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Old 09-11-2011   #1
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Tales from the Darkside

Any of you guys remember the classic 80's horror anthology Tales from the Darkside (not to be confused with Tales from the Crypt)?

You may remember the iconic intro...

I've recently purchased a few of the seasons on DVD and this show is STILL scary. Some of the episodes are surpisingly dark for 1980's television.

A few gem episodes are

Halloween Candy
In the Closet
Seasons of Belief
Hush
The Cutty Black Sow - my personal favorite and still one of the darkest, most atmospherice pieces of horror I've ever seen.

Last time I checked most of these are still on youtube if you can tolorate the grainy image quality getting in the way of your horror.
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Old 09-11-2011   #2
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Re: Tales from the Darkside

I used to watch the hell out of that show.
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Old 09-11-2011   #3
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Re: Tales from the Darkside

I enjoyed the episodes that I managed to catch. If memory serves me, Daisy previously posted a transcription of the show's opening monologue (from memory!) !

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
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Old 09-11-2011   #4
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Re: Tales from the Darkside

I watched "The Cutty Black Sow" on Youtube this morning. I liked it. It was scripted by Michael McDowell (who I have brought up before at TLO) based on a story by Thomas F. Monteleone. I will definitely be watching some more. Thanks for posting.
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Old 09-11-2011   #5
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Re: Tales from the Darkside

As a kid I had to mute the TV or leave the room whenever the opening sequence came on-- I just couldn't take it.

"The Cutty Black Sow" is one of a few episodes of the show that has stayed lodged in my memory over the years. "Love Hungry" is another.

Noonday Stars: a blog about horror fiction. Recent content includes essay on the new edition of Ligotti's The Agonizing Resurrection of Victor Frankenstein and Other Gothic Tales.
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Old 09-11-2011   #6
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Re: Tales from the Darkside

The episode "In the Closet" marked me permanently. A mere glance at some of the stills from it, available, I think, through Google images, is enough to reconjure memories of real childhood terror.

Quote Originally Posted by G. S. Carnivals View Post
I enjoyed the episodes that I managed to catch. If memory serves me, Daisy previously posted a transcription of the show's opening monologue (from memory!) !
I'm afraid my card-carrying geekdom is about to show. From memory:

"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."

And then there was the closing narration (again, from memory):

"The dark side is always there, waiting for us to enter, waiting to enter us. Until next time, try to enjoy the daylight."

(Now why have such shows tended to have such marvelous narration? The Twilight Zone was equally excellent. Just tonight, about an hour ago, I watched the episode "The Lonely" from the series' first season. Previously I had just read the short story adaptation of the teleplay in a Twilight Zone anthology that I checked out from my local library when I was about 14 years old. And tonight I was struck all over again by the classiness, and also the true weird tale-level evocativeness, of Serling's opening narration for Season 1:

"There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.")

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Old 09-12-2011   #7
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Re: Tales from the Darkside

I was really young when I first saw "In the Closet" and the creature from that episode has since then become the epitome of what a "monster" looks like.

Has anyone read the short story "The Cutty Black Sow"? I found it online in a used copy of an anthology called Cemetery Dance Vol. 2 and I was wondering if it's worth a purchase.

I've developed an acute obsession 80's horror anthologies. The producers of Darkside also produced Monsters another anthology... these tend to be a bit more humorous, but there are still some really frightening and flat out bizarre episodes:

Holly's House
Rain dance
Household Gods
Space Eaters - an adaptation of F.B. Long's short story

Again, most of these are on YouTube, but no DVD yet

Did anyone ever see the 1980's version of the Twilight Zone. Some TZ purist hate it but it was my first exposure to the franchise so I love it. I though the into to the 80's TZ was even more terrifying than Darkside...

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Old 09-12-2011   #8
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Re: Tales from the Darkside

I remember that spooky opening music. can't recall any actual episodes
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Old 09-15-2011   #9
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Re: Tales from the Darkside

Despite its shoestring budget and several downright lousy episodes, Tales from the Darkside was, is, and likely forever shall be one of my favourite TV shows. My opinion is probably rosily-tinted with my nostalgic memories of struggling to stay awake on Friday nights just to catch a bit of that week's new episode.

Some great ones have been mentioned here. I'd also add "Levitation", based on the Joseph Payne Brennan short story, "Slippage", "The Circus," and "In the Cards."

I view Darkside as the logical successor to Rod Serling's Night Gallery. It's a shame that there is no longer an anthology series that adapts Horror stories into interesting little films. Were such a show to appear today, I would love to see adaptations of Tom's "Gas Station Carnivals", "You Are Here" by Simon Strantzas, and dozens of others.

And I wholeheartedly agree: the show's intro has some real magic to it.

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Old 09-17-2011   #10
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Re: Tales from the Darkside

Dr. Valzer wrote:

Quote
It's a shame that there is no longer an anthology series that adapts Horror stories into interesting little films.
I've actually found some of the Masters of Horror episodes to be quite effective, and, as I watch through the entire series thanks to its availability via Netflix streaming service, have come to look forward to the opening credit-and-music sequence with no small amount of anticipation. Very nicely realized. Check it out at http://youtu.be/ZwUe3ha7q8Q

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