Let’s make a stop back on the Swedish/American show known as 13 Demon Street, which we’ve mentioned to you before. And I’ll point you there to get the back story on just WTF this is, exactly. Because it can be confusing. Just know that, indeed, that is Lon Chaney Jr. as your somewhat host.
First, let’s go back to 1961 and enjoy an episode of the Roald Dahl-hosted Way Out. Even if you don’t hang around to watch the entire episode of “20/20,” do yourself a favor and watch the first ninety seconds or so. It’s fantastic.
Next, I recently heard the classic short story “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl read by Catherine O’Hara. The story is sort of like “The Tell-Tale Heart” if it had been written by…well, Roald Dahl. I couldn’t find that exactly, but here’s the next best thing: the 1958 episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents that adapted the story. And yes, that is a quite young Barbara Bel Geddes as Mary.
Update: Crap. Well, that didn’t take long. It’s been taken down, so I hereby replace it with “And So Died Riabouchinska,” which is probably the only place where Hitchcock, Ray Bradbury (story), Claude Rains and Charles Bronson all meet.
We’ll get to this evening’s feature filled with possession and mayhem in a moment. But first, we go to the immortal Spike Jones and “I Was a Teenage Brain Surgeon” with vocals by the equally immortal Thurl Ravenscroft.
Tonight, first of all…Hollywood Canteen was based on an actual place setup for military servicefolks where they could get in for free by wearing their uniform. The film came out in 1944 and the two cameos you have here are the tip of the iceberg. But seeing these two together again is, of course, priceless.
Before we get to the 1964 film Devil Doll (and yes, I have to specify which one because…well, you didn’t think there could just be one film with that title, did you?) let’s hit a couple other old-time radio favorites, shall we? First we go to Quiet Please, a radio show from the late 1940s and the episode “Tanglefoot.” I’ve written a story myself about messing around with making what are essentially designer insects. It never goes the way you intend, you know.
Time for some more sci-fi tonight…but that of course put me in the mind for some of the 1980s Twilight Zone, which has been much maligned but I really enjoyed. First we have a very young Bruce Willis (well…he has hair, anyway) in a Harlan Ellison story directed by Wes Craven! This was the first segment of the new TZ that aired.
It occurs to me that there are a great number of When Animals Attack genre films, so in the interests of public safety, it might be a good idea to provide a true cautionary tale for one way to avoid being devoured. This is, of course, courtesy of Hilaire Belloc.