Red Snow: An unforgettable Twilight Zone episode II

I was writing about “Red Snow”, one of my favouite and most remembered episodes from the series “The Twilight Zone”, which persists in my mind even though I saw it one summer night over 18 years ago. But then I do always pride myself on my memory.

To recapitualate a bit for your benefit, Полковник Ilyanov of the Комитет государственной безопасности is sent to investigate in this desolate Siberian town where a spate of deaths of Communist Party officials has been reported. This seems more to get him out the way as Ilyanov is not fitting in very well with the prevailing millieu. However, reaching the town, he encounters a woman ( women are the bottom of most troubles) and as he reads the case files, finds this woman was one of Stalin’s deportees in the early 1950s and this is supposed to be the mid-1980s.

 However, the town mayor, Titov, attempts  to convince him that the woman he saw was a descendant. Ilyanov’s foreboding increases when he finds that all the killed people have their blood missing….. He is taken to an old abandoned church but finds footsteps going in and out. Suddenly, he hears a bloodcurling yell and rushes out to find that woman sinking her fangs into a wolf (I told you some women are trouble) before he is knocked out… Ilyanov, when he wakes up, insists on returning to the church where a reception party is waiting for him…… Now read on. 

Titov then explains the whole situation to Ilyanov – those vampires are all refugees from the various parts of Russia, some exiled by Stalin, some coming here by choice to stay safe. Over the years, their community has expanded, and the town struck some sort of a deal with them – the vampires would protect them from wolves and criminals, and the villagers would keep them safe from prying eyes… such as that of the Communist Party officials.

The vampires specially Valentina (I told you some women are biggg trouble)  and Polvin, who also comes into the church then, think that Ilyanov has to be eliminated but Titov disagrees and thinks that they should leave him alone, claiming it would bring more intruders and that Ilyanov would be an understanding man about their situation.

 In the middle of this, Ilyanov and Titov run for it and escape from the church. Soon afterwards they are exhausted and two wolves attack, slitting Titov’s throat and killing him. The vampires catch up with him and Ilyanov tells them that he is useless now because the party is without morals and Russian values, so he feels very useless.

Valentina informs him that there is still something he can do for his nation….. (why do I again get a deep sense of foreboding?)

The scene shifts back to Moscow…… (I still remember this scene as if I had seen it yesterday. We get an overhead view of the Красная площадь …oops I mean the Krasnaya Ploshchad, I mean the Red Square, in the light sunshine suggestive of a late winter afternoon) and the scene shifts to a room dimly lit by diffused sunlight in the Московский Кремль…. oh I am so sorry, I do mean the Kremlin) where Colonel Ilyanov informs his boss of the mission results. Titov is posthumously accused of being the murderer and Polvin is left in charge.

As he is leaving, his superior says how he wished he had more men like him, to which Ilyanov gently murmurs: “You will, comrade, you will” and smiles…… revealing a set of sharp fangs, as the image fades…..

How can an such a chilling image like this ever fade from one’s memory… certainly not from mine. Never ever!


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