Lights Out (1934-1947) was perhaps the premiere horror show of the 1930s and 40s. It was created by Willis Cooper who in 1939 would write the screenplay for the Boris Karloff vehicle Son of Frankenstein. Following Willis’ departure as script writer for the series, famed genius Arch Oboler (photo at right) would take over, enhancing the show’s popularity even further. Lights Out was noted for its gore and innovative sound effects–quite a novelty for the time–as well as Oboler’s chilling scripts. As far as sound effects went, a chicken leg pulled apart would represent a human arm being torn from its socket, cleavered cabbages and cantoloupes for beheadings, and snapped pencils and spareribs stood in for broken fingers and bones. Not every script, of course, lent itself to such sound effects, but more than enough of them did for this to become a trademark of the series.
This week’s foray into decadence and madness is titled “The Little People.” It aired on April 14, 1937 and revolves around jealousy, revenge, and murder most grotesque. I refrain from telling more of this shiver-inducing frightfest, but for those who ken the reference, think Ed Gein–with a twist.
Play Time: 30:31