Back in August 2010, the Retroist did a podcast on Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories. To complement that podcast I would like to highlight my personal favorite episode of Amazing Stories and what should be required Halloween viewing, “Go to the Head of the Class.”
Not to be confused with Head of the Class starring Howard Hesseman, which also debuted in 1986 also, “Go to the Head of the Class” reunited director Robert Zemeckis and Christopher Lloyd. After claiming the top of the box office in 1985 with Back to the Future, the director and actor teamed up to bring a double-sized episode that was all horror. In fact it had enough horror to have a “parental discretion advised” warning, which was rare for a network TV series at the time.
The story involves two high school students who seek revenge on their strict, mean teacher who set out to cast a hiccup spell on him. However, the spell goes awry and his head falls off causing him to become the “Headless Teacher.”
It stars Christopher Lloyd as the strict teacher and Mary Stuart Masterson as one of the students, two actors associated without the 1980s. The episode has a great balance of horror and fun along with incredible headless effects. The images of Lloyd running down the street with no head still creep me out. I think could easily have been an episode of Tales from the Crypt, another Zemeckis production.
The touch of Zemeckis is easily spotted. Watch for the slow panning at the beginning that is very reminiscent of the same camera technique in Back to the Future.
Can someone help me out? I can’t wrap my brain around when this aired. Since it is so horror-specific I’ve always remembered it airing in October. However, in researching the airdate, everything I found says this episode aired Nov. 21, 1986. But the promo video I linked to says it’s a Halloween episode. Was the promo for a repeat of it the following year? That really wouldn’t make sense because Amazing Stories was cancelled after May 1987. I can’t remember if “Go to the Head of the Class” got a special Halloween repeat the following year even though the show was cancelled. Can anyone provide insight on this discrepancy?
I also want to point out the greatest phone ever. Here is a shortened version of the episode credits with the skeleton phone. I’m sure it was just a prop made for the episode but it would be great if a company made this as a replica.
25 years later it still holds up.
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