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Lunkhead's Lair • View topic - OL Episode #18 – ZZZZZ

OL Episode #18 – ZZZZZ

Episode Discussions

Moderator: Xenorama

OL Episode #18 – ZZZZZ

Postby Lunkenstein on March 3rd, 2007, 10:08 pm

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Original Airdate: January 27, 1964

My previous review of this episode was fairly harsh, so I've written another. ZZZZZ has never been a favorite of mine, but this latest viewing was more enjoyable with my kids. I still feel the original premise is too fantastic. It's a tough sell that bees could create a semi-human transformation, but if you can get past that, the episode does have some good moments and qualities.

Phillip Abbott plays an entomologist studying bees. Little does he know the hive is studying him as well and planning an invasion of sorts. Joanna Frank is the queen bee/human mutation sent forth to lead the way. She is stunningly beautiful and other-worldly, playing the role quite well. Occasionally, her true self is shown in the eyes and it's done nicely. The scene at the dinner table while discussing the fear of small things (bees, insects) is a highlight, as is Abbott's tirade at the end. There are some decent thoughts on human vs insect life, but in the end, the main reason for watching this one is still Joanna Frank, though I did like the episode more as a whole than I had in the past.

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Lunkenstein
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Re: OL Episode #18 – ZZZZZ

Postby Preston on June 27th, 2008, 9:44 pm

There is an interesting Behind-the-Scenes story for this episode. At one of his parties, Joseph Stefano ran across actress JOANNA FRANK and was impressed by her physical appearance. From that first impression, Stefano felt that Joanna's exotic looks would make her suitable for an Outer Limits episode. So he and another writer composed a script that would fit her looks. The result was ZZZ. In other words, what makes the making of this episode so bizarre is that the actress was chosen even BEFORE the script or plotline was even thought up! Lunk, can you think of any other film that originated that way? Because I sure cannot.
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Re: OL Episode #18 – ZZZZZ

Postby Lunkenstein on June 29th, 2008, 1:59 pm

That is very interesting, Preston, and quite unusual. It makes sense though in this case. THE WOLF MAN (1941) may have also evolved as a vehicle for Lon Chaney Jr, who had won acclaim for his performance as Lennie in OF MICE AND MEN (1939). I think I read somewhere that an exec said they wanted to do a monster movie starring Chaney in the lead, and the story was written afterward. Chaney had also done ONE MILLION B.C. (1940) and MAN MADE MONSTER (1941) just prior to THE WOLF MAN, so it sounds logical.
.

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