Friday, October 19, 2012

What's Cookin'?: The Twilight Zone: "The Invaders"

In this infamous episode, Agnes Moorehead plays an old woman in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere.

There is no electricity or running water, and she is simply preparing a meal when something lands on her roof. She investigates and finds a small flying saucer. Soon, two little beings, no bigger than children's toys, invade her home, using their space age weapons on her as she uses her own simple instincts to fight back. The kicker, of course, is the origin of the little spacemen.

If you only know Moorehead from her turn as Endora on "Bewitched," this episode proves why she was nominated for four Academy Awards in the 1940's and 1960's. She has no dialogue, works on just one set, and is the only cast member save Rod Serling's trademark opening appearance, yet carries "The Invaders" on her own.

A drooling Moorehead, with wild hair and wielding a hatchet, is pretty unglamorous stuff. Heyes' direction is tight, and Richard Matheson's script is simple, doing it all in twenty five minutes. (* * * *) out of five stars.