Tales from the Darkside

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"Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality.
But, there is, unseen by most, an underworld --

a place that is just as real, but not as brightly lit... A DARKSIDE."

Tales from the Darkside is an anthology TV series from The Eighties produced by George A. Romero. Similar to The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling's Night Gallery, The Outer Limits and Tales from the Crypt, each episode was an individual short story that ended with a plot twist. Unlike these other series, Tales from the Darkside centered mostly on horror stories. However, some episodes would more likely be considered science fiction or fantasy-based, and other episodes were more comical and lighthearted in tone. It's also known for its Cruel Twist Endings.

Also had The Movie.


Tropes in this series:[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Affably Evil: The couple in "Anniversary Dinner" who kill and then eat their guest. They continue acting like sane people while doing so.
  • Aliens Steal Cable: "Distant Signals"
  • And I Must Scream: The end of "A Choice of Dreams" has a mobster's brain being kept alive after it's removed and forced to experience nightmares forever.
    • The end of "Levitation". Just imagine... having the levitation trick done on you... only for the magician to have a heart attack, and can't bring you down... and prevent you from floating into the sky...
  • Asshole Victim: Timmy's dad from "Monster In My Room."
  • Bittersweet Ending: "Miss May Dusa." Double as Tear Jerker and possibly Together in Death.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The movie didn't have to worry about broadcast rules.
  • Creepy Doll / The Doll Episode: "The Geezenstacks." The dolls themselves don't do anything, but the Uncanny Valley is in full effect.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: HOO boy...
  • Deal with the Devil: "I'll Give You A Million", "Printer's Devil", "The Deal."
  • Does Not Like Men: Florence Bravo, from the episode of the same name.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A hallmark of various supernatural beings on the series, but more so with a certain episode. "Halloween Candy" is a story about a rather grumpy old man who refuses to give out candy on Halloween. He is frightened to death by a malevolent being that he refused to give candy to. I know he wasn't exactly the nicest guy, but wow, killing someone for not giving candy?
    • Or how about the episode "Season Of Belief?" A couple have an extended Jerkass moment where they terrify their young children with a scary story on Christmas Eve, even getting another family member to play along with the joke. At the end they smile, say they were only joking...and out of nowhere, the very monster they were talking about appears and crushes their skulls. Okay, sure, the parents weren't being very nice, and told their six-year-old daughter there was no Santa, but did that really make them deserve to die?
    • Or how about the first episode "Trick or Treat"? An old man who holds the debts of pretty much every family in town offers to forgive everyone if their children can find their debts inside his haunted house on Halloween. The twist? He winds up in Hell for being greedy. Come on, he lived during The Great Depression, a time where everyone learned the value of a dollar. He just never dropped the habit of being very frugal with his money.
      • On the other hand, the jerk was having a lot of laughs scaring and taunting those poor kids half to death with his haunted house.
    • In The Movie, the "Cat From Hell" not only goes after some people who made millions on a drug that was fatally tested on thousands of cats, but also a servant who merely happened to work for them.
      • Your milage may vary. Some may feel like it was justified.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears: "Ursa Minor"
  • Expy: One episode centers around a small family obviously themed after the family from I Love Lucy.
  • Going Native: In fact, the episode was called Going Native, about an alien disguised as a human doing research on earth culture but finding herself experiencing more emotions uncommon to her people.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: A staple in most episodes, with such examples as Trick or Treat, but the most flagrant examples being Baker's Dozen and Seasons of Belief.
  • Mama Bear: From "Ursa Minor." The mother, learning that her daughter's teddy bear is terrorizing the house, stabs the bear to death. The trope repeats, however, when the bear's mother attacks.
  • The Movie: Sometimes referred to as Creepshow 3
  • Murderous Mannequin: Appeared in at least one episode.
  • Orifice Invasion: The "Cat From Hell" sketch in the movie, based on a Stephen King story, where a cat forces itself into a hitman through his mouth. But it does kind of fall apart when you look past Rule of Scary.
  • Panty Shot: At about 7:12 in this clip, from "Inside the Closet."
  • Pretty in Mink: One episode started with a lady in a fox coat (might overlap with Fur and Loathing, but the fur was real).
  • Satan: Appears in a few episodes. Depending on the overall tone of the story, he'll either be portrayed tongue-in-cheek or genuinely sinister.
  • Second-Person Attack: In the movie, we see the cat lunging at his victim, with the camera going right to the victim's mouth just to make it clear that it's an Orifice Invasion.
  • Together in Death: Episode "Miss May Dusa", although way more cruel.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Possibly the case in "Seasons of Belief," though it's pretty hard to tell if it's this trope at work, or if the creature always existed and the parents didn't know.

"The Darkside is always there--waiting for us to enter, waiting to enter us. Until next time, try to enjoy the daylight."