Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990)


As a woman tries to prepare for a dinner party, but the main course is having some objections; probably because it is a 10-year-old boy who doesn’t want to be murdered and eaten.  He attempts to stall the woman with stories out of a book she gave him to read. He recites the following tales:

Lot 249

A doctorate student named Billingsly (Steve Buscemi) was cheated out of a fellowship by a fellow student and his girlfriend (Juliann Moore).  He isn’t going to stand for that, so he plans to use the ancient scroll he found in a mummy he just acquired to get a little payback. The text in the scroll brings the mummy back to life to do its master’s bidding, which in this case is to kill that bastard and his girlfriend.  The deed is done, but the girl’s brother Andy (Christian Slater) is on to Billingsly and destroys the mummy and almost kills him.  Andy torches what he thinks is the scroll and spares Billingsly’s life, so long as he gets out of Dodge.  Turns out it wasn’t the right scroll, and now Billingsly has two new corpses to do his will: Andy’s sister and her beau.

Cat From Hell

A professional assassin is hired by and old man to make a hit for $100,000; the target: a small cute black kitty cat. The hit man is sure this old coot is off his meds or something, but just as he is about to leave, the wad of cash in the old guy’s hand keeps him around long enough to hear why this cat has to die. After being taken in by the old man’s sister, it killed three members of the household. The cat tripped her sister and she fell down the stairs, it suffocated her sister’s friend in her sleep and it caused the butler to get into a car crash.

The old guy feels like he is next and that the cat is there as revenge for using cats to test his drugs on at his pharmaceutical company.  He leaves to go into town, and to let the hit man go to work on eliminating this feline fiend.  Somehow this eight pound cat gets the better of the guy, and wiggles it way down his throat and kills him.  The old guy comes back the next day to see his nemesis crawl out of the dead guys mouth and dies from a heart attack. Cat 5, rich old guy 0.

The Lover’s Vow

A starving artist stumbles out of a bar after closing time, and witnesses a gargoyle-looking monster rip off the bartender’s hand and head.  As it approaches him, he tells him that it will let him live if he never tells anyone about it ever again.  Of course the guy agrees and runs home.  He spots a hottie on the way back to his place and urges her to come with him since it isn’t safer around there.  One thing leads to another and they bed down together, and the following day she introduces him to an art dealer friend and he becomes a huge success.

Ten years and two kid later they are rich, and since they have everything they could want, the only gift he can give his wife is the one thing he has been keeping from her: the story of what happened the night they met.  He breaks his promise and tells her everything.  Gargoyle monsters don’t like it when you break your vow, and he pays the ultimate price at the hands of wife, who isn’t who he thought she was after all!

Alex’s Thoughts: I always thought that this was one of the better horror anthology movies out there. There is a mix of good and bad acting, and stories; but it seems like the lower stories have the best acting, so it all evens out.  Lot 249 is my favorite, just because of the cast; sure the mummy is pretty bad, but you have 3 legitimate actors doing a pretty good job.  The cat one has some interesting camera work with the flashback scenes and the transition to present day, and that scene where the cat comes out of the guy’s mouth is especially gross.  The gargoyle one is so predictable it’s comical, but it isn’t all bad.  The gargoyle costume itself is cheap and corny, but the transformation scenes are pretty decent.  The wraparound story with the kid and lady are nothing special, but I’ve seen much worse.  Overall, fans of shows like The Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt and The Outer Limits should appreciate this.  Alex Rates This Movie 7/10.

Tim’s Thoughts: This was originally supposed to be  Creepshow 3, and you can tell, but I mean that as a compliment. It’s better than 2, and while some of the effects are goofy, they pacing and stories are all solid. Lot 249 is a lot of fun, mostly due to the cast, but the part that stayed with me all these years was the Cat From Hell. While this is nothing amazing, it’s a lot of fun, and if you can still find it on Netflix Instant, or Amazon Prime it is worth your time.  Of course it helps if you like horror anthologies. Tim Rates This Movie 7/10


View the IMDB entry for this movie here.