Tony Marshall | Govanhill, Glasgow United Kingdom | 02/18/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Twilight Zone Vol.24 DVD, comes quite highly recommended if you are a fan of the more 'weirder' stories from the series.This DVD kicks off with one of the classics from the first season from March, 1960 and a great early performance from Roddy McDowall in 'People Are Alike All Over'. The story was originally written by Paul Fairman, but Rod Serling's teleplay about a journey to Mars that goes unexpectedly awry,certainly pulls out all the stops to make this one of the best remembered Zone stories with a terrifying but most certainly true ending. The DVD is worth a buy just for this story alone to add to anyone's collection.Next up we have one of the 50-minute episodes from the fourth season in January, 1963-'Valley Of The Shadow'. To me, this Charles Beaumont story stands out as one of his most strange epics throughout all his work on the entire series. Love it or hate it, you will find some great performances from a future all-star cast, namely Ed Nelson ('Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea'), James Doohan ('Star Trek'), Dabbs Greer ('Little House On The Prairie') and an appearance by the very young Suzanne Cupito who went on to change her name to Morgan Brittany and appear as one of the most-hated villianesses in Soap history as Katherine Wentworth in 'Dallas'. I very much like this story and it certainly is one of my favourite longer length episodes, about a newspaper reporter who unexpectedly drives into a relatively unknown town called 'Peaceful Valley', but it turns out it's far from a little bit more than peaceful in some respects. From the weird gadgets that the townsfolk use, to where the Mayor's office is situated with it's modern machinery down a strange staircase. This episode is also renowned for some great special effects-check it out...Finally, this DVD rounds off with another strange tale from the final season first screened in January, 1964 entitled 'Black Leather Jackets'. This one is from the pen of future 'Waltons' creator, Earl Hamner Jnr. and stars a young Shelley Fabares turning in a nice performance. Three bikers wearing the aforementioned title move into one of the luxury houses in a small suburb looking as though they are on a mission for someone from somewhere especially when they don't appear to move any proper furniture into the house with them. Not only that these three guys appear to have special powers of a kind! This is an up to date Twilight Zone story of the time introducing the rebel image of youth with their fashionable clothes and possessions which were symbolic for many teenage male of the late 1950's and early 1960's.So, there we have them-Three gems on a gem of a DVD of a gem of a series!"
Three ordinary episodes from a good series
Mark Holtz | Citrus Heights, CA USA | 01/30/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Volume 24 features three more episodes from the classic Science Fiction series...* "People Are Alike All Over" - (Eps. 25, aired 3/25/1960) In an early role, Roddy McDowell is a passenger on a crashed expedition to Mars. To his surprise, he finds the people there to be human, and just apparently just like us. Three stars.* "Valley Of The Shadow" - (Eps. 105, aired 1/17/63) Phillip Redfield, a newspaper reporter, in an attempt to take a shortcut suggested by a friend, ends up in a small town called Peaceful Valley, where the residents can do strange things. When Phillip discovers some of the town's secrets, the residents are determined to make sure he doesn't leave. A somewhat lackluster episode whose notable feature is a bit part of Star Trek's James Doohan playing the father. Two stars.* "Black Leather Jackets" - (Eps. 138, aired 1/31/64) Three tough yet strange bikers move into a peaceful suburb. Soon, strange things begin happens, however, the neighbors have absolutely no suspicion of how dangerous the bikers really are. Two stars.Overall, the prints are these episodes are very good, although expect some minor prints flaws due to the age of the episodes save for a line which runs through the beginning of the episode Black Leather Jackets."
Strangers visit three towns located in "The Twilight Zone"
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 06/14/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Places are strange all over might best describe the common element for this trio of episodes on Volume 24 of "The Twilight Zone" DVD series. "People Are Alike All Over," written by Rod Serling and based on the short story "Brothers Beyond the Void" by Paul Fairman, has an American space ship crashing on Mars. Warren Marcusson (Paul Comi), who believes people are alike all over, is killed, while Sam Conrad (Roddy McDowell), who does not share his comrade's optimism, is left to face the Martians. However, when the Martians appear they are human and use their telepathic ability to build Sam a house that looks like the one he had on Earth, he thinks that maybe everything will be all right. In "Valley of the Shadow," an hour-long episode written by Charles Beaumont, has Philip Redfield (Ed Nelson), encountering the strange little town of Peaceful Valley, where he learns that they have machines that create ham sandwiches out of thin air and bring dead dogs back to life, having learned the secrets of a miraculous power source from a visiting alien. Redfield thinks they should share this with the world, but the town elders give him a choice: stay in Peaceful Valley forever or die. Three men in "Black Leather Jackets" arrive in a small town on motorcycles, the first wave of an invasion force in this story by Earl Hamner, Jr. One of the aliens, Scott (Lee Kinsolving), develops a romance with local girl Ellen Tillman (Shelley Fabares), the others consider him a traitor. When the orders come into to poison the town's water supply, Scott tries to warn Ellen and the others of what is about to happen. This volume offers three solid episodes from the classic television series."
One of the worst of the Twilight Zone discs. Plenty of the
Tom Brody | Berkeley, CA | 05/27/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Twilight Zone Vol. 24 is one of the worst of the Twilight Zone discs. There are three stories, one of these being a 1-hour episode. The stories are not particularly original. They seem derivative of other Twilight Zone episodes.
The three stories in vol. 24 are outlined below.
PEOPLE ARE ALIKE ALL OVER. This story concerns a crash landing of two U.S. astronauts on a strange planet. One dies but the other survives. Too much time is spent showing them, trying to take care of each other inside the damaged spacecraft. This part of the episode does not develop the plot. The surviving man is put into a house that resembles the interior of a typical American home. Much more time should have been spent at making the U.S. astronaut comfortable with his new house, e.g., showing him enjoying typical comforts such as a T.V. game show, opening a bottle of Pepsi or a Schlitz, playing a game of Scrabble, watching sports, or playing the latest Elvis album. Unfortunately, the episode fails to develop the plot in a way that sets up the viewer for the surprise ending. Instead, the episode goes astray, and introduces a love interest, which tends to work against the surprise ending. There is a surprise ending, a fairly decent one. But the build-up could have been done much better. The theme of landing on an alien planet has been used in other Twilight Zone episodes, for example, ELEGY (vol. 20) and I SHOT AN ARROW IN THE AIR (vol. 18). TWO STARS for PEOPLE ARE ALIKE ALL OVER.
VALLEY OF THE SHADOW. This story concerns a man taking the backroads, with his dog, on the way to a city, during the course of a business trip. He gets lost and gets his car serviced in a small town. A similar theme can be found in the excellent NICK OF TIME (vol. 9) and the excellent WALKING DISTANCE (vol. 3). But VALLEY OF THE SHADOW is excessively tedious.
The hour-long plot is not a pleasant one to this the viewer. The man is forced into custody of a tribunal of three men who are rulers of the small town. A small girl has a tiny gadget that made the man's dog disappear momentarily. A pretty girl takes a liking to the man, but it is not certain whose side she is on (the man's side or the tribunal's side). Eventually, it becomes clear that she is on the side of the 3-man tribunal, as she tricks the man, when he tries to escape, into being recaptured. This episode belongs in the Tedium Zone. ONE STAR.
BLACK LEATHER JACKETS. The story is about three aliens, disguised as motorcycle hipsters. They talk the lingo of beatniks, saying things like, "Daddy-o." After moving into a house in a typical upper middle class neighborhood, we see their electronic equipment, and their T.V. screen, where they communicate with their leader, a big eye, and move forward with their plans to poison all earthlings. The neighbor's daughter, apparently about 17, enters as a love interest for one of the aliens. Eventually, the alien motorcycle boy decides that he loves the girl, and that it might not be a good thing to go through with the plan to kill everybody on earth.
But something is wrong here. The plot is too contrived. The girl is an excellent actor, and her father is too, but the three leather jacketed boys are not particularly convincing. They are too clean cut to be members of a threatening motorcycle gang. They don't smoke cigarets. They don't have greasy pompadours. They don't talk in the crude, non-grammatical way that motorcycle hoodlums talk. And most jolting, is that they attempt to talk "beatnik talk." While it makes a good story for an alien species would set up an intelligence base in an ordinary neighborhood on earth, it makes no sense that they would "disguise" themselves as a motocycle gang. The various themes, all going at once, in this episode are just too jumbled up, too much "thrown together," and too inconsistent with each other. ONE STAR.
*** *** *** ***
While reasonable minds might differ, I find that the best Twilight Zone episodes are those disclosed below. All of these are solid FIVE STAR episodes:
A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS (vol. 29). Dick York is a meek but up and coming bank employee. FIVE STARS.
PRINTER'S DEVIL and PERSON OR PERSONS UNKNOWN (vol. 32). PRINTER'S DEVIL is a 1-hour episode that really sizzles and cooks. Burgess Meredith stars as the devil. PERSON OR PERSONS UNKNOWN is about a man, a mid-level bank employee, who wakes up one morning and discovers that nobody in town can remember him. This episodes has an amazingly clever ending. FIVE STARS.
MR. BEVIS and THE SILENCE. These are two fine episodes from volume 39. MR. BEVIS features a charming Peewee Herman character, and his choice to remain quirky and childish, at the expense of his job and career. FIVE STARS.
NIGHT OF THE MEEK (vol. 2). An adorable Christmas story starring Art Carney.
KICK THE CAN, A GAME OF POOL, STEEL, and WALKING DISTANCE (vol 3). Volume 3 of the Twilight Zone has four excellent episodes. Volume 3 of Twilight Zone is a wondrous gift to humanity.
TO SERVE MAN (vol. 8). This episode is a true classic, on par with THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL ("Klaatu barada nikto").
JUDGMENT NIGHT (vol. 13). Several Twilight Zone episodes are World War II stories. From my watching experience, all of them are good, at least three stars. JUDGEMENT NIGHT may be the best of the WWII episodes, FIVE STARS.
THE FEVER and LIVING DOLL (vol. 11). THE FEVER concerns the transition of an upstanding, moral man into a gambling addict. LIVING DOLL features Telly Sevalas as a man trying to deal with his step daughter's doll (voice of June Foray, a.k.a. voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel).
A PIANO IN THE HOUSE, SHOWDOWN WITH RANCE McGREW, and THE BIG TALL WISH (vol. 26). Volume 26 is another stellar disc of Twilight Zone episodes. A PIANO IN THE HOUSE is an amazing psychological thriller. SHOWDOWN WITH RANCE McGREW is a comedy involving time travel. THE BIG TALL WISH is a story of a boxer and his small-town friends. NIGHT CALL is an amazing psychological thriller with a brilliant surprise ending.
ONE FOR THE ANGELS (vol. 14) is about a street peddler (Ed Wynn) who saves a little girl's life from the devil.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX (vol. 17) is about a T.V. set that shows the future, or shows secret things from the recent past, causing its viewer to be dismayed or in a panic.
TIME ENOUGH AT LAST and NIGHTMARE AT 20,000 FEET (vol. 2). TIME ENOUGH AT LEAST features Burgess Meredith in a story about the apocalypse. NIGHTMARE AT 20,000 FEET features William Shatner in an airplane trip.
NICK OF TIME and THE MIND AND THE MATTER are two winners from volume 9. NICK OF TIME features William Shatner, a young businessman who is just a little bit fond of superstitions. THE MIND AND THE MATTER features Shelley Berman, as an office worker who cannot stand the constant noise and small talk of his office co-workers. THE PRIME MOVER from volume 9 is a solid FOUR STAR show, featuring Buddy Epson (Davy Crockett's sidekick) in an episode dealing with gambling addiction.