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the legacy

In college my English professor asked me who I was reading at the time. I was on a particular sort of kick so I said Harlan Ellison, Rene Thom, someone I can’t remember, and Robert Bloch. I pronounced it the way it looked and he corrected me. He was a dour, middle-aged man from Brooklyn.

“Robert Bloch,” he said firmly, “Was a hack.”

I think more of him than that, but this episode might be how the Professor got that opinion.

A man is trying to find the home of old time movie star Fulton Pierce (Lon Chaney). Sadly he is a huge film geek, an interest his girlfriend Debbie does not share. She is interested in carving his heart out onscreen though, so there’s that. He intends to write a book about the mysterious Pierce, but he starts seeing things in the mirror of the makeup cases.

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Bad things.

Rubbery things.

These things correspond to Pierce’s roles. Apparently the worst of these all was a vampire character, heavily modeled after Chaney’s lost London After Midnight film. Eventually he decides that understanding the actor requires him to wear his old makeup which goes poorly, as it allows the vampire to begin controlling him.

I don’t know how something this short could be paced so badly. I felt like this was 2 hours long. I felt like I had run a marathon. Backwards. This is an episode about a haunted makeup kit.

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