This is a blog which primarily gives some attention to movies that I find were overlooked (for whatever reason) or are simply underrated. I also comment on other, mainly movie-related issues as well. I welcome any suggestions for films to be added to this distinguished list.

One word of warning: The films listed below contain spoilers, so caution during reading is required.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Thriller (1960-1962)

"Mark my words, this is a thriller!"
-Boris Karloff.

Perhaps the two most famous anthology series are The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchock Presents.

But, the same year Universal released Psycho, that same studio began airing an anthology series that stands proudly beside those two classics.

Karloff bring his great class and dignity to the proceedings, of course. Happily, the episodes themselves, which are a mixture of horror and (naturally) thriller stories, are every bit as great.

One of the best is actually the first episode, "The Twisted Image." That story centers on a business executive (Leslie Nielsen) who has to contend with a woman who desires him and a man who wants to be him.

The stories came from the pens of such great artists as Robert Hardy Andrews as well as Psycho author Robert Bloch. Watching this great series today also allows us to see how the beginnings of some who are famous now, such as William Shatner, Mary Tyler Moore and Robert Vaughn.

In one sense, both Psycho and Thriller came at an interesting time. In 1960, Kennedy was just beginning his run for the White House, the Beatles were only just starting to perform in clubs in their native Liverpool and the only people who knew where Vietnam was were geography majors.

Hitchcock's film, of course, pushed the envelope big time in terms of violence and even sexuality on screen. This show, however, could be just as disturbing. Having Karloff, who was already immortalized as a horror legend by 1960, host (and occasionally act in) the series was the finishing touch, as it gave the public a familiar face which could still surprise and (yes!) thrill!