Tonight on MeTV- we unwrap an unusual present from Roger Corman-as a psychic researcher uses hypnosis to send a young woman back in time to one of her earlier lives- where she encounters love, witchcraft, and possibly executioner’s axe- in “The Undead”!
This 1957 film plays off a fad of that era-interest in reincarnation, thanks to the book “The Search for Bridey Murphy”, which we’ll tell you about during our show. We meet Quintus, the psychic researcher, whose time in Tibet convinced him that people n tony have had past lives, but can visit them. He “recruits” Diana Love, a young “lady of the evening”, to be the subject of his experiment, carefully observed by his former professor- in which, through hypnosis, he will send Diana’s consciousness to a previous life.
After many hours, with the woman in a trance- Quintus , through a mental bond he has established through his hypnotism with her, finds he has succeeded! Diana is now back in her past life as Helene, a young woman in the Middle Ages, imprisoned for allegedly being a witch and sentenced to execution for her supposed witchcraft. Amazingly, perhaps as a form of self-preservation, her future self sends her a message, encouraging her to escape- which she does! She ends up enlisting the help of Smolkin, a gravedigger who, ironically, is said to be one of the very people she enchanted!
None of this is good news to the real witch- the sultry Livia, who actually is responsible for the supernatural crimes Helene is charged with! She has plans to replace Helene as the love of a gallant knight, Pendragon- so it is important for her to make sure that Helene is taken out of the equation. The shape-shifting Livia and her familiar, an imp, go to work trying to keep Pendragon away for his true love through lies and schemes- eventually making a major play for him at the witches’ Sabbath- which involves Satan himself!
However, other forces play into what happens- Meg Maud, a sorceress enemy of Livia’s, and even Quintas himself. Having realized they may be endangering Helen’s future by changing her past, he uses his psychic bond with his subject to travel back in time himself! Will Helene survive-or will Livia’s association with the devil remove any chance of that- and will Quintas make history- or change it?
We’ll tell you about how this movie came about and evolved, and, of course, talk about the cast- which includes that bombshell Allison Hayes of “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman”, as well as famed little person actor Billy Barty as her personal imp, and a cameo by beloved character actor Dick Miller of “Bucket of Blood” and countless other films! Plus- Toony the Tuna campaigns to host a horror movie as “Sventoonie”! We’ll give you the word on a vintage record offer, along with a new song from Doug and yours truly, and , in response to requests, bring you some vintage Sven holiday hilarity!
“The Undead” (originally titled “The Trance of Diana Love”) airs tonight on MeTV at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central. We know some people might need help finding what time we run – and on what channel- where they are, so we encourage checking your local listings or visiting www.metv.com . Viewers on Twitter continue to live-Tweet during the show, using the hashtag #svengoolie – and MeTV invites you to do the same. Chicago area viewers get to learn once again “How to Make a Monster” at 11 am on CW26.
We appreciate the kind comments about our guest appearance on the “Toon In With Me” Christmas special! We always enjoy working with my longtime pal Bill and our new friends!
We hope you’ll join us tonight for witches, time-travel, and…oh, I don’t know…could it be…SATAN?!