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Night Gallery: Season 2
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The second season of Night Gallery offers 22 more terror-filled tours for those "whose tastes in art run lean towards the bizarre," as host Rod Serling described its viewership; a wealth of extras spread across the set also makes this sophomore journey into darkness a worthwhile one for series devotees and TV horror fans in general. Though Serling was the face and frequent author of Night Gallery's episodes, his creative control over the series was fading by the second season (1971-1972); frequent clashes between Serling, the network and producer Jack Laird over the tone and direction of the show left the acclaimed television scribe feeling powerless over a series that used his Twilight Zone pedigree as its calling card. And while the hit-and-miss nature of the second season is unquestionable--episodes like "The Flip Side of Satan," "Professor Peabody's Last Lecture" and "Hell's Bells" are embarrassingly bad, as are Laird's short comic vignettes--but there are an equal number of terrific and memorable stories to be found in the set as well. Chief among them is the Serling-penned "The Caterpillar," a gruesome tale of revenge that stands as one of the most horrifying tales ever presented on television; Serling also provided the moving Christmas fable "The Messiah on Mott Street," which features one of Edward G. Robinson's last screen appearances, as well as "Class of '99" with Vincent Price and "The Academy," with a surprising and effective turn against type for Pat Boone. Other standouts include two H.P. Lovecraft adaptations, "Cool Air" and "Pickman's Model," and "Silent Snow, Secret Snow," which earns its chills from a combination of dreamlike visuals and narration by Orson Welles. For a show disregarded by critics and fans of Serling's early work (as well as by the man himself) the second season of Night Gallery offers more than its share of small-screen scares. Nearly all of the 22 episodes from Night Gallery's second season are contained in this five-disc set; two comic shorts, "Witches' Feast" and "Satisfaction Guaranteed," are missing or presented incomplete, respectively, though their absence has little to no impact on the set's value. Scott Skelton and Jim Benson, authors of the invaluable companion guide Rod Serling's Night Gallery: An After Hours Tour, provide a wealth of background information on the show in audio commentaries on three episodes, while director Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth) discusses the show's influence on his work in fascinating detail on three additional episodes. Revisiting The Gallery: A Look Back is a half-hour featurette that includes interviews with show contributors ranging from director John Badham and theme composer Gil Melle to actress Lindsay Wagner, while Art Gallery offers a glimpse at the show's evocative paintings with commentary by their creator, artist Tom Wright. A small battery of TV promos for the show round out the exemplary set, which should please fans who were disappointed by the lack of material in the first season presentation. --Paul Gaita
Top Customer Reviews
Universal has included some generous bonus features, including a 30-minute documentary, a menu of Tom Wright's superb paintings for the show (with commentary by the artist), and six episode commentaries: three by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro ("Hellboy II: The Golden Army," "Pan's Labyrinth"), throwing light on the series' influence, and three by Scott Skelton (me) and Jim Benson (co-authors of the series companion "Rod Serling's Night Gallery: An After-Hours Tour"), offering cultural and historical context and a general appreciation of the show. For the true believers (and lovers of the macabre), this release is a godsend.
Virtually all of my favorite episodes reside in this collection, beginning with
The Academy,that is absolutely chilling and you find yourself shifting around in your chair wanting to be far away from it...the recalitrant son of the businessman who is having the guided tour, in hopes of improving his son's outlook, is in for a very different education.
I enjoyed The Diary primarily to watch the excellent performance by Patty Duke, reminiscent of her Neely O'Hara role in Valley of the Dolls. She does a great interpretation of a female you would never want to meet.
Camera Obscura is my number on all time favorite episode ever; Ross Martin and Rene Auberjenois are fabulous in their respective roles and the story is wonderful, Ross Martin is a collector par excellence and when he tries and fails to reform Auberjonois's greed in his zeal to collect his debts (by use of practices which can only be described as usury) from an impoverished friend of Martin's, Martin shows Auberjonois one last item in his collection: A camera obscura.
And last but not least of my favorites, The Caterpillar, starring Laurence Harvey and Joanna Pettit, when Harvey is so bedazzled by her beauty he schemes to get possession of her by any means available.
These shows represent the best of the best, and each one is a brilliant stand alone study of human (and sometimes inhuman) nature in all its forms. When I saw these episodes when they first came out, I was absolutely enthralled; I never missed a show and watched them every time they were on like it was the first time; never dreaming that someday they would all be available to watch as often as I wished in my own home. What a treat!!!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I remember these from being a kid and staying up late to watch them with what ever older brother (usually) or sister I could whine and beg into it. Kinda like the Twilight Zone. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Wildkat
I bought seasons 1 and 2 so far. Watched all of season 1 and most of season 2. I liked more of the episodes in season 1 better than 2. Read morePublished 2 months ago by E. MCDONOUGH
Why can't I stream this?!?!? That's what I bought Prime for!!!Published 2 months ago by Paul A. Schmidt
Excellent product! Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a quality interlude of tasteful entertainment.Published 4 months ago by grafdog
Not as good as the first season and many short stories that do not make much sense.Published 5 months ago by LUVSERIES69
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