Horror On TV: Thriller 1.30 “Parasite Mansion”


Down here in Dallas, channel 47 is the local Me-TV affiliate.  Me-TV specializes in showing old TV shows from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.  The network sells itself as a nostalgic refuge for people who are several decades older than me, a place where they can go to escape from Seth McFarlane producing sitcoms and Maury Povich conducting DNA tests.

But you know what?

I like Me-TV and I’m glad that it exists.  It probably has something to do with me being a history nerd at heart.  I love the chance to see what the world was once like.  Add to that, some very good shows were produced in the 50s and 60s.  Just because a lot of us weren’t there to experience them firsthand doesn’t mean that we can’t appreciate them in rerun syndication.

Case in point: Thriller.

Thriller aired for two seasons in the early 60s.  It was an anthology series, in the tradition of The Twilight Zone.  Whereas The Twilight Zone was hosted by Rod Serling, Thriller was hosted by horror icon Boris Karloff, who always introduced the macabre material with a bemused gleam in his eyes.

Parasite Mansion was the 30th episode of Thriller and it originally aired on April 25th, 1961.  In this episode, Marcia (Pippa Scott) crashes her car outside of a dilapidated Southern mansion.  When she awakens, she finds herself in the position of being the unwilling guest of the eccentric family that lives inside the mansion.  I like this episode, largely because I can never resist Southern gothic atmosphere.

Incidentally, the family’s matriarch is played Jeannette Nolan and, if she sounds familiar, that’s probably because she was one of the many actresses to voice Mrs. Bates in Psycho.

Horror On The Lens: Suburban Sasquatch (dir by Dave Wascavage)


SS

Today’s horror movie on the Shattered Lens is 2004’s Suburban Sasquatch.

Suburban Sasquatch (and, it must be admitted, that is a great freaking title) tells the story of a sasquatch who invades the suburbs.  Well, we assume he’s a sasquatch.  To be honest, the creature actually looks like some guy wandering around in a bear suit but no matter.  Once the so-called sasquatch reaches the suburbs, he goes on a killing spree and … well, that’s pretty much it.

Okay, so obviously, Suburban Sasquatch isn’t a very good movie.  In fact, it’s probably one of the worst movies ever made.  The monster looks ridiculous, the acting is terrible, and the special effects … well, it’s debatable whether or not there are any special effects.  However, Suburban Sasquatch is one of those movies — much like Manos, the Hands of Fate — that is watchable precisely because it is so unbelievably bad.

Also, Joel McHale once said that Suburban Sasquatch was his favorite movie of all time.

I love Joel McHale.