FROM BEYOND TELEVISION: BATTLE STATIONS, FANTASY & FUNNY BUSINESS
NIGHT GALLERY Season 2 episode #26
I'LL NEVER LEAVE YOU-EVER/THERE AREN'T ANY MORE MacBANES
This episode highlights two stories both dealing with witchcraft. The first is incredibly atmospheric bearing resemblance to Bava's Wurdulak tale in his THREE FACES OF FEAR (1963) aka BLACK SABBATH. This first goosebumper is a period piece while the second is a modern creeper. Both add up to one of the best of the GALLERY's exhibits.
I'LL NEVER LEAVE YOU-EVER ****
Starring: John Saxon, Lois Nettleton, Royal Dano
Director: Daniel Haller
The wife of a deathly ill farmer longs to be with her secret lover. She seeks the assistance of an old witch to fashion a doll in his image, but soon finds getting rid of him to be a more difficult task than first thought.
Roger Corman protege, Haller, formerly an art director before tackling directing helms this EC enhanced tale of terror. Some of his genre product include the Lovecraftian DIE, MONSTER, DIE! (1965) and THE DUNWICH HORROR (1970). Haller immerses his segment in the fog encroached company of the best of Mario Bava. This segment is one of the richest in Gothic atmosphere. The scene where Nettleton tries to burn the doll is one of the most unsettling moments in the series.
John Saxon has been in pretty much everything as well as a massive trove of foreign productions including appearing in Bava's THE EVIL EYE (1963). Nettleton was the hot lady (in more ways than one) in the doomsday TWILIGHT ZONE episode, 'The Midnight Sun'. Royal Dano has been in dozens of movies and television shows in supporting roles as both good guys and bad guys.
THERE AREN'T ANY MORE MacBANES ***1/2
Joel Grey, Howard Duff, Mark Hamill
Director: John Newland
Arthur threatens to cut his eccentric nephew, Andrew MacBane, from his inheritance should he not obtain a job. Preferring his studies in witchcraft following in the footsteps of his ancient ancestor, Jedidiah MacBane. Obsessed with finding the ten missing pages from his ancestors book of spells, Andrew decides to summon a deadly demonic force to do away with his uncle, but is unable to send the evil back.
One thing fans will notice about a good number of NIGHT GALLERY episodes is how similar they are to certain episodes of Serling's TWILIGHT ZONE. For this segment, the story recalls the classic and horrifying ZONE tale, 'The Jungle' which also dealt with revenge from beyond. There are slight differences, but the similarities are unmistakable.
Fans may remember Oscar winning Joel Grey as master Chun from REMO WILLIAMS (1985). STAR WARS fans need not use the Force to spot a very young Mark Hamill in a small role as a messenger boy. Director, Newland helmed the TREK show 'Errand of Mercy', and the fan favorite television horror flick DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK (1973).
TUNE IN NEXT TIME FOR ANOTHER PROGRAM!