Tales from the Darkside: The Movie - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Tales from the Darkside: The Movie Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 7, 2011
The alternative (competitor?) to the Twilight Zone movie but not quite in the same league in my opinion. The film consists of three stories within a wrap around story told by a boy who is going to eaten by a witch of all things.

First tale see's a man use a 3000 year old mummy to kill a few select people (an adaptation of a Arthur Conan Doyle short). Not a bad story and handled reasonably well with good makeup on the mummy and some bloody deaths dealt out. Big cast names in this story with Buscemi and Christian Slater and a nice ending make this tale the second best of the three.

Second tale is an adaptation of a Stephen King story and the weakest of the three, an old man is sure he is cursed by a cat which is trying to kill him after it supposedly killed his sister. The reason behind this being the old mans pharmaceutical company killed many thousands of cats in testing a new drug. Pretty lame story really which isn't particularly spooky in the slightest. The cat is obviously some sort of demon which is cool and this is shown in the way it kills the hitman who has been hired to get rid of the cat, I just think it could of been more scary or eerie basically.

Third and final tale stars James Remar and is about a guy who witnesses the death of a man by a gargoyle type creature. The creature lets the witness live if he promises not to tell anyone of what he saw. Easily the best story even though its not explained too well and leaves you asking various questions by the end. Some great makeup and effects in the finale as we see a transformation similar to finale in 'The Fly' with Jeff Goldblum, really nicely done without the use of CGI, no surprise with Dick Smith being involved.

Overall not as good as 'Twilight Zone: the Movie' and a bit more adult with its content, more blood 'n' gore on show and some creepy monsters lend itself to some light scares. Still two of the stories are solid and quite sinister which I'm sure fans will enjoy if you like these type of horror anthologies. The overall quality just doesn't quite match the Twilight Zone standard that raised the bar originally.
Super Reviewer
½ November 18, 2011
Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (also known as the unofficial Creepshow 3 by its creators) is a worthy anthology film with both class and style. The stories aren't perfect (especially the last one) and they don't really cut together all that well, but the tone and style are pitch-perfect. It's great to see old school mechanical and special effects being used before CGI mostly took over the industry. It's also great to see the work of four masters, George Romero, Stephen King, Michael Mcdowell and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, being used as the basis for the the three stories and the wrap-around segment. It's definitely not a perfect horror movie, but it has a lot of substance and doesn't fail to entertain.
Super Reviewer
½ August 5, 2011
Tales from the Dark side: The Movie is according to Tom Savini, the real sequel to Creepshow. I read that somewhere can't be sure. The result of Tales from the Dark side is a film filled with mediocre stories, that don't deliver anything really interesting. Some cast members were interesting, yes, but overall, the film was a pretty big miss. I felt they could've done something a lot better, and what's really sad is that at least one story was fairly good. But unfortunately, it wasn't enough to redeem this horrible anthology of horror stories. I felt that the filmmakers didn't care for the film at all, and made this film in a rush. The results show on screen, and it's almost embarrassing. Tales from the Dark side could've been a better film, but it fails as a whole, and is one of the worst horror anthologies that I have seen. This is a poorly made, poorly written film with a decent enough cast that couldn't even save the film. Tales from the Dark side is a missed opportunity and could have been much better.
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
In the tradition of movies like Twilight Zone the movie and Creepshow, comes another anthology horror movie based on the TV show Tales from the Dark Side. This movie has a bunch of good actors, just like the show did, and the stories are as good as well. The story that links them all is the best, though. Overall, a good movie.
Super Reviewer
½ July 27, 2009
Tales from the Darkside: The Movie starts with an ordinary looking woman named Betty (Deborah Harry) driving home, once there it is revealed that she is keeping a young boy named Timmy (Matthew Lawrence) locked in a cage in her kitchen & intends to kill, cook & eat him. To try & stall for time Timmy offers to read some stories from a book called 'Tales from the Darkside', Betty reveals that they have plenty of time & tells him to go ahead. Timmy's first story is called 'Lot 249'...

Andy (Christian Slater) & Lee (Robert Sedgwick) are university students & best friends. They discover another student named Edward Bellingham (Steve Buscemi) has won an auction for 'Lot 249' which happens to be an Egyptian sarcophagus with it's Mummy still inside. Edward finds an ancient scroll stuffed inside the Mummy which when recited is able to bring the Mummy back to life...

Betty liked 'Lot 247' so lets Timmy tell another one, this time called 'Cat from Hell'...

A hit-man named Halsten (David Johansen) arrives at the large mansion owned by the billionaire owner of a pharmaceuticals company named Drogan (William Hickey) who offers to pay Halsten $100,000 to kill a mysterious black cat which he believes has been sent to kill him. Drogan thinks the cat has already killed three people & thinks he is next. Halsten thinks Drogan is crazy but accepts nevertheless, however he soon discovers that killing this particular cat isn't as easy as it first would appear...

Betty also liked 'Cat from Hell' & says that Timmy can tell one more story, Timmy chooses 'Lover's Vow'...

Preston (James Remar) is a failed New York artist whose apartment is overlooked by a stone Gargoyle. One night after he is told by his agent Wyatt (Robert Klein) that he is being dumped Preston gets so drunk the bartender Jer (Ashton Wise) has to take him home. While walking down some back alleyway Jer is decapitated by a large creature with wings & sharp claws, the creature goes up to Preston & says that it will spare his life if he never tells anyone about it. Not having much choice Preston agrees & the creature disappears in the New York night. Shortly after this unnerving encounter Preston meets & falls in love with a woman named Carola (Rae Dawn Chong) whom after being together for 10 years have two children, Margaret (Nicole Leach) & John (Daniel Harrison) but Preston is finding it harder to keep his secret but surely after all this time it wouldn't matter if he told his wife, would it...?

Betty now decides enough is enough, there will be no more stories & it's time for Timmy to become dinner...

Directed by John Harrison who also composed the score for the 'Lover's Vow' Segment, I thought Tales from the Darkside: The Movie was a good horror anthology that isn't the best this sub-genre has to offer but it is by no means the worst either. I like anthology films & I look for quick fast paced stories with a nice twist at they're end. Unfortunately Tales from the Darkside: The Movie didn't quite manage to surprise me with two of it's twists which were actually pretty obvious while the story that has the strongest ending is the slowest to sit through. 'Lot 247' was written by Micheal McDowell based on a story by Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & is a good opening story featuring the familiar faces of Christian Slater, Steve Buscemi & Julianne Moore but I found the ending of this segment weak & predictable which spoilt what had gone on before. The second story 'Cat from Hell' written by George A. Romero based on a short story by Stephen King (his name just had to be here somewhere didn't it?) is the weakest of the three stories but is the most stylishly filmed with some cool fades & transitions between shots, blue tinted flashbacks & the spacious, spooky darkly lit mansion provides some real atmosphere which is wasted on this segment as it's ending didn't do anything for me as it turned out exactly as I expected with the cat appearing to succeed in it's quest for revenge. The third story written by Micheal McDowall is generally considered the best & for good reason, although it's slower than the previous two it has impact & a good ending twist which I didn't actually see coming. I'm not saying the other two stories are bad, far from it but I was maybe hoping for a few more surprises. I won't bother commenting on the wraparound story as I found it very poor. The film as whole moves along nicely & since each story only runs 20 odd minutes none of them outstay their welcome. It's well made throughout with nice production values especially during the 'Cat from Hell' segment which looks very nice. The acting is good too with some familiar faces. One thing Tales from the Darkside: The Movie does have going for it are some wonderful special make-up effects by K.N.B effects with Dick Smith credited as a consultant. Each story seems to have it's own little special effects showpiece, 'Lot 249' has the Mummy being chopped up with an electric carving knife, 'Cat from Hell' has a cat bloodily enter someones body through their mouth & then exit the same way & 'Lover's Vow' has the excellent & totally cool looking Gargoyle transformation & just about any shot that it's in really. It's a little light on the actual blood & gore front though, we do get a gorily realistic cool looking severed hand & decapitation. Overall I liked Tales from the Darkside: The Movie but I can't help but feel the endings of both 'Lot 247' & 'Cat from Hell' let those segments down somewhat. Still the film as a whole is a great watch & is good all round entertainment.
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2007
Three enjoyable tales. Sometimes thought of as "The un-official Creepshow 3", it had three quality stories, or four if you count the framing story with Deborah Harry and the little boy. The Mummy story was fun, original and suspenseful. The cat one I really liked. The Gargoyle one seemed a bit too long, but had a great payoff. Top notch horror anthology with good special effects.
Super Reviewer
October 11, 2006
Nicely gruesome set of horror stories. But the segment of "Cat from Hell" frightened me very seriously.
Super Reviewer
November 1, 2015
Kind of a hokey horror-comedy, Tales from the Darkside: The Movie is too tongue-in-cheek for its own good. In the film a suburban witch is entreated to three tales of horror by a young boy that she's preparing to cook. However, the stories are rather lame; a mummy that comes to life, a killer cat that won't die, and a gargoyle that falls in love. The writing is really poor, and is full of clichés and painfully bad stereotypes. Yet, the cast is surprisingly good, and includes Christian Slater, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, and James Remar. Tales from the Darkside: The Movie is mildly entertaining, but it just isn't able to pull off the campiness and clever wit of the television series.
Super Reviewer
November 18, 2013
Overall not entirely bad, the Black Cat segment was good, but the rest were boring as hell. An unnecessary spin off really.
Super Reviewer
March 29, 2007
A favorite.
Super Reviewer
½ March 16, 2007
The last segment is best, even though it ripped off Kwaidan (1965) .
½ January 7, 2016
i share the seem feelings towards this one as i did "Creepshow"; almost seems like it's a spoof when i watch it now -- but i wonder what my thoughts would be if i were to watch it in 1990. again, SO many big name actors in these! (by today's standards)
½ May 12, 2015
Tells some good tales with better than average gore. The all star cast really steals the show and makes Tales From The Darkside: The Movie better than expected.
½ November 11, 2014
As the unofficial Creepshow 3 (it's Tales from the Darkside only by name) this movie tops part 2, very close to part 1. It's a creepy old fashioned horror film, resembling a much more twisted '50s-'60s anthology horror flick. 70/100
½ March 18, 2014
This early 90's horror anthology did not age well. Blondie is in it and Steve Buscemi, who even as it says in the movie's description is bug-eyed. He uses a mummy to kill Christian Slater and Julianne Moore. It gets worse from there.
½ September 13, 2008
Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990) -- [5.5] -- A paperboy is imprisoned by a woman (Deborah Harry) who plans to cook and eat him, but he's able to delay her meal by telling her three tales of terror. "Tales from the Darkside: The Movie" is a somewhat underwhelming horror anthology that kicks off with a tale called "Lot 249," adapted from Arthur Conan Doyle. Steve Buscemi, Christian Slater, and Julianne Moore co-star in the segment, which features a dorky college student who resurrects an ancient mummy to exact his revenge. The second story, "Cat from Hell," is a Stephen King tale adapted by George Romero, about an rich old recluse (William Hickey) who lives in fear of a supernaturally-endowed black cat. Despite the star power and famous penmanship, the first two stories are mediocre at best. The film definitely saves the best for last. "Lover's Vow" is an original story by Michael McDowell (who also worked on "Beetlejuice" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas"). James Remar ("Dexter") stars as a down-and-out artist who watches his best friend get murdered by a hulking, winged demon. The creature promises to let Remar live if he vows never to tell anyone about what he has seen. After falling in love (with Rae Dawn Chong) and having a family, the demon's curse comes back to haunt him. In comparison to other horror anthology films, this one's better than most Hammer and Amicus films, but doesn't hold a candle to King and Romero's "Creepshow."
April 16, 2013
Not as polished as your general viewer would prefer, but still lots of fun with genuine scares and plenty of gore. Plus you'll laugh as the familiar faces pop up in all their early nineties glory.
April 14, 2013
I was pleasantly surprised with this film, though not quite the quality of the original "Creepshow", it is better than some other films of it's kind like "Creepshow 2" & "V/H/S."
Make sure to check this one out (:
½ March 21, 2013
Anthology movies rarely work and here George Romero produces, er tries to strike Creepshow lightning twice. The problem is that Creepshow is classic and the Tales from the Darkside TV show was bad to mildly entertaining. The movie is half weak and the segments ultimately aren't that gripping or sustainable but there are a few good times-laughs with William Hickey and that mummy one.
½ February 2, 2013
The first thing to note about this movie is that it looks so much better than the TV show that it's spun from. Granted, the TV series has the disadvantage of 1980's fashion sense and some pretty bad accompanying music, but this movie was much easier on the eyes. The "wraparound" story is a pretty basic one. Debby Harry is a beautiful witch (there's an old-school broom leaning in a kitchen corner) whose captured a boy who will be the main ingredient at her dinner party. The little squirt turns out to be a resourceful catch, as he delays becoming a meal by reading the witch a trio of scary tales.

First up is story called "Lot 249" starring Christian Slater and Steve Buscemi. It's an old mummy story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It's got all of the shadows and light in all the right places and looks good. When Slater flips the insanity switch, things actually get entertaining. It's not a very strong adaptation, but it's not bad, either.

Next it's "Cat From Hell", a Stephen King penned, George A Romero adapted story of a cat whose killed all but one of the inhabitants of a rich CEO's mansion. That one survivor is the actual CEO, who hires David Johansen to kill the cat. Johansen attempts to kill it with all of his hitman related tools of the trade. It's annoyingly silly and Johansen is such a charicature that the whole story never materializes. The best part about this is Johansen gets it in a disgusting one-on-one with the evil cat. It's gross and it's the only thing that makes the story worth watching. But it's still more funny than frightening.

Finally, "Lover's Vow" completes the trilogy and is the best story of the lot because it had a surprise ending twist. I'm not ruining anything by mentioning that this entry has a great looking gargoyle, too.

Recommending "Tales From the Darkside" isn't easy but if you like the TV series, you'll be just fine sitting down to watch this.
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