Night Gallery – A Midnight Visit to the Neighborhood Blood Bank (S2E9)

I wouldn’t normally write about one of the short Night Gallery sketches, but this one fails so completely on every level that it can’t go without recognition.

  1. The Title — There is no blood bank in the story.  Then I thought that maybe the titular blood bank was a metaphor for the girl.  Like when Jack Torrance referred to Wendy as “the old sperm bank”  in The Shining (although he could have been referring to his own impotence).
  2. The Description — From the DVD menu:  A vampire attempts to open an account at a blood bank but only plans on making withdrawals.  OK, so the title did refer to a literal blood bank.  Well, where the hell is it?  There is no account being opened — the entire sketch takes place in a girl’s bedroom.
  3. The Dialogue — As the vampire is about to bite the girl, she says, “I gave at the office” and he withdraws dejectedly.  OK, I get that this references an old joke about dodging people seeking contributions, but does she work at a blood bank?  Is that the office?  I am very confused.
  4. The Cast — The girl is played by the producer’s daughter in her only IMDb credit.  On the other hand, admittedly, Victor Buono is great as the vampire.
  5. The Effort — Zero on the above points.  The segment only runs 1:36 and 14 seconds of that is spent on the oil slick at the beginning.

So was the wrong segment put on the DVD?  Was it just severely edited for time?  Rod Serling did no intro for this segment — were they just embarrassed to show it to him?  I am at a loss.


  • Twilight Zone Legacy:  None.
  • Odd Couple Legacy:  Victor Buono was highlarious playing an exorcist.

Night Gallery – House with Ghost (S2E9)

nghousewithghost01The dude from Hogan’s Heroes and the loud chick from Laugh-In.  Is this a horror show or The Love Boat?

The segment opens in London where Ellis Travers (Bob Crane) is complaining about a house-swap that resulted in him leaving New Jersey for London.  Wait, what?

Not content with his flat, he wants to get a larger place, somewhere he can entertain. — and, being Bob Crane, room enough for his camera equipment.  He persuades his wife Iris (Jo Anne Worley) to go along by noting that some of the local homes for rent come with ghosts — a passion of hers.

He goes to see an elderly real estate agent who advises Travers to stick with a suburban ghost.  He gives a great short diatribe about their superiority over country ghosts who are up at the crack of dawn.

The agent also tells Travers that there are different types of ghosts — hallway ghosts, attic ghosts, bedroom ghosts, etc.  Upon hearing that it it has a stairwell ghost, Travers decides to rent Canby Manor, which comes with the ghost of Mr. Canby.

nghousewithghost04.client.1418952723.conflictAs soon as they arrive, Iris admires the sweeping staircase.  Travers said he had visualized her at the foot of the stairway the moment he saw the photos.  In the background, an invisible hand is using a translucent razor blade to cut through the handle of a suitcase.  When it breaks as Travers takes it upstairs, it nearly rolls over top of Iris.

Travers has a passion of his own — a blonde bird name Sherry.  She is cool with his idea of bumping off his wife to get his mitts on the princely sum of $2,000 per month.

When Iris has trouble sleeping — meaning, she is dragged out of bed by an invisible entity — Travers calls a doctor.  Or as they call them in England, a doctor.  He diagnoses Iris as having only 8 months to live.

Travers decides that he can wait a few months for his wife to go naturally, and more importantly so he doesn’t have to risk getting caught.  Canby has other plans and pushes her down the stairs.  You can’t really blame him — he was advertised as a stairwell ghost, after all.

nghousewithghost06Canby presents him with a bill for his services — a mere $2,000 per month.  In perpetuity.


  • Twilight Zone Legacy:  Alan Napier was in Passage on the Lady Anne (also Alfred in the 1960’s version of Batman).  Bob Crane was an uncredited DJ in Static, presumably voice-only.
  • I like that flat refers refers to a 1-story apartment — it is literally flat.

Tales From the Crypt – The Trap (S3E3)

tftctrapped17Holy crap, the behind the scenes carnage on this one is approaching Alfred Hitchcock Presents levels. Of the four lead, or at least best-known, actors:  Teri Garr has multiple sclerosis and Michael J. Fox has Parkinson’s.  At least they are alive — Bruno Kirby died at 57 of complications from Leukemia. I hope Bruce McGill is getting regular physicals.

We join the lovely Teri Garr as she is mixing up an unbelievable amount of tuna, taken from a cabinet stuffed with cans of tuna. I assume the joke is that they can’t afford anything but tuna, but it never really pays off as a reasonable viewer will assume there is a cat lady reference coming.  But no, nothing.

Bruce McGill comes home, having been fired from his pizza-delivery job.  God bless anyone who works and doesn’t sit around collecting a check, but if you’re 40 and delivering pizzas, that’s a red flag even if you don’t get fired.

tftctrapped31Teri, who is waaaaaay out of his league offers to get a job giving manicures.  Not speaking Korean would seem to be an obstacle, however.

A call from the insurance company about a past due bill inspires McGill to fake his own death for the insurance money.  He calls his brother Kirby who is conveniently a coroner.

They stage a scene where McGill is the victim of a robbery.  To make it convincing, Garr clubs him in the head repeatedly with a fireplace poker.  He eggs her on by admitting he is also a poker — of her best friend.

Kirby pronounces him dead for the cops.  At the funeral, Kirby starts humping Garr on top of the casket.  She accidentally kicks a lever that begins a conveyor belt into the cremation chamber as McGill is inside reading travel brochures for Rio.  Frankly, with a little work, this could have been a fine ending for the episode.

tftctrapped59Tragedy, and a good ending, is averted.  McGill then heads down to Rio under an alias to lay low.  To avoid suspicion, Garr stays in the US grieving for her dead husband. With Kirby.

After a few months, McGill wises up and returns to the US.  Garr and Kirby are now married and pretend not to know him.

There is a ludicrous trial  where McGill is found guilty of murdering himself.  Garr and Bruno live happily ever after on his insurance money.

The trial could have worked, but the script just wasn’t tight enough.  However, the casting and performances make this one a winner.


  • This episode was directed by Michael J. Fox.  There is a tasteless joke to be made about him handling the camera, but the last thing I want on this blog is something tasteless.  Or a joke.
  • Writer Scott Alexander has some high profile credits:  1408, Ed Wood, Man on the Moon, The People vs. Larry Flynt.
  • Worst security ever.  I’m not a locksmith, but shouldn’t there be a slot for the chain on the door?








Oh, I get it.



Outer Limits – Beyond the Veil (S2E6)

olbeyondtheveil08Two days ago, I watched an AHP episode with Danny Noonan’s father. Today, it is Danny Noonan himself, Michael O’Keefe starring.  They were possibly the two biggest drags in Caddyshack, and that curse carried on to their respective episodes.

O’Keefe is Eddie Wexler, a Duane Barry doppleganger, who is calling the suicide hotline. He has just taken 16 sleeping pills, but the EMTs get there in time to save him.

Wexler tells the head shrink that he believes aliens have put a device in his neck, although the doctors could find no evidence.  He is also having hallucinations of spacecrafts, aliens and . . . experiments.  He lost his wife and job, and finally decided to end it all.

Turns out this facility was specifically built for people who believe they were abducted. Luckily, there is a young blonde abductee[1], Courtney, to show him around the grounds.

And blah blah blah.  The story is fairly dull, Michael O’Keefe has never been much of an actor, and the blonde — Finn Carter — does not have enough presence to sell the story. Stephen McHattie is great as always, but he can’t do it alone.

Really mediocre, not worth further discussion.


Screen shot from The X-Files. Not pictured: Lord Kinbote.

One positive note:  The aliens appear to be the same outfits that were used in Jose Chung’s From Outer Space on The X-Files.  That observation prompted me to watch that episode again.  Learn from my mistakes — skip this episode and watch the great Jose Chung instead.

[1] Really, after decades of people being abducted by aliens, abductee is still not in spellcheck?


  • This episode was an X-Files’ reunion.  Of 14 credited actors, 9 appeared on The X-Files.  Alex Diakun was in 3 of Darin Morgan’s 4 episodes.
  • Chris Brancato wrote the excellent Eve episode of The X-Files.
  • I’m never going to be in GQ, but his jacket looks a little long to me; so this shot reminded me of Short Skirt Long Jacket by Cake.olbeyondtheveil05