Weekend Matinee: The Norliss Tapes



A Secret Sun board member recently asked me what I thought was Chris Carter's primary inspiration and the answer was simple: Dan Curtis. You see, the seeds of Ten Thirteen Productions can all be found in Curtis' legendary made-for-TV classics, everything from Dark Shadows to the The Night Stalker to Trilogy of Terror to Intruders.

And then there's The Norliss Tapes, featuring pivotal X-Files guest star (and Invaders legend) Roy Thinnes. This was made the year after The Night Stalker and almost seems like a sequel (complete with Claude Akins!) patched together with Thinnes because Darren McGavin was already booked. For my money Thinnes suits the material better; his moody, brooding demeanor adds a sombre realism to the proceedings that McGavin's wiseguy act could either embellish or undermine, depending on which way the wind was blowing.

This being a Dan Curtis production there are some fine Hollywood goddesses on hand, particularly the ubiquitous Angie Dickinson, the voluptuous Michele Carey and the doe-eyed Vonetta McGee. There's also some popcult resonance at work both with the setting (especially given the time period) and the Maguffin.

Poke around a bit- you'll find a full version of The Norliss Tapes online in short order.

Geekery: The original story was written by Fred Mustard Stewart, author of The Mephisto Waltz, a Secret Sun touchstone if ever there was one. The screenplay was written by William F. Nolan, author of Logan's Run.

3 comments:

  1. Whatever happened to Yahooccultism? Miss that series-did you grow tired of it. They've been growing crazy lately. Today: Tebow's 666 tweet, Schwarzengger's admiration for Hitler's speaking skills-

    ReplyDelete
  2. Like many in my Generation I cut my teeth on Klochak The Night Stalker and would watch re-runs late night along with Creature Feature and Elvira. And when X-files came around knew it was written for those who that loved those series.

    But I have not heard of the Norless Tapes I will check it out when I can!
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. how fun is to listen that a Dr.KIRBY is saying he proved sincronicity is real? ;)
    http://www.skeptiko.com/kirby-surprise-synchronicity-is-real/

    ReplyDelete

Off-topic info, links are always welcome if kept brief, but please refrain from unrelated data dumps and off-topic lectures.

As always, I reserve the right to delete comments that I consider to be inflammatory or overly off-topic

If your comment doesn't show up, please email.

Please be aware that Blogger often dumps comments with hyperlinks into the Spam folder. Please try to avoid them, since it makes more work for me to read through the spam folder for your comments.