Anthology series hosted by Boris Karloff that originally told ordinary tales of crime and mystery, but later became a showcase for gothic horror stories, many of which were based on works ...
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Celebrity author Beatrice Graves purchases a cursed painting of the Grim Reaper; her nephew Paul warns her that most of its previous owners have died violently but she scoffs-until blood appears on ...
Produced at the same time as the more well-known The Twilight Zone (1959), this series was an extension of the tradition of radio horror and supernatural dramas such as Light's Out, The ... See full summary »
Series of unrelated short stories covering elements of crime, horror, drama, and comedy about people of different backgrounds committing murders, suicides, thefts, and other sorts of crime caused by certain motivations, perceived or not.
In the 15th century Richard Duke of Gloucester, aided by his club-footed executioner Mord, eliminates those ahead of him in succession to the throne, then occupied by his brother King ... See full summary »
Rowland V. Lee
Anthology series hosted by Boris Karloff that originally told ordinary tales of crime and mystery, but later became a showcase for gothic horror stories, many of which were based on works by authors such as Cornell Woolrich, Robert Bloch, and Charlotte Armstrong.Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
Boris Karloff was a disappointing host for most critics, proving to be boring, not terrifying at all, and hardly entertaining, particularly when compared to Alfred Hitchcock, who excelled at these narrations. One critic even said he seemed uncomfortable. Nevertheless, after revamping the series after just eight episodes, and a change of personnel and direction, they kept Karloff, but merely for the name draw. See more »
There's no doubt about it, that this show had some of the eeriest and most unsettling stories to ever be aired on network TV. However, it would (I feel), be naive to think this show was the best of its kind. Like other anthology shows of its genre (NIGHT GALLERY, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, etc.) it suffers from a hodgepodge of dull scripts, mixed in with some genuinely effective ones. While the good on this series could be really good, the weaker shows could be insufferably boring. As a horror/fantasy enthusiast, it's those shows which I enjoy the most from this series, but the non-horror, the crime "thriller"s, those are generally a disappointment.
That aside, the horror segments on this show are some of the best ever done for television. Very moody, atmospheric pieces, suitably filmed in black and white. I suppose one could say that this series is what THE TWILIGHT ZONE would have been like, had it been a horror show, or what NIGHT GALLERY would have been like, had it been in black and white. Boris Karloff introduces each segment, in his usual drawl, but although he does fairly well at that, he doesn't have quite the same eerie restraint that Serling had on his series'.
Among some of the better segments on this show, that I enjoy:
"The Weird Tailor": Extremely clever story, with perhaps the most chilling final moments of any of the THRILLER episodes.
"A Wig for Miss Devore": One of Patricia Barry's best roles, and one of THRILLER's best shows.
"The Remarkable Mrs. Hawk": Jo Van Fleet is great in this one, as is John Carradine. This plays like a dark comedy...twisted and fun.
"The Cheaters": Most remember the final moments from this episode, but the whole show is very well done.
Definitely a series worth checking out for horror fans, and those who appreciate quality television. It's a shame this series doesn't get enough of the credence it deserves. It's not perfect, but it's certainly not without its laurels.
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