Film: Tales from the Darkside: The Movie

aka: Tales From The Darkside

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

Lot 249

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Second Person Attack: When the cat leaps into Halston's mouth, it's done with a shot of the camera going right at Halston's face.

Lover's Vow

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Taken for Granite: In the end, the gargoyle places itself on a roof and turns into stone.

The wraparound story

Alternative Title(s):

Tales From The Darkside