This is the city, as Jack Webb used to say. Gridlock on the freeways, wrecking balls demolishing buildings, jackhammers jacking off — just a nightmare of noise. Even in elderly Frank Standish’s Thrift Shop there is no reprieve. An electric eye announces visitors with a loud bell, a dog barks constantly for no reason, his partner Mrs. Moore (Zsa Zsa Gabor) plays obnoxious stock-and-roll music. This could drive a man to murder.
Elderly Ellen Chase enters the shop with a mirror she hopes to hock. Strangely, the mirror has been painted over with gray paint. Standish (Arthur O’Connell, the other priest in The Poseidon Adventure) begins slowly chiseling away the gray paint. Even through the small area he has cleared, he can see this is no ordinary mirror.
Finally, the last bits are removed and they are amazed at the lifelike other-worldly landscape. They are even more amazed when Zsa Zsa’s cat runs through the frame and down the path in the painting. Seconds later, it comes screeching back out, scared to death.
Zsa Zsa decides to buy out Standish’s share of the partnership, and apparently he can’t refuse. This is especially disconcerting to him as Chase and Standish seem to have used the back room for some hanky-panky. And I mean really disconcerting as Zsa Zsa, at about 60, is the youngster in this group.
Tired of Zsa Zsa’s dog constantly yapping, and none too crazy about Zsa Zsa’s yapping either, Chase hurls the dog’s ball into the painting, sending him running to fetch it. Even better, Zsa Zsa follows to fetch her dog.
She seems strangely oblivious to the fact she just stepped through a portal into dimension filled with bright colors, pointy volcanoes, strange plants. She continues further into the strange land calling for her dog.
What she succeeds in attracting, however, are dinosaurs. As they begin closing in on her, Chase and Standish begin repainting the mirror, sealing her in. And her little dog, too.
The story lacks focus — much is made in establishing the loud, hectic atmosphere of the city and the shop — but that is disregarded and it is really the thought of losing their “bachelor’s boudoir” that motivates the geezers to condemn Zsa Zsa to death.
But the double mind-intercourses of 1) the mirror as a portal to another dimension, and 2) Zsa Zsa being sealed in this hostile world by the mere strokes of a brush make this a winner. It is especially fun to know that she is seeing them painting in the last bit of the mirror like Fortunato seeing Montresor placing the last brick in The Cask of Amontillado.
As frequently happens, the victim here is getting much worse than she deserves. But that doesn’t stop this from being fun stuff.
- Twilight Zone Legacy: None. Although there is a definite Little Girl Lost vibe.
- Yikes — this from Vanity Fair: While Gabor was still married to Conrad Hilton, she admitted to having once had sex with her stepson.