Friday, July 5, 2013

Twilight Zone: The Complete Second Season Reviewed

How do you review something as monumentally flawless as Twilight Zone? I suppose we have to tackle the DVD collection itself on its merits. That said, this is a bare bones complete season 2 collection with, sadly, no extras. Though the bulk of it looks fantastic on my PS3, there are those moments of jumpyness/lines, making it clear this was pumped out from the original recordings, so perhaps not a remaster, but it does not pretend to be. All that aside, we've got 5 DVDs of pure scifi, fantasy and just plain oddball bliss. Twilight Zone consistently delivered with excellent, inventive, thought provoking writing and I'm sure there will never be a TV show of its like again.

First off, ignore the opening clips as the disk menu comes up. Talky Tina is not on these disks. TEASE! What is here is a collection of stories ranging from head scratching to creepy as hell with seemingly little effort and then, those episodes we'll be talking about way into our grey haired years. Collection highlights include:

The Howling Man: While not a show stopper, this one has always stuck with me. A man is stranded in a storm and seeks refuge in a castle housing monks that seem anxious to have him leave at once. It's possible the howls of the man imprisoned at the end of the hall have something to do with it. It's a one note story with some over the top acting that will stick with you purely for its genius premise.

The Invaders: Agnes Moorehead (Endora from Bewitched) does not speak a word as she takes on little, plump space men that have crash landed into her simple home. So odd, so B scifi movie and so much fun!

Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?: When a bridge is made uncrossable due to a snow storm at the same time a space craft crashes in the woods nearby, the folks taking cover in a diner quickly discover one among them may not be from this world. This episode doesn't so much create thick tension as it speaks to the ease with which man will turn on man in any situation. That..and the crazy old bug eyed guy at the counter is AMAZING.

Long Distance Call: Straight up horror in black and white. A toy telephone becomes a little boy's link to his dead grandmother, but nana doesn't want to be alone on the other side. CREEPY as all hell.

The Whole Truth: What's the worst thing that could happen to a used car dealer? Having a curse put on him that makes him tell the truth at all costs! Now the salesman has to ditch an old clunker the curse is tied to, without lying, to break the curse....and get revenge on an even bigger liar than him at the same time. Very well thought out and topical of the times it was made.

The Trouble with Templeton: An aging actor longs for the past with his lost love, but the past doesn't want him back. One of those moments where a lead actor out classes the story he is involved with and elevates the entire piece to something monumentally sweet.

The Obsolete Man: This one may as well be the central plot of a big budget scifi film. A government rules with an iron fist, deciding who has become obsolete at a moment's notice and deciding their fate in the same breathe. Of course, a smart man may still have a lesson to teach them. Twilight Zone favorite Burgess Meredith proves why he is one of the greats.

Eye of the Beholder: Not my favorite episode, but surely one of the most memorable in TZ history, and I'd me remiss if I failed to mention it was here! A woman has undergone her final attempt at surgery that will make her blend in with society...but there's a tweeest! This episode is surely were the term "Fugly" came from. I kid.

Other high points include Darren from Bewitched reading people's minds, Captain Kirk blowing endless pennies on a fortune telling Satan machine, a camera that tells the future getting the better of a bunch of awesomely a-typical period crooks, and Burgess Meredith being experimented on by aliens who grant him super strength.

The cut-aways are rough, the replacement of stunt doubles is glaringly, laughably obvious and the strings are all visible...and you can't help but love every minute of it. If you are a fan of scifi, horror or b movies in general, Twilight Zone: The Complete Second Season NEEDS to be a part of your life. Just you won't have to wait til the 4th of July to watch every excellent minute!

CLICK HERE to order The Twilight Zone: The Complete Second Season for 19% off!

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