A couple of things: 1. When I say “episodes” I mean “segments,” and 2. This is a top 12, so you may have seen a couple of these on my past lists. NOW, these are the segments that are mind-warping, that grab just a bit of that “Twilight Zone energy” that says “hello, I’m written or inspired by Rod Serling” and fans are gonna want to catch this because it exhibits or exceeds the deep-thinking themes of Twilight Zone. You can catch these on Hulu or, I don’t know, there’s got to be other places (DailyMotion.com):
Midnight Never Ends
Why it will twist your mind: This is the most meta of all stories, it examines the relationship between a writer and the characters in their head. It’s a bit of a mental twist that could lead to mind-bending thoughts about just how original all of your favorite characters are, and how they find their way.
I’ll Never Leave You, Ever
Why it will twist your mind: The female lead is adulterous (an oddly common theme on Night Gallery) and rather than wait the short time for her husband to die, she turns to the black arts and turns his final days into never-ending torture. Don’t worry, she gets hers.
Why it will twist your mind: This is the story of an outcast who doesn’t mind being an outcast, then she finds another outcast that is…not exactly human. What’s eerie is that the girl makes a love(?) pledge to always return to visit the immobilized creature and an eerie mention of being “reborn” through her, what are we watching here?!
Why it will twist your mind: this story introduces the idea that an insect could burrow into ones brain through the ear, then it carefully examines every possible way this could go even more horrible.
Little Girl Lost
Why it will twist your mind: Somewhere out there, someone has their finger on the button that could wipe us all off the map. So, what if that person loses their mind?
The Other Way Out
Why it will twist your mind: Burl Ives is seemingly the mastermind in a tale of a business man who gets in way too deep when he murders a stripper who threatens to reveal herself to his wife. The claustrophobia is real and something is so freaky about the kindly old snow man being a “Deliverence-esque” master of of a swamp house gauntlet.
Deliveries in the Rear
Why it will twist your mind: This jerk takes “holier-than-thou” to a new level when he starts buying corpses for his surgery class and ceases to care where the dead bodies come from. Whats freaky about this is the look at “ghouls” or grave robbers in turn-of -the century London.
Why it will twist your mind: Roddy McDowell turns it out as a leach nephew, ready to take everything from his dying uncle. What’s freaky about this is his performance really, just slays it, I’m sorry I don’t have a more complex answer for you.
Why it will twist your mind: Meet a surgeon forced into removing a mans eyes so a rich woman can see for six hours, but if you think it’s that easy I have a pair or corneas to sell you. The darkness resonates from “Eye of the Beholder” on Twilight Zone, as the leads bandages are unwrapped, but what’s waiting underneath is…irony!
Clean Kills and Other Trophies
Why it will twist your mind: Because this is the rare, Serling vehicle where racism actually makes it in and that means it’s gonna be hardcore, a wealthy, dying man makes his son vow to kill an animal or receive no inheritance. But the rich man doesn’t value life, human or animal, and he gets taught an awful lesson.
The Boy Who Predicted Earthquakes
Why it will twist your mind: Everyone dreams about seeing the future, but what happens when you have to report that the outlook is not that bright? Do you level with everyone? Lie? That is a lot of pressure for young Clint Howard.
Class of ’99
Why it will twist your mind: Again, racism rears it’s ugly head, along with misogyny, and all of the darkest recesses of the human mind. After we are all gone, how will the future view us?
The Waiting Room
Why it will twist your mind: Albert Salmi is a fascinating actor, so right off the bat this segment has that going for it. Buddy Ebsen is the real workhorse of the story, playing a doctor who “spit in God’s eye” saving the lives of stone cold killers.
The Sins of the Father
Why it will twist your mind: Everything about sin-eaters is creepy.