Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Thriller a Day...

For years I've been awaiting a reissue of the sixties TV show Boris Karloff's Thriller on DVD. I'd only seen a handful of episodes from this much-lauded horror/dark suspense show -- and most of 'em were courtesy of third-generation VHS dupes that made the show look like it was filmed through an old sock. I had maybe twelve episodes on three tapes, and one of them was eaten by my buddy Joe Lansdale's VHS player when he borrowed it to watch the Pigeons From Hell episode. Don't you hate it when stuff like that happens?

Good news -- both season of Thriller are now available in a spiffed-up DVD boxed set. Better news (for me, anyway) -- my bride preordered that sucker, and last weekend we watched several episodes. So far we've seen one clunker, one medium clunkerish, a couple that were really solid and fun, and two real knockouts. And what fun to catch actors like Richard Kiel, William Shatner, and a whole bunch of folks you wouldn't expect (like Donna Douglas, a.k.a. Ellie Mae Clampett) on this show. Not only is Thriller vintage stuff, a lot of it's stuff I've never seen... with Boris Karloff, the grand old man of horror and an idol from my monsterkidhood.

I'm sure I'll blog about a couple of episodes as I get a chance. But, hey, it turns out someone is already doing that... and they aren't messing around. A couple of old buddies, Peter Enfantino and John Scoleri, have a blog going called A Thriller a Day, with lots of great tidbits, commentary, and debate about the show. If you were around back in the day, you'll remember Peter and John as editors of The Scream Factory, and they bring the same wit, love of horror, and solid writing to the blog as they did to their late, lamented magazine.

Of course, I'm not reading each individual posts until I've seen the episode it's about. I won't be watching one Thriller day, but I bet I'll make it through the set by Halloween... or pretty close to it.