What is it about a BLT that stands the test of time? As today’s trendy sandwich starts to grow mold and tomorrow’s takes sprouts, the BLT stays true. Sandwich of Terror is a new web series by the good folks at Escape Pod Films that takes the tried and true formula of The Twilight Zone and George Romero’s 80’s TV hit Tales from the Darkside and purposely delivers the comedy and camp that made these cult classics.
You might know the Brooklyn-based Escape Pod Films (E.P.F.) from their previous series, Scissor Cop, which took a few pot shots at serious police dramas and landed E.P.F. on the web series map and Channel 101 NY. If you liked Scissor Cop, chances are you’ll like Sandwich of Terror. Sandwich delivers quality writing and acting that has the aftertaste of early, not quite ripe The Kids in the Hall. Already picked up by Channel 101 NY and aired as part of the February screening at 92YTribeca, Sandwich of Terror stands out as original and unique parody that will have web series creators across the country saying, “Why didn’t I think of that!?”
The production values are good, but don’t expect Scissor Cop. The limited camera angles and cuts of Sandwich of Terror parallel the sci-fi/horror anthology it parodies throughout the episode. Chris Prine, Tom Silvestra, Josh Wolitzky, and Jeremy Westphal all double their efforts, both behind the scenes and on the screen. It’s clear they’ve all watched their fair share of late-night fright TV classics.
The two stories are so good that it’s almost a shame to see them wrapped in sub-standard intro and commercial parodies. It’s hard to compete with the Crypt Keeper or the freshly pressed suit of Rod Serling from The Twilight Zone, but the meat of this episode says the talent is there so I’m sure they’ll find the right garnish eventually. As for the ad parodies, they smell just like early late-night syndicated television, but with such a schmorgusborg of this exact type of parody on the web it serves only to separate and delineate the stories and not much more.
This first episode holds true to two prime ingredients of this genre—the unexpected twist, and that twist’s relation to perceived reality and what we think we know about ourselves. As we’re told at the beginning of every episode of Tales from the Darkside, “Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality.” What awaits Ben Rameaka, as a ham radio hobbyist in the first story, “The Frequency of Fear?” And in the second, how do Chris Prine and Mitch Magee’s characters make sense of their situation in “The Stinkening?” Just like the all-American BLT, Sandwich of Terror offers up tasty familiar flavors, the short-form sci-fi/horror twist well done and bite-sized for the web.