Original Story by Stephen King
Teleplay by Harlan Ellison
Directed by Bradford May
Original Airdate - February 14, 1986
Barret Oliver - Georgie
Darlanne Fluegel - Mom
Frederick Long - Grandma



A young boy is left alone with his bedridden Gramma, who is not your cuddly, cookie-baking type, during a bad storm. 



Here we have one of the best adaptations of a Stephen King tale, and for the new Twilight Zone as well.  "Gramma" is based on King's short story of the same name, and adapted by Harlan Ellison.  You get just what you expect from these two writers who are at the top of their powers.  It's a literal rollercoaster ride that starts slowly and builds to wild finish.  It's only about 15 minutes long, but a lot is packed into those minutes.  If only all the episodes could be this stylishly done.

Barret Oliver is Georgie, the young boy who is left to care for his bedridden grandmother, and he does an incredible job in the role.  Not for one minute do you believe that he isn't scared out of his wits.  The narration, which is done by Oliver as he thinks his way through his dilemma, is alternately tense and goofily boyish.  You want to save him, because he really is just a regular boy.  He's heard all the whispered horrors about his grandmother, from overhearing his mother, uncles and aunts, and he's terrified of her; we don't blame him, either. 

The masterpiece of the production is Gramma, and the set design that surrounds her.  Gramma is just a shadowy, immense shape inside the cavernous interiors of the bed until near the end of the episode, and she is frightening and grotesque.  She and the bed seem to be one and the same; you're not sure where one ends and the other begins. The voice given to Gramma is very much like the voice of the demon in "The Exorcist."  Harsh, gutteral, and commanding.  When we finally get a good look at her, it's a stark shot of one orange eyeball in a sea of wrinkles, surely the most malevolent-looking eye I've ever seen. 

There is something Lovecraftian about this production.  It's not that this episode uses the Cthulhu name, which appears throughout Lovecraft's work.  It's the glimpse of a greater power outside of our knowledge, of a place beyond the homely farmhouse where they liveā€¦another universe, or parallel world, where whatever is inhabiting Gramma comes from.  Whenever I watch this I'm always reminded of "The Dunwich Horror," one of my favorite Lovecraft stories.  "Gramma" is definitely one of the best of the new Twilight Zone.