One of the joys of New Year's Day is the traditional Twilight Zone Marathon on Sci Fi Channel (er.. I guess it's SyFy now.) It actually predates SciFi and used to be shown on Channel 11, before they lost the rights to the show and switched to The Honeymooners. Sci Fi shows all the classic episodes over the 40-somewhat hours the marathon runs. To Serve Man, The Dummy, Talking Tina, The Monsters are Due on Maple Street. the ones with William Shatner, the ones with Burgess Meredith and so on and so forth. There's one episode that I've always really enjoyed that I haven't seen on the marathon list for years. I didn't catch any of the first half of the marathon this year, so it's possible they aired it and I didn't know. In case they left it out again, I'm posting the youtube links to it here.
The episode is called "The Jungle." It has to do with this New York business dude and his wife who spent a lot of time in Africa trying to exploit the natives for the dude's engineering company and the shaman's there told them if they went through with their shady dealings they'd all be cursed. The wife stocked up on protective charms before they left, but the business dude destroys them all because he thinks it's superstitious and then the curse takes hold and all hell breaks loose.
The business dude tries to get back to his apartment from after-work drinks before the animal spirit that's hunting him down finally goes in for the kill.
Why do I like it so much? Well, I have a soft spot for all the Twilight Zone episodes that take place in NYC. This one is sufficiently creepy especially for its ominous sound design and constant build of suspense all the way to the shock ending. It doesn't exactly look like Central Park he's trying to take a short cut through, but maybe it looked closer to that 40 years ago. Anyway, here it is! The Jungle.