Alfred Hitchcock Presents – Coyote Moon (10/18/59)

Julie is stuffing the failing Sentinel Mesa Times newspaper into her shoe to compensate for a hole in her soul sole when a disguised VW Bus rolls into the Desert Hawk Service Station.

Things increasingly rare in 2017: Phone-booth, Real Boobs, Newspaper, General Store . . .

The Professor has rescued a baby coyote that was hit on the road while it was installing a giant Acme spring. The proprietor laughs at the thought of rescuing the animal. “Mister, we pay a bounty on coyotes in this part of the state!”  Inexplicably the Professor does not ask how much.

The gas-jockey says they are the most useless animal God created [insert political reference of your choice here; any answer will be correct].  The Professor says without coyotes, within a year they would be overrun with a plague of squirrels and rabbits; and presumably road runners. [1]

Julie hits him up for a lift to Sentinel Mesa.  The service station owner calls a vet, but the vet refuses to come work on a coyote.  When he comes back to tell the Professor, they find the coyote has ingeniously escaped from the cardboard box he was kept in.

On the way to Sentinel Mesa, Julie spots a man sleeping under a tree by the side of the road.  She yells, “Pops!” and tells the professor to pull over.  Pops jumps in the car and helps himself to the Professor’s cigarettes, and lighter.  The Professor is next railroaded into picking up Julie’s brother Harry, who is kind of a thug.

The rest of the episode is very, er, episodic.  That is not to demean the episode — far from it.  This is a fun episode which is well-performed and looks great.  It just gets tedious to document every scene; for you, I mean.

Throughout the episode, the Professor is constantly taken advantage of and scammed.  Edgar Buchanan is perfect as Pops.  He has an old-timer, country-bumpkin charm to him that masks what a snake he is.  You really want to like him.  Collin Wilcox Paxton as Julie is a paradox.  She seems to be a terrible actress, but she might have out-smarted me.  She comes off as such a sexy, feral maniac that you can’t help but like her.  Maybe Harry was adopted.

They descend on the Professor like a swarm of three locusts.  When they are done with him, they quickly ditch him by the side of the road and jump into a passing truck with their next victim.  The Professor isn’t done with them, though.

Not pictured: The Professor.

Excellent.  I rate it a full moon.

Other Stuff:

  • [1] Actually, the coyote did not do much to suppress the road-runner population. But then, running down the road was his idea of having fun, so maybe there weren’t going to be a lot of little road-runners anyway.
  • AHP Deathwatch:  No survivors.
  • Title Analysis:  Meh.  I guess the family was predatory like a coyote.  Not sure what the moon has to do with it.

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