"The Veil" is a 1958 TV series which consists of only 10 episodes, and which is hosted by none other than the ultimate Horror icon, the incomparable Boris Karloff himself. As a huge fan of Classic Horror in general and Karloff in particular, I was looking forward to seeing the episodes quite a bit. Overall, I must say that I was neither disappointed nor exceptionally stunned. The series sure was a neat idea, and it is superb entertainment and great fun that I highly recommend for all my classic Horror buffs. And yet, expectations should not be too high. The episodes are entirely entertaining. They differ in quality, however, and while this is referred to as a 'Horror' series, it could be labeled 'Fantasy' and 'Mystery' just as well.
The episodes always behind in a highly likable manner, with a short introduction from Karloff, who is sitting next to a fireplace in what is presumably a castle hall. The stories narrated are supposedly based on true events, which Karloff always manifests in his introductions. As stated above, the particular episodes differ in quality. While episodes such as "Jack The Ripper", "Summer Heat" or "Girl on the Road" are eerie and intelligent little stories that deliver everything possibly desirable in only 25 minutes, some other episodes, such as "Genesis" or "The Return Of Madame Vernoy" are only enjoyable for sentimental reasons, as the entertaining, camp fun they are. Two of the episodes, "Jack The Ripper" and "Destination: Nightmare", were also released as TV-films in the same year. Additional to being the show's host, Boris Karloff can be seen in (sometimes small, sometimes bigger) roles in all episodes but one (the final episode, "Jack The Ripper" which nonetheless remains the best episode in my opinion). Karloff is, of course, superb as always, the performances from the other actors differ, but they were entirely decent. Out of more recent shows, "The Veil" could probably most adequately be compared with "Beyond Belief: Fact Or Fiction", with the difference that this show got a higher cult- and entertainment value, and the great Boris Karloff as a host. So, don't expect to be scared out of your pants by the mysterious little stories presented here, but prepare for several episodes of vintage fun with the greatest host imaginable. Recommended to lovers of enjoyable classic spooks, and particularly to my fellow Karloff-fans.
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