Thriller (1960–1962)
5.7/10
135
10 user 2 critic
An 11-year-old boy neglected by his father gets so caught up in his fantasy world that he takes a real rifle to hunt down his made-up enemy, the evil Black Bart.

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Himself
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Bart Hattering
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Tom Nolan ...
Hank Hattering (as Tommy Nolan)
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Fisherman on Mountain
George Werier ...
Fisherman in River
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Storyline

A lonely boy becomes perilously lost in fantasy, as his parents spar over raising him, then debate separating. In a mountain cabin for the summer, the mother and son battle boredom, while the father pounds out magazine articles in his room. When the father's too busy to take his son hunting, the boy (Tommy Nolan of "Buckskin", later a magazine writer) sneaks out on his own with a loaded rifle, pursuing the villain of his fantasies - Black Bart. Back in the cabin, the mother reveals that the son was booted from summer camp, for shooting an apple off another camper's head. Written by David Stevens

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20 September 1960 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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When Hank takes target practice on some cans and bottles after crossing the waterfall, you can hear his third shot go off before he pulls the trigger. See more »

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User Reviews

 
No Murderous Dolls Here (Or anything else of Interest)

For some reason, the makers of most Horror anthology TV series seem to have the unexplainable urge to throw in dramatic episodes that handle topics such as marital problems and lack of parental attention instead of delivering Horror. This was also the case with "Child's Play", the second episode of "Thriller", a show hosted by the great Boris Karloff in the early 1960s. Most of the early episodes of the series aren't really Horror but mystery/crime stories; this one however, is pure drama, and a very boring one I may add.

The episode is about a 12-year old boy who, after being ignored by his father, debauches in fantasies so extensively that they become dangerous. This might be an interesting premise; however, the episode mainly focuses on endless conversations between the mother and father which are both cheesy and so boring that they are hard to endure. The father is a total jerk, the mother is hysteric and the son is annoying. The only interesting part about the story, the boy's obsessive fantasies, are so unlikely that they are simply ridiculous. Supernatural stories do not need to be realistic, but they should have a certain inner logic. Children are not idiots, and they do not confuse stories with reality out of the blue, just because daddy gives them too little attention. The most interesting thing about "Child's Play" is the fact that it shares its name with a popular 80s Horror film. The only reasons to see this episode are Boris Karloff's introduction or the wish to see all episodes of the series. I'd recommend any other "Thriller" episode over this one, especially the later ones in which the episodes became Gothic Horror tales instead of rather un-mysterious mysteries such as this one.


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