Journey to the Unknown (1969)

Article 5113 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 3-19-2016
Directed by Don Chaffey and Michael Lindsay-Hogg
Featuring Joan Crawford, Vera Miles, Patty Duke
Country: UK / USA
What it is: Movie cobbled together from episodes of a TV series

Joan Crawford hosts two stories of endangered women. In the first, a mystery writer finds herself trapped in a library and transported into the past where a serial killer murdered a librarian. In the second, a woman trying to get rest at a seaside hotel finds herself threatened by a mysterious bespectacled figure.

This TV-Movie is cobbled together from two episodes of a British TV series produced by Hammer called “Journey to the Unknown”. The two episodes chosen were “Makahitas is Coming” and “The Last Visitor”. Based on the IMDB ratings, these were two of the highest rated episodes of the series, and they’re both quite good; the “Makahitas” episode (in the library) is particularly striking . As individual episodes, they receive an 8.3 and an 8.0 rating respectively. Yet, oddly enough, this movie is sitting on IMDB with an embarrassingly low 2.7 rating. Why? I don’t know. I doubt it’s the new footage of Joan Crawford introducing the episodes; the sequences are a bit on the awkward side, but they’re too brief to significantly impact the movie as a whole. It’s almost as if a group of people came in and gave the movie the lowest rating a propos of nothing. Yes, it should lose a few points for not really being a “movie”, but it actually works better than some other examples of this sort of thing I’ve found. As it is, it does make me curious about the series as a whole. I quite liked this one.

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