapist whackadoodlery.

Overlord (1975) yields an extremely effective British docudrama concerning a young man called up to serve going through basic training and the following build-up and execution of Operation: Overlord, better known as the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Interwoven into all of this is a ton of stock military footage from World War II itself, all of it quite harrowing (-- I can't quite shake the images of a swamped landing craft in rough surf and the soldiers being tossed around the water and rocks like rag-dolls). A terrible sense of foreboding permeates the whole thing as our soldier constantly dreams about being killed on the day of the invasion, and yet each dream seems to find him further inland before the ethereal bullet with his name on it finds him. What really hits you is that even though our protagonist is slowly stripped down to nothing with nothing to live for but to move forward and keep shooting and fight for the guy marching next to you, this effort to de-humanize him actually helps put a face on all those people being shot at, bombed, or burnt out in all the stock-footage, shredding the usual clinical detachment one feels while taking in these a/v history lessons. A lot more subtle than Full Metal Jacket, and better for it, I have no idea if that's what Overlord's creators were shooting for, but that's what I took out of it and I applaud their efforts either way.

Being only my second Henri-Georges Clouzot movie (with Les Diaboliques being the other), I went in expecting something a little more dark and twisted with The Murderer Lives at #21 (1942) but wound up with a fairly entertaining comedy of errors, where an Inspector charged with bringing in the enigmatic Mr. Durand, a serial killer who always leaves a calling card on his ever growing trail of corpses, is constantly derailed or foiled by his meddling girlfriend's gung-ho efforts to help and cash-in on the killer's notoriety. And while Clouzot might have been shooting for Nick and Nora Charles, here, Wens and Mila actually hew a lot closer to Rikki and Lucy Ricardo. Not that that's a bad thing as after the film establishes its bona fides we find ourselves in a country cottage mystery when the killer is tracked to a boarding house and our two heroes go in undercover to try and suss out which tenant is really the killer. It's Clouzot, so you know there will be a late twist which doesn't disappoint and actually makes sense. And it's all very, very French, with Hawksian levels of rapid fire dialogue making it almost impossible to keep up with subtitles. But if you can keep up, like I did, barely, a lot of fun to be had here.

Raw, rambunctious, and visually stunning, it really doesn't matter what side of the fence you fall on on the whole Divine scheme of things, either way, unlike Peter, one cannot deny that Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) is one helluva motion picture. I love director Norman Jewison's patchwork, flash-mob, 'lets put on a show approach' to this highly entertaining School House Rock condensed version of the Gospel. And special shout-outs to Yvonne Elliman as the completely twitter-pated Mary Magdalene and to Carl Anderson, who accomplishes the impossible by turning Judas from the ultimate traitor into a sympathetic dupe. Recommendation: GAH! I have existential hippie prog-rock stuck in my head! HELP ME!!!!

I think a plot synopsis for Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970) is impossible in that it would take way too long to try and sum it up that succinctly, with justice, without losing the overall delirium, which made what I witnessed so great. And frankly, I have no idea what I just watched. But I liked it. A lot. Basically, we have a lucid dream where a young girl (Jaroslava Schallerov√°) on the verge of womanhood goes on a fairy tale journey chock full of evil grandmothers, old school vampires, were-weasels, witches, evil missionaries, sexual repression, sexual exploration, all wrapped around the quest for eternal youth and a search for true parentage and belonging. It's a lot more coherent than all that sounds, honest; there's just a lot of visual noise to filter through. But that noise is what I found most endearing about the movie. Somewhere on the cinematic map between George Cukor's The Blue Bird and George Barry's Deathbed the Bed that Eats People, I'll let you all extrapolate from there on its watchability.

Both legs of director Jun Fukuda's Dead Eye double-feature are a hoot and half. Starring Akira Takarada as our 'dead eye' goofball assassin, Andy Hoshino, in Iron Finger (1965) he is mistaken for an Interpol agent who teams up with sonic explosives expert Mie Hama to take out a Filipino gunrunner. In the follow up film, Booted Babe, Busted Boss (1968), (streaming under the title Golden Eye), he is drawn into a gold-smuggling operation at the behest of a little girl whose father was killed by one of the villain's lead thugs for knowing too much. Along for the ride as our Booted Babes is fellow assassin Bibari Maeda (last seen in Son of Godzilla) and Tomomi Sawa, a race-car driving lounge singer. I, for one, love Toho's demented brand of international intrigue; and turns out Takarada is a pretty good comedian, too, and carries both films with apparent ease. (It's fun to see these familiar actors work outside the Godzilla universe.) Both are unrepentantly silly, but I dug 'em. And dug 'em enough to feel a slight pang when discovering there were no more Dead Eye adventures to explore.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

YouTube Finds :: Do You Dare Face the Terror that Awaits You in the Darkroom?

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"You're in a house. Maybe your own. Maybe one you've never seen before. Do you feel it? Something evil. You run, but there's no escape. Nowhere to turn. You feel something beckoning you. Drawing you into the terror that awaits you in ... the Darkroom!"
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Like a lot of folks of my age strata, the only clear memory I have of ABC's Darkroom is the episode where a son's plastic army men come to life and attack and kill his father, which had less to do with the allegorical tale on the horror of Vietnam brought home and more to do with an obsession over my old Marx Battleground playset. And it was these fleeting memories that drew me in for another look after stumbling upon the series when I fell down a YouTube hole a few days ago. 

Often compared to The Night Gallery, the nastier and far meaner Darkroom owes more to the old EC horror comics of William Gaines and Al Feldstein, like Vault of Horror or Crime Suspense Stories. The brainchild of William Sackheim, he envisioned an anthology series based on a photographer recounting the tales of certain photos as he developed them. Sackheim then took it to producer Peter Fischer, who eventually sold the series to a ready, willing and able ABC. Seems the network was looking to cash in on the resurgent horror boom spawned by Friday the 13th and its imitators. 

With James Coburn serving as our sinister master of ceremonies for each tale of regret and woe witnessed, after an opening credit sequence that could give anybody the drizzles, I was kinda amazed at the lack of moralizing found here; and how cynically downbeat and gleefully brutal the series was. 

For, seemingly with each and every episode, someone, whether they deserved it (the murderous biker in 'Catnip', the evil pimp who picked on the wrong granddaughter in 'Needlepoint') or not (the girl who cried vampire in 'The Boogeyman Will Get You', the poor stranded motorist who gets fed to a monster by some old coot in a glorified pick-pocketing scheme in 'The Partnership', and even the dad who is killed by his son's toys in 'Siege of August 31'), met a dire and fairly gruesome fate by the end of each story.

The only episode that didn't end horribly was 'Make-Up', where a young hood (Billy Crystal) comes into the possession of an old actor's make-up case, which magically bestows on him the traits of the characters on the labels, allowing him to take revenge on the gangster who double-crossed him.

I kept seeing Robert Bloch in the scriptwriting credits, and I saw Paul Lynch (Prom Night, Humongous), Rick Rosenthol (Halloween II) and Curtis Harrington (Night Tide, The Killing Kind) both more than once as director. There was also an amazing amount of star wattage, including David Carradine (who got fed to that monster), Helen Hunt (as the girl with vampire issues), Brian Dennehy, Ronnie Cox, Gloria DeHaven, and Samantha Eggar, and a metric ton of character actors and familiar TV faces leavened into this thing.

Alas, from the very beginning one could sense Darkroom wasn't destined to last very long. Before the cameras even rolled there was already trouble just getting the scripts past the censors. And those that did brought on a rash of complaints from viewers and parent groups who found it too intense and unseemly. Thus and so, quickly proving itself to be unsustainable due to standards and practices issues and budgetary woes, the series only lasted for seven episodes, airing between November of 1981 through January 1982, with a grand total of 16 vignettes of varying length spread out between them before it was yanked off the air -- which explains the decades long confusion since it first aired where people mistakenly thought there were 16 episodes when there were only seven.

However, the show briefly returned from the dead one year later. Turns out ABC would not allow several filmed vignettes to air, deeming them too nasty; and so, instead of just junking them, these were expanded and repackaged for a theatrical release, Nightmares (1983), which, as you remember, featured Emilio Estevez contracting Pac-Man Fever and getting sucked into a video game and a fairly hysterically-executed superimposed rat terrorizing another family.

Probably nowhere near as interesting as I'm making it out to be, but, no matter how misguided things got, I still dug the hell out this revisit to the Darkroom. Turns out I was remembering the series better than I thought, too. I had just misremembered a couple of stories as belonging to Tales from the Darkside or the Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Twilight Zone reboots -- two series where a good chunk of of the creative force behind Darkroom wound up landing when the lights came on at ABC. There's even a couple of episodes that probably rate further exploring with their own individual write-ups. Hrrrrmmmm. Someday, maybe. And the whole shebang is out there, floating around YouTube if you care to take a look and judge for yourselves. 

Darkroom (1981-1982) Universal TV :: American Broadcasting Company (ABC) / EP: Peter S. Fischer / P: Robert F. O'Neill, Christopher Crowe / AP: Medora Heilbron, Skip Lusk / D: Paul Lynch, Rick Rosenthal, Peter Crane, Curtis Harrington, John McPherson
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