Tag Archives: Rod Serling

Super Recaps: The Twilight Zone (Gabe’s Story)

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The Twilight Zone and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Warner Bros Television and based on the series created by Rod Serling

Directed by Allan Kroeker

The episode begins with the titular Gabe (Christopher Titus who I’ve talked about in the past) smashing his car into someone else’s by accident; someone by the way who doesn’t even seem too perturbed by it which is a little odd.  His driver’s side door is half caved in and yet rather than get yell at Gabe or get his insurance information, he makes a half-hearted crack at his driving skills before calling him a loser.  Seems a bit low key considering the damage inflicted which I would certainly call a silver lining, but then Gabe is one of those perpetually miserable dudes who attributes everything to his all-encompassing belief in his own bad luck.  Well that and his lousy boss who’s keeping him down at work.  Gabe is basically the embodiment of lower white working class angst which is a topic Sir Titus is quite familiar with as he jumps right into a stand up routine while explaining to his wife (Stefanie von Pfetten) why he didn’t get the promotion due to his lack of butt kissing skills.  He goes outside to nurse his ego as well as the big lump on his head which he got in the car crash when he notices some guy in an orange jumpsuit (Kelly Perine) in the backyard killing his grass.  When confronted, the guy just oddly says that Gabe shouldn’t even be able to see him and that he should pretend this is ALL some big hallucination before turning tail and running off while Gabe just stands there; gawking at the absolute gall of this guy to just kill his grass and say IGNORE ME.  I wish I got to see the inner workings of the universe whenever I bumped my head.

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“Darn crabgrass.  I should have listened to Philip K Dick when I had the chance…”

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Super Recaps: The Twilight Zone (Last Lap)

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The Twilight Zone and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Warner Bros Television and based on the series created by Rod Serling

Episode directed by Brad Turner

We’re back with another episode of The Half-Remembered Zone and this is one that I remember quite a bit; particularly the ending which… I don’t remember liking all that much?  It’s an interesting episode to be sure, but I mostly remember it feeling like some sort of PSA about dealing with loss rather than something I could genuinely connect with.  Then again, I watched these episodes when I was a foolish teenager and now that I’m a foolish man I might have a slightly different perspective on it.  Has this episode aged like a fine wine, or am I about to chug a gallon of fifteen year old milk that didn’t go down too smooth the first time around?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with two friends Andy and Marco (Clifton Collins Jr and Greg Serano); the former with a terminal illness and the other trying to show him a good time by driving fast and reliving old memories.  It’s not doing much to stave off the constant coughing and the fear of death, but I do think the dynamic here is very strong between the two.  Marco is definitely cheery in that way that people get when they want to help someone forget about what’s wrong and () is brutally honest about how scared his of dying at such a young age.  We find out that this car Marco is driving was built by Andy and that it’s going to be in a big race in just a week’s time that Andy is afraid he won’t get to see, but as luck would have it while they’re cruising on this rainy night, they find that the track has already been set up and that no one else is there.  At first Marco is hesitant to do this and thinks that Andy should get to a hospital, but Andy is adamant that they take one LAST LAP together and so Marco drives the course.  What neither of the realized is that driving ridiculously high speeds on a track on a rainy night is PROBABLY not the best idea and so they end up crashing the car.  Andy wakes up in ambulance seemingly no worse for wear despite the whole cancer thing, but Marco… well he didn’t make it.  Well sucks to be him I guess, but somehow (I’m guessing THE TWILIGHT ZONE did it), Andy no longer seems to be terminal.  In fact, he’s basically back to his old self which is a detail I DEFINITELY don’t remember from the first time I saw it and on top of that the race track completely disappeared when Andy goes to visit it the next morning which I don’t remember either.

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“This is not my beautiful racetrack!  This is not my terminal illness!  HOW DID I GET HERE!?”

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Super Recaps: The Twilight Zone (Future Trade)

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The Twilight Zone and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Warner Bros Television and based on the series created by Rod Serling

Directed by Bob Balaban

We’re back with another episode of Now That’s What I Call Twilight Zone!  You’re much more digestible and mainstream version of something good that you’ll forget about a heck of a lot faster!  Then again, we might just have a standout episode here if you can believe it as we’re talking about that one particular bug bear of internet sad boys; TOXIC MASCULINITY AND ENTITLEMENT!!  Yes, even back in 2002 the world thought you were all a bunch of losers.  ANYWAY!  Does this episode take full advantage of its premise to deliver an interesting take on the subject, or will it refuse to take off the kid gloves and give these ridiculous fools a pass for their behavior?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with Martin (Frank Whaley) being annoyed by the most obnoxious and stereotypical hell beast of a bad wife who is literally screaming at him for being a loser and to feed the kids.  It’s like something right out of an MRA handbook as the only thing we get to see is the haggard man while the wife and kids are just voices in the distance with no discernable personality besides spite and venom.  Oh, it gets even worse from there!  The guy goes to work at a hardware store and his boss a total control freak who feels the need to tear him down for coming three minutes late for work and then when he tries to strike up a “friendly conversation” with a female coworker, she just walks away after an awkward silence.  Seriously, give this guy six months and he’ll be found dead in an alley with clown makeup and balloon animals full of anthrax.  Fortunately for the rest of us, it looks like THE TWILIGHT ZONE is about to stop his murder spree in its tracks with some twist of ironic fate as he keeps getting pop up ads about this company called Future Trade who wants to give him a one-time offer!  Now if it was you or I who got this message, I’d assume it was just another porn site trying to get your credit card details, but I guess Martin is so far down his own self-pitying spiral of misery that he’s willing to give it a chance.  Now let’s say that you or I DID go the extra step of visiting this strange company promising to give us the future we wanted, I’m pretty sure we’d turn tail and run when we realize that it’s run by Dean Winters.  HOLY CRAP, DEAN WINTERS IS IN THIS!!

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This is all an elaborate Allstate commercial, isn’t it?

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Super Recaps: The Twilight Zone (Found and Lost)

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The Twilight Zone and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Warner Bros Television and based on the series created by Rod Serling

Episode directed by Vern Gillum

We’re back with another episode of The Knockoff Zone which is apropos considering this is another episode of the show that JUST SO HAPPENED to be a heck of a lot like a movie that came around the same time!  So what are we “paying homage” to today?  Well it’s not QUITE an exact fit, but there’s a lot of The Family Man in this episode which if you don’t recall is the Nicolas Cage movie where he’s an obscenely rich dude who is confronted with the life he didn’t choose to live.  You may also remember it as the movie where he goes TA-DAAAA for no reason, but sadly I doubt we’ll get to see something like that in this episode.  OR WILL WE!?  I guess there’s only way to find out!  Let’s get started!!

The episode begins with some dude name Sean (Brian Austin Green) driving to work and he barely has time to lock his car and straighten his tie before Forest Whitaker is on hand to tell us what this episode is about!  I mean I’m not about to go check, but twenty seconds into an episode sounds like a record for ANY Twilight Zone series to start its monologue, right?   Anyway, what’s ACTUALLY important is that Sean is a rich business guy who has more than anyone else could DREAM of, but seems to be deeply unhappy for some reason and is about to be interviewed by a journalist (Moira Kelly).  No, before you ask, I didn’t accidentally pop in a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey.  Although…

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“My name is Bianca Titanium, and you must be Shaun White.”     “Uh… nope.  My first name’s not even spelled that way.  Are you sure you’re in the right building?”

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Super Recaps: The Twilight Zone (Sanctuary)

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The Twilight Zone and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Warner Bros Television and based on the series created by Rod Serling

Episode directed by Patrick Norris

Welcome back to yet another episode of The Twilight Drone!  Not one of those flying things, I mean in terms of just… droning on.  Yeah, I’m just gonna be upfront with you; this is one of the bad ones in that it’s REALLY boringly made and has a message that… well you’ll see soon enough.  Oh well!  I’m sure we’ll get to something more interesting next time like aliens, or time travel or whatever, so let’s just burn through this one and try to make a few jokes along the way!  Let’s get started!!

Scott (Rob Estes) is a hot shot sports agent who’s having a rather tough start to his day as he got a flat on his tire and is about to lose one of his biggest  players if he doesn’t stop him from singing with someone else.  While waiting for a tow truck to get there, he wanders off into the nearby woods to pee on a tree (as you do), and ends up getting lost; finding not his car but a beautiful home in the middle of nowhere.  Inside he finds a woman named Marisa (Elizabeth Berkley, yes THAT Elizabeth Berkley) who similarly has to be somewhere soon but wandered into the forest for whatever reason (perhaps the SAME reason) and ended up here.  This place by the way has bad reception even by 2002 standards and their watches have stopped working as well.  The house has no light switches, no electricity, no clocks, and no cars.  Now to ME this sounds like an unbearable hell to live in whether or not there’s a good view and pretty throw pillows, but I don’t want to get TOO ahead of myself here, and it also turns out that Marisa is familiar with the area and KNOWS that no idyllic looking mountain ranges or sparkling clear ponds are anywhere close to where the two of them got lost, so they’re kinda stuck as far as finding their way back; wherever “back” even is at this point.

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“DARN YOU NATURE!!  WHY MUST YOU BE SO IDYLLICALLY SAMEY!?”

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Super Recaps: The Twilight Zone (Mr. Motivation)

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The Twilight Zone and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Warner Bros Television and based on the series created by Rod Serling

Episode directed by Deran Sarafian

We’re back with another episode of The Twilight Zone Saga: New Millennium, and boy do we have something new for you all today!  This episode is unlike any other we’ve seen so far as it is a… wait for it… COMEDY!!  That’s right!  Not an unintended comedy like that one about the guitar or watching Katherine Heigl try to kill baby Hitler!  This one wants you to chuckle right along with it instead of directly at it!  Does this series know how to loosen up and have a genuine sense of wit about itself?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with what might be the most attended office birthday party that wasn’t catered as everyone and their mother apparently left their stations to go to a cubicle and sing For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.  Wait, what?  Is the birthday song copyrighted or something?  Hold on.

HOLY CRAP, IT IS!!  Apparently that song has had some sort of copyright on it since 1935 with Warner/Chappell music acquiring a company that claimed to have owned it back in 1985 and have been collecting royalties on it since!  That is until 2016 when a court ordered that their copyright was not valid for reasons that I’ve only skimmed now and will surely take up an afternoon of your time if you wish to look into it, and Warner/Chappell is required to refund the royalties they’ve collected for it.  Darn you, Warner Bros television!  If you had stuck to your guns and used the CORRECT song, you would be getting your seven hundred bucks back anyway!  Who looks like a fool now, Warner Bros Television?  Who looks like a fool now?

Did I really take this recap completely off the rails because of the Birthday Song?  Let’s see if we can somehow get back on track.  So anyway, the cubicle in question belongs to Charlie (Wallace Langham) who is one of many office drones in this building that does… stuff, and is having a rather joyous little celebration at his desk complete with trick candle on his cupcake, but all that comes to a SCREECHING halt as soon as The Boss (Christopher McDonald) comes through and tells everyone to get back to work; something they do with great gusto and more than recommend amount of abject terror.  The Boss by the way looks like a cross between Thomas Haden Church, Clancy Brown and Biff from Back to the Future, so it’s no wonder everyone is terrified of him!  Oh but he can’t be ALL bad, right?  After all, he got Charlie a gift for his birthday which is some sort of dime store talking statute called Mr. Motivation who spouts useless buzzwords and aphorisms whenever you bop it on its little bobble head.  Just the pick me up Charlie is gonna need of since The Boss follows up this magnanimous gesture with a neigh impossible task and his job security as the sword of Damocles hanging over his head.  He needs to pull up basically all documentation over the last several months (hard copies no less), and search for any that contain the name of a specific product their developing.  If he can find whatever vaguely sinister thing The Boss is looking for, he gets a promotion.  If not, well… at least the economy in 2002 is better than it is now but it would STILL be a pain in the butt.

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“I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do, sir!  I’m gonna invest in HOUSING!  There is nothing more stable in this, the greatest country on Earth, so you can take your job and shove it!”

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Super Recaps: The Twilight Zone (Hunted)

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The Twilight Zone and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Warner Bros Television and based on the series created by Rod Serling

Episode directed by Patrick Norris

We’re back with another episode of 3rd Twilight from the Zone, and boy do we have a fun one today!  Where previous episodes were about boring things like death personified, video game DLC, and killing baby Hitler, this time we get to hunt ourselves a MONSTER IN THE WOODS!  The original series had its fair share of fantasy creatures to terrorize the likes of William Shatner, so why not this series as well!?  Can they possibly match the level of quality that Rod Serling delivered with his fantastic creatures, or is hiring a guy in a rubber suit completely outside this series’ budget?  Let’s find out!!

Ahem.  IN THE YEAR NEW-THOUSAND, we see a couple of joggers running in a forest with the utmost of horrifying expressions (that cable TV will allow) etched across their faces as they try to escape from some unseen threat; one that likes to use that Evil Dead vision thing to maximize its victims horror before turning their skulls into another trophy for its collection.  Now given that this is far into the future where we somehow learned to be more civilized towards each other (snark), the Nu-National Guard are being called into the woods to find whatever this creature is and fill it with more hot lead than Murphy at the beginning of RoboCop!  Our main Terrestrial Marine is Jeffrey Freed (Scott Bairstow) which is actually quite lucky for him as he’s got a wife and a newborn child, which means if he WASN’T our protagonist then he’d be first on the chopping block when the squad gets to the forest.  His wife Kelly (Michelle Harrison) doesn’t see it that way however (I guess she hasn’t seen enough movies), and makes sure to give us quite a bit of exposition while making her trepidation known.  It turns out that Jeff is a doctor in his day job which I bet will come in handy later when they need someone to fill out the death certificates, and the monster in question appears to be some sort of creature known as a Kreetor which was a species that got wiped out over fifty years ago.  Now you’d think that with so few of them around that we would have PROTECTED them and put them on the endangered species list, but I guess even THESE jerks are scarier than Lion and Tigers and Panda Bears, especially if they hunt their prey like a freaking Slasher!  The wife also refers to them as “Genetically Mutated Beasts” which is probably what ignorant people fear that GMOs will morph into, and it seems that Jeff’s grandfather was MURDERED by one of them back before they were all wiped out, so he’s got a bit of skin in the game as well.

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“My grandfather was SLAUGHTED by one of these creatures!  Was he lost in the woods or did he get hurt when the Kreetor was looking for food?”     “No, the monster poisoned his morning coffee!”     Oh.  Um… who told you this story?”     “My grandma.  She also told that to the police.”     “Uh… huh.”

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