Night Gallery: Season 3, Episode 16

Die Now, Pay Later (1973)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Drama, Fantasy, Horror
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Sheriff Ned Harlow thinks that the skyrocketing death rate in town is tied in to funeral director Walt Peckinpah's January clearance sale.



, (short story)
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Episode credited cast:
Walt Peckinpah
Sheriff Ned Harlow
Himself - Host


Sheriff Ned Harlow thinks that the skyrocketing death rate in town is tied in to funeral director Walt Peckinpah's January clearance sale.

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Release Date:

1973 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Never shown during its network run, this segment aired in syndication. See more »

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User Reviews

Jack Laird's odd vision
4 June 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I do consider myself a fan of Night Gallery's funny segments for the most part, but I've read that these segments have come under scrutiny, and that Rod Serling wasn't exactly happy with the direction of this controversial series. From what I read on this site, this particular short segment was only shown in syndication(say that 3 times fast), so someone involved in the show probably didn't like it, but I thought it was actually decent, and had star power with both Will Geer(Sam Peckinpah)and Slim Pickens(Sheriff Ned Harlow). Back to the story, it begins with a cool painting, and a Rick Wakeman-esque style of organ music playing at a funeral. Funeral director Peckinpah is having a clearance sale of everything in his business, and it turns out that many locals in town are dying in a rather bizarre coincidence. Very early on, Harlow is seen begging and/or yelling at his old friend to end the sale in order to stop this coincidence, and he seems to think that it's more than just a coincidence, considering that Harlow's wife, Etta, believes that a distant relative of Peckinpah's was a warlock many years ago, although neither man really believes her. There's a black cat clumsily hanging around, then seen walking and meowing, and the same scene repeats itself a few times, and every time we see the cat, cheesy sinister music plays, so it's safe to assume the cat is evil, but the segment is so short that we don't get any answers. The scene I'm about to explain is where I can see how fans lament Laird's writing this show as a comedy instead of horror; as the men are discussing ending the sale, Harlow gets a call from Etta, but what we hear are loud and silly noises, kind of like the teacher in any Charlie Brown cartoon, as we don't know what's being said as we hear rambling. As soon as Harlow hangs up the phone, Peckinpah mentions something about perhaps having the sale just one more day, to which his old friend agrees. For the next scene, guess who was found dead in her car? I'm not telling, but it's an easy answer. All in all, I thought this segment was worth airing back then, as I've seen several worse episodes of the Night Gallery, and this was probably better than average, although not a great one when you consider the added comedy aspect which wasn't really needed.

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