Night Gallery season 2 episode 9: House With Ghost/A Midnight Visit to the Neighborhood Blood Bank/Dr. Stringfellow’s Rejuvenator/Hell’s Bells

By now, you know the deal. If you see four stories in an episode of Night Gallery, you’re not getting more. You’re getting less.

“House With Ghost” is directed and written by Gene R. Kearney from an August Derleth story. Ellis Travers (Bob Crane) just wants to be with Sherry (Trisha Noble), which means he has to murder his wife Iris (Jo Anne Worley) by using her dizzy spells and a haunted house, which seems like a lot of work.

“A Midnight Visit to the Neighborhood Blood Bank” is so Jack Laird that while he got William Hale to direct it, he wrote it and his stepdaughter Journey plays the victim of perhaps the healthiest looking vampire ever, played by Victor Buono. You can imagine how one note this all is. It’s also the same idea as “A Matter of Semantics,” which was in the last episode.

“Dr. Stringfellow’s Rejuvenator” is directed by Jerrold Freedman from a script by Rod Serling. Doctor Ernest Stringfellow (Forrest Tucker) claims that he has the cure for anything and when a father believes that it can save the life of his daughter, not even a doctor (Murray Hamilton) can change his mind. But what happens if that snake oil doesn’t work?

This is the kind of story that Night Gallery was made for and I wish that it had time to breathe in this episode instead of being jammed in with filler.

Randy Miller (John Astin) is a hippie that dies and soon finds himself in hell’s waiting room with a larger woman (Jody Gilbert), an old man (Hank Worden) and Satan, plated by Theodore J. Flicker, who directed and wrote this segment — based on a story by Harry Turner — called “Hell’s Bells.”  It’s not long and it’s one joke, as the hippie thinks that hell will be a party and it’s behind his generation forever.

Sometimes, all you get is one great story in these episodes and that’s enough. That said, there are some good moments coming up in the rest of the season.

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