Red Alert, on Maple Street

"Red Alert" animated GIF, by aforgrave, from "The Monsters are Due On Maple Street"

“Red Alert” animated GIF, by aforgrave, from “The Monsters are Due On Maple Street”

“The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs, and explosions, and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy. And a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own, for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is…that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone.”

If there was ever an episode of The Twilight Zone that emphasized the fear of “the other” and the Cold War, The Monsters are Due On Maple Street would be it. Had they filmed this in colour, those lamp posts could have pulsed with Red light, and it couldn’t have made the point any clearer.

The hysteria in the closing moments is masterfully edited, and those wonky camera angles are so wonderfully characteristic of their time. I almost find the addition of the aliens on the hill at the end to be an anti-climax, and unnecessary. Had the episode simply wrapped with Serling’s closing commentary, it would have been even more real — no alien intervention required to push mankind off the edge.

Check out Brian Short‘s (@heystorytellers) masterful mashup edit of video from “Monsters are Due on Maple Street” and Kanye’s tune “Monster.” I love the way he cuts the edits to match the beat. One would almost think this episode had been shot and cut to suit the tune. So well done!

Kanye Is Due on Maple Street from Brian Short on Vimeo.

Cool Resources for The Monsters are Due on Maple Street

Some quick web searches also turned up gems like PDFs of the script, including one from a textbook that I’m sure I’ve come across over the years.

What a classic tale.