TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE
-Season Four & TFTDS: The Movie-
‘Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality..
but.. there is, unseen by most, an underworld, a place that is
just as real, but not as brightly lit… a DARKSIDE.’
Halloween is nearly upon us once more, and with it comes the undying (or is that undead?) necessity for some creepy horror fodder to chill and tickle our collective need for the darkside. A recent newspaper printed the rather dubious findings of a study into the body chemistry of fears, declaring that the body burns off the equivalent calories of one chocolate bar during a decent Horror film scare session. So it’s official, Horror films are good for you.. at least up until the point that your nerves shred, or your heart stops. At least you’ll leave a nice slim corpse. Well, it is Halloween.. this sort of dialogue is to be expected, isn’t it? Now where was I? Tales From The Darkside.. the final Season. Four Seasons was a rather short run for a popular show, but at least it had the good fortune to out with a bang. The bang in question was the rather wonderful Tales From The Darkside Movie, that popped up 2yrs after the 4th Season wrapped, and offered up a plethora of fine guest stars, including Debbie (Blondie) Harry, Julianne Moore, Christian Slater, Rae Dawn Chong and the wonderful Steve Buscemi.
Back in 1982 George A Romero released the now iconic movie ‘Creepshow’, featuring five dark, twisted tales of the macabre that sought to capture the life and vitality of the 50′s American Horror comic. These five tales adhered to the now familiar tradition of storytelling and imagery that began with such writers as H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Alan Poe, becoming collectively known as ‘The American Gothic’. Soon after followed a Tv incarnation called ‘Tales from the Darkside‘, which toned down the blood and gore, focusing more on atmosphere and paranoia. A more conventional version of this shorter shock storytelling already existed in the 50′s, parallel with the comic genre. ’The Twilight Zone’, ‘The Outer Limits’ and ‘Night Gallery’, knocked out weekly high quality drama vignettes throughout the late 50′s and 60′s.. but it took the Comic Book to bring together the two very different mediums of Gothic short literature and popular Tv. These pulp anthology stories released for a short time by EC comics, presented short illustrated tales that could be treated as storyboards for Cinema, combining the literary Gothic tradition, with the lurid excesses of Grindhouse cinema.. indeed both comics and cinema borrowed from each other in equal fashion throughout the period, as they continue to do today. Romero had often expressed a childhood fascination for the Vault of Horror comics released by EC Comics, so it was perhaps inevitable that he would work on a homage in some shape or form.
EPISODE GUIDE TO REVELATION FILMS’ SEASON FOUR RELEASE :
4TH SEASON – EPISODES: Beetles / Mary, Mary / The Spirit Photographer / The Moth / No Strings / The Grave Robber / The Yattering and Jack / Seymour Lame / Sorry, right number / Payment Overdue / Love hungry / The Deal / The Apprentice / The Cutty Black Sow / Do not open this box / The family reunion / Going Native / Hush / Barter / Basher Malone – Plus previously unseen episodes – Akhbar’s daughter & Attic Suite –
Guest Writers: Stephen King (The Shining, Shawshank Redemption) / Clive Barker (Hellraiser) / Robert Bloch (Psycho) / Michael McDowell (Beetlejuice) ..
Guest Stars: Deborah Harry (of Blondie), Divine (Hairspray), Bradley Whitefield (West Wing), Polly Draper (Thirtysomething), Allen Garfield (Chicago Hope). Directors include Jodie Foster (The Silence of the Lambs), Allen Coulter (The Sopranos, Sex & the City) and Tom Savini (Night of the Living Dead, From Dusk Till Dawn)..
Special Guest Director: Jodie Foster
THE MOVIE – Tales:
The Witch (wrap-around) / Lot 249 / Cat from Hell / Lover’s vow –
Season 4 showed a decided improvement in both quality and chills, so it seems rather curious that it got axed so swiftly. The success of the Movie should at the very least have spawned a sequel or two, as it’s rival ‘Tales from the Crypt’ managed.. but sadly the door to the Darkside was firmly closed and locked.. just as things were starting to get interesting. There is something to be said for getting out while the going’s good, though.. and T.F.T.D.S has maintained an eerie presence in the general psyche, that perhaps a longer run might have diminished. Thankfully the release of these collected Seasons of TV gold allow the door to creak open again, for us to peer nervously inside.. go on.. go inside.. you know you love a good scare!
“The Darkside is always there waiting for us to enter..
waiting to enter us. Until next time, try to enjoy the daylight..”
~ Tales From The Darkside : Season 4
Released on DVD by Revelation Films on 15/10/12
IF YOU LIKE THIS, THEN YOU’LL LOVE..
Dead of Night (1945) / Deadtime stories (1986) / Tales from the Crypt (1972) / The Hand (1981) / Tales from the Crypt -Tv- (1989-1996) / Tales of the Unexpected (1979-1988) / Night Gallery (1969-1973) / The Twilight Zone (1959-1964..1985-1989..2002-2003) / The Outer Limits (1963-1965.. 1995-2002) / People shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (1973)