Saturday, April 6, 2013

"Tales from the Darkside: The Movie" – Beware of Well-Dressed Women

Runtime: 93 minutes
Rating: R
Release Date: May 4, 1990
Director: John Harrison

Timmy (Matthew Lawrence) makes the mistake of wandering into the kitchen of Betty (Deborah Harry), who just so happens to be in the mood for little boy stew. She gives him a book of fairy tales that are a little dark and twisted to tide him over, and he decides to read her a few to hopefully distract her until he can find a way to escape.

When I was younger, I always loved the "Lot 249" segment, which is the first in the film. The segment stars Steve Buscemi as a graduate student who discovers that his quasai-girlfriend, played by Julianne Moore, cheated on him and tried to steal from him. Her younger brother, played by Christian Slater, saves the day, but not before his sister and her lover die. In the end, Buscemi brings her back from the dead to get revenge on her brother.

"Cat from Hell" is the typical middle story in films like this. It involves an older man, who thinks that a black cat living in his house is evil. He offers a hitman $100,000 to kill the cat. The cat stalks the man all night, and when the older man comes back, he discovers that the cat actually suffocated the hitman by stuffing itself down his throat. In the end, the cat kills the old man too.

My favorite story in the film now is the last one, titled "Lover's Vow." James Remar plays a man who sees a gargoyle kill a man in a dark ally. The gargoyle promises to let him live as long as he never tells anyone what he saw. That same night, he meets Rae Dawn Chong and falls helplessly in love with her. After several years of marriage and having two kids together, he tells her what happened the night that they met. She turns into the gargoyle, kills him, and becomes statues with their kids. Oh and in the end, Timmy traps Betty in her own oven and presumably lives happily ever after.

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