Del Toro on “The Doll”

Being a young, impressionable Night Gallery fan is no guarantee that you’ll grow up to become a successful filmmaker. But it can’t hurt. Just ask Guillermo del Toro.

Guillermo Del Toro

Yes, Del Toro is the one on the left.

The director of “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Hellboy” has noted in several interviews the strong mark that the series left on him as a boy. And when his 1993 film “Cronos” was released on DVD and Blu-ray, he singled out one Gallery segment in particular: Season 1’s “The Doll.”

According to the Los Angeles Times blog “Hero Complex”:

Del Toro also discussed his long-time love affair with the horror genre, vividly recalling the 1970s macabre television series “Night Gallery,” which he watched alone, at night, when he was just a child.

“I would go into complete paroxysms of terror,” he said. “The only time I literally, literally peed my pants in fear. I did! I’m not talking figuratively! I released the bladder! It was a ‘Night Gallery’ episode called ‘The Doll’ that was based on the Algernon Blackwood short story.

DOLL6

And when the doll smiles, I just started screaming, and” — Del Toro paused to supply an appropriate sound effect and waved his arm around like an escaped garden hose — “I was forever haunted by that. I think that was very formative to me. … Those fears, the corridor to the bathroom in that house, they’re all in my shots.”

For most adults, of course, watching “The Doll” won’t necessitate a change of clothes. But it’s still a creepy one. Most Night Gallery fans cite it as one of the series’ best. The doll’s face is hard to forget — it’s like getting a glimpse of the Twilight Zone’s “Talky Tina” gone to seed.

DOLL5

Here’s a link for the benefit of those who have never seen it — and those who’d like to enjoy it again. It’s best viewed on DVD, although it can be watched on Hulu (albeit w/ commercials) below. Turn down the lights, and enjoy:

Photos courtesy of Wendy BrydgeFor a daily dose of Serling, you can follow me on TwitterFacebook or Pinterest. You can also get email notifications of future posts by entering your address under “Follow S&S Via Email” on the upper left-hand side of this post. Hope to see you in some corner of the fifth dimension soon!

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About Paul

Hard-working, hard-playing fan of all pop culture, especially the Twilight Zone. Which led to a Twitter page. And then to a blog. And then to ... stay tuned. Yes, that's a picture of Rod Serling, not me. You can find the real me under the "Your Host" tab on my blog, along with biographical details that, while 100 percent accurate, sound kind of boastful and braggy. Sorry.

Posted on 07/26/2011, in Night Gallery and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. “…It’s like getting a glimpse of the Twilight Zone’s “Talky Tina” gone to seed.” Gotta admit, the thought of that scared the heck out of me!

    I’m pretty sure I’ve never been scared enough to pee my pants, but if there’s anything in this world that’s REALLY frightening, it’s DOLLS. O_o

    Del Toro’s thoughts made for a truly interesting little post here, and now I’ve really got to see this episode!

    • Dolls. I know what you mean. They do it every time! From Tina to this unnamed one to Annabelle, they add up to bad news.

      You’d need to be a kid to react like Del Toro did, of course, but this episode will give you a shiver at any age. Glad you enjoyed the post!

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