Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Creepy TV: The Veil (1958)

Horror legend Boris Karloff serves as host and also stars in the anthology series, The Veil. Ah, but here is the rub. The Veil never made it to television, although, according to sources, about a dozen episodes were produced by Hal Roach, Jr., as this was meant to be a spin-off from another Roach anthology, Telephone Time, which had aired on CBS & ABC. Roach had tried to sell it to the networks, then to syndication, but couldn't get any takers.

It wasn't until a number of years later that the series would end up on DVD. How? Episodes compiled into feature films had fallen into public domain, and those compilations would make up the DVD. The failure of The Veil really wasn't the fault of Roach, Karloff, or anyone else associated with the project, in this writer's opinion. Even if it had made it, The Veil probably would've been overtaken just the same by Rod Serling's Twilight Zone.

Take for example "Destination Nightmare". Karloff opens the show, but then we see him in character, clean shaven for a change. This suggests that the intro was filmed separately from the body of the episode.

Now, I'll grant you that the story could just as easily have been told elsewhere, and variations on it probably have. Roach was a prolific producer in the 50's, but most folks associate the name with his father, whose genius gave audiences Our Gang (aka The Little Rascals), as well as Laurel & Hardy, among others. As a result, Hal Roach, Jr.'s body of television work often ends up in the discount DVD bins, instead of being showcased with its contemporaries.

Rating for The Veil: B+.

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