Two years before Thriller, Boris Karloff hosted The Veil, a never-broadcast ten-episode pilot of a TV horror anthology for the Hal Roach Studios in 1958. Boris also starred in nine of The Veil's ten episodes, making this a... more » rare treat for Karloff fans. This special double-disc set includes all ten 26-minute episodes, directed by such genre luminaries as George Waggner (The Wolf Man) and Herbert L. Strock (I Was a Teenage Frankenstein), and starring such familiar faces as Patrick Macnee (The Avengers), Robert Hardy (Psychomania), Niall MacGinnis (Curse of the Demon), Clifford Evans (Kiss of the Vampire), Morris Ankrum (Earth vs. the Flying Saucers), Eve Brent (Gun Girls), and even a young George Hamilton. So please join Boris Karloff for another journey into the world of the unexplainable which lies behind...The Veil.« less
Michael R Gates | Nampa, ID United States | 11/24/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although superficial similarities make it tempting to regard the Hal Roach Studios ten-episode series pilot THE VEIL as a sort of trial run for the later TV series THRILLER (a.k.a. BORIS KARLOFF'S THRILLER), that is really an inaccurate and unfair comparison. It's true that both shows are hosted by venerable horror star Boris Karloff and that he appears in several of the dramatizations--in fact, he appears in all but one dramatization on THE VEIL--and it's also true that both series deal with the supernatural. But unlike the stories presented on THRILLER--which are completely fictional horror stories, many based on previously published works by popular horror and science writers of the 1950s and early 1960s such as Robert E. Howard, Robert Bloch, August Derleth, Cornell Woolrich, and the like--the stories on THE VEIL are presented as "true" stories about real people who have had a brush with supernatural phenomenon like ghosts, reincarnation, psychic prognostication, and similar spooky irregularities. But true or not, the stories on THE VEIL are, of course, purely dramatic "reenactments" with no scholarly research or backup information provided to the audience, and it is therefore more accurate to see THE VEIL as a precursor to the more contemporary THE X FILES rather than as a dress rehearsal for THRILLER.That said, THE VEIL is certainly an entertaining anomaly from television's golden era, and its high-quality production values makes one wonder why it wasn't picked up as a regular series. In fact, the show per se was never broadcast. However, in the late 1960s, 10 years or so after the original production, blocks of three or four episodes each were hastily stitched together--ironically, much like the Frankenstein monster character that originally made host Boris Karloff a star--and licensed to local TV stations for broadcast as movies on late-night TV. So this two-disc DVD from Something Weird video is likely the first time THE VEIL has been made available to the general public in the show's original 10-episode format, and Karloff fans, horror fans, fans of THE X FILES, and, yes, even fans of THRILLER should find the show very enjoyable, and most will want to add it to their DVD collections.Whether due to restoration or just because the source material was rarely used, the picture and sound quality on the DVD set is just fantastic! The liner notes include a synopsis of each episode, as well as some interesting historical background material about the show. Bonus materials on the discs themselves include a few episodes of 13 DEMON STREET, a foreign-produced TV show in the same vein as THE VEIL and from the same era. That show was hosted by Lon Chaney, Jr., and the production quality is obviously not as high as that of THE VEIL. Indeed, the source used for the DVD transfer is washed and sometimes jittery, but the episodes are, if nothing else, interesting for their historical value.This DVD set is a must-own for Karloff fans and for those who have a strong interest in or love for classic television. Fans of more contemporary shows like THE X FILES and MILLENNIUM may also enjoy THE VEIL, especially in light of the fact that shows like this are the true progenitors of the modern fare."
Quite a Surprise
Bill from CA | California | 05/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had never heard of this program before I found the DVD an Amazon, and decided to order it. When I finally viewed the programs, I was quite surprised at a number of things.1. The prints are very high quality, especially considering that this was a 1950's made for TV series.2. The series was never broadcast. This is amazing considering that the episodes could have easily been in One Step Beyond or Twilight Zone if you blinked and missed the opening credits. More to the point, The Veil predates both of its more well remembered cousins.3. They made 10 episodes as opposed to a pilot and one or two other shoots. As such, there is enough material here to really give the viewer a feel for what this series would have been had it been picked up by one of the networks at the time.4. Appearances by actors you know. For example, Patrick Macnee (later of Avengers fame) plays a constable in one episode.5. Karloff's range in the various roles. Having only really having seen Boris in Frankenstein and a couple of Thrillers, I didn't realize how deeply talented he was. You get to see him in a variety of roles here, and when he needs to look menacing, he does, usually through facial expressions and body language. But it left me with the opinion that he was a brilliant actor.
Bottom line is that if you like Twiliight Zone, One Step, even X Files, this is a must have. You''ll never get to see it on TV, and it's a fun DVD to watch with the family."
A must for Karloff fans, a curiosity for everyone else
A. Gammill | West Point, MS United States | 09/29/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Something Weird Video scores another mini-triumph (after Monsters Crash the Pajama Party) with this rare and strange collection. If you're a fan of Boris Karloff, there's no question you must have this 2-disc set. Karloff is not only the host, but appears in most of the episodes. Comparisons to The Twilight Zone are inevitable; but the tone of the show more closely resembles Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The quality of the scripts and acting varies wildly, making the series a mixed bag. On the technical side, the picture looks crisp and clean, and the audio is acceptable for a mono recording. A special bonus: 2 episodes of the equally obscure 13 DEMON STREET, hosted by a haggard Lon Chaney Jr. Personally, I hope SWV will go ahead and release the full Chaney series. Overally, an impressive presentation of a Lost Not-Quite-Classic."
Dan Rexx | Nowhere | 09/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you enjoyed old TV shows such as Thriller (clearly inspired by this show), Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Hitchcock Presents you cannot miss this rare release.
The DVD quality is very good and the box comes with a little booklet presenting all episodes. Also it includes all the episodes ever released (plus few episodes of anothere series).
A Great Box not to be missed either by the casual viewer and the collector!"
A Great Treat for Karloff Fans
pestcomics | Long Island, New York USA | 12/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a fan of horror legend Boris Karloff then this collection of 10 episodes of the never-aired 50s TV series "The Veil" will be a wonderful addition to your DVD collection.
All 10 episodes dip into the world of the paranormal (think "One Step Beyond"). Although the episodes offer a mixed bag of quality, at 25 minutes they move along quick enough to make even the mediocre stories tolerable.
Unlike his 60s anthology series, "Thriller," Karloff hosts AND stars in almost all the episodes. What is great about these shows is that they allow Karloff to play a wide variety of character roles. After watching a few shows you will come to realize what a superb actor he really was. With a few subtle changes of clothing and hairstyle he moves from character to character like a chameleon. From wheelchair bound invalid to gruff sea captain to kindly old Italian country doctor he is brilliant in every role.
Something Weird Video has done a superb job of packaging this obscure series. In fact, the presentation here is better than many more famous TV series releases. If Universal ever releases "Thriller" on DVD I doubt they will go the extra mile Something Weird did with "The Veil." The episodes are collected onto two single sided disks (do you hear this Universal?) and you get detailed liner notes with an overview of the whole series and info on each episode.
I debated purchasing this DVD collection for nearly 6 months but am quite pleased I got it. Highly recommended for Karloff fans."