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The Twilight Zone - The Monsters are Due on Maple Street

episode 1.22

USA 1960
produced by
Buck Houghton, Rod Serling (executive) for Cayuga Productions/CBS
directed by Ron Winston
starring Claude Akins, Barry Atwater, Jack Weston, Jan Handzlik, Amzie Strickland, Burt Metcalfe, Mary Gregory, Jason Johnson, Anne Barton, Leah Waggner, Joan Sudlow, Ben Erway, Lyn Guild, Sheldon Allman, Bill Walsh, Rod Serling (narrator)
written and series created by Rod Serling

TV-series
Twilight Zone, Twilight Zone (classic series)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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After what looks like a meteor passes Maple Street (and earth with it), the energy in the whole street goes black - including cars and batteries, I might add. Now this gets the whole neighbourhood in a bit of a panic, slight panic though, but Steve Brand (Claude Akins) volunteers to act as the voice of reason and go to the police station to try and learn what's going on. Tommy (Jan Handzlik) on the other hand claims that this is just the first stage of an alien invasion, and the neighbours are qick to agree with Tommy ... thing is that Tommy is just a 10 year old kid who freely admits to having learned everything he knows about alien invasions from comicbooks - but after neighbour Les Goodman's (Barry Atwater) car comes on for no apparent reason, the others are looking for quick answers and quickly grow tired of the voice of reason. Everyone is now quick to accuse Les of being in league with the aliens, and when Steve tries to calm everyone down, he is only accused to be a collaborator as well. Then lights go on in random houses along the street, which totally freaks out the neighbours, so much so that one of them, Charlie (Jack Weston), shoots someone just passing through dead without warning. Charlie has so far been the main agitator against Les and also Steve, but now that the others find out that he didn't shoot an alien (as he claimed) but a neighbour from a few blocks away whom they all knew, he becomes the target of his neighbours' wrath, and when he tries to put the blame back on Tommy, the situation only escalates - when all that caused the chaos was nothing but a freak power outage ... or was it?

In fact, the power outage was caused by a couple of aliens (Sheldon Allman, Bill Walsh) who want to invade earth, but in order to do so they figured man has to fight his fiercest enemy - himself.

 

One of the most ambitious and also best episodes of Twilight Zone, inasmuch as it is not just another science fiction tale with roots in 1950's Commie-paranoia, but a sharp yet accurate satire of the same. While in most 1950's paranoia movies and TV-shows, it is the aliens aka commies that make up some devious plan to invade an overly idyllic representation of smalltown USA, here it's smalltown USA that devours itself once it gets thrown just a tiny bit off balance. Sure, the throwing-off-balance is still the work of a couple of aliens, but they are not exactly presented as the baddies of the piece, which might just as well be the inhabitants of Maple Street themselves, who willingly throw themselves into chaos at the tip of a hat, and somehow that leaves you wondering if Maple Street doesn't deserve to be invaded ...

Recommended!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD