Kung Fu: Season 2, Episode 21

The Nature of Evil (21 Mar. 1974)

TV Episode  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Western
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Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) and blind preacher Serenity Johnson (JOHN CARRADINE) choose a path toward a confrontation with evil when they encounter a man possessed by the devil in his own dual nature.


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Episode complete credited cast:
The Hanged Man
Shelly Novack ...
Barbara Colby ...
Kelly Thordsen ...
Mule Jesse
Robert Donley ...
Bartlett Robinson ...
Larry Robb ...
Poker Player
Dan Magiera ...
Poker Player # 2 (as Dan Mageira)
James Weatherill ...
Poker Player # 3


Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) and blind preacher Serenity Johnson (JOHN CARRADINE) choose a path toward a confrontation with evil when they encounter a man possessed by the devil in his own dual nature.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

21 March 1974 (USA)  »

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Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Carradine's blind preacher, Serenity Johnson, previously appeared in episode 2 "Dark Angel." He would play the role again the following season in the episode "Ambush." See more »


Serenity Johnson's well-worn tarot cards are from the world's most popular tarot deck created by A.E. Waite and drawn by P.C. Smith, which was first published in 1910 in England. Kung Fu takes place in the old West of the 1870s, about 40 years before the deck was published. See more »


The Hanged Man: You BORE me, Caine!
[These are his last words; he does the rest of the talking with his gun and, when he runs out of bullets, he goes after Caine with any handy and deadly weapon until he gets too close and Caine kicks him into an acid tank]
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User Reviews

John Carradine returns in a genuinely chilling tale of horror
12 August 2010 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

John Carradine returns as Serenity Johnson, the blind preacher from episode 2 "Dark Angel," currently living in Ninevah, a tiny community held in the grip of fear by a mysterious stranger without a name, identified only as 'The Hanged Man' (Morgan Woodward). Serenity has posted a reward for the murderer of his mute assistant Sunny Jim (played in the previous entry by Robert Carradine), who was brutally ambushed for his gold, his head nearly twisted off his body. No one is willing to talk, and silently waiting in the local saloon is Bascomb (Shelly Novack), a bounty hunter tracking the killer himself. Just when Bascomb meets his adversary face to face, the deformed stranger cleverly provides a distraction by showing him the WANTED poster of Kwai Chang Caine... A genuine horror episode (another would be "One Step to Darkness"), graced by the presence of Morgan Woodward (previously seen in "Sun and Cloud Shadow"), unrecognizable behind heavy makeup, depicting the botched hanging by a vengeful mob that tried to lynch him. In trying to forget, he maliciously murdered Sunny Jim in cold blood, supposedly because the poor lad wouldn't speak to him (being mute of course, he couldn't speak). Always hiding in the shadows, he waits, gun in hand, at the local soap factory, where the unarmed Caine must stand alone against him. Keye Luke's Master Po advises on the nature of evil, the opposite of good, and the great John Carradine, David's father, provides another masterful performance as the blind preacher, a role he would repeat once more in the third season entry "Ambush." At no other time did he portray a character that was blind, and he totally convinces, especially in a tense confrontation with the taunting killer.

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