Twilight Zone: “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” [Season 5, Episode 3]
Original Air Date: October 11, 1963
Director: Richard Donner
Writer: Richard Matheson
Starring: William Shatner, Christine White, and Ed Kemmer.
The Overview: Beware of Spoilers…
Bob Wilson [Shatner] and his wife are flying home. Wilson has just recovered from a nervous breakdown and a storm is making the flight less than comfortable. Wilson becomes alarmed when he sees a creature on the wing of the plane tearing at wires. His wife and others think Bob is suffering a relapse but he’s not…
Check out this Dracula: Prince of Darkness poster created by Francesco Francavilla for Vice Press. That’s right, the Dracula: Prince of Darkness poster is available as a limited edition print for discriminating fans.
1. IT WAS BELA LUGOSI’S LAST MOVIE. A lifelong Bela Lugosi fan, Ed Wood was able to cast his idol in 1953’s Glen or Glenda. Two years later, the director gave him a Dr. Frankenstein-like role in Bride of the Monster. For his next film, Wood once again wanted Lugosi to take center stage. At the California home of Swedish wrestler Tor Johnson—who’d also appeared in Bride of the Monster—Wood shot a handful of very brief scenes, all starring Lugosi. Depending on who’s telling the story, this footage was either intended for Plan 9 or for an unmade movie called The Vampire’s Tomb. Regardless, Lugosi sadly didn’t live to see any of it reach the silver screen. The horror icon died of a heart attack in August 16, 1956. Endlessly resourceful, Wood threw all of his existing Lugosi shots into Plan 9 from Outer Space.
2. A CHIROPRACTOR PLAYED LUGOSI’S DOUBLE.
Production on Plan 9 from Outer Space began in earnest after Lugosi’s death. Since he was no longer around to film certain scenes, Wood recruited chiropractor Tom Mason as a substitute. Physically, he wasn’t a perfect stand-in; Mason was noticeably taller than Lugosi (a fact that Wood tried to disguise by having him hunch over). But the good doctor made sure to mask his face under a cape at all times.
4. IN SOME VERSIONS OF THE FILM, YOU CAN SEE THE SHADOW OF A BOOM MIKE IN THE BACKGROUND.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Plan 9 has numerous bloopers. For example, the grave scenes use plywood tombstones, which wobble throughout the movie. But Wood’s team wasn’t responsible for every error. Early on, we see our hero—pilot Jeff Trent—flying a plane when a huge burst of light almost blinds him. Viewers may also notice that, as he recoils, a boom microphone shadow appears on the back wall of the cockpit. Look carefully, and you’ll also observe that Trent’s co-pilot is holding a copy of the script in his lap. Both of these gaffes were created when Plan 9 was converted to a film and TV-friendly format. Neither the script nor the boom mike shadow appeared in the original theatrical version. Unfortunately, the aspect ratio changes made to Plan 9 for its video and TV releases suddenly rendered both of these things visible.
Just the names Azzarello and Risso are enough for a comic to make my monthly pull list. Probably yours too, right? Add to the fact that Moonshine is a period crime tale with werewolves and I think that we won’t be the only ones.
MOONSHINE is set during the Prohibition Era, deep in the backwoods of Appalachia and tells the story of Lou Pirlo, a city-slick “torpedo” sent from New York City to negotiate a deal with the best moonshiner in West Virginia, one Hiram Holt. Lou figures it for milk run—how hard could it be to set-up moonshine shipments from a few ass-backward hillbillies? What Lou doesn’t figure on is that Holt is just as cunning as ruthless as any NYC crime boss and Lou is in way over his pin-striped head. Because not only will Holt do anything to protect his illicit booze operation, he’ll stop at nothing to protect a much darker family secret…a bloody, supernatural secret that must never see the light of day… or better still, the light of the full moon.
13. Snyder cameos during the opening credits montage as a soldier with a machine gun on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
19. The original’s Tom Savini, Ken Foree, and Scott H. Reiniger all cameo here as a sheriff, a preacher, and a general, respectively.
29. Someone after a test screening questioned Snyder as to why/how the zombies pause at the bottom of the stairs at 1:32:25, and it put him on the spot when they asked if the zombies could even do that. He replied, “in real life, no, but in film where you dramatize…”
Twilight Zone: “Hocus-Pokus and Fisby” [Season 3, Episode 30]
Original Air Date: April 13, 1962
Director: Lamont Johnson
Writer: Rod Serling based on a short story by Frederick Louis Fox
Starring: Andy Devine, Milton Selzer andHoward McNear.
The Overview: Beware of Spoilers…
Somerset Fisby [Devine] is known to tell tale tales about everything. To hear Fisby tell it he has several advanced degrees and the greatest minds in the world seek his advice.
Everyone knows to take what Fisby says with a grain of salt except for the two strangers passing through town… they turn out to be aliens in disguise and believe Fisby would be the perfect example of a human to take to their planet.
Long time readers know thatI am a huge fanof Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips comic stories.Perhaps David Harper summarizes my feelings best when he describes his admiration for Brubaker and Phillips by saying they are…
the finest and most consistent creative partnership in modern comics. When you hear Brubaker and Phillips are working on something, the question isn’t “will I buy it?”, it’s “when can I buy it?” They’re the type of team where your pull list simply has a “Brubaker/Phillips all” item on it. That’s rarefied air, at least for me.
I enjoyed the first season of Wayward Pinesand will definitely tune in for the second. The idea of a 10 season arc that tells a complete story really appeals to me. Hopefully the second season will live up to the first.