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    • Man With No Name: A Nanashi Novella April 20, 2017
      Man With No Name Written by: Laird Barron Published by: Journal Stone (March 2016) Series: Nanashi Novella Paperback: 106 pages ISBN-10: 1942712863 ISBN-13: 978-1942712862 ASIN: B01ATOL62M Where to buy: Journalstone, Amazon.com (print), Amazon.com (e-book), and other fine book retailers. Publisher’s Comments: Nanashi was born into a life of violence. Delivered from the streets by the Heron Clan, he […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh: The Follow-up Interview September 25, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, I know… it has been a while. This year has been a trying one for me and I have been dealing with some “real life” stuff…  scarier than anything I post here. I apologize for our absence. But it was brief this time. Now that “real life” is levelling out, we are […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Now available: The Lovecraft eZine 2014 Megapack! August 10, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, So for the brief week off. But I had a case of life. I was on a bit of a mission and it went quite swimmingly. But fear not wicked ones. I am still here to bring you the strange and spooky! Today we have some news from a wonderful ezine […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • A Conversation With Craig Yoe August 1, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, Today I was fortunate enough to sit and have a chat with the wonderfully fascinating creative genius, Craig Yoe. Craig and I met at HeroesCon this summer when he accepted an award at The Inkwells on Steve Ditko‘s behalf (sort of). I was beyond thrilled when this incredible talent agreed to […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh —- The Review! July 29, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day seven of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director – Edward Martin III – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and Thursday’s interview with Sean Strauss […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh: Interview (/Happy-Hour) With Actress Tara Walker July 28, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day six of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director –Edward Martin III – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and Thursday’s interview with Sean Strauss – […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh: An Interview With Director of Photography Ryan K. Johnson July 27, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day five of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director – Edward Martin II – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and Thursday’s interview with Sean […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh – Zombies Need Love Too July 25, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day four of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director – Edward Martin III – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and yesterday’s interview […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh – An Interview With Documentarian and Location Manager Sean Strauss July 24, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day three of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director of the film and yesterday’s article written by yours truly!  Today we will be talking with […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh – Through The Eyes of the 2nd Assistant Director – Madness, Mayhem, and Love July 23, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, Welcome to day two of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out yesterday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director of the film.  Today you get to hear me ramble on about my time on the set. […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt

50 Years of The Twilight Zone: A Howling at Owl Creek Bridge

Hello Ghouls and Boils,

Thank you for joining us this week for our 50-years of The Twilight Zone celebration. Once a week – for the rest of the year – I will share my thoughts on one of my favorite TZ episodes. This week I will discuss “A Stop at Willoughby” – come back Friday to read all about it. In the meantime I am happy to present a bonus Twilight Zone article written by our guest Minion (I mean writer) Jason V Brock! He will be discussing two classic episodes. Enjoy my fiends!

Abstrusely,
Sarah L. Gerhardt

A Howling at Owl Creek Bridge – written by Jason V Brock

howling

The Twilight Zone Original Series Episode 41
The Howling Man
Original Air Date: 4 November 1960
Written by: Charles Beaumont
Director: Douglas Heyes
Producer: Buck Houghton
Director of Photography: George T. Clemens
Music: Stock
Cast:
David Ellington: H.M. Wynant
Brother Jerome: John Carradine
The Howling Man: Robin Hughes
Brother Christophorus: Frederic Ledebur
Housekeeper: Ezelle Poule
Watch the episode >here<

Brief Synopsis:

“The prostrate form of Mr. David Ellington, scholar, seeker of truth and, regrettably, finder of truth. A man who will shortly arise from his exhaustion to confront a problem that has tormented mankind since the beginning of time. A man who knocked on a door seeking sanctuary and found instead the outer edges of the Twilight Zone.”

The Howling Man is the story of a peculiar religious sect that has imprisoned a very strange man in the remote mountains of post-WW I Europe. A stranger (David Ellington) happens by and feels pity for the captive, ultimately releasing him. In the end, the prisoner turns out to be Satan, and Ellington lives to regret the harm that he has caused to rest of humanity. It is a powerful story, with its roots firmly in the tale of Pandora and her box… but sans Hope.

“Ancient folk saying: ‘You can catch the Devil, but you can’t hold him long.’ Ask Brother Jerome. Ask David Ellington. They know, and they’ll go on knowing to the end of their days and beyond…in the Twilight Zone.”

Full episode recap and thoughts:

Written by Charles Beaumont, this is a brilliantly conceived and structured cautionary tale. Beaumont was the second most prolific writer on The Twilight Zone after Rod Serling. Some of his episodes are among the best known of the series: Perchance to Dream, Miniature, Printer’s Devil. And, of course, The Howling Man.

In comparing the short story to the teleplay, there are numerous differences, but Beaumont’s mastery at adapting himself allows him to depart from the original narrative and to establish the visual elements for television in an indelible way. The show is well shot, with powerful performances all around (particularly from Wynant and Carradine), and the impact of the camera angles lends a disorienting and alarming aspect to this parable. Especially effective are the asides where the fourth wall is broken, and the audience is addressed directly. This technique really pulls the watcher into the action, and makes one feel almost complicit in the terrible deeds as they unfold.

As author John Shirley (Bleak History) has pointed out “The Howling Man is a very [powerful] metaphor… it is the struggle to contain our own animal nature…” (yes, I am paraphrasing). Shirley is right: the id/ego conflict is at the very core of the story. Beaumont, as was his custom, pulled it off with chilling aplomb, crafting one of the most haunting and thought-provoking episodes of a series that had no shortage of them…

***

oc

The Twilight Zone Original Series Episode 142
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
Original Air Date: 28 February 1964
Written by: Robert Enrico
Based on a short story by: Ambrose Bierce
Director: Robert Enrico
Producer: Marcel Ichac and Paul de Roubaix
Director of Photography: Jean Boffety
Music: Henri Lanoe
Cast:
Peyton Farquhar (Confederate Spy): Roger Jacquet
Mrs. Farquhar: Anne Cornaly
Union Officer: Anker Larsen
Watch the episode >here<

Brief Synopsis:

“Tonight, a presentation so special and unique that, for the first time in the five years we’ve been presenting the Twilight Zone, we’re offering a film shot in France by others. Winner of the Cannes Film Festival of 1962, as well as other international awards, here is a haunting study of the incredible, from the past master of the incredible, Ambrose Bierce. Here is the French production of ‘An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge’.”

The American Civil War: a man stands on a bridge about to be hanged. He his tied up, the noose is put around his neck, and he is dropped… only to have the rope break. He lands in the water, and is able to affect a daring escape in broad daylight. He wants nothing more than to be reunited with his family, and runs through the night to get back home… As he is about to embrace his wife and child, the rope breaks his neck: he had imagined the whole scene in the instant between falling and his neck snapping.

“An occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge—in two forms, as it was dreamed, and as it was lived and died. This is the stuff of fantasy, the thread of imagination… the ingredients of the Twilight Zone.”

Full episode recap and thoughts:

This fine French short subject is an adaptation of an excellent story by that master of the weird, Ambrose Bierce. Bierce was a well-known eccentric and his own demise has been the source of near-constant speculation since he walked into a dusty street in Mexico one day in 1913 and vanished without a trace.

The fascinating idea of time compression/dilation is well explored and brought to amazing life in the original story (I highly recommend reading it; it’s a great one), and is effectively captured by this short film. The acting is well done and wholly believable, and the premise is pure Twilight Zone. The observer is really pulled into the plight of this man by getting to the heart of what really matters to him (as it does to most of us): his family. He is not concerned with medals or bravery: he just yearns for the soft touch of his wife, and the happy sound of his child’s voice. This is powerful stuff, and has all the gravitas that one expects from a top-flight show such as the Twilight Zone. This was the final episode of the series to be put together (it was slightly re-edited, and Serling was filmed for inclusion for its introduction), but not the last to air. It also won an Academy Award in 1963 for Best Live Action Short Film. Difficult to see, as the original contract stipulated that it could only be aired twice, it is worth seeking out, and is included on the Image Entertainment DVD box set as an extra.

***

I hope you have enjoyed reliving these episodes as much as I have: Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone has been a big part of my life. My wife Sunni and I have gotten to know Richard Matheson, George Clayton Johnson, William F. Nolan, John Tomerlin, Ray Bradbury, Earl Hamner, Marc Scott Zicree, Roger Anker, John Shirley and many others as part of doing our film, Charles Beaumont: The Short Life of Twilight Zone’s Magic Man. I know it will continue to be a big part of our lives in the future, and I heartily recommend seeing, studying and – most of all – enjoying these masterworks of modern storytelling.

Jason V Brock – Guest Minion (Writer)

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