Welcome back to all of you fans of the fiendish and foul to another offering on Saturday Frights! I received a hastily scribbled note from DanielXIII this morning explaining he had a prior commitment and asked if I would be so kind as to take over the programming for tonight…or did the note say he was being committed? Hmm.
Tonight’s offering was chosen from the increasingly growing archive collection in the Retroist Vault, it is an episode of the Ray Bradbury Theater entitled “Usher II”. Originally airing on August 17, 1990 this wickedly delightful story might seem a little similar to Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (There is most certainly a nod to that tale at the beginning of the episode) but in this offering we are presented a world where not only libraries are destroyed but theaters and film, anything the “Moral Climate” offices deem to be connected with provoking the imagination is obliterated.
Which is a bit of a problem for Mr. Stendahl, who is played wonderfully by Patrick MacNee (The Avengers, The Howling). Twenty years ago he tried to fight the system and had to watch in horror as his personal library was burned down, obliterated from the world were the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, John Steinbeck, and Kurt Vonnegut. Which is why he spent a great amount of his fortune to construct Usher II, the second House of Usher, as “a sanctuary of the imagination”…as well as an instrument of revenge on those who wronged the world. Stendahl is not alone in this endeavor as he is aided by Pikes (Ian Mune), an actor and filmmaker who saw his own works destroyed during the purge.
Will Stendahl be able to avenge himself or will he be caught in the act of retribution and be one more victim to the judgement of the Moral Climate Council? Join us in the auditorium as we find the answers ourselves with the Ray Bradbury Theater and Saturday Frights.