Red Snow: An unforgettable Twilight Zone episode

In the last few posts, I had begun to talk about the TV series “The Twilight Zone” and I how got captivated after seeing a stray episode or two. I had provided an example of a particular episode from its very first series in 1959-60, which I saw parts of after reading about it.

However, the example I will now cite is one I saw in those nights in the summer of 1993, when it was telecast here and still persists in my memory – after all those years – as if I had just seen it a night or so ago.

“Red Snow” was the second segment of the 21st episode in the 1985-86 season.

What it deals with is that Ilyanaov, a Полковник in the Комитет государственной безопасности, I mean a Colonel of the KGB , is sent to a part of Siberia, well in the Arctic region (you know the sort with dense forests, snowy ground…. a sense of general and pervasive foreboding), to investigate the deaths of several local Communist Party officials.

Illyanov, who seems quite ill-fitted in the prevailing conditions and sent to the assignment to keep him out of the way, is received by Provin, the town’s party official, who tells him that in the Arctic winter there is no sunlight, something he can’t be fond of.

During his investigations, Ilyanov notes that the dead officials were drained of their blood. The town’s major, Titov, joins them in the investigation although he is seemingly uninterested in finding the answers to these deaths. After going through many case files, Ilyanov notices a woman who he finds very familiar and who he recalls as being a young woman he had met on the street that very same day.

There is something that does not fit though: the file says that the woman, Valentina, was sent by Stalin to Siberia 50 years ago. Polvin tries to convince Ilyanov that she is nothing but a descendant of that woman but Ilyanov decides to investigate the case further.

As Ilyanov checks the bodies of the dead officials, he notices that the corpses lack any blood…… (the foreboding becomes more pervasive)

The investigation progresses and Ilyanov and the Titov go to search an abandoned church which the comrade colonel is told has been boarded-up for a long time now. Strangely, there are some footsteps on the snow which are going in and out the door. Suddenly, a wolf howling in the distance calls the attention of Ilyanov, who runs to investigate. He finds Valentina, with vampire fangs, sucking the blood out of a wolf. Ilyanov tries to escape but someone hits him in the head with a piece of wood.

Awakening in his room, Ilyanov is told by Titov that he just ran into a low branch and lost consciousness. He believes none of it, and demands that Titov takes him to that old church, convinced that those were vampires out there. At the church, he finds all the coffins inside the church but they are all empty because all the vampires are awake waiting for Ilyanov.

To be continued……

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