The Ray Bradbury Theater: THE COFFIN (1988) – TV EPISODE HORROR REVIEW


By Geno McGahee

The 1980s was a big time for robots. There was a genuine fascination with them that led to many toy manufactures to create radio-controlled robots for the consumer. I remember wanting one, but my fat cousin got one instead. I never trusted him alone with that robot either, by the way. I’m just throwing that out there.

Ray Bradbury noticed the trend and incorporated robots into his episode THE COFFIN and brought in a robot expert in one of the lead roles. Dan O’Herlihy plays the role of “Charles Brailing,” but the horror community will remember him as Cochran from HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH, a great film despite the “there’s no Michael Myers” complaints. Get over it people!

Charles is an inventor and has created some robot helpers, but his focus now is on a coffin for himself. His brother, Richard (Denholm Elliot), comes over for a visit and it’s obvious as to why he’s doesn’t come over often. Immediately, Richard shows his jealousy, insulting his older brother every chance he gets. He just begins tearing into Charles, telling him that he has no friends and his wife was right to leave him. Charles gets so angry that he drops dead.

The death brings much joy to Richard as he inherits the mansion and the money, but Charles has left something else for him. The coffin has a few tricks and the robots have an agenda. When Richard begins living in the house, he realizes that he may not have won this family feud.

THE COFFIN is a very good episode. It was great to see O’Herlihy working with robots again. He is at his strongest working with robots, in my opinion. You don’t believe me? Well he was also in ROBOCOP. So shove that up your robotic ass. I highly recommend this episode. It was great fun.

Rating :8/10


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