Stephen King wrote, in Danse Macabre, back in 1981, something to the effect that horror on TV ranged in quality from the ridiculous to the workmanlike. This was, of course, before he became rather too involved with the medium himself. Things have improved since the, of course, but horror has yet to achieve the truly sublime on television, and this series certainly wasn’t that. It was, however, on the upmarket end of workmanlike, and some of these 15 episodes are pretty neat little eff…rts. The standout is, arguably, “You, Murderer.” Directed by Robert Zemeckis, its opening intro is a parody of the director’s Forrest Gump, and it then has the gall to cast Humphrey Bogart in the lead of a humorous murder tale. The whole thing is done in first-person perspective, à la Lady in the Lake, and co-stars John Lithgow, Isabella Rossellini and Sherilynn Fenn. Everybody has fun with the piece, including the audience, and, from beyond the grave, Bogart himself.
The 2.0 is the standard affair for a television production. There isn’t much by way surround sound effects, but the music makes up for this to a fair degree by being very active in this department. Sudden cues erupting for startling effect from the rear speakers may be cheap, but they’re used because they work, and they sound fine here. The dialogue occasionally suffers from a bit of distortion, but nothing too severe.
The picture is sometimes a bit on the soft side (looking better in the black-and-white sequences of the aforementioned “You, Murderer”), and there is some minor grain, perhaps to be expected in a series now already over ten years old. The colours too are decent, but sometimes a bit murkier than ideal. The blacks, however, look great.
The original EC comic story “Whirlpool” (adapted in episode 3) is presented in animated, narrated form, which is kinda neat. That, however, is the only extra.
Some enjoyable horror, some clever touches. A good, if not sublime, time.
Special Features List
- Whirlpool Virtual Comic Book