Horror On TV: The Veil Episode 11 “Jack the Ripper” (dir by David MacDonald)


For our final episode of The Veil, we have a look at one of the most infamous real world monsters of all time, Jack the Ripper.

In this atmospheric episode, a London clairvoyant (Niall MacGinnis) is haunted by visions of the Whitechapel murders.  Unfortunately, his attempts to help the police only leads to them treating him like a suspect!  Each episode of The Veil was usually described as being “based on a true story.”  In this case, it’s actually true.  A medium named Robert Lees — renamed Walter in this episode — actually did go to the police with claims that he had seen the murders and could identify the killer.

This is the only episode of The Veil in which Boris Karloff acts only as host.  That’s because this episode was not originally made for the series.  Instead, it was intended for an unrelated British anthology show.  The producers of the Veil later bought the episode and tacked on an introduction by Boris Karloff.  Of course, because The Veil itself never actually aired on television as a result of the production company running into financial problems, Jack the Ripper never aired in the U.S.  It was, however, later included in an anthology film that was put together using four episodes of The Veil.

Enjoy!  That’s it for The Veil.  Tomorrow, we start a whole new series!

Horror On TV: The Veil 1.9 “The Return of Madame Vernoy” (dir by Herbert L. Strock)


Tonight’s episode of The Veil is a weird one.

Basically, Armand Vernoy (Jean Del Val) is haunted by not only the death of Indian his wife but also the fact that he’s lost all of his money “in the war” and will not be able to send his son, Krishna (George Hamilton) off to study with the world-renowned Prof. Charles Goncourt (Boris Karloff, who not only hosts but gets to play a kindly character for once).  Then a young woman named Santha Naidu (Lee Torrance) shows up.  She’s a year younger than Krishna but she claims to be his mother, reincarnated!   Meanwhile, back in India, a young man hopes to marry Santha but he’s been told that he can’t because she’s already been married in a previous life….

This is an okay episode, though definitely not as good as some of the previous episodes of The Veil.  Boris doesn’t get to do much but it’s kind of nice to see him play a character who is as nice as he apparently was in real life.  If this episode were made today, the casting of Torrance and Hamilton as Indians would undoubtedly be extremely controversial.

Anyway, enjoy this trip to 1958!

 

Horror on TV: The Veil Episode 8 “Summer Heat” (dir by George Waggner)


On tonight’s episode of The Veil.

There’s been a murder!  Or has there?  Edward Paige (Henry Bartell) swears that he saw someone murdered in a nearby apartment but, when the police investigate, they discover that the apartment appears to be totally deserted.  Still convinced that he saw something, Edward is sent for a psychiatric evaluation from Dr. Mason (Boris Karloff, playing a sympathetic role for once).  Dr. Mason says that Edward’s not making it up.  Edward swears that he saw something.  But what?

This is a pretty good episode.  Think of it as being Rear Window with an extra twist.  Boris Karloff hosts as well as co-stars.

Enjoy!

Horror on TV: The Veil Episode 7 “Destination Nightmare” (dir by Paul Landres)


On tonight’s episode of The Veil….

Peter Wade, Jr. (Ron Hagerthy) is a rather timid man who would rather design planes than fly them.  However, his father, Peter Wade, Sr. (Boris Karloff, who also hosted the episode), is a World War I veteran who has gone from being an aviation hero to owning his own aviation company.  Peter, Sr. demands that his son become a pilot.  And yet, every time that Peter, Jr. is flying, he’s haunted by ghostly face that 1) puts him in a trance and 2) tries to get him to crash his plane!  Could it have something to do with a secret from his father’s past?

This episode is effectively creepy, as any show featuring a possessed pilot and a potential aviation disaster should be.  As with some of the past episodes of The Veil, the main attraction here is really the chance to see Boris Karloff doing what he did best.  Karloff was one of the great actors and it’s always fun to see him get a good character role.

Enjoy!

Horror on TV: The Veil Episode 5 “The Crystal Ball” (dir by Herbert L. Strock)


On tonight’s episode of The Veil, a writer (Booth Colman) is heartbroken when his lover, Marie (Roxane Berard) leaves him so that she can marry his boss (played by Leo Penn, father of Sean).  To help soften the blow, Marie gives the writer a parting gift, an ornamental crystal ball.  However, it doesn’t turn out to be much of a gift because the only thing that the writer can see in the ball are visions of Marie cheating on her husband!  Boris Karloff both hosts and plays the role of the writer’s uncle.

This is one of the lesser episodes of The Veil but it still has its entertaining moments, largely due to the performances of Roxane Berard and, of course, Boris Karloff.  I guess my main problem with this episode is that it doesn’t so much end as it just stops.  I was waiting for one big twist but …. oh well!  Listen, it’s got Boris Karloff in it and you should always watch as much Karloff as possible in October!

Enjoy!

Horror on TV: The Veil Episode 3 “Food On The Table” (dir by Frank P. Bipas)


Tonight’s episode of The Veil features Boris Karloff as not only the host but also the star of the show!

Karloff plays Captain Elwood, a sea captain who is desperate to be rid of his wife so he can marry a woman who is about to come into a large sum of money.  Elwood plots out his wife’s murder but, as usually happens in stories like this, it turns out that getting her out of his life won’t be as simple as he originally assumed.

This is an enjoyably macabre little ghost story.  Karloff gives a great performance as a truly despicable man.  From what I’ve read, the real Boris Karloff was an unfailingly polite and very kindly gentleman so it’s always interesting (at least to me!) to consider that he would become famous for playing monsters and madmen.  He certainly gives a good performance here!

Enjoy!

Horror on TV: The Veil 1.2 “Girl on the Road” (dir by George Waggner)


From 1958, it’s The Veil!

The Veil was a horror anthology series that, because of financial difficulties at Hal Roach Studios, were never actually aired on television.  10 episodes were filmed before production was abruptly canceled.  Each episode was hosted by (and often starred) Boris Karloff.  Karloff later stated that he was never actually paid for his work on the show but his work as the host did eventually lead to him being hired to host Thriller, a horror anthology series that eventually did air.

As for The Veil, the ten episodes that were produced were never actually sold to a network but, in the 60s, several episodes were edited together to create films that aired on late night television.  It wasn’t until the 90s that the episodes were actually released on video.  For that, we largely have Something Weird Video to thank.

Each episode of The Veil opened with Karloff promising the lift the veil on a strange, perhaps supernatural, event.  (Most of the stories were supposedly based on true stories.)  Karloff would also play a role in each episode.  For instance, in tonight’s episode, he plays Morgan Debs.

Tonight’s episode is called Girl on the Road.  It’s a nicely atmospheric tale about a man (Tod Andrews) who picks up a mysterious woman (Eve Brent) who is stranded on the side of the road.  What is the woman’s secret and why is she terrified of Morgan Debs?  Why does everyone in the town refuse to talk about her?  Watch to find out!

This episode was directed by George Waggner, who is perhaps best known for directing the original Wolf Man.

Enjoy!