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Panasonic’s second offering MORE TREASURES OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE ($25) contains three additional episodes from Rod Serling’s classic television series. The three episodes contained in MORE TREASURES OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE are better known than those issued on the first DVD, and at least one of them is certain to be amongst many collectors favorite episodes.

"The Masks" is the lead off episode that contains elements of horror, both psychological and supernatural. The cast of "The Masks" features Robert Keith, Milton Selzer, Virginia Gregg, Brooke Hayward and Alan Sues. Robert Keith portrays a dying millionaire who invites his selfish family to spend the Mardi Gras evening with him, knowing that it will be his last. All of them would rather be elsewhere and it is only their greed that brings them to the dying man’s home. The old man has as little love for the monstrosities that sit before him, as they have for him. However, since he has all the money, he holds all the cards. If his "loved" ones want his money, each one of must wear a grotesque mask that perfectly reflect their true character up until midnight. When the stroke of twelve finally does arrive, the old man dies, leaving his relatives to cast off their masks and claim all that is due them. Rod Serling’s ending for "The Masks" isn’t completely unexpected. However, the twist ending is fun and should please everyone who thinks that there is at least some justice in this life.

"The Eye Of The Beholder" could be the best known and most popular episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. Written by Rod Serling, the plot of "The Eye Of The Beholder" concerns Janet Tyler, a woman born horribly disfigured who has been shunned all her life by society. Janet is apprehensive about the results of the final procedure performed on her face, which she hopes will make her look normal. Maxine Stuart gives a standout performance as the bandaged Janet Tyler. Donna Douglas also does an impressive turn as the end result of the result of the procedure. The twist ending for "The Eye Of The Beholder" is one of the series best. Direction and cinematography for this episode are also outstanding. If you have never seen "The Eye Of The Beholder", it is a treat and it alone is worth the price of admission.

"The Howling Man" is a personal favorite, not because the cast features the one and only John Carradine, but because Charles Beaumont’s story is a really good one. H. M. Wynant stars as David Ellington, a man taking a walking tour through Europe who is forced to seek refuge in a strange monastery during a severe thunderstorm. Ellington finds himself unwelcome in the monastery and only when he passes out from exhaustion do the monks take him in. When Ellington awakens, he hears the sound howling coming from somewhere inside the monastery. Ellington follows the sound to its origins and discovers a gentle looking man locked in a cell. Brother Jerome (Carradine), the leader of the order tells Ellington that their prisoner is no ordinary man, but the devil himself. Since Ellington is a rational man, he doesn’t believe Brother Jerome’s claims until it is too late.

Just like Panasonic’s first DVD, MORE TREASURES OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE looks great. All three episodes are superior in quality to syndicated television broadcasts. The black and white film elements for the episodes are nearly pristine. Contrast is very good and the blacks are respectable. Detail is also at a much better than broadcast level. I couldn’t detect any problems with digital compression artifacts.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack was free from distortion and reproduced clean dialogue. Music had respectable fidelity, considering that these television shows were designed for low-fi broadcast nearly forty years ago.

The interactive menus have a virtually identical design to TREASURES OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE. A number of the extras are the same as those contained on the first DVD; the Mike Wallace interview and the "production notes" features come to mind. Somehow, the information about the episodes contained on MORE TREASURES OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE has been omitted. In its place, one will find episode information for TREASURES OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE. Teasers for "next week’s episode" of THE TWILIGHT ZONE have been included.

Despite the above noted flaw in the extras, MORE TREASURES OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE makes up for it with superior content. Recommended.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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