Vera Miles is transported back in time to witness a murder.
"Matakitas is Coming" is a fun and spooky little chiller from the 1968 Hammer produced TV series Journey to the Unknown. The series was filmed in England with British actors and usually an American star, in this case Vera Miles. A mystery writer named June Wiley is researching the murder of a young librarian that took place in 1927 in the very library where she is conducting her research and as it happens exactly 41 years to the hour that the murder occurred. She becomes so engrossed in the material she is studying that she loses track of the time and doesn't hear the closing bell. June discovers that she is locked in the building with no one to let her out. The buildings heavy locked doors and locked and barred windows make the library just like a prison. June finds a young librarian named Tracy who has only recently joined the staff and doesn't know much more then June does about any possible escape routes. The young women admits to June that she has seen a creepy man wandering the stack areas and is terrified. June keeps hearing loud heavy footsteps echoing throughout the dark caverness hallways and spiral staircases of the Gothic building and the young librarian keeps disappearing and reappearing June attempts to telephone for help and comes to the horrifying realization that she has somehow been transported back to that September night in 1927, the night of the murder. June further realizes that all the eerie events seem to be circling around Tracy and that she must be witnessing a reenactment of the 41 year old murder with Tracy as the victim.
As a professional librarian for 35 years I have to admit that I dearly love scary library stories. I worked at two library branches that were supposed to be haunted. I have helped everyone from pimps to governor of the state. Lon Chaney said that there is nothing more frightening then a clown at midnight. Well I say that there is no place more scary then a deserted library at midnight, and I know.
Matakitas is Coming was tightly directed by the talented Michael Lindsay-Hogg who overcomes a teleplay with more holes in it then swiss cheese. I have always had a crush on Vera Miles and she comes through with a very believable performance as the lady in distress, June Wylie. Leon Lissek is a Peter Lorre type who portrays the title character Matakitas. The willowy Lyn Pinkney plays Tracy. The library building is the star of this piece, however, and it does an outstanding job!The episode was by far the best of the series.
Matakitas is a G-rated flick but its a pleasant way to spend a chilling 50 minutes. Just suspend your disbelief and enjoy the moment.
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