|Index||5 reviews in total|
First let me say that Thriller is one of my all-time favorite anthology
series on TV. Many of the stories give me goosebumps and chills some
almost 50 years later. The Blair Witch Project was just the opposite. I
saw it once in the theater with a lot of folks like me drawn in by
comments like "Scary as hell" Peter Travers Rolling Stone. When the end
came as it built like something would happen, nothing did. It was a
shame because everyone took a breath and some might have been scared,
but I wasn't. It never scared me and rarely creeped me out. I heard
some say they had trouble sleeping, but I slept like a baby after
seeing it. Just for fun, I made a list of shows and films that scared
me more than it did and after a while I had to stop for it was going on
and on with no end in sight. I had silents from the 20's,talkies from
30's and 40's, not to mention the 50's,60's,70's and 80's. Many
episodes of thriller were scarier to me than BWP, so there.
However, I am here to comment on the Prediction. Honestly to me it was certainly not an average episode. I thought it was very enjoyable yet very sad. I was very involved emotionally and that was one of the reasons it was given a nine. One reviewer mentioned the relationship between Mace and his assistant being like father daughter and it was this relationship that scored so heavily with me. This relationship was at the "heart" of the story and gave it it's "heart"! IMO both Audrey Dalton(who I thought was lovely)and Boris nailed their performances and made me believe in the story. No, not a lot was explained about the supernatural aspects, and that could be a slight flaw, but since when is it necessary to explain everything? I also thought all the players did well with their parts. Maybe I am stupid, but to me it wasn't too predictable, and the ending ripped at my heart. For me it was sad and tear filled at the end. Anyway, my two cents.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The popular "Thriller" series hosted by horror legend Boris Karloff ran
from Fall 1960 to Spring 1962 on NBC and made an impact on lots of kids
during its day, including a young Stephen King, who has called it "the
best horror series ever put on TV." Unfortunately, of the 60+ episodes
that were made, only six of them were officially released. This, along
with "The Grim Reaper," "The Incredible Doktor Markesan," "Masquerade,"
"The Premature Burial" and "The Terror in Teakwood" were all issued
(separatly) on VHS in 1996 by MCA/Universal. And sadly, that was it.
Even though some (bootleg) sites offer the entire series on DVD-R, this
has yet to see the legitimate box set release it deserves. "The
Prediction" (episode 10 of the first season) was directed by John
Brahm, who previously made the very good Jack the Ripper-inspired THE
LODGER in 1944 and the hard-to-find Vincent Price vehicle THE MAD
MAGICIAN ten years later, and would go on to direct 12 entries of the
"Thriller" series. This particular episode is also noteworthy for being
the first and only time in Season 1 where Karloff got to host AND play
a major acting role in the story.
"The Prediction" opens with a comic stage act from Clay Mace aka "Mace the Mentalist" (Karloff in a fake beard, turban and cape), from all indications a phony psychic for entertainment purposes only, who ends up seeing something horrifying about to occur at a boxing match. His premonition comes true and a fighter is accidentally killed. Karloff's pretty young stage assistant Maureen (Audrey Dalton) is in love with handsome Grant (Alexander Davion), but her no-good, alcoholic father/manager Roscoe (Alan Caillou) - who's riding off his daughter's coattails - disapproves of the union. Mace has another cryptic vision about the father being murdered after collecting money from the boxing-match-gone-awry and it also comes true. Now free to do as she decides, Maureen decides it's time to move on and start her life with Grant, who has just gotten a lucrative job offer in Italy. Unfortunately for them, Mace has yet another premonition about someone getting killed on their trip there. Soon after Maureen and Grant leave, Mace convinces his manager Gus (Abraham Sofaer) to try to catch up to the couple before it's too late.
Though watchable for the most part, with a little suspense at the end and a (rather predictable) twist ending, this episode wasn't nearly as good as the other "Thriller" episode ("The Incredible Doktor Markesan") I watched this evening. On the plus side, the performances are decent. Karloff and Dalton's relationship is done in a rather touching father-daughter sort of way, and the two actors play off one another well, but the supernatural aspects are half-baked and not so satisfying. No explanation is given as to why Karloff's character suddenly develops strong ESP abilities, while there's also no explanation why the deaths and accidents are suddenly happening with such regularity (there's also a bit where Karloff saves Sofaer's live from a falling sandbag).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
****SPOILERS*** Boris Karloff doesn't only host this "Thriller" episode
but also stars in it as Clyton Mace known professionally as "Mace the
Mentalist" the man who can see into the future.
Knowing that it's all an act one evening Mace suddenly does see into the future in that a boxer in a match scheduled that evening is to be killed in the ring. Trying to prevent that from happening Mace sends his good friend Roscoe Burton, Adam Caillou,to the armory where the match is to be held to get it stopped. Burton interested in making money off Mace's prediction bets against the doomed boxer and end up winning 100 pounds when he's killed! Depressed at what happened and in being accused of profiting in the boxers death Mace is ready to quite his act when he sees that Burton who's been drinking himself blind with his winnings will be murdered that evening. Sure enough that happens exactly as Mace predicted it with him getting both rolled and murdered outside the bar!
It's later while doing his act of predicting the future Mace sees that not only his daughter and assistant in the act Norine, Audery Dalton,is going to elope with her lover Grant Dudley, Alexander Davion, but she'll end up getting killed together with him in a flaming car crash! Trying to keep Norine and Grant from making their fatal ride Mace together with his manager Gus, Abraham Sofaer, drives out on the highway that both Norine & Grant are traveling on to prevent that from happening.
****SPOILERS**** Mace knew that there's nothing he can do to change his prediction of the future. Soemone has to die that evening on the rain slick highway but by putting his life on the line in order to stop it Mace in fact did somehow prevent that from happening. Not by him preventing anyone from being killed but changing the identities of those that did! Boris Karloff as "Mace the Mentalist" showed what a pro he was in making the more or less average "Thriller" episode an effective eye opener. And it was Karloff's great performance that even inspired the members of the cast to put more believability into their performances just by sharing the same stage with him.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After watching Boris Karloff host the first nine episodes of
'Thriller', it was cool to see him finally take a leading role in this
tale of a phony mentalist who suddenly acquires the power to see the
future and a series of violent deaths. Citing the seer Nostradamus and
uttering mumbo-jumbo about the vibrations of the cosmos, Clay Mace
entertains his customers by tapping that psychic plain of the eternal
now. I know a lot of folks go for this kind of stuff, and listening to
Karloff's delivery, you almost believe it yourself.
Eventually, the premonitions involve lovely assistant Norine Burton (Audrey Dalton) and her fiancé Grant Dudley (Alex Davion), but ever the gallant gentleman, Mace has no intention of standing in the way of their happiness. However his vision of a twisted sign on the road to Edinburgh causes alarm, and the race is on to prevent a tragedy.
Depending on one's point of view, one could explain the ending as a tragic accident or the sacrifice of a man who accepted fate for the hand it dealt him. Either way, you could make the case that Karloff's character accurately predicted that this would be a Thriller.
"The Prediction," the tenth episode of THRILLER, became the only first season entry to feature host Boris Karloff in an acting role. As phony stage mentalist Clayton Mace, Karloff begins to have real flashes of tragic events for others before they happen, but cannot foresee his own fate. Playing Mace's assistant, Audrey Dalton would reappear in two future episodes ("Hay-Fork and Bill Hook" and "The Hollow Watcher"), again working with Karloff six years later in an episode of The Wild Wild West ("The Night of the Golden Cobra"). Abraham Sofaer has a sympathetic role as Mace's manager (and a less sympathetic one in "The Weird Tailor"). Actor Alan Caillou would also reappear twice more("Hay-Fork and Bill Hook" and "The Specialists"), while also scripting a pair ("H-F and B H" and "The Terror in Teakwood"). Director John Brahm does what he can with a script that comes off as more a crime entry than horror. Brahm had already helmed "The Watcher," going on to do some of THRILLER's best remembered shows.
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