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Title

The Sign of the Beast

Plot

An arrogant archaeologist disregards tribal customs and extends praise. But her motives are less than honourable and involves robbing old tribal artifacts. But what she forgets to count in is divine retribution.

Episode

0029

Air Dates

  • First Run - February 3, 1974
  • Repeat - April 13, 1974
  • Repeat - January 14, 1979

Actors

Writer

Listen

Rating

207
169     38


26 Responses to Episode 0029

Meat! I need meat! Excellent episode; well-written and well-acted. Curses; ancient tribal gods.

Andy

Sign of the Beast was a bit more fun. The sassy, non-believing wife of an archaeologist goes with him on a dig in a remote jungle, and despite getting about 100 warnings about native customs and curses, breaks every rule she can. She accepts an artifact from one of the malevolent natives, and finds herself the victim of a curse in which she begins to turn into a meat-craving animal. It leads to some non-intentional humorous moments, especially when she wipes out their meat supply with her insatiable hunger.

Tony

With an exotic jungle setting, a vindictive tribal goddess and lots of atmospheric, beating drums and tropical birds in the background, this was one of the more enjoyable episodes that I've listened to recently. The stereotypical male attitudes towards "meddling women," as manifested in Marshall's lead-in to the episode, aren't really borne out in the story itself, except for in the somewhat chauvinistic opinion that she "should have stayed behind," since "the jungle is no place for women." She doesn't really deserve what happens to her, but all turns out well in the end.

Thomas

A woman learns the hard way that she should respect the customs of a foreign culture. She hungers for an artifact that she has no business possessing. Soon, she hungers for much more.

Laura

All of the right stuff, greed and thoughtlessness, revenge and horror. To bad it wasn’t carried all of the way. Or maybe not.

Leon Lynns Reynolds

Take a walk on the wild side! The lowdown: A lady who's part of a crew on an expedition in a jungle partakes of something that is a local taboo. When in Rome, do as the Romans (or something like that). She takes a piece of jewelry that's clearly off limits and not to be tampered with. You don't want to upset the Gods, lest you come under a curse that will turn into something less than human. The jungle is no place to just flippantly blow off the local customs and beliefs as silly superstitious non-sense from tribal peasants.

Raymart K.

An impetuous female archeologist violates the customs of a local tribe by offering them praise and she steals their artifacts. She finds their price high.

Mr. Floro

The premise is foolishly contrived, but the story is well paced and well acted.

Gene Michael J.

A woman joins her husband and uncle in the deep dark jungles of the ancient Aztec empire where they are digging up artifacts. A local servant who cannot be complimented under any circumstances due to his religious beliefs provides some comic relief in the beginning. When the wife inadvertently compliments the servant's son, bad things start to happen. I NEED MEAT!!!!! hahaha... listen, you'll laugh too!

Alicia

I think Sam Dann has an issue with women! His female characters are always causing trouble! Not my favorite episode, but the plot is unique

jlm

I agree, one of the more enjoyable episodes. Antagonist gets what's coming to her, and although the plot development is pretty well telegraphed, it's immensely satisfying watching it happen. The meat craving was a great touch--very disturbing. Love all the "don't bite my head off" quips that I was sure were foreshadowings. I would have liked a different ending, but still a very strong story.

Mike

Rather than just saying she is hungry, would have been more intense (and perhaps more lycan-vampire-like) if she actually did more spontaneous uncontrolled killings of animals and people. Would have made her more menacing, though the plaintive and wild tone of "I'm HUNGRY!!!!" were pretty cool and perhaps the lack of too much action is better in the end. Not sure.

Paul Roe

As E.G. says near the end, this could've been a supernatural tale, or perhaps it wasn't and was just some sort of bug that penicillin fixed. Of course, it seems more bent towards the supernatural the whole time but that's okay, too.

Alec

My God, someone give that woman some MEAT, please!!! I love this episode! The plot's been described well enough above, so I won't get into that, but I have to echo what others have said about the acting and the sheer fun of this show. I wanted to smack Millie so hard, so many times, I can't tell you. What a sassy little moralist she is, starting in with a diatribe against Uncle Bert for being some sort of white supremacist or something when she had no idea what was going on ("These natives? Oh my, aren't we condescending" -- how ironic LOL). Then when she messed up and started insisting on how smart Amara's kid is, she finally remembers with an "ohhhhh, now I remember!", which I replace mentally with a "DOH, now I remember!" When she falls under the curse, though, is when things get super-fun! Her moaning and begging for meat, her running through the jungle and taking down animals, almost eating them alive, practically purring after her orgy of blood -- LOL! I also dig how Chief Amara talks -- "Yes, Doc-tor Jor-gun-sun..." SO, how does it all end? Does Millie go back to her tea and toast -- or does she remain a meat-craving beastie girl? You must listen to find out!

Tracy

Just me or did this episode seem to be a bit overacted? Especially with the two main male actors.

Joe Mama

The Sign of the Beast is my all time favorite.

Benny

Not my favorite episode at all, but I have some comments about it. I found her acting to be overdone and they wasted an opportunity to make her more sinister, (as mentioned earlier in this thread). Instead she is more like some kind of comic relief. Also, the description of the episode is wrong. She did not "steal" the artifact. It was *given* to her by the vengeful father of the boy who died. She accepted the gift, not knowing it was cursed. Why do people say she was stealing just because she accepted his gift? Personally, I don't think she was such a terrible or disrespectful person. She was ignorant of their customs and innocently complimented his son. When she learned about their taboo on giving compliments, she sincerely apologized to the man. Personally, I thought the father of the boy was a jerk for pretending to be so understanding toward her while all along he was secretly plotting his revenge. What a hypocrite!

Amy

Amirah's religion sounded like some kind of silly "Opposite Day" conversation almost to the point of being ludicrous. It would have been much more effective if he had expressed simple humility rather than those ridiculous contradictions.

Lee

Was pretty much lost with this one. The audio did not reproduce too well through my speakers. I didn't think the acting was very good. I lost interest by act three because of the ridiculous feed me meat lines. The opening comments were very derogatory and senseless.

Kurt L

I wanted to post a follow up comment to my last one because something Lee said made me want to respond. Actually, Amarah's religion is not as far fetched as one might think. I have heard of this taboo against compliments in various native cultures, so that part is authentic. (I don't know if they take it as far as they did in this episode though.) However, one thing I was wondering is, why didn't Amarah suffer from the curse, since he is the one who actually *stole* the bracelet? That was one glaring plot hole. He should have turned into a beast too.

Amy

A Little fun to be had, but extremely repetitive. Milly calling for meat. The two men wondering what’s up. Over and over. Needed a subplot or two of some sort. Basic writing. Could have whipped this script out in an hour and a half. But still, setting and actors make it an ok 50 minutes spent. “I want meat!” “Where’s the chopper?” “I want meat!” “where’s the chopper?” “ I want meat!”

Gary

Great story! But, it seems in many of these stories the females are always ignorant and arrogant like in this one - so annoying sometimes. Still love listening to these radio dramas. I remember listening to a few on AM radio in Miami in the late 70s. But then they stopped playing them. Great nostalgia. Also many from the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Awesome website!

HJV

Had only said poison arrow found her at the time, we would have been spared all that shrill emoting .

FreeRangeChicken

Enjoyed this episode, bit of the ancient evil and be careful of those bearing gifts! Not one of my favorites but worth a listen.

Nancy

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. Sam Dann wrote an intriguing mystery involving revenge and superstition. However, it felt cliché: a main character ignores the rules from the natives and her comrades, so she ends up being cursed to eat raw meat. Cliché to be some kind of She-wolf in horror films. It would be awesome if the Beast Goddess came to life and came across the woman for wearing one of her possessions and have a terrific battle in the final act-Mortal Vs. Goddess. The title is catchy, but another way to title this tale would be “The Agitated Curse” or “Raw Meat.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall mentions the names of certain women that created catastrophic things, which leads to our main character: Milly. In ACT-1, question to see if there’s a difference between man and beast and does the beast still exist within us? In ACT-2, after many conflicts in the jungle, our Host points out that knowledge abdicates in the face of the unknown terror of the jungle. In ACT-3, comparing this situation with a line from William Shakespeare’s HAMLET (from Act 1, Scene 5). After the happy ending, our Host reminds us that it’s best to have another course of action in reserve. And was Milly cured by superstition or medicine? In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall states that the sign of the beast can happen at anytime and it appears much too often in today’s world. That maybe true, however, he forgot to mention a Resolution in this story. The happy ending was the Climax, but nothing to follow afterwards. Did Milly leave the jungle right away? Did her husband and her uncle continue to look for more artifacts? Did the natives continue to worship the Beast Goddess? A mystery we may never solve. Anyway, the cast in this was decent: Lois Smith (as Milly), Paul McGrath (as Larry and Dr. Bert Jorgenson), Tom Keene (as Kevin), and Dan Ocko (as Aymara). The actors played their parts well. Our leading actress was good, but I think she over did it when she hollered out her lines of raw meat. And if Lois Smith’s character was craving for meat, perhaps she could’ve growled and snarled to make it sound like she was becoming a beast. But Lois Smith did get better overtime in her roles in #0041-BLIZZARD OF TERROR and #0201-THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH. But my favorite parts in this episode, were the sound effects and the music. Sounds of the helicopter hovering, jungle noises, footsteps on the ground, gun shots, silverware clinking, tribal music, archaeological tools scraping, sizzling meat, and jungle leaves ruffling were super helpful and supportive. And the music had great suspenseful tracks that fit for a jungle story. Tune in to this one if you enjoy mysteries on jungles and curses. SPECIAL BONUS: This episode has commercials/announcements of CBS Radio News, Sine-Off tablets, the Heroin Addiction Hotline, letters to KIXI AM/FM in Seattle, Budweiser, Kellogg’s Special K cereal, the American Heart Association, and the song of “I’ll Be There.” Until next time…pleasant dreams.

Russell

What was Sam Dann's issue with women?

STEVEN


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