Encounter with the Unknown (1973)

Encounter with the Unknown (1973) was the directorial debut of Harry Thomason, who would become the unofficial media advisor for Arkansas governor Bill Clinton. For both presidential terms, Harry Thomason was the man responsible for Clinton's damage control, and he testified in the Monica Lewinsky hearings. Thomason was also a main player in the Travelgate scandal.

But back in 1973, he was a nobody, and for some reason it strikes me as odd that President Clinton's best bud directed this dark and eerie little TV movie.

It was filmed in Arkansas (surprise) and narrated by Rod Serling. It consists of three separate stories - the first of which scared the crap out of me as a kid.

[spoiler alert] The story involves three guys who pull a prank on another young man (who appears to be slightly mentally challenged - although, it's not real clear). They tell him that there's a beautiful woman waiting for him at a certain address, which turns out to be totally bogus. So, the young man arrives at the made-up address only to be shot to death by the elderly woman who lives there.

The dead kid's mother happens to be a witch and puts a curse upon the three pranksters. This is the scene that gave me the creeps and haunted me for weeks afterward. The movie is so grainy, it's like a snuff film, and the woman is about as scary looking as they come. I wonder if anyone else out there was traumatized by this eerie flick by Clinton's bro.

The movie is available on Instant Viewing on Netflix, and also on YouTube here.


  1. Is this the same Thomason as in the hubby of Linda Bloodworth-Thomason?

  2. It is indeed. The woman responsible for Designing Women (a worse crime than Travelgate, in my opinion).

  3. OMG! This scared the [email protected] out of me as a kid. The one story about that kid who found that mysterious hole and his father who went insane after going down to investigate. Damn.

  4. We're going to have to agree to disagree about Designing Women, because I'm a gay man, and we love our Golden Girls and Designing Women.

  5. Sorry, Frank. That was a little harsh - the show wasn't that bad. A lot better than most of the stuff on today. :-)