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THE TWILIGHT ZONE: SEASON 4 (BLU-RAY)
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by:  Rod Serling, Ann Jillian, Anne Francis, Bill Bixby, Burgess Meredith

Starring:
Buzz Kulik
Perry Lafferty
Stuart Rosenberg

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
The Twilight Zone continues its legacy, with the fourth season being the latest to get the blu-ray treatment. What's the Twilight Zone, you ask? It's is a mixture of self-contained drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, suspense, or horror, often concluding with a macabre or unexpected twist.Of course, it's hosted by the late, great Rod Serling.
Is it good movie?
You know, until now I've never actually seen the Twilight Zone before. My Dad used to tell me all about it, how he used to watch it all the time when he was a kid and that it was one of his favorite shows. Of course, as I tend to do, I did a bit of research on the show before I slid into the fourth season, only to find out Rod Serling himself was really disappointed with this season, mainly because the studio had screwed with his successful half-hour format and extended the show's episodes to an hour in length.

From what I understand, Serling had a lot of creative control taken away from him and this season ended up the main result. Here are some of my thoughts.

This season has 18 episodes spread onto 5 blu-ray discs, and I'll list them with their original airdate:

1. “In His Image”, Jan. 3, 1963
2. “The Thirty-Fathom Grave”, Jan. 10, 1963
3. “Valley of the Shadow”, Jan. 17, 1963
4. “He’s Alive”, Jan. 24, 1963
5. “Mute”, Jan. 31, 1963
6. “Death Ship”, Feb. 7, 1963
7. “Jess-Belle”, Fe. 14, 1963
8. “Miniature”, Feb. 21, 1963
9. “Printer’s Devil”, Feb. 28, 1963
10. “No Time Like The past”, Mar. 7, 1963
11. “The Parallel”, Mar. 14, 1963
12. “I Dream of Genie”, Mar. 21, 1963
13. “The New Exhibit”, April 4, 1963
14. “Of Late I Think Of Cliffordville”, April 11, 1963
15. “The Incredible World of Horace Ford”, April 18, 1963
16. “On Thursday We Leave For Home”, May 2, 1963
17. “Passage on the Lady Anne”, May 9, 1963
18. “The Bard”, May 23, 1963

In the interest of time, I'll some of my key points with you. First, I must say that I'm not an enthusiast, but I sure didn't have any problems with this season. It came off campy, weird, ahead of its time and fun. While I do agree that an hour is too long, there's still some really great stuff to be found here.

What are the best bits? Well, first of all, find "He's Alive" and watch it immediately. It's got Dennis Hopper giving a fantastic performance, and Serling himself even appears throughout. This one's about racism and power struggles and really resonates even today. Ensure you watch that one.

Another great episode is Death Ship, starring Jack Klugman. This one involves astronauts who find their own spaceship destroyed with their dead bodies inside. If you're thinking that this was the inspiration for Moon, I don't think you'd be far off. Compelling stuff.

Printer's Devil features the Penguin himself, Burgess Meridith He plays an evil newspaper owner who's willing to go to great lengths to boost the popularity of his paper. Another must watch.

Also worth watching are Valley of the Shadow, The Parallel and On Thursday we Leave for Home. There are quite a few hits among a couple of episodes that fall a bit flat, the only ones I didn't love were The Incredible world of Horace Ford and the final episode of the season, The Bard.

Although some may have considered this season a miss, I enjoyed revisiting this bizarre series of the olden days. This one was unquestionably fun, and well put together. I wish I could go back in time and have a conversation with Serling, the dude seems downright fascinating and fun.
Video / Audio
Video is presented in 1.33:1 widescreen in full 1080p and really couldn't look better. This is half the fun of this film, just watching these stories in a visual glory they've never attained before.

Audio comes in 2.0 format, remastered in LPCM Mono or the original Mono. I thought the remastered sounded great, but if you're a historical purist then you will enjoy the old soundtrack.
The Extras
Disc 1:
“In His Image”:
Commentary by Marc Scott Zicree (Author of The Twilight Zone Companion)
Zicree Interview: Herbert Hirschman (1978)
Isolated Score
Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)

“The Thirty Fathom Grave”:
Commentary by Gary Gerani and Marc Scott Zicree
Isolated Score
Sponsor Billboard (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
Radio Drama starring Blair Underwood (0:44.14)

“Valley of the Shadow”:
Interview with Morgan Brittany
Commentary by Jaime Paglia and Marc Scott Zicree
Isolated Score
Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)

“He’s Alive”:
Rod Serling Blooper (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:00.12)
Isolated Score
Sponsor Billboard (1.33:1; 1080p/24)

Disc 2:
“Mute”:
Isolated Score by Fred Steiner
Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)

“Death Ship”
Commentary by Marc Scott Zicree
Zicree Interview: Ross Martin (1978)
Isolated Score
Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)

“Jess-Belle”:
Interview with Anne Francis
Commentary by Earl Hamner and Marc Scott Zicree
Zicree Interview: Earl Hamner, Buzz Kulik, Anne Francis (1978)
Isolated Score by Van Cleave
Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)

“Miniature”:
Commentary by William Windom
Commentary by William F. Nolan and Marc Scott Zicree
Isolated Score by Fred Steiner
Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)

Disc 3:
“Printer’s Devil”:
Commentary by Bill Warren and Marc Scott Zicree
Zicree Interview: Burgess Meredith (1978)
Isolated Score
Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)

“No Time Like the Past”:
Isolated Score
Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
Radio Drama starring Jason Alexander (0:41.24)

“The Parallel”:
Interview with Paul Comi
Commentary by Marc Scott Zicree
Isolated Score
Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
Radio Drama starring Lou Diamond Phillips (0:42.35)

“I Dream of Genie”:
Interview with John Furia, Jr.
Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
Isolated Score by Fred Steiner

Disc 4:
“The New Exhibit”:
Commentary by Bill Warren and Marc Scott Zicree
Commentary by Scott Skelton and Jim Benson
Isolated Score (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)

“Of Late I Think of Cliffordville”:
Isolated Score
Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
Radio Drama starring H.M. Wynant (0:42.43)

“The Incredible World of Horace Ford”:
Commentary by Jeff Vlaming and Marc Scott Zicree
Zicree Interview: Pat Hingle (1978)
Isolated Score
Radio Drama starring Mike Starr (0:36.12)

“On Thursday We Leave for Home”:
Commentary by Joseph Dougherty and Marc Scott Zicree
Commentary by Scott Skelton and Jim Benson
Isolated Score
Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
Radio Drama starring Barry Botswick (0:50.51)

Disc 5:
“Passage on the Lady Anne”:
Isolated Score by Rene Garriguene
Sponsor Billboard (1.33:1; 1080p/24)

“The Bard”:
Commentary by Bill Warren and Marc Scott Zicree
Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
Radio Drama starring John Ratzenberger (0:38.34)

Additional Bonus Features:
Saturday Night Live Clip (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:04.34)
Genesee Beer Commercial (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:00.33)
The Famous Writers School Promo (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:05.54)
Zicree Interview: George T. Clemens (1974) Part 4 (audio only)

The commentaries with Marc Scott Zicree are always super informative and entertaining because the guy seems to eat, sleep and breathe the Twilight Zone and knows his stuff. It's neat to have guests on that were involved with that particular episode too.

For those with an aural fixation, it's also a nice inclusion to have an isolated score for just about every episode.

I loved the inclusion of the brief radio drama spots, that adds a ton of nostalgia to the set as well. On top of that, there are some really cool Video Interviews to dig into.

Having the Saturday Night Live sketch in there is awesome too, especially since it includes Dan Aykroyd, who later became a big figure in promoting paranormal research.

This set is packed to the gills with extra stuff, fans will be busy for awhile.
Last Call
Although the season might be considered a misfire, this set is produced beautifully and makes for a great collector's item. If you have seasons 1-3, you're not going to go wrong picking this up. With that said, you might want to invest in an earlier season before getting this one if you don't have any of them, but those who were worried about the quality can certainly set their minds at ease.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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