365horror

The Norliss Tapes

by on Jan.18, 2010, under Daily Review

Dan Curtis pilot for what should have been a quite a good TV series, kind of a similar idea of Kolchak (Curtis’ earlier TV movie, later turned series), tells the tale of an author, Norliss (Roy Thinnes) researching work for his latest commission, a book to uncover the myths of supernatural and strange goings on and offer a viable rational reasoning for these events. In essence, Scooby Doo. When Norliss is noticed as missing, all that is left behind is a series of tapes, each uncovering a different tale of strangeness and mystery.

During this first outing, we have a killer artist rising from the grave with a very blue face and a beatnik haircut and a strange sculpture of a demon, covered in blood. There are some other lose ends which would have been tied up If the series would have been commissioned, alas, not to be.

It’s a shame, as this pilot shows some real potential and although not the finished article, could have claimed it’s place in TV history. Several years later, Kolchak was commissioned and Norliss was long forgotten. Worth a look, Thinnes is a good lead actor (later seen in Falcon’s Crest and Law & Order), Angie Dickinson is a gift to the show, whilst Claude Akins is brilliant in every scene as Sheriff Hartley.

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