Tales from the Darkside is significantly gorier than its namesake TV series, and has better production values.

Tales from the Darkside is significantly gorier than its namesake TV series, and has better production values.

Structure is a lift from Scheherazade in 1,001 Nights, as Deborah Harry prepares to cook little boy Matthew Lawrence, he delays his fate by telling her a trio of horror stories.

Most ambitious segment, Beetlejuice writer Michael McDowell’s Lover’s Vow is saved for last: Gotham artist James Remar witnessing a barman’s extremely gory murder by a gargoyle come to life. To save his skin he vows to the gargoyle not to tell anyone what happened, but after meeting beautiful Rae Dawn Chong, romancing her and marrying her, 10 years later he spills the beans with tragic results. Sexy and sinister Chong is a delight in this one.

Other segments are more routine. George A. Romero’s adaptation of a Stephen King story is punched up by casting David Johansen as a hit man assigned to kill a black cat by drug tycoon William Hickey. Curtainraiser is a corny but effective tale from the creator of Sherlock Holmes: college student Steve Buscemi bringing an ancient mummy back to life for revenge with ironic results.

Tales from the Darkside - The Movie

Production

Paramount. Director John Harrison; Producer Richard P. Rubinstein, Mitchell Galin; Screenplay Michael McDowell, George A. Romero; Camera Robert Draper; Editor Harry B. Miller; Music Donald A. Rubinstein, Jim Manzie, Pat Regan, Chaz Jankel, John Harrison; Art Director Ruth Ammon

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1990. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Deborah Harry Christian Slater Rae Dawn Chong James Remar David Johansen Steve Buscemi
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