Robin Pierce OnLine
Addressing the Geek Nation......
Shocktober 2020 31. Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein (1948)
Shocktober 2020 30. The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)
Shocktober 2020 29. Revenge of the Creature (1955)
Shocktober 2020 28. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
Shocktober 2020 27. House of Dracula (1945)
Shocktober 2020 26. The Mummy's Curse (1944)
Shocktober 2020 25. House of Frankenstein (1944)
Shocktober 2020 24. The Mummy's Ghost (1944)
Shocktober 2020 23. Son of Dracula (1943)
Shocktober 2020 22. Phantom of the Opera (1943)
Shocktober 2020 21. Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (1943)
Shocktober 2020 20. The Mummy's Tomb (1942)
Shocktober 2020 19. The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)
Shocktober 2020 18. The Wolfman (1941)
Shocktober 2020 17. Black Friday (1940)
Shocktober 2020 16. The Mummy's Hand (1940)
Shocktober 2020 15. The Invisible Man Returns (1940)
Shocktober 2020 14. Tower of London (1939)
Shocktober 2020 13. Son of Frankenstein (1939)
Shocktober 2020 12. Dracula's Daughter (1936)
Shocktober 2020 11. The Invisible Ray (1936)
Shocktober 2020 10. Werewolf of London (1935)
Shocktober 2020 09. The Raven (1935)
Shocktober 2020 08. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Shocktober 2020 07. The Black Cat (1934)
Shocktober 2020 06. The Invisible Man (1933)
Shocktober 2020 05. The Mummy (1932)
Shocktober 2020 04. The Old Dark House (1932)
Shocktober 2020 03. Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)
Shocktober 2020 02. Frankenstein (1931)
Shocktober 2020 01. Dracula (1931)
Shocktober 2019 01. The Sentinel (1977)
Shocktober 2019 03. Dracula (1979)
Shocktober 2019 04. High Spirits (1988)
Shocktober 2019 05. From Beyond the Grave (1974)
Shocktober 2019 06. Pet Sematary (1989)
Shocktober 2019 07. Ringu (1998)
Shocktober 2019 08. The Blob (1958)
Shocktober 2019 09. Zombieland (2009)
Shocktober 2019 10. Apt Pupil (1998)
Shocktober 2019 11. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Shocktober 2019 12. Body Bags (1993)
Shocktober 2019 13. The Craft (1996)
Shocktober 2019 02. Tales from the Darkside (1990)

“If I let you go, you must swear you'll never say you saw me, never say you heard me speak, never tell anyone how I look, never repeat what I've said. A promise... forever.” - Gargoyle

Image result for tales from the darkside the movie

There certainly have been a good few anthology films among the selection this year – and it’s no surprise that I like that format. It lends itself to a quick gut punch of a story before moving on to the next. If you don’t like one particular segment, then the next one up might suit you better. It’s a format I’m glad to see make a comeback with films like Tales of Halloween and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

Tales from the Darkside wasn’t originally on my list this year, but every Friday evening, we have the traditional Friday Night Fright at the house, which consists of a horror movie and a shorter feature. Over the past eighteen months or so, we’ve worked our way through the four seasons of the early to mid-eighties series Tales from the Darkside. It was a horror series, meant to be a bit like The Twilight Zone in format, with a different story and no continuing characters every week.

There were some good stories, but by and large, it was a hit and miss affair. Several of them didn’t work as horror, several more left us wondering what kind of demographic they were aiming for and other times, it really hit its mark. But the show was cancelled in 1986, and this theatrical feature was produced in 1990 and considering the haphazard nature of the show, it’s surprisingly good.

As is the tradition with anthology films, there’s a wraparound story. Here we have a witch living in the suburbs, played by Deborah Harry, preparing to cook a child for a dinner party – and the kid keeps stalling by telling the witch stories from a book.

Lot 249 –  Bellingham, an eccentric graduate student (Steve Buscemi), framed with theft that cost him a vital scholarship uses a scroll to animate an Egyptian Mummy to exact his revenge against the couple who set him up.  The girl’s brother avenges his sister and his best friend’s murder by destroying the Mummy and the scroll with the life-giving incantation but stops short of killing Bellingham but forces him to leave the university forever.

However – the scroll he destroyed isn’t the one with the incantation, Bellingham still has it, and uses it to summon the corpses of the couple to avenge his exile.

The Cat from Hell – based on a story by Stephen King has a rich recluse hire a hitman to kill a cat reputedly responsible for killing three people, leaving him as the next likely victim. However, the cat isn’t as easy to kill as the hitman imagines.

Lover’s Vow – a drunk and broke artist named Preston sees his friend die at the hands of a winged gargoyle. But as long as he keeps his promise never to tell anyone what he saw, the gargoyle spares Preston. 

Later that evening Preston meets Carola (Rae Dawn Chong), they fall in love and his life changes. He becomes successful, Carola becomes pregnant, they have kids. Ten years later, celebrating the anniversary of their chance meeting, Preston tells her of the gargoyle he saw. Big mistake, Carola begins to change into the gargoyle and kills him for breaking his promise.

As the film draws to a close, the kid avoids being cooked by throwing some marbles he had in his pocket at the witch and she falls into the over while he goes free.

All in all, a solid and fast-moving anthology. Satisfying too – I’ve always liked Mummy movies, the Stephen King story involving the cat was surprisingly nasty, but the highlight was the gargoyle.

If only the series had been this consistent.

  Copyright © 2010 - 2019 Robin Pierce. All Rights reserved.

About Me
Reviews & Features
From the Bridge
From the Atomic Vault
Piercing the Veil Podcast
Shocktober Film Fest
Shocktober Crypt