A horror Anthology Film based on Tales from the Darkside television series, released 1990.In the film's Framing Device, Betty, a modern day witch, has captured a little boy named Timmy in order to turn him into a dinner. Timmy stalls her by reading three tales from the favourite book of her childhood: Tales from the Darkside.
- Lot 249: A college student uses his recently purchased mummy to enact vengeance on those who have wronged him. Based on a short story by Arthur Conan Doyle.
- The Cat from Hell: An old businessman hires a hitman to kill a cat, which he claims has killed the other members of his household. Based on a short story by Stephen King.
- Lover's Vow: After an artist witnesses a gargoyle killing a person, it makes him vow to never tell about it. Based on the legend of Yuki-Onna from Lafcadio Hearn's Kwaidan.
The film in general:
- Bloodier and Gorier: The movie didn't have to worry about broadcast rules.
- The Film of the Series
- Grand Finale: This came out after the show ended and is the last Tales from the Darkside related thing ever made, 15 years and going. ...yeah, this counts...
- Spiritual Successor: To Creepshow and Creepshow 2. Considering on how the television series was intially pitched as a spinoff to Creepshow, it isn't much of a stretch.
- You Look Familiar: Prior to the film, Deborah Harry, Christian Slater and William Hickey had appeared in the television show.
- Antagonist Title: The mummy is referred to as Lot 249, taken from its auction number.
- An Arm and a Leg: Andy dismembers the mummy's arm and a leg before killing it for good.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Bellingham ultimately gets the last laugh, a Revised Ending of the original story where he was defeated.
- Groin Attack: Andy threatens to roast Bellingham's nuts when he has him tied to a chair.
- Hooks and Crooks: The mummy kills Lee by removing his brain through his nostrils with a coathanger.
- Mummy: An Egyptian one.
- Neck Lift: The mummy has one hand holding Lee against a wall several inches off the floor, while the other hand has the aforementioned coathanger.
- Off with His Head!: Andy kills the mummy by decapitating it, and placing its head on the fireplace.
- Shout-Out: Bellingham says that he lost the Penrose Fellowship after being accused of stealing a "Zuni fetish." This is a shout-out to Trilogy of Terror, another horror Anthology Film.
The Cat from Hell
- Animal Testing: Drogan believes that the cat has come to make him pay for the thousands of dead cats that were tested with his drug.
- As You Know: Halston reminds Drogan about his business to provide exposition to audience.
- Body Horror: Just wait until you see what that darn cat does at the end.
- Cats Are Mean: In a vengeful sort of way.
- Chewing the Scenery: Johansen just hams up the part. He keeps chewing the scenery even when the cat is crawling in Halston's mouth.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The cat 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.
- Eat the Camera: When the cat leaps into Halston's mouth, it's done with a shot of the camera going right at Halston's face.
- Eldritch Abomination: If it wasn't obvious from the vignette's title and backstory that the cat is no ordinary feline, it certainly is by the time the cat is shrugging off .44 slugs and crawling down a man's esophagus to kill him.
- Groin Attack: At one point the cat attacks Halston and claws through the bottom of his pants, only centimeters away from where his crotch is.
- More Dakka: Growing frustrated with the cat, Halston picks up the biggest gun from his suitcase to finish it off.
- Orifice Evacuation: When Drogan returns home to see if Halston has succeeded, the cat removes itself from Halston's corpse though the mouth it came in, causing Drogan to have a heart attack.
- Orifice Invasion: The cat kills Halston by forcing itself down his mouth.
- Professional Killer: Halston is a hitman.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Halston makes several failed attempts to catch the cat before considering simply using one of the guns in his case. He finally does get fed up enough to go straight for his Hand Cannon, only to have the bullet harmlessly pass through the cat.
- Adult Fear: There's little other way to characterize a story where the main character is a barely-employed entrepreneur on the verge of starvation. Or where the protagonist's wife leaves him and takes their children with her, even if in this case it's for supernatural reasons rather than divorce.
- Cradling Your Kill: The gargoyle enfolds/cradles her husband in her bat-like wings and bites him on the neck, laying him gently on the ground as he bleeds to death. She then howls in remorse.
- Our Gargoyles Rock: Not just a stony beast, it can also turn into a human.
- The Reveal: After Preston tells Carola about his encounter with the gargoyle, she reveals that she is the gargoyle in question.
- Spoiler Title
- Taken for Granite: In the end, the gargoyle places itself on a roof and turns into stone.
- Wham Line: "YOU PROMISED YOU'D NEVER TELL!"
The wraparound story
- Asshole Victim: Betty, considering what she planned to do to Timmy.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: After killing Betty, Timmy turns to the audience and proclaims how he loves happy endings.
- Faux Affably Evil: Betty always talks to Timmy in a calm manner and doesn't even raise her voice at him once even though it's clear she's realizing he's stalling for time reading from the book and starting to get annoyed by it, and all while she's preparing to cook him alive.
- Homage: To Hansel and Gretel, just with no Gretel.
- Informed Ability: Astute viewers may notice that neither Betty nor Timmy use the word "witch" in their conversation; this is implied by the broomstick leaning against the wall in the first scene and Betty's actions.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: While the other stories all end in a Downer Ending, the wraparound segment winds up being a case of Earn Your Happy Ending as Timmy is able to escape being eaten.
- Murder by Cremation: Timmy kills Betty when he pushes her into her own oven.
- Slippery Skid: Timmy throws marbles to cell floor to make Betty trip.