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Don't Open Till Doomsday


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This has to be one of my favorite episodes. The tale of frustration involved with a decades long coitus interuptus is told wonderfully by Joseph Stefano. Both monsters are equally hideous, the monster of Mrs. Kry, played wonderfully by Miriam Hopkins, in her oversized "box" called a mansion, as well as the glob monster in its box. My favorite scene, although there are many, has to be when Vivia is being sucked into the box by the monster. Stefano conveys such a vivid sense of suffering and horror all without the need for gory special effects. All that is needed to make the scene work is the muffled sounds of Vivia as she's slowly sucked inside. Easily one of the more disturbing scenes from the series. Another favorite scene of mine is when Mrs. Kry is looking straight into the box, her hideous eye even more terrifying than the monster inside, pleading with Harvey to do what the alien wants him to do. The fact that she calls him a "heartless mountain of good" immediately reminds the audience of the shapeless mountain of the creature, thereby equating the hero of the story with the villain. What the control voice says about evil's necessary perfection is easily demonstrated throughout the entire episode; from the newspaper story that provides the motivation Dr. Spazman has for giving the box to the newlyweds in the beginning, (Harvey Kry Sr. demanded Spazman's expulsion from the science academy after Spazman's claims of an alien invasion--see the fine print on the newspaper under the headline) to the alien creature's unfamiliarity with time and space, cosmic forces that even the profound evil of the story cannot control and is not immune to. Toward the end of our story, the role of the monster is shifted onto Mr. Balfour, with his cold question of "How do I get out of here?" and then suddenly correcting himself to "How do we get out here?" What's most tragic about this story is that it seems to be saying that sometimes the only way to defeat evil is with evil. Take Harvey Kry, Jr. for instance. He spends decades stuck inside the box with the creature, simply because he refuses to aid it in its mission. His stalwart resistance to cooperation in any degree whatsoever earns him only continued captivity. However, when Mr. Balfour arrives, he simply deceives the creature, thereby causing it to meltdown and end the tragic lives of the Krys and everything else around it, thus breaking Harvey's cycle of captivity, albeit with the end of his existence. It's as if Stefano is saying that being good all the time is as non productive as evil is in imperfect conditions. In any event, the messages of sexual frustration and decaying morality are served up deliciously in this tale, and I fully recommend this episode to any sci-fi lover. I find that old sci-fi is much more satisfying to watch than the newer stuff they put out today, simply because of stories like this one. Plus, you gotta love those old bugged eyed monsters. Much creepier than the cg monsters they have on channels like Sci-Fi nowadays. Also, nothing beats the writing of Joseph Stefano.

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