Thriller – The Purple Room (10/25/60)

tpurpleroom01We slowly zoom in on the old — and by “old”, I mean “future” — Bates house.  Through the eerie music, an eerie girl is in bed repeating, “Jeremy, is that you?  Jeremy, why don’t you speak?  Jeremy, in God’s name, why don’t you speak?”

Through the miracle of 1960s television, and cheap DVD transfers, as we get very close, we can see that the girl is holding a pistol.  Another clue is when she starts firing it off repeatedly, now screaming, “Jeremy!”  Well, that’s no way to get him to answer.

Flash forward 100 years.

Duncan Corey is at the reading of his brother’s will where he learns he has been left his brother’s house.  Corey is only interested in flipping it, however; perhaps to that hot-ass Bates woman and her weird son.  But wait, there are terms . . . “Should you decide after one night under the roof of Black Oak that you do not choose to take up residence there, the estate will pass to our beloved cousin Rachel Judson and her husband Oliver.”

However.  “After a period of one year’s residence, you will be free to dispose of the estate in any manner you see fit.  But I believe by that time only death would part you from it.”

Duncan, Rachel and Oliver go to visit the house.  Duncan expects that Rachel and Oliver will try to scare him off that first night so they can inherit the house.  They escort him to the titular Purple Room where he will spend the night.

As Rachel and Oliver attempt to toast his first night in the house, Duncan insists on switching glasses, lest they try to poison him.  After Rachel and Oliver leave, Duncan locks the door.

He paces around the room, gun in hand, finally falling asleep until more noises downstairs awaken him.  He goes downstairs to investigate the noises, still waving the gun around.

tpurpleroom03Finally from a dark corner emerges a figure with dagger plunged into its chest.  This gives Duncan quite a hoot as he assumes it is Oliver.  The creature continues closing in on Duncan and he stops being too cocky.  Duncan finally fires several shots into the figure and collapses in fear.

Turns out it was cousin Oliver and Duncan is dead from a heart attack.  Rachel and Oliver drive out into the woods to ditch the car — literally — so it appears Duncan had a heart attack while driving.

That night, history repeats itself as Oliver hears noises downstairs and goes to investigate.  Oliver cowers at what he sees, and Rachel awaits in bed with a pistol.  As Rachel sees a figure approaching the bed, she too begins pumping lead like Bonnie Parker.

And yada yada.  Strangely, upon rewatch (since I was too tired to make any notes the first time), I wasn’t that thrilled with it (no pun intended). But on the first viewing, it was pretty thrilling (pun intended).  This is odd as there are no truly unexpected twists or scares.

tpurpleroom04Again, a good episode.  Rip Torn was again playing the cocky young jerk who thinks he has managed a real score.  Richard Anderson was good to see — he was always great as Oscar Goldman in The $6 Million Man.  I don’t know much about Joanna Berry, but she did a fine job also.  Despite my lackluster writing — more so than usual due to a tough week — this one was a winner.


  • Joanna Heyes appearing in a Douglas Heyes directed episode!  What are the odds?  Well, about 83% according to IMDb.
  • Holy crap, Joanna Berry (Rachel) appeared in a TV movie called The Jerk, Too — a sequel to Steve Martin’s The Jerk.  I had no idea this even existed!

THAT should be the subject of today’s post.

Everyone remembers the original movie began “I was born a poor black child . . .”  The IMDb description for this sequel is

“A man who struggles with gender identity who is beaten up on a daily basis by his father leaves his home to join a gay frat house.”  

Does that suggest laughs to any one?  Who would have possibly green-lighted this piece of shit (admittedly, I have not seen one second of it)?

The main character even shares the same name as in the original — Navin Johnson — so it is clearly intended as a sequel.  Is it his loving father from the original that is now suddenly beating him?  It is telling that the only External Review listed on IMDb goes to an abandoned website.

In a bad sign, it stars Fridays alumnus Mark Blankfield as Navin.  Generally, you see Fridays on a resume, just avert your eyes (unless you’re talking about Larry David or the guy he saved from a future of abject poverty in show-business, Michael Richards (although he was GENIUS as Kramer)).

Directed by Michael Schultz who went on to have an impressive resume.  One of his early hits was Carwash.  So who knows.

Holy crap, it’s on You Tube — I might have to check it out.

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