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Friday, August 17, 2012

Love Letter to Tales from the Darkside

Darkside: A very low-budget 80s horror show from George Romero that you'd occasionally catch at 1:00 in the morning and be freaked by. The claustrophobia! The music! The isolated atmosphere! The concepts! The make-up effects! Oh the make-up effects!!
Having just rewatched an episode of the show for the first time in a long time, season 3's "The Circus," I feel I must tell the world (or at least some of you people) how I love Darkside. I have seen every episode and, for the most part, it was pretty consistently memorable. The best episodes usually dealt with one person's deep, dank fears being brought to the forefront in an isolated location. The low budgets that relegated the episodes to one or two sets worked magnificently for the center-of-night, sweaty nightmares that you vicariously live through the tenants of The Darkside.
I will at some point make a list of the 10 best episodes once I rewatch enough of them. Some were startling like "Inside the Closet" and others were felt in a more slow-burn and terrifyingly inevitable way like "The Last Car." Some were both, like the literal monster-of-an-episode "Seasons of Belief." I read somewhere that a guy in medical school made his classmate stop dead in his tracks by recalling this almost forgotten one. It's somewhat comforting to know that these guys in med school, that deal in blood and needles, are still sensitive enough to be frightened by monsters.
The show was always best watched at night and it always WAS because it lived in nighttime syndication. That was the best part! It came out of your TV and found you. Little unsuspecting you.

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