HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Tales from the Darkside: The Movie Storybook Inter-gnash-ional
Year: 1990
Director: John Harrison
Stars: Deborah Harry, Christian Slater, David Johansen, William Hickey, James Remar, Rae Dawn Chong, Matthew Lawrence, Robert Sedgwick, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, Robert Klein, David Forrester, Alice Drummond, Dolores Sutton, Mark Margolis, Kathleen Chalfant
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Betty (Deborah Harry) visits the shops in her town and returns the greetings she receives with a cheery demeanour, but as she heads home what her neighbours do not know is that she is actually a cannibal who has trapped in her kitchen turned dungeon a little boy, Timmy (Matthew Lawrence), behind bars. Now she is back, and sets out the utensils and foodstuffs she needs to prepare the meal for her and her equally flesh-eating friends, but when she checks on the boy she is surprised to see he is less than pleased about his current situation, throwing the book she gave him to read straight at her. Betty admonishes him, and anyway says it's about time to place him in the oven - obviously, Timmy needs to stall for time.

For some reason the spooky anthology television show made something of a comeback in the nineteen-eighties, what with such efforts as the revival of The Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt making waves and gathering a loyal fanbase who wished to see what muddle this week's stars would be getting into. One of those was the brainchild of horror director George A. Romero who had perhaps kicked this new flush of anthologies off with his Creepshow movie (they became popular in the movies as well around this stage), as Tales from the Darkside originally was supposed to be the official Creepshow TV series. This lasted from 1983 to 1988, though there was a second Creepshow movie produced in that time as well.

Which made this belated cash-in on the Darkside show the unofficial Creepshow 3, unrelated to the actual Creepshow 3, a straight to video afterthought nobody much liked some years later. Staying true to the small screen's formula, it adapted three stories often from recognisable authors in the field of chillers, the first from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lot 249 which was his Mummy tale. Michael McDowell, best known for his run of eighties horror paperbacks and his work with Tim Burton, adapted that into a tale of college rivarly where Steve Buscemi gets his own back using an Ancient Egyptian sarcophagus and its contents to send after those who have wronged him, though to all appearances the film wasn't too keen on the Mummy as a horror icon judging by what happens to it.

That first section was actually starring Christian Slater as the "big name" who combats the walking undead, though celeb spotters might be more interested to see Julianne Moore's screen debut, subject to a most igmonious fate into the bargain. Next up was a Stephen King yarn that had been meant for the second Creepshow film but hadn't been economical to use; here it was dusted off as a short story adapted by Romero about an elderly millionaire (William Hickey) who hires a professional hitman to kill a black cat that has been harrassing him and his now-deceased family, said family supposedly killed by the moggy. Former New York Dolls frontman David Johansen played the hitman who predictably found the target harder to destroy than he anticipated, leading to a ridiculous finale as the cat works out a good way to prevail.

That middle section was probably the best story, it may have been silly but it provided the cheesy spectacle that only rubbery special effects can really deliver. This left the last a bit of a letdown, especially if you had seen a classic portmanteau horror from an earlier vintage in the Japanese Kwaidan from which the third entry was lifted pretty much whole. Updated by McDowell to modern New York City, but still with the same premise and it had to be said not half as poetic or effective as struggling artist James Remar witnesses a demon killing a friend outside a bar one night, and said demon tells him it will spare his life if he speaks not a word of this to anyone. He agrees, and on the way home he meets the woman of his dreams (Rae Dawn Chong) who improves his life no end, yet there's still the shadow of the supernatural nagging at the back of his mind which leads up to an unfortunately unsurprising twist. Then it's back to the wraparound story to see if Timmy can get out of his Hansel and Gretel situation, which if you know that fairy tale won't be surprising either. Overall, more or less OK. Ish.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3393 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: