Boris Karloff for Civil Defense
Tales of Tomorrow: Verdict From Space
Eyes of Laura Mars
First up, friend of Need Coffee and first class surf horror director Jay Wade Edwards sent me this link to his Substack, in which he takes you on a trip through the history of where weird shit and sportsball collide: yes, wacky monster cards. Kinda like baseballs cards but with, you know, wacky monsters. I had no idea there were so goddamn many. It’s awesome.
After you go for a tour through the WTFball card museum, we go to something that’s so short, normally I wouldn’t let it stand on its own like this. But there’s just something hellaciously sobering about hearing Boris Karloff talking about nuclear war. Seriously.
Next, we go to 1951 and the inaugural episode of Tales of Tomorrow, which ran for two seasons and which was broadcasting a live performance to the homes of…however far ABC went back then. This is “Verdict from Space,” written by Theodore Sturgeon. In it, a man is on trial for murder, but…seeing as how this is a sci-fi anthology show…you know it’s not that simple.
So, for John Carpenter, between Assault on Precinct 13 and Halloween came this, which he wrote the original screenplay for: Eyes of Laura Mars. He wrote it, Irvin Kershner (yes, he of Empire Strikes Back helming fame) directed it, and Jon Peters produced it despite the fact there was not a giant spider in it. Faye Dunaway plays Laura, who gains the ability to see murders from the perspective of the serial killer perpetrating them. And, as is wont to happen, hijinks ensue. Also in the cast: Tommy Lee Jones, René Auberjonois, Brad Dourif, and Raul Julia (but credited as R.J….not sure why). Enjoy.