A 1944 WWII era short horror story, written by Manly Wade Wellman which became the basis for this "Night Gallery" episode as well as the basis for F. Paul Wilson's first commercially successful book and subsequent movie adaptation of "The Keep".
This 1944 World War II era short, but effective horror story by Manly Wade Wellman was superb. Francis Lederer was awesome. Not since Bela Lugosi was there such a smooth, pliable yet ultimately dangerous Dracula. It wasn't hard, after all he had previously played the role in the '50's film "The Return of Dracula". But he was more effective here and much more sinister. Besides I love it when the Nazi's get what is their ultimate hell on earth, as it were. I rate it a ten out of ten. Not bad considering that "Night Gallery", was no "Twilight Zone". I could also picture Louis Jourdan in this role (as he was under contract to Universal at the time). But alas we had to wait almost eight years for he to play as sinister, yet attractive a Dracula the world had not yet seen (until Frank Langella's Count both on stage and screen).
Yes, the similarity to F. Paul Wilson's novel "The Keep" (or to Michael Mann's film version) is unmistakeable, and yes, it's quite nicely done, with effective performances from veterans Dantine and Lederer (and it even has Martin Kosleck in a bit part) - but, but, but... Isn't there a moral question here? Should the very real evil of the Nazis be spoken of in the same breath as the supernatural fictions of Dracula? Isn't there a danger that, by linking the two, we trivialise the horrors of the Second World War? As someone said in a different context, it might have been fun, if only the Nazis had never existed.
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