Circle of Fear episode 14: “Death’s Head”

With episode 14 of this series, the title was changed from Ghost Story to Circle of Fear. Host Winston Essex (Sebastian Cabot) and the Mansfield House are gone, leaving this horror anthology with no host. It’s a shame, because that was the thing that made this show stand out.

For the first episode of the revised show, Janet Leigh plays Carol, an unsatisfied wife in the true EC Comics style who hates two things: bugs and her insect-loving husband, Steve (Gene Nelson). She plans on using a gypsy potion — the gypsy is played by Madeleine Taylor Holmes and her young assistant is Ayn Ruymen, Cheryl from Private Parts — to take care of him and open the door for a relationship with his business partner Larry (Rory Calhoun). But now, a death’s head moth is stalking her from beyond the grave.

You may have heard me say before that this show is all about peaks and valleys. Sadly, this is one of those valleys. This episode was written by Rick Blum, who was the assistant to William Castle for all 22 installments of the series. It’s the only episode of the series to be directed by James Neilson, who also made The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh.

You can watch this on YouTube.

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