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February 8 in Twilight Zone History: Remembering director Douglas Heyes ('Eye of the Beholder')

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Steve Rubin
Feb 8, 2018

Today, February 8th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia remember top TZ director Douglas Heyes who passed away on this day in 1993 at 73.

Heyes directed nine episodes of the Zone, including "The After Hours," "The Invaders," "The Howling Man," and "Eye of the Beholder." He was the most artistic of all the Zone directors, and when Serling needed someone to add a stylish approach to the material. Heyes was number one on his list.

Whether it was the masterful way in which he worked with cameraman George T. Clemens in disguising the pig-faced aliens in "Eye of the Beholder," guiding the mute giant portrayed by Agnes Moorehead in "The Invaders," creating the creepy atmosphere of a department store floor in "The After Hours," or revealing the Devil himself in "The Howling Man," Heyes had a true sixth sense that elevated TZ to astonishing levels in its day.

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To bring the Devil to life in "The Howling Man," director Douglas Heyes walked actor Robin Hughes down a corridor with pillars. As he passed each pillar, he would change Hughes' look, until he finally morphed into a fully-horned Satan.  A terrific effect. 

It should be especially noted that these were little half-hour budgets, with very little time (usually a three-day shoot, after two days of rehearsal), so what Heyes accomplished was extraordinary.

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"The After Hours" gave director Douglas Heyes ample opportunities to turn a darkened department store into a character in the story. He also got a riveting performance out of actress Anne Francis, marvelous as mystified Marsha White. 

So let's hoist one helluva libation to Doug Heyes, who leaves a timeless legacy of episodes, all of which provided us with amazing thrills and chills in the dimension we call The Twilight Zone.

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