Image Entertainment's 14-disc presentation of the acclaimed anthology series Thriller is arguably among the most anticipated DVD releases for horror fans and vintage-TV aficionados alike. Hosted by screen legend Boris Karloff, who also appeared in five episodes of the series, and aired on NBC from 1960 to 1962, Thriller immediately earned a reputation as one of the most frightening programs ever broadcast on television--a legacy that endures some four decades after it left the airwaves. Though it featured an all-star lineup both in front of and behind the camera--actors such as William Shatner, Richard Chamberlain, Rip Torn, Leslie Nielsen, Elizabeth Montgomery, Warren Oates, Robert Vaughn, and Marlo Thomas were among its guest stars, while directors included veterans like John Brahm (The Lodger), John Newland (One Step Beyond), and actor-directors Ida Lupino, Paul Henreid, and Ray Milland--the chills of Thriller hinged on its stories. Psycho author Robert Bloch adapted several of his short tales for the series, including one of its most nerve-jangling episodes, "The Cheaters," about a pair of glasses that reveal terrifying truths to the wearer. Twilight Zone scribes Richard Matheson and Charles Beaumont also contributed scripts, while others were based on stories by Cornell Woolrich, Edgar Allan Poe, and Conan creator Robert E. Howard; the latter provided the source material for "Pigeons from Hell," the episode widely regarded as the most terrifying of the series, with Brandon De Wilde as a young man who encounters restless spirits and a unique monster in an abandoned Southern mansion. Other standouts include Bloch's "The Grim Reaper," about a cursed portrait that brings death to its owners (including Shatner); "The Purple Room," with Torn as the skeptical inheritor of a haunted house, which viewers will immediately recognize as the Bates home from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho; and "La Strega," with Ursula Andress as a young woman bedeviled by her sorceress aunt.
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