Tales from the Darkside

Tagged: TV

US tv series (1983-1988). Laurel Entertainment, Inc. Syndicated. Created by Richard P Rubinstein. Executive producers Jerry Golod, George A Romero and Richard P Rubinstein. Directors included Frank De Palma, Jody Foster and Tom Savini. Writers included Harlan Ellison, David Gerrold, Michael Kube-McDowell and Edithe Swenson. 90 30-minute episodes. Colour.

This horror and fantasy Television Anthology Series was inspired by the Romero-directed film Creepshow (1982). The series was low-budget; stories were often over-the-top and sometimes played for laughs. Many of the segments were science-fictional in content. "The Impressionist" concerns a stage impressionist hired by the FBI to communicate with an Alien being. "Lifebomb", about an overworked man who buys an implanted device that resuscitates him every time he dies of a heart attack, is based on Michael Kube-McDowell "Lifebomb" (January 1985 Analog). "Ring Around the Redhead", whose protagonist accidentally creates a portal allowing a woman from another Dimension to enter ours, is based on the John D MacDonald story "Ring Around the Redhead" (November 1948 Startling Stories). "Slippage", also based on a Kube-McDowell story – "Slippage" (August 1982 Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone Magazine) – concerns a man who is gradually ceasing to exist. In "Hush", adapted from the Zenna Henderson story "Hush" (November 1953 Beyond Fantasy Fiction), a small boy invents a noise-eating Machine that becomes a menace. Further genre authors whose stories were adapted include Robert Bloch, Lois McMaster Bujold, Ron Goulart, Stephen King and Frederik Pohl.

The series was followed up after its demise by Rubinstein's similarly produced Monsters (1988-1991). A spinoff film was Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990) directed by John Harrison. [LW]

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