Musings in the Dark: Horror 101: "The Caterpillar"


Horror 101: "The Caterpillar"

I’m a fan of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery.  Night Gallery is an anthology series devoted to horror and the supernatural.  Some of the episodes are hit or miss, but for the ones that hit…they hit.  One of my favorite episodes is called “The Caterpillar.”  It takes place in the jungles of Borneo.  A man, Steven Macy, has been stationed with a couple as part of his job.  The couple is a 66-year old colonel, John Warwick, and his beautiful 26-year old wife, Rhoda.  Macy becomes infatuated with Rhoda and cannot understand how she can be so devoted to a man who is old enough to be her grandfather.  

Macy seeks the help of a ne’er-do’ well who promises him that he can get the husband out of the way.  The way he plans to do it is to put an earwig in the husband’s ear.  But there’s a mix-up and the earwig gets planted in Macy’s head, not the husband’s.  Macy undergoes a long period of excruciating agony because the earwig is chewing its way through his brain (but this is just for dramatic effect because the brain feels no pain) and he is restrained to keep from clawing his face off.  In time, the earwig exits the other ear—having chewed its way through in a straight line—and during Macy’s recovery, he learns from the local physician that the earwig was female and it laid thousands of eggs in his head.

Like I said, when Night Gallery hits, it fucking SLAPS!!!

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