Horror On TV: Suspense 1.13 “The Yellow Scarf” (dir by Robert Sevens)

Tonight’s episode of Suspense features Boris Karloff as the mysterious Mr. Bronson, a scientist living in London in 1897.  Bronson gives lodging to Hettie (Felicia Montealegre) on the condition that she do the housework, that she never got out alone, and that she never enters his laboratory.  However, when Bronson discovers that Hettie has struck up a relationship with Tom (Douglass Watson), Bronson uses his scientific knowledge to seek revenge.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Karloff is the main reason to watch this episode of Suspense.  He’s wonderfully creepy here, playing one his more villainous roles.

This originally aired on June 7th, 1949.

Guilty Pleasure No. 44: Paranormal State

“We are students…..we are seekers…..and sometimes we are warriors. And each time we help someone, I feel like I’m one step closer to finding the truth…”

The words opened up all 86 episodes of Paranormal State, a “reality” show that ran on A&E from 2007 to 2011.  They were delivered by Ryan Buell, who was the head of the Pennsylvania State University Paranormal Research Society.  Buell also narrated every episode of Paranormal State and perhaps the most memorable thing about the show was the strangely robotic sound of his narration.  Buell delivered his lines in a memorably flat monotone, one that rarely betrayed a hint of emotion while talking about the spirits that the Team supposedly dealt with in each and every episode.  Even when Buell talked about the demon that had supposedly been stalking him since childhood, he did so with all the emotion of Alexa confirming a grocery list.

Paranormal State was one of those shows where people would around in a dark house with an infrared camera while randomly saying stuff like, “Did you feel that?  I felt a suddenly cold wind in this room.  You’ll just have to take my word for it.”  Occasionally, a light would get knocked over or a door would close on its own.  Along with asking each other if they had felt anything, the members of the Paranormal Research Society were also fond of asking, “Did you hear that?” and “Oh my God, did you just see that?”  I always liked it when they would review the film in slow-motion and point at a barely visible smudge on the image and say, “There it is.  There’s the spirit.”  Ultimately, it would usually lead to a medium being called in and wandering around the house and going, “It’s time for you to move on, spirit.  Whisper something if you’re here.  Oh my God, did you hear that?”

It was all pretty obviously staged and kind of dumb but I still enjoyed the show because I liked the idea of a bunch of college students skipping class so that they could spend the night in a deserted barn while waiting for the ghost of a angry farmer to push over a pitchfork or something.  I mean, if my college had given credit for ghost hunting, I totally would have done it!  The show may have been fake but it was fun to pretend that it was real.

After the show ended, Ryan Buell had his personal difficulties, which I’m not going to dwell on.  As for the show, it actually lives on.  I recently came across reruns on the FYI network and I’ve lost track of the number of people I’ve met who, like me, can recite that opening narration by heart.  Seriously, it just gets in your head.

Previous Guilty Pleasures

  1. Half-Baked
  2. Save The Last Dance
  3. Every Rose Has Its Thorns
  4. The Jeremy Kyle Show
  5. Invasion USA
  6. The Golden Child
  7. Final Destination 2
  8. Paparazzi
  9. The Principal
  10. The Substitute
  11. Terror In The Family
  12. Pandorum
  13. Lambada
  14. Fear
  15. Cocktail
  16. Keep Off The Grass
  17. Girls, Girls, Girls
  18. Class
  19. Tart
  20. King Kong vs. Godzilla
  21. Hawk the Slayer
  22. Battle Beyond the Stars
  23. Meridian
  24. Walk of Shame
  25. From Justin To Kelly
  26. Project Greenlight
  27. Sex Decoy: Love Stings
  28. Swimfan
  29. On the Line
  30. Wolfen
  31. Hail Caesar!
  32. It’s So Cold In The D
  33. In the Mix
  34. Healed By Grace
  35. Valley of the Dolls
  36. The Legend of Billie Jean
  37. Death Wish
  38. Shipping Wars
  39. Ghost Whisperer
  40. Parking Wars
  41. The Dead Are After Me
  42. Harper’s Island
  43. The Resurrection of Gavin Stone

Horror on TV: Suspense 1.7 “A Night At The Inn” (dir by Robert Stevens)

Suspense was an anthology series that aired from 1949 to 1953.  As you can probably guess from the show’s title, each episode was a thriller of some sort.  Occasionally, the episodes were also horror-themed.  Suspense was also a live production, with each episode essentially functioning as a 30-minute play.

Tonight’s episode of Suspense originally aired on April 26th, 1949 and it features Boris Karloff.  It deals with four thieves hiding out in a British Inn, after having stolen a ruby eye from a holy statue in India.  Needless to say, that was not a particularly wise decision.


Horror On TV: One Step Beyond 3.36 “Eyewitness” (dir by John Newland)

For this year’s horrorthon’s final episode of One Step Beyond, we have the …. final episode of One Step Beyond!

In this, the series’s very last episode, a Boston newspaper reporter in 1883 somehow manages to write a firsthand account of one of the greatest natural disasters in human history, the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa.  Making his accomplishment all the more amazing is that he not only filed the story the day before it happened but he also says that he has no memory of writing it!  What’s going on?  Take one step beyond and find out!

This episode originally aired on July 4th, 1961.

Enjoy and tomorrow, we start a new series here on the Shattered Lens!

Horror on TV: One Step Beyond 3.6 “Moment of Hate” (dir by John Newland)

On tonight’s episode of One Step Beyond, fashion designer Karen Wadsworth (Joanne Linville) believes that she has the power to cause people to die just by wishing death upon them.  Her psychiatrist tells her that this simply isn’t possible and then dares her to try one little test of her supposed powers.

This episode features a good performance by Joanne Linville and, if nothing else, it perhaps makes the case that we should be a little bit less quick to wish the worst upon other people.  Just imagine all of the damage that Karen could have caused if she had ever set up a twitter account.

This episode originally aired on October 25th, 1960.

Horror On TV: One Step Beyond 3.5 “If You See Sally” (dir by John Newland)

On tonight’s epiosde of One Step Beyond, we visit the legend of the ghostly hitchhiker.

Will Sally ever make it home?

This episode originally aired on October 18th, 1960!

Horror on TV: One Step Beyond 2.7 “The Open Window” (dir by John Newland)

If tonight’s episode of One Step Beyond seems familiar, that’s because it’s a remake of a story that was originally filmed as an episode of The Veil. 

This time, instead of witnessing a murder occurring in another apartment, it’s a suicide that is witnessed by artist Anthony March (Michael Higgins).  Of course, when he investigates, he discovers that the apartment in empty.  Is Anthony hallucinating or has he gone one step beyond and is he seeing the future?  Watch to find out!

By the way, that’s future Oscar winner Louise Fletcher playing Anthony’s model.

This originally aired on November 3rd, 1959.