When it comes to Rod Serling “The Twilight Zone” instantly comes to mind. People overlook his other TV show called “Night Gallery”. It was different then Twilight Zone, and it focused more on horror. Each episode started off with Rod Serling in a gallery full of odd paintings. He would then give an intro and show a painting that was connected the story the viewer was about to see and the episode started. There are several great episodes and I will be taking a look at one called “Return of the Sorcerer” which starred horror legend Vincent Price, and its the perfect “Night Gallery” episode for Halloween time.
A translator named Noel (Bill Bixby) has been called by an eccentric man named John Carnby (Vincent Price) to translate an ancient text connected to the Necronomicon. He arrives to what appears to be a castle and meets John. It is apparent that Carnby is entangled in the occult and Satanism and Noel starts to hesitate after he learns that two previous translators translated the text and found out it was “grisly” and ran away. However Noel cannot resist because of the large amount of money, and he feels it is safe because of John’s female assistant. He stays and things get even weirder as the three gather and eat dinner with a goat that John claims is his father! Noel eventually learns the evil secret behind the text but it doesn’t end well.
What makes this episode stand out from other Night Gallery episodes is that it is pure Satanic. And that is pretty extreme for a 70’s TV show. Also it is very atmospheric and kind of has a Mario Bava vibe at times. The Satanic seance scene is very well done and the whole episode has kind of a malevolent vibe similar to that of a Venom record. It also starts Vincent Price, who is an incredible actor playing the aging Satanic sorcerer. He also had screen presence and despite that he was pretty old when this episode was made, he still owns it and steals the spotlight. While all the Night Gallery episodes are good, this one rises above the average episode with its evilness.
– Dakota Bailey