15 “Twilight Zone”episodes with the most shocking twists! Episode #7…

Episode #7 is… Shadow Play (Season 2, Episode 62) On YouTube!

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I absolutely love this episode! It was so good they remade the same episode in the 1980’s version of “The Twilight Zone.” A lot of good things came from the 80’s and the re-made version of “The Twilight Zone” is not one of them! Don’t waste your time! Unwatchable with no hint of the original storytelling we love from the 60’s.

Just go back and watch the original. It is excellent and has one of my favorite endings of all time. The twist isn’t that shocking because you pretty much expect it, but the way they lead up to it is ingenious. They also put a little sub-twist in there, so if you do figure it out, you will at least smirk when you see how they go about revealing it. I mean, this is some old “Matrix” type storytelling and Harold Ramos obviously was aware of this episode when he and Danny Rubin wrote “Groundhog Day.” The whole dream versus reality thing is masterfully implemented in this episode. I love the subject matter and Rod Serling obviously did too because he created a couple of episodes on the same theme.

But “Shadow Play” is definitely the best of its kind by far. The only reason it scored lower is because there are 7 other twists that are way more shocking. So I have to keep to the theme of this blog and put this one lower due to the lack of shock value. But this episode is definitely in my top 5 of best “Twilight Zone” episodes ever. It is a great, complex story that keeps you thinking about it for days after. Hell, I still catch myself thinking about it every now and then, admiring how amazing the story is.

The description- We open up with Adam Grant who is convicted of murder. The trial has just ended and Adam is sentenced to death. The problem is, Adam believes this whole trial is a reoccurring nightmare he is having while asleep. He adamantly tries to convince those about to execute him that the world around them is all in his head and he refuses to die again. He claims that the district attorney and lawyers are all people he has known in his past and are playing parts in his dream.  So every time he is executed, he wakes up screaming and then has the same dream, that starts right from the death sentence, all over again. He obviously wants this to stop, due to the lack of sleep he is experiencing.

Of course everyone thinks he is nuts until he starts to show them the odd way the trial runs. He explains that if this is not a dream, then why is he tried, prosecuted and put to death all in the same day? The district attorney is the only one who listens to him. So Adam spends his whole night trying to convince the lawyer that this is all a dream, so he will stop the execution and Adam will not have to have this nightmare ever again.

I will say no more. That should be enough to get you interested, if not, then I don’t know what to tell you. All I can say is this episode is fantastic! It’s so good you will probably watch it again! I know I did. “Shadow Play” is truly a “Twilight Zone” episode. When Rod Serling describes the unknown mystery of space and time, he is describing stories like this one.

Also,  don’t forget to come and take “A Seat on a Train.” If you like twists, then come and support my television series by watching the 1st episode “Out of Place” at http://www.aseatonatrain.com

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15 “Twilight Zone”episodes with the most shocking twists! Episode #8…

Epsiode #8 is… Twenty Two (Season 2, Episode 53) On YouTube!

Twenty Two

“This is Miss Liz Powell. She’s a professional dancer and she’s in the hospital as a result of overwork and nervous fatigue. And at this moment we have just finished walking with her in a nightmare. In a moment she’ll wake up and we’ll remain at her side. The problem here is that both Miss Powell and you will reach a point where it might be difficult to decide which is reality and which is nightmare, a problem uncommon perhaps but rather peculiar to the Twilight Zone.”- Rod Serling

Sorry folks, I missed the last 3 days due to visitors. I tried to get all my posts in but just couldn’t find the time. We will just start off right where we left.

“Twenty Two” is another Twilight Zone episode that suffered from the cheap cuts made by CBS. This is another example of great, creepy Serling content that has been hurt by low production value and lack of funds. “Twenty Two” is very scary in it’s form now, I couldn’t imagine how powerful it would have been if it had the proper production value and money. This is one of the main reasons I scored “Twenty Two” so low.

Now, this episode scored higher than the previous because it is pretty scary.  One of the scariest Serling ever wrote, in my opinion. The twist had to be ground breaking then and it probably shocked  the hell out of the viewers at that time. But as with a lot of Rod Serling’s content, it has been copied and done over and over again. You are probably pretty familiar with this type of twist, so don’t blame the episode, blame the directors, writers and producers who decided to beat this theme to death.

Other than that, you are in for a real treat. The music and images in this episode creep me out still to this day. There’s something about this episode that really scares me. Even the low quality filming adds to the suspense in this one. The dream sequences are really weird and spooky.The best thing about “Twenty Two” is it keeps you guessing. You wonder where it is going and even if you figure out the twist, the episode is so well done, you will just keep on watching. Then to add to it all, the actress they chose to be in the dream sequences is really eire looking. She was perfectly cast for this role and adds to the thrill of the episode.

The description- Liz Powell, an over-worked professional dancer, is in the hospital. We learn that she has been having the same recurring nightmare which is freaking her out. In this nightmare, Liz thinks she has woken but is still sleeping and dreaming. She goes through the same steps every time including knocking a full glass of water off her night stand. Following that she would hear foot steps and would go to the door to investigate.

As she exits her room she sees an elevator, and notices a nurse getting on it. The Nurse’s face is hidden in the shadows, but Liz sees her clearly as the elevator door closes. Liz sees the elevator floor indicator panel, which shows that the elevator has gone to the basement of the hospital. Liz rides the same elevator to the basement. She gets off the elevator, and approaches a room with a set of swinging doors. The word “morgue” is printed on the doors, and over the doorway she sees the number “22”. The strange nurse then emerges from the room and says: “Room for one more, honey.” Liz screams, waking up in the hospital bed.

Now Liz feels the dream is real and is convinced the nurse from her dream works in the hospital. Even when the doctor shows her the nurse that isn’t the one in her dream, Liz still believes it’s real. But what the Doctor can’t figure out is how Liz knows about the Morgue in room 22 down in the basement. Especially since she’s never been down there.

I will say no more. “Twenty Two” is really fun and unsettling. Even if you do figure things out before it’s revealed, you still will get some goosebumps when it’s revealed. A definite must see and a good example of how creepy Serling can get.

Don’t forget to come take “A Seat on a Train” at http://www.aseatonatrain.com  Come see Spencer, an obsessive compulsive writer who finds that the objects around him are not the only things that are “Out of Place.”

15 “Twilight Zone”episodes with the most shocking twists! Episode #9…

Episode #9 is… The Howling Man (Season 2, Episode 41) On YouTube!

The Howling Man

This episode is a nice treat for the religious minded. Rod Serling’s stories usually dabble in war, science and the human condition. He never really likes to get into religion, only the unexplained.

Knowing that, it doesn’t shock me that “The Howling Man” is the 1st episode in Season 2 not to be written by Rod Serling. Being episode 41, it goes to show how much Serling liked to write his own content.

“The Howling Man” is a perfect example of good old folklore combined with a creepy atmosphere. Right from the beginning it gets you excited with thunder, lightning, howling and intense, disturbing music. It reminds you of the old Dracula and Werewolf films, getting you into the mood with a dominant narrative voice.

The description- “The Howling Man” opens with an older David Ellington informing you about a story that has to be told, for the sake of mankind. He reminisces about a rainy, thunderous night, just after WWI. David is lost in Europe, drenched in the rain, exhausted and desperately seeking shelter.

He stumbles upon a large castle and knocks on the door. A strange man in an old religious robe answers the door. David pleads with him for a place to stay, but the man refuses. David goes to walk away but collapses.

He wakes up in an old castle room, which resembles a monk’s cell. He hears this disturbing howling from down the hall. He goes to investigate and sees this man locked in a cell, with an old wooden staff used as a lock.

The man in the cell pleads with him to let him out. That the Brother Jerome, who is keeping him there, is crazy and a part of a cult. He claims they have imprisoned him for kissing his girlfriend in public. Believing the man, David goes to lift and remove the staff, but Brother Jerome stops him and takes him to his quarters.

There he explains that he is not imprisoning a man in the castle. David accuses him of lying, referencing what he saw. The Brother insists the being in the room is not a man, but the Devil himself. He explains that the Devil is near impossible to catch and the only reason he accomplished this impossible feat, was by recognizing he was the Devil in the first place. He tells David that man can not recognize the Devil and that is how he alludes us. David wonders how you keep the Devil when you catch him. Jerome explains it is possible if you lock him in with the staff of truth. The Devil can’t get out because the truth keeps him in.

Well, of course the episode comes down to should David believe the man and let him out or believe the Brother and keep him locked up. If he isn’t the Devil, then why doesn’t he let himself out! The twist that follows is clever and the way they reveal it is genius, considering the special effects of that time.

I will say no more. This is a perfect episode for halloween, especially to watch with the whole family. It is classically creepy, has a great folklore theme and the ending doesn’t disappoint. A twist that will take right back to the beginning of the episode with the now wiser narrator.

Hey, did you know I have a television series I wrote? You can catch the first episode of “A Seat on a Train” at http://www.aseatonatrain.com. Watch how I pay homage to the great classic series “The Twilight Zone.”

15 “Twilight Zone”episodes with the most shocking twists! Episode #10…

Episode #10 is… Third From the Sun (Season 1, Episode 14) On Netflix!

third from the sun

This episode is really different from all the others. Kind of reminds me of an Alfred Hitchcock episode. The filming is weird, the characters are kind of off and the patterns are strange. Even the phone and objects around the house are just a little different from normal. Close to normal, but just not quite.

That is what makes “Third from the Sun” so genius. Right from the beginning, it is setting you up for a twist. It really is masterful all the way around. It keeps you wondering and you’re not so sure what the hell is going on. You know there is a plot but not sure where they are going with it. The music and filming make you feel unsettled, building the tension until they drop the big bomb on you.  Then it all makes sense. I mean it all comes together, all at once. It even makes sense of the title, which I never got until I finished the episode. It really is a remarkable story and I’m kind of second guessing putting it so low. Oh well, I chose it to be here and did it for a reason.

The Description– The world is coming to an end! Wil Sturka, a bomb scientist, has been forced to produce a lot of H-bombs to prepare for an inevitable nuclear war. Wil has a plan to escape on a rocket ship with his family and his co-worker Jerry Riden. Jerry has a planet they can go to and live in peace. The problem is they only have that night to leave before the end of their world and to top it off, their supervisor is on to them. He over heard them planning and is now trying to catch them in the act.

I can say no more than this, the music and filming really makes this an intense episode to watch. You will scratch your head as you watch but will still be glued to the screen. But when that twist hits, I guarantee you, you will nod in satisfaction. This episode is giving the twist away every minute of the film, that’s what makes it so great. But what is even more remarkable is, you won’t figure the twist out, no matter how hard you try. Yeah, it’s that good!

Check out something else that is pretty damn good. The first episode of my television series “A Seat on a Train.” If you love “The Twilight Zone” then why not come and take “A Seat on a Train…” at http://www.aseatonatrain.com

15 “Twilight Zone”episodes with the most shocking twists! Episode #11…

Episode #11 is… The Lateness of the hour ( Season 2, Episode 8) On Netflix!

The Lateness of the hour

“The residence of Dr. William Loren, which is in reality a menagerie for machines. We’re about to discover that sometimes the product of man’s talent and genius can walk amongst us untouched by the normal ravages of time. These are Dr. Loren’s robots, built to functional as well as artistic perfection. But in a moment Dr. William Loren, wife and daughter will discover that perfection is relative, that even robots have to be paid for, and very shortly will be shown exactly what is the bill.”- Rod Serling

Rod Serling always loved to do episodes about robots. I really do think he would be disappointed that we have not developed the human robot today. His episodes about robots would be copied and expanded upon in so many films and tv shows we see today. Movies like “Short Circuit,” “Terminator” and “2001 Space Odyssey” all have elements of the classic Twilight Zone episodes.

But Rod Serling gets really deep in this episode that he also wrote. He attacks a couple of themes like, “can robots believe they are really alive” and “could robots take over by doing everything for us. In turn, fearing humans may become obsolete through their own laziness.” These are themes that amaze us as audiences. Some of the biggest, best Sceince fiction films have followed these themes. But this episode is one of the first and it really shows us what a genius Rod Serling was. So you have to respect it because it was one of the first of its kind. Also it has a really cool twist, well actually two twists and it has some really creepy moments that make your skin crawl.

Yeah, I really like this episode. I think the only reason it scores so low on this list is because CBS got really cheap and decided to replace film with video recorders, used for live news casts and such. So the quality is very low and stagy looking because recording on video just doesn’t have that necessary depth and quality that film has. Well, thank god they came to their senses and stopped this awful way to save a buck. But unfortunately some really great Twilight Zone Episodes suffered! It is really sad! Because it really kills the mood and quality of these episodes. This episode and “Long Distance Call” are fantastic episodes and if they were shot properly like the others, they would have ranked at the top with the best. They still are amazing though and they definitely have their moments.

The Description– Jana, the daughter of a genius inventor is upset. She feels like a prisoner in her own home. She feels due to her father’s genius inventions that they have become lazy and dependent on their robot servants. See the father has invented robots that look, act and sound like regular human beings. These robots do everything for them, while they enjoy a nice peaceful, relaxing life.

Jana hates her father’s inventions and wants to be rid of them. She feels they are trying to take over by making the family dependent on them. She begs her father to destroy all of them. Well, after threatening to run away, her father finally complies. He dismantles all of the unwilling robots.

Now free of the servants, Jana is happy. She wants to go out and explore. She wants to see the world. She wants to find love and give her parents a grandchild. But she will soon discover that getting rid of her father’s inventions is not as easy and simple as she thought…

I can say no more. I really think I said a little too much but I will leave it a that. This is a great episode and I think you just may get a few chills up the spine at the end. The twist is pretty creepy. Well, I thought it was at least. So get ready to make a stop into Rod Serling’s mind and one of his favorite subjects when you take a journey into “The Twilight Zone.”

Don’t forget to check out “A Seat on a Train.” See my passion come to life with the first episode “Out of Place” at http://www.aseatonatrain.com  Who will take a seat next…

15 “Twilight Zone”episodes with the most shocking twists! Episode #12…

Episode 12… People Are Alike All Over (Season 1, Episode 25) On Netflix!

People are alike all over

This Episode is a great introduction into the mind of Rod Serling! If you don’t know much about the man himself, Serling was a very politically motivated man. He loved to bring attention to the horrors of this world and of course the weaknesses of man. He was very anti-war and anti-corporation. Some good examples of his ideology are movies like “Patterns” and “A Carol for another Christmas.” If you haven’t seen “Patterns” rent it! It is way ahead of it’s time and really attacks the greedy Corporations.”A Carol for Another Christmas” is not as good but shows Serling’s disdain for war.

Not many people know this, but Serling was a WWII hero. He earned three medals, including the Purple Heart. He fought in a platoon that was labeled as the “Death Squad” because of its 50% casualty rate.  He was injured numerous times but always went back to fight more! He was pro-war before fighting in WWII  but after seeing all his buddies die, reversed his position drastically. You will find that this point of his life was where he really built his views on people and the world. I love that he changed his position after the war. Shows that he was a very open minded man who was not afraid of being wrong.

Well, this episode is a perfect example of Rod Serling’s  mistrust of the human race. “People are alike all over” was adapted by Serling from an old short story written by Paul W. Fairman. This episode is exactly what it is titled as and has a nice little twist to prove it’s point. I really do love the message in this episode. The reason it scores so low on this list is because I feel the story and the characters are a little weak, therefore the twist doesn’t pack the punch it should. It is very clever, but something never sits right with me with this episode. I feel the ending and the twist are perfect, but the story that leads up is just too weak. Anyway, enough of my criticisms, let’s get to it…

The description– Two men are on a mission to Mars, but the space ship crashes and one of the men, Marcusson, is gravely injured. Conrad, a scientist who is a complete cynic, doesn’t want to open the door to the space craft, fearing what awaits him outside. But Marcusson, a man of faith and God, wants the door opened. He believes that God made everyone in his image, so if there is intelligent life out there, they will be just like man and of course, help them. Well, Marcusson never recovers from his injuries  and dies on the space ship. So, Conrad decides to keep the door closed and wait for help from Earth.

But suddenly the door begins to open itself. A paranoid Conrad grabs his gun and waits for the inevitable. But to his surprise,  Marcusson was right, the Martians are not aggressive as feared and actually look a lot like him. They even have a way to communicate like humans also. So the skittish Conrad decides to trust them and accept their invitation to visit their civilization.

When they reach civilization, to Conrad’s surprise, the Maritans welcome him with a house similar to what he is used to on Earth. He has all the amenities… even television, Scotch and cigarettes (typical priorities of Rod Serling.) Conrad has everything he could ever want, but everything in life comes with a price. Conrad soon discovers that Marcusson hit the nail right on the head when he stated that people are alike all over… But he also confirms that his fears were not so ridiculous after all, when he takes a journey into “The Twilight Zone.”

I will tell you no more. I may have even told you too much! But I will tell you this, the twist is not at all predictable. It’s actually really inventive and says so much about us as people. This episode is well worth the watch and the twist will not disappoint you. But the real reason to watch “People are alike all Over,” is for its message! The message really hits home and will have you thinking for days.

If you would like to see a great story, message and twist I created, just come and take “A Seat on a Train” at http://www.aseatonatrain.com  Tell me what you think of my story and if it reminds you of “The Twilight Zone.”

15 “Twilight Zone”episodes with the most shocking twists! Episode #13…

Episode #13… Night of the Meek (Season 2, Episode 47) On Netflix!

Night of the Meek

This is Mr. Henry Corwin, normally unemployed, who once a year takes the lead role in the uniquely popular American institution, that of the department-store Santa Claus in a road-company version of ‘The Night Before Christmas‘. But in just a moment Mr. Henry Corwin, ersatz Santa Claus, will enter a strange kind of North Pole which is one part the wondrous spirit of Christmas and one part the magic that can only be found… in the Twilight Zone.

Yes folks, I had to do it. It’s getting around that time and this is such a great episode for so many reasons. This is one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes. Not only does it have a warm, fuzzy twist at the end, it also has that rare ability that only a handful of movies truly have the ability to do… that is put you in the Christmas spirit!

Yes, this episode is so good, it has that magical ability. The sounds of sleigh bells, christmas music, people shopping, even that great old movie sound that makes you think of classics like “The Bishop’s Wife,” “Scrooge” the 1972 version with Albert Finney and of course, don’t forget, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  You know I’m doing my top ten favorite movies that put you in the Christmas spirit! I will get anyone in the Christmas spirit! I am a Christmas fanatic! I do all the traditions and dream of the next holiday coming. I even get depressed and a sunken heart feeling when it’s all over. Yes folks, I am that much gone. Anyway, back to the movie.

But yes, this is a great episode, with a great cast and a cheerful theme. The twist is not a shocker, that is why this episode ranks so low in this category. But trust me, this is the only category this ranks low in… Well, it wouldn’t rank at all in the scary categories… you know what I mean…  So lets get to the Episode.

Episode description– A down and out drunk Henry Corwin gets tossed out of a bar dressed up as Santa on Christmas Eve. He stumbles to his mall Santa Claus job drunk and an hour late. After a customer complains, Henry is fired from his job. Henry stumbles down the street seeing all the poor in shelters and homeless kids on the street. He says if he had one wish on Christmas Eve, he would want “the meek to inherit the earth.”

Then suddenly he stumbles upon a sack. He opens it and it’s full of presents. He discovers that this sack is magical and gives people what they ask for. So naturally, the selfless Henry starts acting as Santa and giving out presents to all who need. He skips around making everyones’ Christmas wishes come true. But this does not come without a price. For the police and the department store manager want to know where he got all these goodies he’s handing out. But when they take the sack to the police station, all they find is a sack full of garbage…

I will tell you no more! I can’t! I will spoil it! Now, I understand if you want to wait till Christmas to watch this, in fact, I recommend waiting. I have been watching each episode before I write about them on this blog, but I didn’t do that with “Night of the Meek!” This episode is too special and close to the heart. It is only allowed to come out on the most special holiday ever, with which celebration begins after Thanks Giving for me. No earlier… No later…

Also, don’t forget to check out “A Seat on a Train.” Let me know if you think it is like “The Twilight Zone.” Let me know what you think at http://www.aseatonatrain.com