Monsters: Season 1, Episode 7

The Legacy (3 Dec. 1988)

TV Episode  -   -  Horror
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Dale finds the private sanctuary of Fulton Pierce, a famous, dead, horror actor. Dale can see Fulton's image in the old make-up case that was owned by the actor, and his life soon goes down a dark road.



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Title: The Legacy (03 Dec 1988)

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Episode credited cast:
Mary Ann Gibson ...
Kevin Jeffries ...
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Dale finds the private sanctuary of Fulton Pierce, a famous, dead, horror actor. Dale can see Fulton's image in the old make-up case that was owned by the actor, and his life soon goes down a dark road.

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3 December 1988 (USA)  »

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The Legacy
7 September 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

An author becomes obsessed with the work of "one of the greatest actors of all time", curious as to how this man, Fulton Pierce, was able to present such realistic characters. Dale (David Brisbin) believes he has located the cottage of Pierce, where he spent his last time on earth, staying there as the author hopes the setting will inspire him. Dale wants to be respected by his peers, thinking a biography on a cult icon could bring such accolades. In doing so, he alienates his beautiful model girlfriend, Debbie (the stunning Lara Harris) who appeals for him to drop this assignment and leave the premises of Pierce. Meanwhile, a spirit of some sort, that seems to live within a large wooden make-up case (with a mirror that reflects "characters" Pierce once portrayed) with the name of Fulton engraved inside slowly gains control over Dale, the characters (like Quasimoto) once portrayed by Pierce now finding a new body to make home. With a rather kooky plot and an unsatisfying ending, "The Legacy" leaves much to be desired. The idea of an actor becoming consumed by the roles he portrays I think does have merit, particularly for that breed of method performer out of the Lee Strasberg school, but the execution (I mean, come on, these arms of a madman who looks similar to Lon Chaney's killer from "London After Midnight", caught behind a small mirror, reaches out to choke Dale; it looks downright embarrassingly silly to the point that any impact such a menace might have goes right out the window) of "The Legacy" feels sloppy and hurried. Fragments of potential are visible (I'm not sure this was intended, but I thought the Fulton Pierce character was a description of silent film legend Lon Chaney, two or three of the characters presented are of roles he is known for), but as a whole the tale is lacking. I do consider this statement from Dale during the episode of Monsters, regarding the Fulton Pierce character having "a reservoir of magic he could tap into to become someone else" quite fitting for Chaney who had profound abilities to evoke some terrifying creeps and monsters, using make-up and torturous methods on his body for further effect. However, "The Legacy" spends a great deal of its limited time (the show looks cheap and the budget shows as many episodes feature characters in one location, often not helped by mediocre material and hampered by stories that lack strong storytelling) following Dale as he speaks into his tape recorder about Fulton's mystique, where his skill come from, and how these monsters he portrayed soon took on a life of their own, the performer overtaken by the characters to the point that his body literally transformed into the hideous and grotesque, this magic took him at a young age. I like that one part in the screenplay where a former lover (Dale interviews) talks about how she did not know where his *magic* come from, the secret died with him (if my assumption is correct, this is a nice comment on Chaney's legacy).

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