episode #32 - The Forms of Things Unknown

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episode #32 - The Forms of Things Unknown

Post  BoG on Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:15 pm

Air Date: 5/4/64

This really strange one began as a pilot for yet another weird TV series called "The Unknown," which would have been a spooky, 'Old Dark House'-type of scare series. That didn't happen and sci-fi elements were added to this, airing as the final episode of the first O L season. Others have described this a short art film in style or even an experimental one. It's interesting to watch just for the camera angles, the shadowy cinematography and the oddly poetic dialog (a commonality among many O L episodes, thanks to Joseph Stefano). It also benefits from a strong, almost all-star cast, who all give enigmatic, hypnotic performances, especially McCallum as the strange inventor.
Back from It Crawled Out of the Woodwork, Marlowe oozes sleaze and corruption as the villain of the piece, a slug who won't stay dead. Though he never actually does anything horrible, there's this anticipatory climate whenever he's in a scene, especially in regards to the two frightened women; their plot is essentially a remake of Diabolique. Hardwicke, playing an old blind man, does some fine character work here, though he's kept mysterious like everything else. Both of the actresses also do strong work, with Miles the resolute one and Rush the panic-stricken one. Style mostly carries this one, with the story of a character going back in time, before his death, almost a sidelight. BoG's Score: 7 out of 10
Outer Trivia:
for the role of the old blind man, first cast were Peter Lorre, then Joseph Schildkraut, both of whom died before filming. Hardwicke was then cast and died soon after, making this his last role.
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