Lights Out and Other Supernatural Tales 2005 Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
In its earliest days, television was considered to be radio with pictures, and many of the first tv shows were adapted from popular radio shows of the day. Like those radio shows, tv programs were mostly live performances. Visionaries like Desi Arnez produced all his shows on film thus preserving quality archives for posterity, but the live broadcasts were lost in the wind unless someone happened to film the show by setting up a camera in front of the monitor screen. This was called a kinescope and was of poor quality as one would expect. The microphone was leaned against the tv speaker and a bit of the picture was lost in assuring that the monitor itself was not in the frame. Lights Out was a very popular show on radio from 1934-1947. Each week it told of tales of horror or strangeness. In 1946 NBC TV aired four episodes of Lights Out in four specials that were well received by critics. They began broadcast of the show as a regular weekly series on 7/19/1949 with episode #005 ‘Edna Warren’. The last episode was #160 ‘The Hollow Man’ 9/29/1952.
There are only a few episodes known to have been preserved via kinescopes and 14 of these are presented in four Alpha Video volumes.
67 Beware This Woman 12/4/1950
84 The Mad Dullaghan 4/2/1951
88 Grey Reminder 4/30/1951
92 The Pattern 5/28/1951
96 The Passage Beyond 6/25/1951
99 The Devil In Glencairn 7/16/1951
102 The Faceless Man 8/6/1951
103 The Man With the Watch 8/13/1951
111 Dark Image 10/8/1951
112 I Spy! 10/15/1951
114 The Veil 10/29/1951
119 The Silent Supper 12/3/1951
121 Perchance to Dream 12/17/1951
133 The Upstairs Floor 3/10/1952
In Lights Out, volume one, Alpha Video includes only two episodes, #096 and #103 (the other twelve episodes are on volumes 2-4). To round out the disk there are two episodes of The Veil and a pilot for Witchcraft. The Veil (1958) Was an excellent and stylish series produced by Hal Roach Studios, hosted by and starring Boris Karloff. It told true stories of the supernatural along the lines of One Step Beyond. There were ten episodes filmed and presented to the studios but unfortunately no one bought it, and its sale is reputed to have been the only thing that would have saved Hal Roach Studios from bankruptcy. Image Entertainment presents all ten episodes of The Veil crisp and sharp in a two disk set. Witchcraft (1961) is an obscure black and white TV pilot narrated by Franchot Tone for an unproduced spooky/horror series. Neither Witchcraft nor The Veil were picked up probably because public interest was shifting away from ghosts and witches that were so popular in the 1950’s and turning toward science fiction or fantastic horror in the 1960’s with shows like The Twilight Zone or later, Boris Karloff’s Thriller.