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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Thoughts on Tales from the Darkside: The Movie

On Netflix, I was in a horror movie mood, so I rewatched Tales From the Darkside: The Movie, a campy -B-level horror movie anthology from 1990, directed by John Harrison. The framing story is that a little boy (Matthew Lawrence) is being held captive to be cooked by a witch (Deborah Harry) for a party, and he stalls for time by reading her three stories from a book of horror tales. The movie features a lot of famous people who were at varying levels of fame in 1990, but not A-list level fame.

The first story is notable for featuring early roles from Julianne Moore and Steve Buscemi, as well as Christian Slater when he was just starting to get big (I don't know what his breakthrough role was, maybe J.D. in Heathers), and is about a nerdy college student (Buscemi) who summons a mummy to do his bidding upon people who wronged him. I did enjoy that one for seeing Moore play a selfish and mean person, and for Buscemi for being way creepier than anything else I've seen him in.

The second story features William Hickey as a millionaire who is trying to get rid of a killer demonic cat, in his house and David Johansen is the hit man he's hired to destroy it. I wasn't as into that story, mainly because it gets redundant to watch the hit man and the cat fight each other, with a predictable ending, and it just felt like a gross story with the cat's murderous ruthlessness against people.

The third story was this interesting mix of horror, fantasy, and romance, and features James Remar as a struggling artist who faces a gargoyle that killed his friend, and when he makes a promise to never tell anyone about the gargoyle, it holds his life to it, affecting his love life and career dreams as long as he doesn't break his promise. While the ending was predictable, I was really impressed with the artistic design and puppetry of the demon, and really liked how it felt more like a fantasy/horror blend than just straight horror like the other stories.

This is more for people who are into campy horror, and like stuff like Tales from the Crypt and anthology horror TV shows, and who don't mind watching B-movie horror. I really enjoyed it as a fun watch.

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