Archikulture Digest

The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone

Written by Rod Serling, Richard Matheson and Charles Beaumont

Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park, FL</strong>

We begin our Halloween coverage with the semi-recurring “Twilight Zone” series at the intimate Breakthrough Theatre. Our host tonight is the jittery Rod Serling (Aidan Bohan-Moulton); he’s ominous and twitchy, sort of like a sportscaster on the back side of a methed up whose trying to hide his one-air jonesing. Fours shows tonight, each a script adapted from the classic Sci-fi Weird Out series that some of us are just able to remember from the days when TV was cooler than Instagram.

“Night Call” (Dir. Tom Larkin) finds and elderly Elmer Keene (Bill Horine) terrorized by repeated phone calls with no voice, or just a distant howl. Telemarketing was years away and he’s demanding help form the phone company in the form of long suffering operator Miss Finch (Chelsea Lynn Scheid). His day nurse Margaret (Anne-Marie Ferraro) is concerned but can’t spend the night. Could it be the phone lines have FALLEN ON A CEMETERY? Yes, that was big scare in 1959. The apace is slow and the story seems to loop around repeatedly, but Elmer gets what we call “closure” these days but I can’t say this one was terribly scary.

“The Lonely” (Dir. Jim Cundiff) is a bit more promising, Exiled to a remote asteriod, Corry (Chris Prueitt) slowly goes crazy from boredom. Sympathetic supply pilot Allenby (Gary Norris) drops off a robotic companion (Erin Wagoner) along with the powerbars, it takes him a while to adapt to his new dynamic but ultimatley they bond. Too bad his parole ship is short on Delta V, he can’t bring the ‘bot home and it falls to some to brutally shoot old Yeller. While this is and old school sci-fi plot that’s been done a few dozen times, it still emotionally raw and leaves a small tear.

Done with Space and now on to Time, we find a man on death row in “Shadow Play”(Dir. Jennifer Rea). Adam Grant (Josh Breece) is sentenced to die at midnight for a mysterious crime, but is it a dream or just a plot driven time lock with extra hallucination sauce? His entire dream community joins in the debate, and Larry Stalling gets the governor to issue a stay of execution as s ort of one time experiment in the space time continuum. Today we’d call this a Multiverse problem and write learned papers on Sring Theory, but here it becomes the most visually compelling short with creepy face masks for everyone.

Dean Walkuski appears as the on-the-edge of postal dad Erich in “The Living Doll.” He’s burdened by credit card debt and an unhappy yet abusive relation with wife Annabelle (Sharon Barbour Tedder). She’s bought her daughter Christie (Sara Rintoul) a talking doll. Dad resents it, tries to toss it out and even pistol whips it, but you can’t fight the love of a small kid. Is dad going crazy? More psychological than the other shows, I’d like to know more about what brought Erich and his wife together and then drove them apart.

The horror and fear here comes from inside you mind and the dark showdowns that lurk there and it helps if you go in willing to believe, There are no gory severed limbs or ax wielding movie icons but you’re in a confined space with people trying to weird you out with mind games, and that’s pretty old school.

For more information, please visit http://www.breakthroughtheatre.com or look them up on Facebook.


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