It’s A Good Life: Twilight Zone (1961)

You’re a very bad man. And you keep thinking bad thoughts about me…You mustn’t think bad thoughts or I’ll do the same thing to you.

It’s Friday and time for our TV episode review. For those who are new to Horrofest, a while back I decided to add TV episodes to my 31 Horror reviews and as much as I like the hashtag #tvtuesday I really prefer reviewing them on Friday. So every Friday of the month we will have a creepy or spooky TV episode.

I originally wanted to start the first Friday off with a Jane Austen connection, but I still need to edit that review so we are moving some things around and have a review of one of the absolute best Twilight Zone episodes out there. The way that it is paced, the villain, the imagery, etc. This episode used to freak me out as a child but sent a good kind of shivers up and down my spine.

Creepy…

So for those of you who have never seen it, The Twilight Zone was a TV series that ran from 1959-1964. Every episode was its unique story and they all had to do with the supernatural unusual, strange, alien, etc. It was a great show.

At the beginning of every episode, Rod Serling would do an introduction, and at the end wrap it up with a concluding thought or moral.

It was a fantastic show, and Rod Serling actually wrote most of seasons 1-3, leveling off on seasons 4-5.

The episode is based off of a 1953 short story “It’s a Good Life” by Jerome Bixby and comes from season three (it’s episode eight).

Our story begins in the middle of nowhere, all that is left is a town. The town doesn’t know if the rest of the world disappeared or if the town was removed to somewhere else. All they know is that the only inhabitants can’t leave and it is all because of one person; six-year old Anthony Fremont.

“They have to think happy thoughts and say happy things because once displeased, the monster can wish them into a cornfield or change them into a grotesque, walking horror. This particular monster can read minds, you see. He knows every thought, he can feel every emotion. Oh yes, I did forget something, didn’t I? I forgot to introduce you to the monster. This is the monster. His name is Anthony Fremont. He’s six years old, with a cute little-boy face and blue, guileless eyes. But when those eyes look at you, you’d better start thinking happy thoughts, because the mind behind them is absolutely in charge. This is the Twilight Zone.”

-Rod Serling

Anthony is a child with godlike powers and he can read minds. He is incredibly scary as he is an emotional child who has no real concept of right and wrong and no one can tell him different or else they will wind up dead.

Everything is dwindling, no technology is possible (Anthony won’t let it), and all the people live in constant fear they will upset Anthony, although they try very hard to hide it. Some of the best scene are when they interact with him, as you can see everyone is terrified but trying so to believe what they are saying; “it’s sure good…” in fact The word “good” is repeated 46 times in this episode.

Anthony is a bit lonely and his dad tries to explain why the kids won’t hang out with him, while trying not to upset him. Either Anthony upset the kids by creating monsters he kills and sends to the cornfield; or he does something to the children.

Mr. Fremont: Well, Anthony, you remember the last time some kids came over to play. The little Fredricks boy and his sister.

Anthony Fremont: I had a real good time.

Mr. Fremont: Oh, sure you did, you had a real good time, and it’s good that you had a good time, it’s real good. It’s, uh, just that…

Anthony Fremont: Just that what?

Mr. Fremont: Well, Anthony, you, uh, you wished them away into the cornfield. Their mommy and daddy were real upset.

It’s A Good Life

Every week, Anthony allows one hour of television, but only something he wants to see. Everything comes to a head after the show, when they have a party for one of his parents friends: Dan Hollis.

Birthdays are difficult to hold as gifts are hard to come by and Anthony doesn’t allow any music or singing in the town. Hollis receives two gifts from everyone, a bottle of brandy and a Perry Como record. Hollis wants to listen to the record of his favorite artists, something he desperately misses, but everyone warns him not to. Anthony doesn’t like music.

Hollis starts drinking instead and not only gets drunk, but bold. Hollis sings happy birthday to himself and tired of always pretending snaps. He yells at the group and tells them they should take Anthony out now when they have the chance to.

You see where everyone looks, but all are too afraid. Only Aunt Amy touches the fireplace poker, however she too doesn’t try, also being too scared to take on Anthony.

Anthony gets mad, real mad and turns Hollis into this terrifying Jack-in-the-box; all are scared and beg Anthony to send it into the cornfield.

Compared to today, it’s not the scariest thing out there, but the way it was filmed really upped the horror. Everyone screams and gasps, everyone turns away. They show it to you for a split second and then just the shadow. It terrified me as a kid!

And the most terrifying part of this is, Anthony doesn’t think anything of it-he feels no remorse, horror, tension, etc. It’s just the way things are. A group take Hollis’ wife away as they are worried that she might think something that will end her life (or anger Anthony enough he starts doing terrible things to everyone). Anthony now bored, deciding to make it snow outside. When his father gets angry about the crops being ruined and what will they have to eat, trying to discipline him, he stops himself. Instead telling him

Dan Fremont: it’s good that you’re making it snow, Anthony, – it’s real good. And tomorrow – tomorrow’s going to be a real good day!

“The Good Life” from The Twilight Zone

“…if by some strange chance you should run across him, you had best think only good thoughts. Anything less than that is handled at your own risk, because if you do meet Anthony, you can be sure of one thing: you have entered The Twilight Zone.”

Rod Serling

For more Twilight Zone, go to Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?: The Twilight Zone (1961)

For more monsters, go to Did You Ever Consider the Consequences of Your Actions? You Made Me, and You Left Me to Die. Who Am I?: Frankenstein (1994)

Horrorfest V: New Blood

Horror Films

So it is once again time for Horrorfest.

horrornerd

So this year marks my fifth time doing Horrorfest. Since it is such a huge marker I wanted to do something different.

Do tell

Do tell…

The past four years I have started off Horrorfest with a classic Horror film, working from the 1960s, Carnival of Souls, to the 1930s, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I thought about doing something from the 1920s, or 70s, or starting back in the 1960s; but none of those seemed right.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

I want this year’s Horrorfest to be different. Unexpected. Unusual.

StarTrekFascinatingSpockinteresting

But full of:

sensationhorrorshock_VincentPrice

So what will we cover?

Hmm...

Hmm…

Let’s see we have Alfred Hitchcock, ghosts, kids with powers beyond their control, murderers, psychopaths, radioactive creatures, robots, serial killers, and more.

horror films

Check back daily to find out more.

HorrorfilmCan'tlookaway

halloween banner

To start Horrorfest I from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World: Carnival of Souls (1962)

To start Horrorfest II from the beginning, go to There Are Many Strange Legends in the Amazon: The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart: The Wolf Man (1941)

To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?: The Twilight Zone (1961)

TwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

She’s just like a science fiction, that’s what she is! A reg’lar Ray Bradbury! Six humans and one monster from outer space. You wouldn’t happen to have an eye in the back of your head, would you?

So yes, yes yes. I have finally gotten around to review a Twilight Zone episode. This has to be one of my favorite TV shows of all time, one of the biggest part of my childhood.

So for those of you who have never seen it, The Twilight Zone was a TV series that ran from 1959-1964. Every episode was its unique story and they all had to do with the supernatural unusual, strange, alien, etc. It was a great show.

At the beginning of every episode, Rod Serling would do an introduction, and at the end wrap it up with a concluding thoughts or moral.

To be perfectly honest, I love him so much I wouldn't care if he did pop up like that.

It was a fantastic show, and Rod Serling actually wrote most of seasons 1-3, leveling off on seasons 4-5.

So while this isn’t the spookiest, creepiest, or most traumatizing episode in the series, it is my absolute favorite, so I decided to review it.

We open on two state troopers. They are out in the snow looking for a UFO.

Say What

Yes, they were called by a woman who said she heard, something overhead. When they went out to look, they find that something crashed into the nearby pond.

thethingfromanotherworldintheice

And footprints coming out of the ice and ship, leading to a nearby diner. A diner that has a bus parked in front of it.

Enter Rod Serling:

Wintry February night, the present. Order of events: a phone call from a frightened woman notating the arrival of an unidentified flying object, then the checkout you’ve just witnessed, with two state troopers verifying the event – but with nothing more enlightening to add beyond evidence of some tracks leading across the highway to a diner. You’ve heard of trying to find a needle in a haystack?

TwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

 So in the next scene we have the troopers heading into the cute little diner.

cafeTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

When they get inside everyone looks normal.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Who is the Alien????

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

The troopers tell everyone they have to remain in the cafe. The bridge to go on has been declared unfit for the time being, as the ice storm has weakened it. And they need to find an alien.

Say What

They ask Olmstead the bus driver about a passenger manifest, but he says he doesn’t have one. The bus is old, business is bad, and they don’t care about names they just want what little money they can eke out.

Idon'tcareanymoreDeanWinchesterSupernatural

The head trooper, Dan Padgett, asks Olmstead how many passengers were there on the bus? Olmstead tells him six.

But wait...

But wait…

There are seven people, not counting the bus driver and the cafe owner. SEVEN!

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Now Ross, one of the passengers on a hurry to reach Boston, thinks the bus driver is just mistaken. The troopers ask, but no. Olmstead is 100% sure, he counted before they left. There is an extra person in the cafe.

OMG

The troops want to be sure that they aren’t overacting, so they ask Haley if anyone was in here before. But Haley and Olmstead confirm there wasn’t anyone here until they came. Someone must have sneaked in with the group.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now the easy thing to do in order to figure out who the alien is, is pick out which of the seven the passengers and bus driver don’t recognize.

tellyouthetruthidon'tknowTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

The snow was coming down so hard, everyone bordered the bus as quickly as possible. The bus driver counted, and then they headed for Boston. They decided to stop at the diner, and with the snow still falling down like crazy, no one really remembers seeing anyone.

idontrememberseeingyouTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

So now we have a perfect setup for an amazing episode. Like Night of the Living Dead, tensions start rising and everyone begins turning on each other.

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

So which one could it be? Which of the seven passengers is not human?

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

1. Ethel McConnell

thetwilightzone

Ethel McConnell is a dancer going to Boston. When asked for ID, she says she doesn’t have it. It was sent on ahead. Now the bus driver says she was the only one he noticed, as she is hot, but is he just saying that because he thinks speaking up for her might win her over?

New plan

She does point out one interesting fact. The best thing to do is cross off the couples.  As they were together most of the, they are less likely the alien.

Is it Her?

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

2 & 3. George and Connie Price

thetwilightzone

George and Connie are newlyweds heading to Boston. George says that they are in the clear as they are a couple, but it’s too late. Tensions are starting to rise and doubt is creeping in.

[Connie looking at George intently, studying his face]

George: What are you doing.

Connie: I…I thought you had a mole on your chin.

George: I’ve never had a mole.

Is it One of Them?

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

4 & 5. Rose and Peter Kramer

thetwilightzone

They are a married couple, and also believe they should be exonerated. But they too are suffering from doubt and fear.

Peter Kramer: We’re all going to get so panicky that everyone and his brother will start picking up invisible clues from everybody else. 

Rose Kramer: It’s completely ridiculous for a husband and wife to question whether the husband is really the husband and the wife is really…[starts staring intently at her husband Peter]

Peter Kramer: I think twenty-three years is long enough for a wife to know who her husband is.

Is it One of Them?

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

6. Avery

idontrememberseeingyouTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

Now Avery just looks crazy and inhuman. Every time he speaks he either is joking or pointing fingers as to who could be the alien.  In fact the troopers suspect him more than anyone else. They interrogate him, asking about baseball, of which he knows everything.

Avery: Didn’t figure us Martians would know nothin’ about the great American pastime, did ya?

Is it Him?

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

7. Ross

twilightzone

Ross is in a hurry to get to Boston for business. He is grumpy, rude, and trying to get the show on the road. The whole time he has been pushing and pushing to get out of the cafe and away from the area, saying that the hunt for an alien is stupid.

Is it Him?

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

While they are questioning the passangers, all of a sudden the jukebox starts playing, even though no one is over there.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

And then the lights start flickering.

You know what that means. Someones coming after you.

weird

They are all freaked out when the phone rings.

LOL Cotton and Cotton

The trooper listens, and when it is over he tells everyone that it was the county engineer, the bridge has been cleared. They don’t want to release the group without figuring which was the alien, but have no real way of being able to keep them.

Olmstead doesn’t want to go, as he feels the bridge is unsafe, but what the heck. Let’s go. So they all settle their accounts and everyone leaves with us not knowing who the alien is.

TheEnd_Title_2

Not too long after, someone comes back into the cafe.

cafeTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

It is the passenger, Ross.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

What is he doing back here? Haley starts questioning what happened, when Ross tells him everyone died. The bridge wasn’t safe at all. It was all an illusion; like the jukebox, lights, and phone.

twilightzonecafe

JamaicaInnItwasYou

Ross is the alien!

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Yes Ross is a Martian and he has been sent ahead to check out the area. In fact, his friends should be there soon to start the colony. Haley is surprised, to say the least.

But wait...

But wait…

That’s not all,

Screen shot 2015-10-09 at 2.13.42 PM

Screen shot 2015-10-09 at 2.13.51 PM

What a twist, what an ending!

Narrator: Incident on a small island, to be believed or disbelieved. However, if a sour-faced dandy named Ross or a big, good-natured counterman who handles a spatula as if he’d been born with one in his mouth, – if either of these two entities walk onto your premises, you’d better hold their hands – all three of them – or check the color of their eyes – all three of them. The gentlemen in question might try to pull you into – The Twilight Zone.

halloween banner

To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to Monster Mash

halloween banner

For more on The Twilight Zone, go to A Trip to the Mall Turns Into the Twilight Zone

For more on aliens, go to Its Mrs. Archer. She’s on a Rampage!: Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

Perfectly Imperfect

 

makemesick

I agree. Nothing perfect is beautiful, it is those that are unusual and different that hold real beauty.

odd&imperfect

Beauty can be fake, but flaws are real. And those are what truly make up who we are.

flaws

Perfect is boring and I’m glad I don’t have any of that around.

imperfectpeoplestillworthloving

Yep.

loveflaws

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more on Jane Austen, go to An Assembly Such As This

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

I Will Only Answer to the Name of Oommmooooowwwwo!

Boy Meets World

So I took this quiz about what Boy Meets World character I am, and got Topanga

topanga

(If you want to take the quiz, go here.)

I thought I would get Cory, as I see myself being goofy like him, but we do share some of the same qualities. People don’t always understand me, but I’m unique and interesting.

Boy Meets World

Plus, Topanga is AWESOME!!!! Who wouldn’t want to be her?

unique beautiful young

Now all I need is to find my Cory:

BMW

***********************************

For more on Boy Meets World, go to Love Stinks

For more on quizzes, go to Love Will Find a Way

For more on Disney, go to Part VIII: The Little Movie Lines List

For more on being unique, go to Bowled Over