Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990) Poster

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"Lover's Vow" deserved a full-length movie
fardream15 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Tales from the Darkside: The Movie is a delightful collection of three horror stories. While the first two in the film are good, the third and last story in the collection, Lover's Vow, is nothing less than superb. Lover's Vow would have, quite appropriately, been made into a full-length film. It would have been wonderful to have seen this as one installment in a series of Tales from the Darkside films.

Lover's Vow is a love story borne out of the womb of darkness itself. Carola (Rae Dawn Chong) is beautiful and seductive, and her overwhelming maternal energy and beauty nicely compliments the persona exuded by Preston (James Remar), with his obvious yearning for security and stability.

The build-up to the quite tragic ending is lovely. Penniless New York artist Preston is confronted with a living horror. He witnesses the death of a friend at the hands of a gargoyle. The gargoyle spares Preston's life in exchange for keeping his knowledge of its existence a secret. He can tell no one what he saw and heard. On the way home, he meets beautiful Carola, and he beckons her to come with him, fearing that the creature may be lingering about.

But, unknown to Preston, he has just taken the monster with him. This fact is in no way made apparent to the viewer; Preston exudes his compassion and blankets a seemingly innocent woman. Immediately attracted to one other, they consummate their blossoming passion in a truly wonderful love scene. A bluish light engulfing them, coupled with lovely music, they kiss and caress. Knowing how tragically the story ends, the scene becomes all the more beautiful.

Toward the end, Carola and Preston are engaged in discussion about their future. Preston suggests a myriad of possibilities; he, ultimately, just wants the one woman that he loves to be happy. "There is nothing you can give me that I don't already have..." she says. His answer: "Yes, there is." He then divulges his secret to her, while handing her a handmade statue of the gargoyle he'd seen. Carola slowly grasps it and begins to pace away. Clutching the statue and weeping, she turns and says, in anger and pain, "You promised you'd never tell!"

Carola's humanity is lost; the broken vow becomes the key to death's door, for both him and their love. In a macabre scene, Carola begins to transmogrify into a gargoyle; their children do like wise.

Preston beckons her to change back, and, mid-stride between humanity and nonhuman monstrosity, Carola states: "I can't." Hearing the heart-wrenching sounds of his children in pain from the change, he asks her to halt this horrifying procession. The gargoyle states: "It's too late, you betrayed your vow." The gargoyle embraces Preston, and when she does so, he says: "Carola, I loved you," his voice seeming to hiss the word "love." Uttering that she had loved him, too, she kills him. Resting his body gently on the floor, she weeps in pain.

With her children in tow, Carola flies into the night. She becomes a frozen statue atop an old building, clutching her children, to wait for the moment when the cycle of love and death must reiterate itself.

I cannot stress enough what a wonderful job the filmmakers did with this particular story. If you are a horror fan and would like to see some fine horror stories not laden with cheap, low-budget CGI (I'd rather see low-budget puppetry), then at least rent it if only to watch Lover's Vow. Horror and romance are entwined in a very delicate story about simple humanity, the yearning for love, and love's sometimes all-consuming pain.
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Very entertaining Horror Anthology
jluis198412 December 2005
In director John Harrison's adaptation from the 80s TV series, four horror stories are told (one of them as a wraparound story) with different results, although the movie leaves the audience with a feeling of pure worthy entertainment.

The wraparound story stars ex-Blondie singer Deborah Harry as Betty, the typical next door woman, the only difference is that she hides her cannibalistic habits a a secret. Matthew Lawrence is Timmy, a kid who was kidnapped by Betty in order to be her dinner tonight. Timmy begins to tell her stories from the "Tales from the Darkside" book in order to gain time while he plans his escape. The stories Timmy tells are the other three stories in the movie.

First one, "Lot 249", stars Steve Buscemi as Bellingham, a misfit in a yuppie university. Bullied by Andy (Christian Slater), Lee (Robert Sedgwick) and Susan (Julianne Moore), he works as assistant in the Museum. When he receives Lot 249, troubles will begin as he revives an ancient mummy to do his will.

Second one stars William Hickey and David Johansen in a tale of a devilish cat that seems to haunt Hickey's character. Johansen plays a professional assassin hired to kill the feline.

In last one, writer Michael McDowell develops a love story loosely based on a Japanese tale. James Remar stars as Preston, a failed artist who is having the worst day of his life, as he watches his best friend being brutally killed by a mysterious beast who makes him promise that he won't tell anyone about it; everything looks worse until he meets Carola (Rae Dawn Chong), and his life changes for good. What would happen if he reveal the secret of the monster?

The four stories have very good performances, particularly those of Buscemi and Hickey. The downside is that while the three main stories present a very adult horror style with very gory scenes, brief nudity and foul language, the wraparound story looks tame and more similar to kid's horror like "Goosebumps". That doesn't mean that it's a bad tale, is just that it seems out of place in the film, but still the movie is good enough to keep the attention of the viewer.

Very good movie that it's almost forgotten today. The very good acting and the good SFX (although outdated for today's standards) create a very rewarding movie that surely will give entertainment. 7/10
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Terrifying if watched alone late at night
Stevenuccj9 May 2001
One of the top horror-story anthology movies out there (albeit that isn't saying much). Will scare the pants off you if watched late at night by your lonesome. Stories are cleverly placed from least terrifying first to most terrifying at the end. Acting leaves much to be desired, however, with the first story containing the most watchable cast (Steve Buscemi, Christian Slater). Wraparound story is cliched and predictable, but it doesn't really matter.

First story is one of the more interesting mummy tales out there, with Buscemi playing an outsider in a yuppie university who discovers "Lot 249." Lot turns out to be ancient preserved mummy who, of course, wrecks havoc. Twists at the end are good but not exceptional in any way.

Second story is a fantastical tale regarding a vicious cat that never seems to go away. Old man hires hitman to kill cat. Tale is entertaining and unnerving but altogether ridiculous as well. Only for fans of horror, really.

Third story is gem of anthology. Concerns a young man who witnesses a gargoyle savagely kill a man in a dark alley. Man makes vow to never speak of gargoyle to anyone in exchange for his life. Romantic tale ends in shock and horror. Likely to give nightmares.

Overall, this movie is laughable and boring in daytime but can be terrifying at night. Personally I have a tough time choosing favorite tale; each one brings something different to the table. Horror buffs be sure to check this one out if you haven't already.
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One Of The Better Horror Movies Of The 90's!
Brian-27225 March 2000
If your a fan of Tales From The Crypt or Creepshow then Tales From The Darkside: The Movie is a must see! All three stories are highly enjoyable the last story Lovers Vow is great a honor to the now late Michael McDowell. Lot 249 also features great performances from Christian Slater,Steve Buscemi,and Julianne Moore. The second story Cat from Hell is enjoyable and is one of William Hickey's last roles.A great horror movie to watch over and over one of the best ever made.
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"All the Better to Eat You With My Dear"
BaronBl00d30 June 2001
Tales From the Darkside: the Movie was a very entertaining film. It has four stories in it. The first is a wrap-around story about a woman going to cook a ten year old boy for dinner, yet the child reads stories to her to try and delay his death. In a way, this is related to tales of the Arabian Nights. The three other stories are the ones told by the young boy. All of them are actually very interesting, have elements of fright, are generally well-acted, and have some kind of message. One deals with an ancient mummy out to avenge a smart yet socially outcast student at a college. Another story deals with a malevolent cat out to duel with a hitman paid $100,000 to kill a cat. Gruesome but great story with some real good acting, especially by William Hickey. Love that voice! The final story deals with a relationship between a gargoyle and an artist. An intriguing tale and has Rae Dawn Chong in it(a nice asset). All the stories are well-made and well-written, the wrap-around story being the weakest due to its resolution. Nonetheless, Tales From the Darkside is a fun horror film in the vein of Tales From the Crypt and Creepshow.
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aka Creepshow 3
Gislef22 December 1998
Okay, not officially, but basically this Romero/King joint effort is a successor to their Creepshow movies as much as a movie-length version of the TV series Tales from the Darkside. Maybe they avoided calling it Creepshow 3 due to the poor take from the second movie? Regardless, while the framing device is merely adequate, all three of the stories are chilling enough. The first two stories are in the fine old EC Comics/Creepshow tradition of bad people getting their comeuppance in memorable style. The third is a rather touching romance, all things considered. The best segment is probably the first, with performances from Christian Slater doing his best Jack Nicolson impression, and cult-fave Steve Buscemi as a murderous grad student. But it's all pretty enjoyable if you like that kind of thing.
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Horror fans should love it
kurciasbezdalas11 September 2008
I've watched this movie mainly because Deborah Harry was in it. I've seen some other her films like Hairspray or Videodrome and I must say that yet this is the best her role of those movies i've seen. Althau it is quite obvious that she is a better singer than an actress but still I liked her character very much. The only bad thing about it was that she appeared for only ten minutes (or maybe less) of the film. Anyway there were a lot of other good actors like Steve Buscemi or Christian Slater. All three stories were great, especially the third one. Steven Kings fans should also see it because the second one was based on King (actualy not one of the best his stories but still OK). I was kinda surprised because I expected that this movie will be dumb and childish but it appeared to be really creepy.
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Don't You Just Love Happy Endings?
claudio_carvalho7 March 2014
Little Timmy (Matthew Lawrence) is arrested in the kitchen of Betty (Deborah Harry) that is preparing a dinner party for eight guests where Timmy is the main dish. Timmy tells three horror stories to buy time and try to escape:

"Lot 249" – The riches Andy (Christian Slater) and his best friend Lee (Robert Sedgwick) use Andy's sister Susan (Julianne Moore) to trick the nerd Bellingham (Steve Buscemi) and get his place in the university. Bellingham brings a Mummy (Michael Deak) to his room and uses a scroll to revive him and to take revenge against Lee and Susan and later against Andy.

"Cat from Hell" – The millionaire Drogan (William Hickey) hires the hit- man Halston (David Johansen) to kill a cat that has murdered the three other people that lived with him in his mansion. But soon Halston learns that the cat is from hell.

"Lover's Vow" – The washed up artist Preston (James Remar) goes to the bar of his friend Jer to meet his agent Wyatt (Robert Klein) that tells him that does not want to be his agent anymore. Preston drinks booze until Jer closes the bar and they walk through a dark alley. Out of the blue, Jer is attacked and decapitated by a gargoyle and when Preston is going to be attacked, he promises to the gargoyle that he will never tell what has happened that night in the alley. The gargoyle flies away and when Preston is walking back home, he sees a woman, Carola (Rae Dawn Chong), near to the place where Jer was murdered. Preston invites Carola to go to his flat to call a cab and they begin a romance. Ten years later, they are happily married with two children and Preston decides to disclose his secret to his wife with tragic consequences for his family and him.

"Tales from the Darkside: The Movie" follows the format of "Creepshow", with a wraparound story and three segments. The wraparound story is funny with the fate of Timmy. "Lot 249" and "Cat from Hell" are good segments with the debut of Julianne Moore in a feature. But the unforgettable and heartbreaking "Lover's Vow" is among the best horror stories that I have ever seen with the surprising conclusion. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Contos da Escuridão" ("Tales from the Darkside")
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The fact that this movie was originally supposed to be another Creepshow sequel helps me understand.
Aaron137530 March 2009
Understand what you ask? Why this movie to me just does not have the feel of the television series it is named from and does seem to have more of a Creepshow feel to it. None of the three stories seems like it would ever have played on the television show with the introduction story of the little boy being held by the crazy woman probably being the most like it came from the show. The first story seems straight out of the HBO series "Tales from the Crypt" with the second one having more of the "Creepshow feel and the final one almost having more of a Twilight Zone quality to it. The first story has one guy killing people with the help of a mummy, not really much to it, but it does have the most stars in it as you will recognize quite a few of the people featured in it. The second one is my favorite, but not really going to garner to much mention as a hit-man is requested by a rather eccentric old man to exterminate a rather strange target. The target in question is that of a cat. The final story is about a man who witnesses a strange killing and is told to keep it a secret, his life seems to be going well, but he is still haunted by what he saw that evening. This story is really to tame with the exception of the beginning and the end. Then of course the story of the boy and his captor is wrapped up. It has a few ups and is far from awful, it just is not that good either as the show had much better stories.
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Pretty good.
willywants26 July 2004
This is really three shorter movies, bound together by a fourth tale in which the other three stories are read. The first segment features an animated mummy stalking selected student victims; the second tale tells the story of a "cat from hell" who cannot be killed and leaves a trail of victims behind it; the third story is about a man who witnesses a bizarre killing and promises never to tell what he saw and the "in-between" bit is the story of a woman preparing to cook her newspaper boy for supper. Not the best king adaption, but hey, it ain't bad either. A good cast and some nice special effects. The Gargoyle was nasty! Plenty of gore here, but used in just enough moderation to be effective. A couple of tense moments, some god scares (Especially in the story about involving an elusive, seemingly immortal cat.) and pretty good music. Pretty good movie, just nothing really spectacular or life-changing. My rating for "Tales from the Darkside: The Movie"--6/10.
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"Lover's Vow"!
jaigurudavid13 December 2018
The "Lover's Vow" is one of the best stories to ever be portrayed in film.
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solid first story
SnoopyStyle11 December 2016
In a seemingly normal upper middle class suburban home, Betty (Debbie Harry) is revealed to be a witch holding Timmy (Matthew Lawrence) prisoner. She's preparing to cook him for her dinner party. He tells her three stories from "Tales from the Darkside" to hold off the inevitable. In the first tale, Andy (Christian Slater) is a friend to the underhanded arrogant rich college guy Lee. Lee is using Andy's sister Susan (Julianne Moore) to do his work and steal a scholarship from Edward Bellingham (Steve Buscemi). Edward has purchased Lot 249 which is a mummy he's looking to resell. A hidden parchment helps him take revenge. The first part is solid. The horror could be done scarier and more gruesome. It does have Slater going against Buscemi. It's solid work.

The second story is less compelling. It's a story told by Timmy about an old guy who tells stories. The best thing about the second story is William Hickey but that's about it. A cat is not scary (at least not here) and it's flat. It tries to be funny and fails. The third tale is a great short story. As a cinematic endeavor, it suffers from a flat middle. James Remar plays an artist who is forced to keep quiet about his encounter with a gargoyle. The gargoyle animatronics is not the best. It looks fake which keeps it from being scary. The surprise twist is great but the story needs more tension in the middle. In total, the movie is an up and down affair.
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No Cat's Eye, but Still Good
view_and_review24 June 2014
Much like Cat's Eye was a series of three short stories, Tales from the Darkside is done similarly. In this Stephen King work a boy tries to avoid being cooked and eaten by a witch by occupying her with fanciful stories.

There were three total stories featuring some well known actors. Some were already established, like Rae Dawn Chong and William Hickey. Others I don't believe were as well known at the time, such as Christian Slater, Steve Buscemi, and Jullianne Moore.

I thought the three stories were solidly done. I can't remember the order but the order of preference for me was: 1.) Mummy story, 1A.) Gargoyle story 3.) and a distant third was the cat story.

None of the stories were very spooky or scary, in fact you could say they were somewhat comical (especially the mummy story), but they all had an intriguing premise. The three stories all wrapped into the initial story made for a good movie.
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A nice and tasty treat of mixed horror a ghoulish bag of horror anthology memories.
blanbrn21 October 2011
"Tales From the Darkside: The Movie" is certainly one of my favorite horror anthology films it's one that's well remembered I really know it by heart having seen it numerous times. It was only natural that I liked it so well since I was a fan of 1982's classic "Creepshow" and I loved as a kid the "Tales from the Darkside" TV series along with HBO's "Tales from the Crypt" so this film was right for my taste as it was one of 1990's most memorable films. Done like a modern day fable with a cute and neat wraparound story that takes a twist the film was very well done with suspense and gore and it's tales and segments featured the work of many veteran acts like Deborah Harry, James Remar, William Hickey, and Rae Dawn Chong. While it showcased the early work of future talents like Christian Slater, Julianne Moore, and Steve Buscemi.

Starting out in the northeast I believe in the outskirts of New York the wraparound begins with a woman named Betty(Deborah Harry)who appears good on the outside only inside her and her home lies evil she's a real modern day witch. She's holding captive little boy Timmy(Matthew Lawrence)who she plans to eat for a dinner roast! Timmy delays it though by telling his favorite stories from a book, and this gets us into the film.

First up is "Lot 249" based on an old Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tale, it involves a university set somewhere in a New England state in which an odd and strange but bright student Bellingham(Steve Buscemi in an early role) obtains a most unusual and old friend in the form of an ancient mummy. This is what he lives for after he was cheated out of a university prize and all of this mess was brought on by a female student body the cold and snobbish stuck up yet sexy Susan(Julianne Moore with some early work)she framed Bellingham for a wrong doing. Never fear revenge is in the works in the form of reading script and rising up an ancient mummy! As it's nice to see poor boy Bellingham have the last laugh as Susan her boyfriend Lee and brother Andy(Christian Slater) learn the meaning of final exams! Good revenge tale.

Second and most disturbing it's gross with blood and gore yet a little far fetched but I guess not if you believe a cat has nine lives! "Cat From Hell" a short story from the great Stephen King is a tale of a black cat that simply will not die! It features a northern billionaire a pharmacy executive Drogan(the wonderful and legendary William Hickey)as a lonely and on his last leg old man who's final days are numbered after the years of torment and harassment he's seen from this black cat. And despite the hired help of a hit man Halston(David Johansen the veteran character actor)this cat will not go down no amount of money in the world can take out this cat. Unbelievable cats have more than nine lives.

Last and maybe the best tale at least in terms of the moral lesson it teaches is "Lover's Vow". Written by the late Michael McDowell it involves the life of a struggling New York city artist and sculptor Preston(James Remar)who simply cannot make ends meet his agent gives his work the brush. Until one night late outside a bar on the city streets something horrible and strange happens it's very unspeakable something that will change his life, yet Preston makes a promise and he lives. Then he meets on the streets a strange and exotic erotic beauty named Carola(Rae Dawn Chong)this is the girl of his dreams. For ten years peace and happiness is brought only the past haunts him. Sadly and very hurtful to watch in the end is to see Preston break his promise. In the end his vows, life, love and family is all taken away so sad. It proves that secrets are better off and to be kept hidden don't tell it and don't break a promise.

Then the wraparound ends with a surprise happy twist an ending of a surprise roast the modern day witch has to eat her own medicine. Overall director John Harrison directed a great film one that's a highly memorable classic a horror anthology that I will never forget it's bag of mixed tales were a tasty treat for my taste!
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Three Tales Of Terror Which Will Keep You Awake All Night Long.
Vivekmaru4514 January 2011
If you liked The Twilight Zone: The Movie, Tales From The Crypt, Tales That Witness Madness, Trilogy Of Terror and Body Bags, you're sure to love this one. This film consists of three horror film segments: 1. Lot 249 (Based On A.C. Doyle's original short story which is adapted by Michael McDowell).

2. Cat From Hell (Based on a Stephen King short story and directed by the master of horror George Romero himself).

3. Lover's Vow (Written by Michael McDowell and based on yuki-onna, a spirit or yōkai in Japanese folklore or more specifically Lafcadio Hearns version in Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things.) Full Plot: The movie opens with a housewife (Deborah Harry) planning a dinner party. The main dish is to be Timmy (Matthew Lawrence), a young paperboy chained up in her pantry. To stall her from stuffing and roasting him, the boy tells her three horror stories from the book "Tales from the Darkside".

Lot 249 – In the first segment, Michael McDowell adapts Arthur Conan Doyle's short story, "Lot No. 249". A graduate student, Bellingham (played by Steve Buscemi), reanimates a mummy and uses it to take revenge on a pair of crooked college students, Susan (played by Julianne Moore), and Lee (played by Robert Sedgwick) who conspired to cheat Bellingham out of a scholarship. Their actions 'framed' him for theft from a museum, which results in his expulsion from the college. In vengeance for his master, the reanimated corpse kills both in rather gruesome ways. After discovering the cause, Susan's brother Andy (played by Christian Slater) kidnaps Bellingham, and burns the parchment and mummy that was the cause of it all. It is later discovered that Andy had burned the incorrect scroll, as the reanimated corpses of Susan and Lee close in on Andy in his dorm room, controlled by Bellingham.

Cat From Hell – In the second tale, George A. Romero adapts a Stephen King short story (of the same name). It is the story of Drogan, a wealthy elderly man who uses a wheelchair, (played by William Hickey), who hires a hit-man, Halston (played by David Johansen), for one of the strangest jobs of his career: kill a black cat, which Drogan believes is murderously evil. Drogan explains that there were three other occupants of his house before the cat arrived: his sister, Amanda (played by Dolores Sutton), her friend Carolyn (played by Alice Drummond), and the family's butler, Richard Gage (played by Mark Margolis). The cat was adopted by Carolyn and Amanda, who ignore Drogan's claim that he can sense that the cat is evil. Drogan claims that one by one, the cat killed the other three: first it tripped Amanda, causing her to fall down a flight of stairs; then it clamped on to Carolyn's face until she suffocated; and finally, after Gage managed to capture the beast and tried to take it to the vet to put it down, it scratched his face, causing Gage to get into a fatal car crash.

Drogan believes that he is being punished because his pharmaceutical company killed 5,000 cats while testing a new drug. Halston doesn't believe the story, but is more than willing to eliminate the cat since Drogan is offering $100,000. Halston soon discovers that the cat is extremely difficult to kill after he tries to kill it several times. Eventually the cat kills the hit-man, forcing itself down his throat and into his stomach. Drogan returns and finds the hit-man's body; the cat climbs out of the hit-man's mouth and jumps at Drogan, which causes him to have a fatal heart attack.

Lover's Vow – The third and final segment is written by Michael McDowell and based on yuki-onna, a spirit or yōkai in Japanese folklore or more specifically Lafcadio Hearns version in Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things. In the story, a despondent artist named Preston (played by James Remar) witnesses a gruesome murder by a gargoyle-like monster. The monster gets Preston to swear to never speak of what he saw in exchange for a promise to spare his life. After making the promise, Preston meets a beautiful woman named Carola (played by Rae Dawn Chong). Preston marries Carola, the two have kids, and Preston has a revival of his art career. But Preston was still tormented by guilt about his silence, and started reconsidering the promise he made to the monster.

Preston then tells Carola about that night ten years ago when they met after he had witnessed the killing of a man by a monster which he sculpted to show her. After releasing a heartbroken screech, Carola reveals herself to be the very same creature he made the promise with, lamenting that the promise Preston made to the monster had been broken. As such, she reverts to her previous form, and their children transform into similar monsters as well. Within the shock and despair of such revelations, Preston is killed at 'her' hands, and she escapes through a skylight with their children. The final scene shows that the gargoyle and children have turned to stone upon a building ledge, staring down at Preston's body in remorse.

The Epilogue – As the woman makes preparations to cook Timmy he trips her by throwing some marbles on the floor. The woman slips and falls on her butcher's equipment, stabbing herself in the back. Timmy releases himself and pushes her into her own oven. The film ends with Timmy helping himself to a cookie and breaking the fourth wall by asking us: "Don't you just love happy endings?" Verdict: Go out and BUY it. This is superb horror. Also DON'T FORGET to buy the 4 season TV series Tales From The Darkside as well.
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Three Tales before Dinner
sol-kay16 January 2004
******SPOILERS****** Betty, Debbie Harry, a local witch has the newspaper delivery boy Timmy, Matthew Lawrence, locked up in her house and after giving him all the cookies that he can eat to fatten him up for her and her fellow witches, who are coming over later that evening, to have him as the main course for dinner.

Giving Timmy a book "Tales From The Darkside" to read as Betty makes the preparations for him to be cooked Timmy tells her if he can read her some stories from the book so it would take his mind off of whats going to happen to him. Betty agrees to listen to Timmy reading the stories from "Tales From The Darkside" because it's also her favorite book and would make the mundane task of getting everything ready for the meal go a lot faster.

Timmy starts with the story about a group of collage students entitled "Lot 249". Edward, Steve Buscemi, gets a parcel, Lot 249, delivered to his collage dorm room that has a 3,000 year old mummy in it. Edward's fellow students once tried to get him expelled from school by planting a rumor that he stole an Aztec artifact and he knows who they are Susan, Julianne Moore, and her boyfriend Lee, Robert Sedgwick, and Edward is planing to use the mummy to get more then even with them for what they did to him.

Finding a secret scroll hidden inside the mummy Edward interprets and recites whats on that scroll to bring the mummy back to life who ends up killing both students. Susan's brother Andy, Christian Slater, finds out about Edward's actions and after he knocks out and ties up Edward to a chair he dismembers the mummy with an electric carving knife. But instead of killing Edward for what he did to his sister and his best friend Andy runs Edward out of the campus. Andy feeling that he took care of Edward and his mummy for good didn't realize that the mummy wasn't the only thing that Edward brought back to life.

The next story "Cat From Hell" that Timmy reads is about a rich old man Drogan, William Hickey, who hires a top Mafia hit-man Halston, David Johansen. Drogan gives him $50,000.00 up front and will give him another $50,000.00 after he can prove that he killed a black cat that has been terrorizing the old man and that killed his two sisters and butler and is now targeting him for elimination. Halston at first thinks that Drogan is nuts but soon sees that this seemingly harmless kitty cat is an indestructible and ferocious monster that's far more dangerous then any of the scores of gangsters that he "hit" during his long and successful criminal career.

The cat came to avenge what Drogan's Pharmaceutical empire did to develop a very expensive and successful drug called Tri-Dorma-Phenobarbin-Compound G. The drug is for people with heart trouble like Drogan as well as a legal stimulant like the drugs sold on the street by the mob for whom Halston works for. Drogan took the lives of 5,000 cat's over four years to perfect that drug. This mysterious cat was somehow sent to make Drogan and his family pay for what they did in regard to all those cat's that were experimented and killed to make Drogan and Co. very rich because of it. In the end the little kitty not only took care of hit-man Halston but the scared and guilt-ridden employer Drogan as well in a really gut wrenching and stomach churning final.

The last story that Timmy reads "Lover's Vow" is about a struggling artiest Preston, James Remar, who one night in a dark alley sees his friend Gage, Mark Margolis, savagely killed by some demon. The demon makes Preston promise never to tell about what happened and anything that he saw that night for the rest of his life of else.

Later that evening Preston meets a strange and mysterious woman Carola, Rea Dawn Chong, who he falls in love with and marries. Later Preston's artistic luck begins to change with his art work starts to get noticed by the public with him becoming a rich and very successful artiest.

On the tenth anniversary of him meeting Carola Preston feels that he has to tell her this secret that he kept from her all these years and that by him not telling her that he thinks that he was somehow not being truthful with her. It turns out by him doing that Preston finds out that sometimes the truth is not the wises and healthiest thing to tell; even to someone that you love and feel should know about it.

With that Timmy both out of time and stories and everything ready for him to become the main course for dinner for Betty and her witches friends there's suddenly and unsuspectingly a slip in the plot and what's for dinner that evening turns out not to be what Betty was preparing.

Very good anthology of the TV show "Tales From The Darkside" that turns out to be much better the you would have expected on the big screen.
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"None Of The Stories In That Book Have A Happy Ending!"...
azathothpwiggins20 October 2019
As horror anthology films go, TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: THE MOVIE is a good one, consisting of three segments and a wraparound story. The wraparound has Deborah Harry preparing a very interesting dinner. Her main course is... disagreeable, and delays his fate by convincing her to listen to tales from the titular tome. Tale #1 is called LOT 249- A college student (Steve Buscemi) receives the large, heavy box of the title, using its moldering contents to unleash gruesome vengeance upon the snobby cretins who have wronged him. Co-stars Christian Slater and Julianne Moore. An excellent story w/ a perfectly-realized monster and a fantastic double twist ending! Tale #2, entitled CAT FROM HELL, stars David Johansen as a hit man, hired by an ancient zillionaire (William Hickey) to kill his... cat! Said assassin soon discovers that this is no ordinary feline! This one's absurdity is matched by it's sheer entertainment value. Both Johansen and the kitty are quite memorable in their blood-soaked duel. Tale #3 is LOVER'S VOW, in which an artist (James Remar) witnesses something horrific and unbelievable. He is allowed to live, only if he never mentions what he has seen to anyone. Of course, such a promise is difficult to keep. Arguably the best part of the whole anthology, this story has horror, gore, and even poignancy. It also sports a jaw-dropping transformation scene! Co-stars Rae Dawn Chong, who is hot enough to melt lead! Yikes! A terrific collection of terror tales, suitable for any Halloween fright fest!...
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King sends his regards.
matatosky20 June 2016
Another awesome anthology of horror segments. Fans of Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt should love this one.

First segment, you have Christian Slater living a pretty sweet and pretentious life, filled with Tennis sets and Cardigans. He stumbles upon Steve Buscemi's mad scientist performance and discovers that the man has a mummy enclosed in his study. The mummy breaks out, causes havoc and ultimately dismisses of anyone near it. Pretty creepy story and the ending is pretty eerie and funny at the same time. Loved it.

Second segment, you have William Hickey being creepy as ever (or as always) who hires a professional hit-man to dispose of his cat, after explaining that the cat is a demon feline from hell, sent to avenge the cats that his company has tortured via experiments throughout the years. Very visually gripping and pretty terrifying as a premise, considering I really despise cats. (Seriously, they make me hostile)

Third segment, James Remar is cast as a struggling artist, who after one night of drinking, encounters a murderous creature that instead of killing him, makes him swear to never acknowledge of its existence to anyone EVER. He agrees to do so, but years and years of guilt over the circumstances of that night, he reveals it to his wife with surprising results.

This is what Creepshow 3 should've been but unfortunately, that title was reserved for a piece of pure crap that was made in 2006. The movie is mildly funny at times but that is to be expected in horror flicks. Acting is pretty good and convincing. The movie's lighting wasn't apparently in the budget because in a lot of night time scenes, the atmosphere is pretty dark and grainy, but then again, that may have been the intention to sell the piece as a serious effort. This one is one to watch alone, with some popcorn and the lights on, because believe me, it'll keep you on edge. A true 90s horror classic.
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Enjoyable Horror Anthology
utgard1414 December 2013
Horror anthology movie spun-off from the Tales from the Darkside TV series. It features three stories plus a bookend piece. The first story is "Lot 249" about a nerd (Steve Buscemi) who is cheated out of a scholarship by an evil girl and her boyfriend (Julianne Moore, Robert Sedgwick ). He seeks revenge by using an ancient scroll to send a mummy after them. Christian Slater plays Moore's brother and is an inconsistently written character. Buscemi is enjoyable though and it's nice to see an old-school mummy.

The second story is "Cat from Hell" about an elderly millionaire (Wiliam Hickey) who hires a hit-man (Buster Poindexter) to kill a cat. This is the weakest story of the bunch. Hickey and Poindexter are fine but it's kind of obnoxiously dark and I didn't really care what happened to anybody, including the cat. The third story is "Lover's Vow," about an artist (James Remar) whose life is spared by a gargoyle as long as he never reveals he saw the monster. He falls in love with a woman (Rae Dawn Chong) and after many years together the temptation to share his secret becomes too great. This story pretty much rips off the "Woman of the Snow" story from the superior horror anthology film Kwaidan (1964) but is still well done and probably the best story in the movie.

The bookend linking story is a take-off on Hansel & Gretel, with a witch (Debbie Harry) preparing to cook a little boy (Matthew Lawrence). To stall for time, the boy tells her stories from his favorite book, which leads into the three other tales. This is an amusing and enjoyable part of the film, though nothing exceptional. Overall, it's a surprisingly enjoyable film, helped in large part by a good cast. The stories aren't particularly strong, but somehow it manages to keep you entertained. The acting, directing, and special effects are pretty good and make up for the writing as much as they can.
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Fun Saturday night scare-fest
tenthousandtattoos14 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
What is it with George Romero and weird little animals crawling out of people...I mean, we got cockroaches in Creepshow, a monkey in Monkey Shines (remember the dream sequence??) and now we got a cat in TFTD! I really liked the Cat from Hell story...I found the old man creepy and the hit-man very amusing...his tough guy monologues had me giggling uncontrollably at times, and the cat was a deliciously evil yet nonchalant little character, although I must say I was scratching my head a bit when it crawls INSIDE the guy through his MOUTH...bizarre.

The whole movie is a bit on the silly side, but fun nonetheless. In "Lot 249" it was great to see Christian Slater, Julianne Moore and Steve Buscemi before they were big stars. It was even better to see Julianne Moore stuffed with flowers by a mummy performing his own macabre "poetic justice" on people who ticked off the geek who brought him to life with an ancient scroll! Great stuff!

"Cat from Hell"...go the kitty! That hit-man was a loser and the old croney in the wheel chair was a cat-killer! Ha! Serves you right, you b*stards!

"Lover's Vow"...hey, it's Ajax from "The Warriors" and Rae Dawn Chong (who not only has a cool name but starred opposite Arnie in "Commando" a few years before this) playing the lovers...what an original and deliciously horrific little tale this one is...I won't spoil it, except to say...never realised how cute Rae actually is...anyway...

The "wraparound" story is pretty cool, despite Debbie Harry's abysmal acting abilities...she had an okay voice, what possessed her to start acting...? Anyway...she does alright I spose, looking a little like Michelle Pfieffer, but Timmy steals the show in this one.

All in all, as far as horror anthologies go, Creepshow is heaps better, but this is a fun Saturday night scare-fest, and would be good to watch with Creepshow or Creepshow 2.
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A great horror movie!
Movie Nuttball12 December 2002
Tales from the Darkside: The Movie is a great film with three great stories.

The wraparound story: Its pretty good and it has a good ending.

LOT 249: Julianne Moore looked so different. This story is a good mummy tale with a lot of gore!

Cat From Hell: William Hickey and David Johansen put on very good performances.

Lover's Vow: Excellent story,excellent music,excellent monster,excellent acting by James Remar and Rae Dawn Chong.This story gives Me the creeps.It makes you wonder what if? This story right here is worth the rental or purchase alone!

Tales from the Darkside: The Movie is a great movie and I recommend all horror fans to check it out!
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* * * out of 4.
brandonsites198114 August 2002
Young boy (David Forrester) is kidnapped by a modern day witch (Debbie Harry) who plans on making him dinner. To try and keep the witch distracted and buy himself some time the boy tells the witch three scary stories, the best being the final one. While all of the tales are rather unoriginal, they are extremely entertaining and provide just enough spooky moments. The cast is much better then usual and the visual effects are top notch. Much better then the awful TV series on which this is based on.
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Horror Lite
ReelCheese11 June 2006
TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: THE MOVIE is the kind of "horror lite" you might find scary if you're a fourth grader up at midnight. The rest of us are only mildly amused at this anthology of not-so gruesome tales.

A young boy tries to stave off becoming dinner for a modern-day witch by sharing a trio of stories from the phonebook-sized "Tales from the Darkside" book. First a mummy is resurrected to exact revenge on a college preppy. Next, a black cat proves to be more than just bad luck for a hit-man hired to kill the cursed creature. Finally we have a murderous gargoyle with a really big secret.

A blend of GOOSEBUMPS, Charles Band and '80s shlock, TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE only escapes mediocrity with the mummy vignette, which is surprisingly effective and reminds us how horror doesn't always have to be about bloody knives and severed body parts. A young Steve Buscemi is terrific as the tormented geek who summons an undead monster so real you can almost smell the decay. However, this opening bit is quickly forgotten amid the dreariness and futility of the final two tales. The gargoyle story in particular is silly and out of place with a monster that looks like it came straight from Jim Henson's Creature Workshop.

The motive behind TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE was a good one. It sought to revive the "scary stories around the campfire" style of horror from yesteryear. It just couldn't match its ambition with results.
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Not Bad, OK for Slumber Parties
StreepFan12627 October 2002
Not a bad film, although it could have been better. The wraparound story was good, as a kid tries to stall time by reading scary stories from a book. The first one dealt with a nerdy student seeking a revenge by raising a mummy from the dead. It was the best one. Julianne Moore, who appears in this story, has come a long way. The second one "Cat From Hell" was frustrating. The last one, which dealt with a gargoyle that came to life, was predictible. Good for Halloween parties. 2** out of 5.
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One of the best horror anthology.
Fella_shibby29 March 2018
I first saw this on a vhs in the 90s. Found it to b scary n gory then. Revisited it recently on a dvd for nostalgic fun. It is a horror anthology film. The first segment deals with a mummy brought back to life. The best part about this segment was the star cast, Julianne Moore, Slater n Buscemi. Some off screen gore, inserting steel shirt hanger inside a nose n popping out the brain. The second segment is about a cat. This segment is scary with good effects. The last segment is about a man (James Remar) who witnesses a killing by a Gargoyle n promises the Gargoyle that in exchange for his life, he will never tell anyone about it. Some really good effects, especially the transformation scene.
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