Halloween 2013: Welcome to The Top Seven SCARIEST Tales From the Darkside Episodes EVER That I Could Find On Youtube!
It’s no secret around these parts that Tales From the Darkside is my favorite television show of all time. Yes, even more so than The Twilight Zone and no I don’t have any rational explanation for that. This George Romero produced anthology series ran from 1983 to 1988 and in large part thanks to the Sci-Fi Channel, for many years beyond in syndication. It featured the occasional writing talents of not only Romero himself but also some guy named Stephen King (lots of scary books) and even a one shot by Clive Barker (sex torture). I caught it at every chance as a kid but it wasn’t until my early to mid teenage years where the show would come to rule my 5-6 pm programming block (along with Night Court of course). So through the miracle of the internet and in the spirit of this wonderful season, I present you, dear reader with seven of my favorite installments of this glorious product of 80’s horror.
7. The Cutty Black Sow:
As you could no doubt guess for yourself, every entry in the show’s run that involves Halloween made the cut here (at least I’m pretty sure about that), beginning with our clip above titled The Cutty Black Sow. This tale takes place on “All Hallow’s Eve” and revolves around an adorable brother and sister who are warned by their dying Grandmother about a demon that runs around snatching up the souls of anyone that dies on that terrible last night of October. The kids attempt a ritual to save her spirit and needless to say, shit goes south.
6. Anniversary Dinner:
The twist in this one is probably visible from a mile away for anyone over the age of 12 but I still get a bit spooked out about it largely due to how damn weird it is. Actually, I guess I could say that about the series in general. There’s an atmosphere to Tales From the Darkside that’s really hard to pin down and describe in detail. The episodes can come off a bit corny and cheap feeling yet still deliver wildly in the creep department. This one centers on an older couple with no kids of their own who take a liking to a young female drifter. Let’s just say I’d recommend watching it while preparing a nice dinner for yourself one night.
For some reason, it’s split in half so here’s part 2.
5. Ursa Minor:
For any of you lovely ladies that grew up with an alcoholic Dad and or ever fell asleep snuggling a teddy bear, be warned: This episode gets pretty dark which is an aspect that I have to commend the series on as a whole. The showrunners were never afraid of getting their writing hands a little dirty and would regularly leave shit hanging in a very nasty place. No nice and tidy happy endings were necessary in Darkside and “Ursa Minor” is a fantastic example of that.
“Don’t put your finger in there.”
4. The Madness Room:
Listen: This episode is titled “The Madness Room” which in and of itself is pretty damn great. It’s a good thing that the story delivers too as it centers on an old man married to a way out of his league younger wife. It turns out she’s concerned about their house which may or may not be haunted. Enlisting the help of a strapping lad, the trio investigate a room that’s been boarded up and hidden away only to discover the reason why. I think I may need to look into finding a gig writing the back of those DVD box synopses.
Synopses is plural for synopsis right?
3. Family Reunion:
All of us poor bastards burdened with carrying around a massive Patricia Tallman fixation (raises hand), check it out: This episode delivers. Directed by legendary horror makeup artist Tom Savini (who also helmed the underrated Night of the Living Dead remake from 1990), “Family Reunion” features some great editing and solid performances all around. The setup is that there’s some guy keeping his son locked away from the mother (Tallman) out of fear of not only what the little shit really is but what once united, the two are capable of.
Savini really knocksit out of the park.
2. Trick or Treat:
“Trick or Treat” not only carries with it the distinction of being a fantastic watch during the Halloween season but also as being the pilot for the entire TFTDS show itself. Set on October 31st (and aired October 29th, 1983), it’s about an old man that runs a small town through his banking and loan schemes. Every Halloween, he sets up a haunted house in his own home complete with various challenges for the families that are in his debt. Essentially, if their children can navigate whatever spooky tricks he’s cooked up and find the box of bills he’s hidden somewhere on his estate, all money owed will be wiped away. If not, and that salty old bastard manages to send the kid screaming out into the night, those poor people will just have to wait until next year and try again. Only on this particular Halloween, our antagonist is greeted with one seriously unexpected visitor that turns his tricks into treats for the townsfolk.
1. Halloween Candy:
And speaking of tricks and treats, this episode right here has become as much of a Halloween tradition for yours truly as Emmet Otter is to Christmas. Again, we’ve got ourselves a mean old man, only this one refuses to hand out candy to the neighborhood kids due to a stubborn hatred for the tradition itself. Needless to say, he gets what’s coming to him once his wrinkly ass is visited by a seriously spooky individual. Hey, that sounds a lot like the story for the last one we yapped about, now doesn’t it? Ah well, in any case “Halloween Candy” is one of three Savini directed episodes during the show’s tenure and is absolutely hands down the pinnacle of the entire four year run of the series for me.
So that’s it. Bye now.
Oh! And until next post: Try and enjoy the daylight!