Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Switch

**(out of 4 stars)

The Switch is a Tales from the Crypt episode from the second season. It's directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The original air date was April of 1990.

A wealthy, elderly man, Carlton (played by Willam Hickey) wants the affection and love of a young, beautiful woman, Linda (Kelly Preston). But when Linda tells him he is too old, Carlton goes to see a surgeon to defy his aging. But the surgeon can only make him look ten years younger. This does not sit well with Carlton. The surgeon inquires him about another physician; a more suitable person for the type of operation needed. And a more expensive one!

He meets the doctor (Roy Brocksmith) and for a hefty price, the doctor offers to change Carlton's face with that of his young associate, Hans, (Rick Rossovich) who will receive all of the money from the operations. After the surgery is complete, Carlton finds Linda again, only to be told that his body is still too old. After a few more operations the switch is complete. Carlton is a younger, more rejuvenated man; but left penniless. Upon seeing Linda again, for the final time - and asking her hand in marriage - he's sad to find out that she has already tied the knot with Hans. Although Hans is much older, he can financially take care of Linda, in the event that something were to happen to him. In the end, poor old Carlton had his youth back, but was left without the love of Linda or a pot to piss in.

This very much felt like a take on the Frankenstein story, but with TFTC flavor. It's also a story about the fear of getting old and rejection. Some can say, without a religious opinion, that death is the end. Lights out, game over. But what if we could consult a doctor to reverse the effects? What if we could defy aging and turn back the clocks to relive our lives. Immortality. For whatever the reason - love or security - if we could do it, we would. Although this episode is short and too the point, there are many philosophical elements that kept me intrigued and made me reflect on the notion.

Cast: William Hickey, Kelly Preston, Roy Brocksmith and Rick Rossovich

Screenplay by: Michael Taav and Richard Tuggle

Directed by: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Air date: 4/21/90

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