TV Review: Portraits In Terror (1957)

Release Date: unaired pilot from 1957
Directed by: Ed Wood
Written by: Ed Wood
Music by: Gordon Zahler
Cast: Duke Moore, Dudley Manlove, Jeannie Stevens

E.S. Moore & Associates, 1 Episode, 22 Minutes

Review:

Portraits In Terror was a television show that was never to be. It had one episode, its pilot: Final Curtain. Therefore, this is a review of that one episode.

This show was developed by Ed Wood, a man often times referred to as the worst director of all-time. There are directors who are much worse because despite Ed Wood’s lack of technical talent, bad scripts and bizarreness, he still creates films that are beloved. Many because of their flaws but also because there is some sort of magic behind his movies.

Final Curtain, unfortunately, isn’t one of those Wood projects where it captured any sort of magic. It is boring and hard to get through, even at just 22 minutes in length.

The short film or episode, follows a man exploring a playhouse late at night. It is made to be mysterious as this man is drawn into some sort of dark power that is pulling at him. It takes him almost the full twenty minutes to climb up a spiral staircase as we listen to his awfully written inner monologue. Once he gets to the second floor, he discovers that the vampire from the play is standing silent and still in a room. He touches her and she doesn’t react. As he leaves the room, she is smiling. He goes into another room, discovers a coffin, climbs in, THE END.

Final Curtain is not engaging in any way. It is drab and drawn out and really serves no purpose other than Wood having a reason to display a 22 minute inner monologue that tries really hard to be captivating but falls short in every way imaginable.

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