Night Gallery – Hatred Unto Death (05/27/73)

hatredunto01Primatologists Grant and Ruth Wilson are driving through stock footage of Africa.

They are stopped by 3 natives in the road.  Grant understands enough of their language to follow them to a pit where a gorilla has fallen.  Looking up at them, the gorilla is pas-sive toward Ruth, but when he looks at Grant, he is full of hate.  Grant, not a wordsmith despite writing a book, says, “Look at that hate — it’s almost as if he knew me.”  That could be taken 2 ways, Shakespeare.

Ghatredunto04rant has the natives throw a net over the gorilla so he can take him back to America to go to a zoo. Ruth tries to convince Grant to let him go free; or at least take him to the movies instead.

Over a picture of the gorilla, we see a transparent overlay of his journey from the natural wilds of Africa to the smokestacks and freeways of evil America.  The Wilsons temporarily house him at the Museum of Natural History run by their associate Fernando Lamas (best known for not being Ricardo Montalban).

When they take Lamas to see the gorilla, it once again is subdued toward Ruth, but very belligerent toward Grant.  Grant mocks Ruth for holding the gorilla’s hand while they flew to America to keep him from going into shock.  He jokes to Ramirez that he thinks she prefers gorillas to men.  She says, not joking, “Gorillas don’t drop napalm on children.”

hatredunto10She continues, “This earth doesn’t really need man.  He’s only ruining it. The gorillas and the elephants and the porpoises would manage and work things out very well by themselves [1].  Without men, this would be a fabulous place!” Colleges all over the country would be fighting to hire this woman for every primatology, history, womyn’s studies and diversity department today.

She opts to stay the night keeping the gorilla company rather than go home with her husband.  Grant confides to Lamas that he should have left the gorilla in Africa.  But when he looked into its eyes and saw the hatred, he knew the gorilla recognized him; perhaps as Hondo Harrelson on SWAT. He wants Lamas to break the gorilla’s spirit, turn him into a vegetable.

hatredunto22Meanwhile Ruth is telling the gorilla stories about how ancestors of Grant and the gorilla fought many years ago.  Strangely, they fought over a female.  A female what is not mentioned.  Being different species, that would be interesting.  Where she is getting this scholarship is anyone’s guess, but anyone at a college knows such questions will get you fired.  The ancient man, being an ancient man had the brains to trap the gorilla in a pit, take his female, and stone him to death. Now the man smokes a pipe, wears a leather coat and bangs a hot blonde; while the gorilla’s descendant is still getting trapped in pits.

Ruth’s interpretation to the gorilla is that “down through the eons [man] has grown pale, and weak and hairless.  Still he’s your master!  What’s happened to your power?”  She is heartbroken that man has evolved to a superior state.  I swear, if the gorillas had anti-aircraft guns, she would have been yukking it up with them.  This agitates the gorilla so he grabs her earrings from her hand.  When she enters the cage to retrieve them, he makes a jailbreak, knocking her to the ground.  She manages to call the pale, weak Grant to come save her.

Luckily the weak man has invented the gun and flashlight.  And I’m sure Ruth would have called for the napalm now that the gorilla had begun attacking her.  After some cat and mouse through the museum, the gorilla — shot twice — tricks Grant by playing dead, then picks him up and impales him on a statue before dying.

The episode ends with a pan from Grant’s dead hand, to the dead gorilla to Grant’s pistol, to a bust of a caveman; which I’m sure conveys some meaning that is so stupid you have to go to grad school to get it.


  • Twilight Zone Legacy:  Richard Deacon and Steve Forrest did time in the Zone.
  • [1] Apparently the cobras, lions, sharks and scorpions would not get seats at the table.
  • Skipped Segment;  How to Cure the Common Vampire.  A very short sketch which makes no logical sense as a joke or horror.

One thought on “Night Gallery – Hatred Unto Death (05/27/73)

  1. I actually like “Hatred Unto Death”. The only knock I have against it is the cheap, cheesy gorilla costume. Meanwhile, I’ve been looking for the short story that the script was based upon. Do you know where I can find the story?

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