Friday, November 22, 2013

TV Horror Anthology - Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense

Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense
aka Fox Mystery Theater
ITV 1984

One half hour seems to be the preferred length for these types of programs, and even the Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock Presents sometimes struggled when attempting to stretch out to a full hour.  Hammer doubled down and dragged them out to almost seventy minutes, at least three times too long.

Most of the stories had a supernatural theme and an American lead.  Some of the episodes were presented as features in Commander USA's Groovy Movies.

There were no standout episodes, unless you wanted to know who would win in a fight to the death between A-Team's Face and Pink Panther's Cato.

While the quality managed to decline by the end of the series, the last two episodes were absurd enough to at least enter WTF territory.

Child's Play opens with a couple finding that they can not leave their house.  Between that, the title, and having watched Twilight Zone before, viewers rightly guess that they are toys and live in a dollhouse.  But what about the impenetrable shield covering the exits?  Why the unbearable heat?  And what is the seemingly living green slime that is dripping down the chimney?

I'll save you seventy minutes.  It's a dollhouse...from the future!  Yeah, that explains everything.

The writer for the final episode must have read Stephen King's "The Mangler" and decided, "Nope, not stupid enough.  I know!  A haunted tennis court!  That wraps people up in its net!"
The Cushing/Lee movies were a long, long time ago.

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