Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘Amazing Stories’: A Legendary Director Helmed This Wild Episode

‘Amazing Stories’: A Legendary Director Helmed This Wild Episode

When you think of horror films, one director that usually does not come to mind is Martin Scorsese, and for a very good reason.

Scorsese has spent the majority of his film career doing anything but horror pictures. They aren’t a staple in the Scorsese movie book. Now, some of you might point toward his violent films and all that horror. That’s one type of horror. In this case, though, think of horror films as either slashers or bloody.

Scorsese was approached by Steven Speilberg to be a part of his anthology series, Amazing Stories. This took place in 1985, so Scorsese already had films like Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy behind him. Getting a chance to do what amounted to a 24-minute TV show doesn’t give a director like Scorsese much time to develop characters. Sure, he could work with a storyline but it’s got to all be done quickly. After all, this is TV we’re talking about.

Martin Scorsese Brings Characters to Life

Mirror, Mirror starred Sam Waterston and Tim Robbins. Waterston plays author Jordan Manmouth, who made his money as a horror author. Robbins plays a disfigured, eerie-looking person in a mirror. Manmouth spends time talking about his work on The Dick Cavett Show before heading home.

When he does get back home, Manmouth starts getting spooked by the figure in the mirror. He cannot turn away from the figure. As he looks in that mirror, the figure gets closer and closer to him. Manmouth starts having panic attacks because every time he looks in that mirror, things get worse, according to Collider.

Finally, the figure in the mirror reaches out and starts choking Manmouth. The episode shows Manmouth struggling, then we see his girlfriend, followed by another shot of Manmouth. He starts to look just like the figure in the mirror.

Director Deals With Rather Vanilla Plot

Manmouth becomes disfigured and leaps out of the window, falling to his death. That marks the end of Mirror, Mirror, which is pretty vanilla when it comes to the horror genre. This might have been because they were on network television, where the parameters aren’t as wide for movies. Amazing Stories did have a number of hot-shot directors besides Spielberg and Martin Scorsese involved.

It’s also worth noting that the show came on TV in the 1980s. When watching an Amazing Stories episode, it might feel a little dated due to people’s hairstyles and clothes.

Take note, too, that Martin Scorsese has done horror films like Came Fear and Shutter Island in his career. So, he knew how to do horror. Yet it all comes down to what type of show did Spielberg want from his friend? TV shows are so picky at times when it comes to content. Maybe if Scorsese could have had his own crew on board with Mirror, Mirror, it might have come out differently.