Starring Richard Carlson, K. T. Stevens, David Kent.
Written by Donald S. Sanford, based on the novel by Kyle Hunt.
Directed by Herschel Daugherty.
Guy Guthrie (Carlson) is given an ultimatum by his mistress, Anthea (Kasey Rogers): own up to his wife or she will. Evidently, Guy is not a guy to be given ultimatums to as he very quickly dispatches the girl with her best nylon. When he arrives home to his cold wife, Olive (Stevens) and loving son, Julian (Kent), he tries very hard to keep everything under wraps but the best laid plans of mice and men...
PE: A better title for this episode would have been "Slap My Love Then Kill My Love."
JS: Much to my surprise, this one actually grew on me as it progressed. I thought Daugherty did a nice job keeping things visually interesting for the most part.
PE: Richard Carlson used to be a good actor as far as I can recall. You'd never know it from this swill. Carlson's idea of showing any kind of emotion is to swivel his eyes or grin. When he's given his choice by Anthea, he becomes so angry he wraps her nylon around his knuckles and then hesitates. You can almost see the slot machine rolling above his head... cherry.... cherry.... cherry.... then he looks down at his hands and the light bulb turns on. Which is ironic considering what happens later.
JS: Not only does the murder occur off screen, the shot lingers on the hall and there's no sound—no screams, no sounds of a struggle, nothing. I thought Thriller had gone soft on us.
PE: The murder weighs on Guy so much that he leaves all kinds of incriminating evidence in his car for his son to find. What, no nylon on the antenna?
JS: Is it the old man's fault his kid was a regular Sherlock Holmes? Clearly Carlson is just a bad cheater. Of course forgetting that he's got a photo with his mistress right in his wallet, can someone tell me what the hell he's doing in that picture?
PE: Guy fixes a bulb in the basement to spark off an opened water heater gas valve. The explosion is something horrendous. A screen full of smoke and falling bits of rubble. Cut to the next scene (after the funeral) and Guy and little Guy come into the kitchen where there seems to be no structural damage whatsoever, not even a big "Do Not Enter" sign across the basement door. How is there a basement door? I really thought at that moment, his wife Olive would open the basement door, a bit scorched much like Wiley Coyote would look after the Acme bomb, exclaiming "Wow, that was close! What can I get you boys for dinner?"
JS: That was a classic bit—although it would have been even better had they shown the mushroom cloud. Obviously the insurance company rebuilt the house between the accident and the funeral. Times were different in the 60s.
PE: What's the story with Dinah (Patricia Breslin)? For some reason she finds Carlson attractive and thinks of no good reason to hide that fact. When Olive has her "accident" and lands somewhere in the next town, Dinah feels so bad for Guy she sends him a card with the cryptic message "If I can help, call me." She then seems surprised that Guy is hitting on her while the wife is newly planted, but agrees to a date! Julian shows up to interrupt the party and dad slaps him around a bit. When Dinah suggests they take the boy to a doctor, Guy snaps and tells her to mind her own business. The skeazy piano player says "All right, I will. You're a terrible father" then leaves, obviously not that worried about the beaten boy.
JS: When he calls Dinah after the funeral, she says, "You sound low." Really? On the day he buried his wife? Of course, the funny thing is he didn't actually sound low to me. I thought the episode took a particularly dark twist when it comes to Guy's dealing with his son Julian. While killing wives and mistresses was Thriller's stock-in-trade, filicide hadn't previously entered the picture (now who's using the Google search? -PE). I'll be the first to admit that I've been against abrupt endings, but in this particular episode, I actually think we were better served by it. Rather than knowing for sure that Carlson will get his due when his boy wakes up, I'd much prefer to imagine from the look in his eyes that he now has to take care of Grandma and Grandpa in addition to ensuring Julian shuffles off this mortal coil.
PE: Richard Carlson starred in several science fiction and horror flicks in the mid-1950s: The Magnetic Monster, It Came From Outer Space, The Maze (all 1953), Riders to the Stars, and The Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954). He made two more genre films before his death in 1977 (Tormented (1960) and Ray Harryhausen's The Valley of Gwangi (1969)), but appeared more on the little screen than the big (he was the titular Colonel on Mackenzie's Raiders for a season in 1958-59). Kasey Rogers went on to success on Peyton Place and then as Larry Tate's wife, Louise on Bewitched.
JS: "Kill My Love" was based on the 1958 novel of the same name by Kyle Hunt. It was published as part of the "Inner Sanctum Mysteries" series.