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Nightmare Fuel / Tales from the Darkside

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  • "Answer Me" : The malevolent presence in the adjacent room, a telephone, was trying to break through the wall, right where the protagonist's bed is... Just the whole idea of strange, persistent noises coming from a next-door apartment you know is empty and whose occupant recently died violently. And then there's the protagonist's conversation with "the operator"...
    Operator: (Creepy Monotone): She strangled herself.
  • "Trick or Treat" : A hated and spiteful old man with an obsession for documenting and exploiting debts owed to him, offers trick-or-treaters the chance to search his house for their parents' mortgages, only to terrify them with animatronic "spirits." Unfortunately for him, the old man finds himself the victim of a particularly frightening trick-or-treater, namely a real demon.
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    • The Devil: "You're getting warmer..."
  • TONS of it can be found in "The Circus":
    • The ringleader is an Ambiguously Evil Nightmare Fetishist who truly believes that children would love seeing living monsters murder living animals on stage as a show. In fact, we gets to see a feral vampire rip out a baby lambs neck, feasting on its blood and guts. The ringleader of the circus sees nothing wrong with this or showing it to children.
      • Actually, the ringmaster agrees that showing the vampire feeding off a lamb to children would be a step too far, and only have it bite rats or snakes during the performance. They feed it the lamb so it won't be so hungry during the show and want a more substantial bite... like the audience. Makes you wonder how long it took them to figure that out, and how many accidents happened before it did.
    • After being disgusted by the monstrous attractions at the circus, the ringleader shows the reporter one last exhibit, the source of fear. We're shown a a gruesomely, unidentifiable body pasted on the ground, still alive and breathing. The reporter leans in for a closer look, only to spot its one good eye glaring at him all around the room. Suddenly, a headless zombie jumps him from behind, causing him to be scared to death. The last time we see out protagonist, his head has been stitched to the formerly headless zombie body, now a sideshow in the circus forever.
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  • "The New Guy": A strange boy is harassing a recovering alcoholic, claiming to be his son. The alcoholic has no idea who this boy is and desperately tries to find out whether he's real or not and get him out of his life. The boy is actually out there ruining the lives of recovering alcoholics For the Evulz. In the end, our protagonist has returned to alcoholism and lost his family. The boy is now targeting his coworker.
  • "Levitation": The ending has Frank finally convincing his idol to perform a levitation trick on him, only to have the magician suffer a fatal heart attack and accidentally cause Frank to ascend out of control into the sky while unable to do anything to stop it.
  • "Anniversary Dinner": A girl ditches her Jerkass boyfriend and runs to an elderly couple for a place to stay since she has no way of returning to town. The couple treat her like their own child and ask her to stay forever, to which she gladly accepts. Then on their Anniversary, the two kill the unsuspecting young girl by boiling her alive in their "hot tub" and prepare to eat her for their Anniversary dinner. The husband later reveals that they never raised children, only ate them. The last shot shows the collection of skulls from all the unsuspecting people they ate.
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  • "The Casavin Curse": During the climax, Tina reveals that she turns into a monster before killing unsuspecting lovers unfortunate enough to fall for her. She shows this by revealing her Nightmare Face while rising from under her bed covers. While feral, she kills her cousin with a Neck Snap.
  • "Snip, Snip": The Villain Protagonist breaks into a mysterious woman's apartment to take her lottery ticket and get himself out of trouble. However, the woman also has connection to the dark arts just like him. She proves to be more powerful than he is and kills him. The last shot shows that she took his head and turned it into a model for her hairdressing business, with all the other men who threatened her.
  • "The False Prophet": Throughout the episode we follow a Dumb Blonde who listens to a creepy fortune-telling machine. The episode gets more and more disturbing when the machine comes across as a rapist and a Domestic Abuser that refuses to let the girl to leave. The machine is soon revealed to be a Yandere and absorbs the girl inside of it so she will be with him forever. Ironically, she originally came to it so she could search for her true love and the machine tells her that now she has it. Unfortunately, not the way she dreamed of.
  • "Lifebomb": The protagonist gains a special device so he can't die... ever. It was revealed in the end that his insurance company intended to prevent him from dying so the could just save themselves from paying his family when he would die.
  • "Halloween Candy": A misanthropic old man torments trick-or-treating children and is visited by a rather terrifying goblin demanding MORE candy. Believed by many to be the most disturbing episode, along with "Ursa Minor", and "The Geezenstacks".
  • "Madness Room": A sleazy couple trick an old husband into having a heart attack by playing a Ouija board to lead them to a dark hidden room, only for the husband to drop the (only) key to outside into a crack of the room's floorboard... Then a fire suddenly starts up, and they're all locked in the hidden room. Cue screaming and coughing. Even better? The only reason why he did that was that, due to the couple's scam, he was led to believe that getting rid of the key would fix everything. Whoops.
  • "Ursa Minor": A little girl blames her new teddy bear for various pranks in her parent's house. They do not believe her-until giant claw marks on the walls and lumbering sounds at night convince them. The mother destroys the teddy, but forgets one of the most basic rules of the wild — harm the child, and you must meet the mother...
  • "Beetles": The ending has our protagonist die from being swarmed by the insects and killed. When the police come to check it out, we get a close-up of the beetles all over his face and climbing out of his mouth. Apparently, they're still eating him.
  • "The Last Car": A woman who just wants to catch a train for her home boards the last car. She meets a playful child, a nice old woman, and an old man. She starts to notice strange things occur on the train car. Her reflection disappears, the people with her are afraid of tunnels, and the train hasn't stopped since she boarded. It turns out that she was taken by a ghost train and is forced to ride the rails forever, or alternately may have died and wound up on an Afterlife Express.
    • The Conductor's horrific smile when he announces another "tunnel" is imminent.
      • The recurring tunnel, which shows the passengers as they truly are — corpses: ancient, dusty skeletons.
      • The girl's final line... "Tunnel.... tunnel.... tunnel..." the dread and despair in her voice shows she understands what this all means... and what it means for her.
  • "A New Lease On Life": After tons of Paranoia Fuel, the protagonist finds out that his new apartment building is alive. The episode ends with him getting Eaten Alive by the building, along with the other tenants who didn't cooperate with the building.
  • "No Strings": As if making your former partner's corpse into a puppet wasn't bad enough, the mob don's "old friend" possess a Monster Clown puppet and causes a gunfight between the mob don and his associate. The associate and his girl get killed while the puppet is shot through the head. The mob don survives and confronts the puppet master on how he did that trick. Then his friend's corpse rises behind him, begins choking him, and then a hook lowers down from on high and impales him, as the puppet master watches in horror. The episode ends with the puppet master, shaken, gathering up his puppet and leaving, as the camera remains on the stage, cutting to a closer shot of both corpses hanging, the corpse of the partner staring dead straight into the camera.
  • "Love Hungry": Although the episode is about Anthropomorphic Food and a Fat Girl trying to stop gaining weight, the episode gets increasingly darker as it continues. First she purchases devices that will prevent her from eating...by imagining the food as people. She hears their screams of pain as they are Eaten Alive and begins to talk to them. Then she starts to die from starvation and almost gives into eating. But she stops herself by sewing her mouth shut with a needle and thread. Her landlord and boyfriend find her corpse and we get a close-up of her disfigured face.
  • "The Geezenstacks": A father realizes his daughter's dollhouse can change their family's future when the dolls were played with, yet only he believes in it. Things become strained in the household until near the end... when the dollhouse transports the whole family into it, like all of its other owners. ...also, the violin music didn't make things better.
  • "The Cutty Black Sow": On Halloween, a boy is warned by his dying great-grandmother about the Cutty Black Sow, a Celtic demon that steals the souls of those who die on All Hallow's Eve, and tries to prevent it from getting hers. And guess what? While he saves his grandmother's soul, the creature takes his! No Infant Immortality here!
  • The opening introduction music/narration. That is all.
  • The closing credits music/narration. (Especially that element where The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You.)
  • "Inside The Closet", featuring a mysterious, child-sized door in a woman's bedroom. A touch of Uncanny Valley at the reveal, but horrifyingly suspenseful until that point. Made all the more worse when her landlord dismisses her death to her parents and reveals that the monster in her room was his pet. Not to mention that the poor girl was not and won't be the last victim.
  • "The Milkman Cometh": The protagonist and his neighborhood write notes to a man called the milkman, who grants wishes for them at no cost. However, nobody actually sees the milkman and the audience barely gets a look at what he looks like. Unfortunately, if the wisher does not give clarification on what they're wishing for they're met with disastrous results. The protagonist finally confronts the milkman, asking to provide his family with another child. The milkman complies... by raping his wife. When the baby is born, we get a clue on what the milkman might look like.
  • "My Own Place": An investment banker, Sandy, is convinced by an Indian realtor to rent an apartment (albeit with a hole in the bedroom window) for $235 a month, practically a steal for 1987... only for a mysterious Indian man, Ram, to show up in the middle of the night, revealing that he is his roommate. For a while, nothing outwardly creepy happens (excluding the occasional off nightmare Sandy has) as Sandy becomes more and more frustrated with having a roommate... until one day he happens upon the idea of barricading Ram inside the bedroom, and then leaving for the day. When he gets back later at night, it turns out that Ram fell through the window to his death. After trying to confirm if Ram really did fall, Sandy reluctantly goes to bed... whereupon he's bombarded with various nightmarish imagery of Ram's home country, ultimately culminating in the spirits of Ram's relatives grabbing Sandy, and throwing him out the window. And to make matters worse, the episode ends with another yuppie being shown the (now empty) apartment by the realtor, and she notices a bird by the hole in the window, only for it to disappear. The implication of this is that what happened to Sandy probably wasn't the first, nor the last time this occurred...
  • "The Swap": The ending has Bubba raping his wife while possessing her lover's body. Panning over to the portrait of his mother smiling.
    You're gonna play house for the rest of your life... (evil laugh)
  • "Hush". A child creates an odd looking mechanism that was programmed to stop all the noise annoying those he loves. It works too well... Namely, it takes the life out of the thing that's making the noise! Seeing the machines being robbed of their noise is okay, but what's NOT okay is that horrible nozzle and noise of the machine itself. Also, a parrot and the boy's mother fall before it! PAINFULLY. The world is certainly a better place when the babysitter makes the machine suck out its own life. And that's how the TV version ended. In the original short story by Zenna Henderson, everyone dies, and the story ends with the implication that the machine is going to make everything quiet.
  • "Parlor Floor Front". Although she deserved it, Linda's death at the hands of the ghost of her former tenant Mars. After she steals a ring from Mars' coffin, his body disappears from its place. When Linda goes to sleep, she hears Mars screaming for his ring back, and breaks into her room while she screams in horror. The final shot shows her ring is gone and Linda has been killed out of focus with Mars nowhere to be seen.
  • "I Can't Help Saying Goodbye". The young girl has the power to sense when people are going to die she does this by putting her hands to their faces and saying goodbye to them twice. Her mother, her best friend, and brother-in-law die in gruesome ways. Her mother lights the match in the kitchen while the gas stove was on causing the explosion, her best friend has her scarf get caught in the door and snapping her neck, and her older sister's asthamic boyfriend threw out his inhaler and doesn't remember where it is he then suffocates from the asthma attack. The ending has her older sister plan to drown her young sister in the pool since she doesn't know how to swim. The young girl looks in the mirror and sees the vision of the water rising up to her neck as she says goodbye to herself. Counts as Tearjerker as well.
  • "Effect and Cause": The protagonist has learned to control the fabric of reality inside of her home. However, the universe starts falling apart within her own house, creating random chaos in her room. Fearing for her life, the protagonist rushes to the door to escape, but the knob breaks off and she sees her discarded portrait looking right at her, which is followed by a horrific scream. Then, the gas line goes off and sparks start shooting from the doorbell, making the entire house explode.
  • "Slippage": The episode follows a man who's slowly slipping from reality. He does all he can to remember who he is, but to no avail. When his wife moves on with another man in the end of the episode, we see the door to their house suddenly fly open and close with nobody seen in the room.
  • "The Shrine": The episode has Christine's mother loving an evil spirit in the form of her daughter when she was younger. Young Christine is the embodiment of a Creepy Child, especially her desire to take real Christine's mother away from her to places unknown to be with her forever.
  • The ending of "Baker's Dozen". The voodoo baker's mistreated assistant gets a hold of the thirteenth voodoo gingerbread cookie. Of course, the voodoo spell on him has reduced him to a rat. So he uses the cookie against her in his own rodent fashion. The baker barely has a minute to realize what trouble she's in before she starts writhing on the floor, clutching her head in pain. We get a shot of the rat nibbling the gingerbread man's head. We don't see what affect this has on the baker, but her off-screen screams indicate it's not pretty...
    • The same can be said for the advertising agent. His wife, who suspects he's seeing someone else, finds his last voodoo gingerbread man cookie. While he's in the shower, the wife crushes the cookie in a fit of rage...
  • In "No Strings", Eddie using his dead rival Paulie's corpse as a man-sized puppet is registers so many levels of "sick and wrong"!

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