Rod Serling

All posts tagged Rod Serling

Unsung Heroines of Horror: Virginia Mayo

Published June 6, 2021 by biggayhorrorfan

Perhaps only rivalled, credit-wise, by Yvonne De Carlo, her luscious raven haired cinematic counterpart, the delicious Virginia Mayo spent the moonlight years of her career occupying space in a number of horror projects. Granted, with major roles in projects like Silent Scream, Cellar Dweller, American Gothic and Play Dead (along with her overpowering The Munsters cache), De Carlo was certainly the Queen Bee of the Former Technicolor Starlets set. But Mayo definitely gave her a run for her money. 

While the ’60s and ’70s found Mayo decorating such cinematic fare as Castle of Evil (1966) and Haunted (1977) (with 1990 cheapie Evil Spirits providing her employment during the VHS invasion), she is perhaps at her most effective (and eternally beautiful) as the sympathetic Carrie Crane in The Diary (1971), a second season episode of Rod Serling’s early ’70s spook show Night Gallery. As Crane, a faded, scandal plagued actress, Mayo radiates with a bruised and tender strength of purpose here. Digging her shiny yet well-trod heels into her scenes with Patty Duke’s venomous Holly Schaeffer, a gossip journalist who is out to destroy her, Mayo’s years in the Hollywood trenches are given a resourceful workout during the various character beats in this revenge fueled tale. 

Indeed, Crane’s gifting of a mysterious journal to Schaeffer soon sends that pesky muckracker into a gothic downward spiral full of death and despair – proving what many diva-worshipping fellas already know, that Mayo will forever be a prominent force in every style of cinema – terror fueled and otherwise.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Night Gallery Vamps: Lorraine Gary

Published October 7, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

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Best known for her powerful yet down-to-earth portrayal of Ellen Brody in the Jaws film series, the versatile Loraine Gary brought a much more sinisterly haughty elegance to her appearance as Barbara Morgan in the 1973 3rd season Night Gallery episode entitled She’ll Be Company For You.

Luxuriating like a film noir femme fatale in turbans and designer dresses, Gary alternatively flirts with and seemingly condemns the show’s main focus, businessman Harry Audon, played with a slowly evaporating confidence by costar Leonard Nimoy. As the best friend of Audon’s recently deceased wife, Gary’s Morgan definitely wants to rip him apart (in a variety of ways), but she leaves such juicy details to her emotional doppelganger, a supposedly harmless cat.lorraine 2

Departing for a trip, Barbara gifts Audon with said pet. But his mild annoyance with his new responsibility soon turns into terror as the present apparently morphs into a viciously clawed supernatural entity. Ultimately, the viewers are never quite sure what the creature really is. But, one thing is for certain, Gary dominates this piece with an ice cold vigor and sensual sharpness.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Night Gallery Vamps: Lesley Ann Warren

Published August 12, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

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Naturally, Night Gallery Vamps explores the eternal magnificence of the amazing actresses who enlivened Rod Serling’s haunting anthology series Night Gallery (1969-1973).

While British actresses such as Ingrid Pitt and Eileen Daly have seemingly cornered the market on the sensuous vampire due to Hammer and its latter day ilk, luckily, lovely New York-born performer Lesley Ann Warren graced the small screen with Hyacinth, her truly erotic creature of the night, in the steamy 1973 episode of Night Gallery entitled Death on a Barge.

Languishingly lounging on a candle strewn barge, Warren’s unearthly creature soon earns the undivided attention of a small town clerk. His consistent nocturnal visits eventually make his girlfriend (played by Nightmare on Elm Street 3 & 4’s Brooke Bundy) curious. When her encounter with the fang bearing Hyacinth almost leaves her dead, she determines that her beau’s mysterious new obsession is, indeed, a vampire. Will a jealous co-worker and a possessive sweetheart soon mean the end of the gorgeous Hyacinth or vice versa?lesley night gallery

This episode (written by Halsted Welles via Everill Worrell’s story and directed by Leonard Nimoy) definitely reinvents some of the bloodsucker rules. Hyacinth hasn’t fed for over a year and is watched over by her human father. Yet the gothic Tennessee Williams’ vibe that Nimoy indulges in here is enchanting and the fetching Warren, whose other genre appearances include the CW enhanced Teaching Mrs. Tingle and 2001’s very interesting Wolf Girl, glows within its tragic overtones. She is magnetic, frightening and sympathetic. It’s a bravura performance in (a mere) 22 minute teleplay.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Patty Duke’s Horrific (Eternal) New Year’s Eve!

Published December 31, 2013 by biggayhorrorfan

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Despite his selfishness and intense body odor, I always find myself on an endless loop when it comes to my desire for that French cooking zombie down the hall.

diary2Similarly, as vengeful tabloid reporter Holly Schaeffer on The Diary segment of a 1971 episode of Night Gallery, Patty Duke (and lots and lots of hair) finds herself frantically believing that every single day is the beginning of the new year.diary3

Gifted a deadly, prophetic diary by her frequent target, a faded Hollywood actress named Carrie Crane (Virginia Mayo), Duke’s Holly soon finds herself surrounded by death and destruction. Ultimately, she finds herself locked away in an asylum, madly experiencing time as it runs in endless circles.
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Filled with an exquisite sense of mercurial cattiness, this gem allows Duke (who, also, appeared in such TV terrors as 76s Look What Happened to Rosemary’s Baby and 89s Amityville: The Evil Escapes) and former musical star Mayo (66s Castle of Evil and 77s Haunted) to go at with both guns firing. Viewers will, also, get a kick out of discovering Lindsay Wagner in an early role, as a nurse, as well.
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Wishing a Happy (Ginger Wigged) 2014 to all!

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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