Tales from the Darkside: The Movie
We had fantastic memories of this movie from when we were kids, and also memories of the TV series it was based on.
Our final entry of our Horror Anthology Theme Month is a real ride, absolutely packed with 80’s stars and three fun stories.
Tales From The Darkside: The Movie (1990)
Episode 287, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw
Craig: Hello and welcome to Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Craig.
Todd: and I’m Todd
Craig: And we are wrapping up our month of anthology movies this week. This has been a lot of fun. Oh gosh. Yes. And we’ve really gotten some really positive feedback. In fact, You know, one guy saying, Hey, why don’t you go ahead and do two months,
Todd: we could easily,
Craig: we really could get, you know, cause we kind of picked early what we wanted to do.
And you changed your mind a time or two, but yeah, I mean, throughout the month, I’ve just kind of. Thinking about all these other ones we could do. I don’t know that we’ll necessarily jump into another month right away, but we will keep doing these anthology films. Cause we, we love them. And who knows maybe, maybe someday we’ll get a another month, but we’re wrapping up this month.
A choice that I made, and that is Tales from the Darkside: The Movie from 1990. And I picked this movie just because I remembered it. Fondly honestly, is a coincidence only in so much as I didn’t realize, you know, we started out with Tales from the Crypt, and Tales from the Crypt was really the inspiration for Creepshow.
Uh, and we did Creepshow 2 at my behest. And I didn’t realize that really this movie Tales from the Darkside, the movie is basically the spiritual Creepshow 3.
Todd: I didn’t know that either.
Craig: I didn’t either. Um, but Romero and helped me out the, the effects guy Savini wanted to do a third movie, but then they kind of got sidetracked a little bit and thought, you know, let’s how about if we do a TV anthology and for whatever reason, I don’t remember if it was copyright or some other obstacle that they wanted to avoid.
They, they weren’t gonna be able to use the creep show title. So they. Decided to go with tales from the dark side and they did create a television series out of it. And so really Romero and Savini both really say that this really is Creepshow 3, just under a different title. I suppose. I’m not really surprised.
Uh, they do have a lot of similarities and similar in total. I have no idea how long it’s been since I had seen this movie a long time, but I remembered it pretty well. And I remembered it fondly and I was happy to revisit it. And I was not disappointed. I thought this was fun. I thought this was a really fun.
Todd: It is fun. I had good memories of it too. Uh, when I was a kid, especially in 90 I’m sure is when I saw it in 1990, especially two of the stories and. Well, all three of them have stuck in my mind. One of the stories when I was a kid, I felt was just really, really tragic and sad and kind of very emotionally stuck with me for awhile.
And I remembered it being full of stars. I remembered it being lots of fun. And I also remember the TV series tales from the dark side, which. Always seemed a little, I don’t know. I’m trying to think of the adjective to use a little mysterious to me as a kid because George Romero created it in 1983 and it almost immediately entered syndication.
So there were multiple networks showing this, but they would show it super late at night after midnight. On every one of these networks that showed it would play it after midnight. It wasn’t heavily promoted and advertised ever to my knowledge. I just remember, like, if you stayed up late enough and you happen to be flipping channels, you might catch.
He believes to be reality
unseen by moose and underwear.
But not as bright, clearly dark side,
Todd: just like just fascinated me. I’m like this series is an enigma. Where did it come from? You never see ads for. But it just is on super, super late and no other time. And it has this very low budget feel to it, especially intro it’s just like shots of the countryside that then turned negative to me.
It was just the existence of this show in the way that it existed was creepy enough for me, you know? So, you know, when they made a movie out of it, I was kinda like a wall that. This is big enough for a movie and this was in the theaters and everything. I might’ve even seen it in the theater actually. Uh, now that I think about it, it’s interesting.
This, this one I have to say, um, right off the bat that it’s probably not one of my most favorite watching it as an adult. Now I have a slightly different feeling about it, but I’m so colored by nostalgia for this movie that I still enjoyed it. I think we’re going to have a lot to talk about and only three stories in this, right.
Uh, huh, that’s interesting.
Craig: Yeah. I vaguely remember the show too. And I didn’t watch it that much. I remember a couple of episodes and I remember them being kind of dark. Um, very, you know, when I, when I think of, um, you know, creep show and, and even this movie, uh, uh, it’s horror for sure, without question it’s horror and, and there are definitely scary and nightmarish elements, but there’s also a fair amount of.
And that’s one of the things that I like about this movie is I think that it strikes a really good balance and apparently the three segments that they used, they tinkered with the order that they presented them in based on reactions from test screenings. I think that the order that they can. With worked out well.
Um, but the thing that strikes me with this movie, the show you’re right. It did, I mean, it felt very TV. Um, it, uh, felt a little bit lower budget, which isn’t necessarily a criticism. It just, it did. Um, but this movie does not at all. This feels like a Hollywood movie bolstered by the fact that full. Big stars.
A lot of these people already well-established it’s not like these are people like, oh, they’re I mean, some of them, yes. Just kind of getting their big break. Like for example, this is Julianne Moore’s first screen production. It’s crazy. I know it is. But some of them were already pretty well established actors.
It well, or other artists, this movie has a wraparound story. It’s not framed like a comic like creep show was instead there’s, you know, a standalone wraparound story that starts out right from the very beginning. There’s some really. Fun creepy music when they show the title card, which it’s really brief, but I really liked it.
It was fun. And then it jumps right immediately into this wraparound. And it seems like a very quaint, I have no idea where it’s supposed to be located, but it feels very new England type village town. Um, and you see this woman finishing up some shopping and heading home and it’s Debbie. Blondie.
Todd: It’s crazy.
Craig: Yeah. I don’t think that I realized when I was a kid watching this, the first movie who she was, I liked her, but I don’t think that I knew that she was Blondie. And it’s also funny because I don’t know if Debbie Harry did really any. Acting. I mean, she she’s a rock star, but she’s really good. And, uh, you know, in, in, in her normal rockstar life, she’s, she’s edgy and in this she’s very suburban, you know, She’s driving around, like in her Jeep Cherokee, like waving at everybody in town.
Obviously everybody knows her. She drives by a church and the priest waves. And it’s like in the choir on Sunday
and she pulls up to her beautiful home. She lives in this nice big home with a big, beautiful long. She walks into her kitchen and right before she walks in, you see a doorknob on a door in the kitchen, rattling something’s going on. And she gets in and she takes a phone call from somebody. And she’s talking about how she’s going to have a dinner party tonight.
And it seems like, I think like eight or more people are coming, but as still, you know, all very suburban until she hangs up the phone and she opens up that door that was rattling before. And it’s. Uh, dungeon like
Todd: a medieval D in the middle of this suburban home, is this stone with hay on the ground and shape?
It looks like, like suddenly somebody took a set from a, you know, Edgar Allen Poe, horror movie. It just dropped it right in cellar
Craig: dwelling. It’s so hilarious. And she’s got a little boy Timmy chained up in there. Um, Timmy’s played by Matthew Lawrence, uh, of the famous Lawrence brothers. Um, his older brother, Joey was probably more famous at this point, but he, uh, Matthew had been working in television already, too, even at a very young age.
And he’s super cute, like just super, super cute. And in a sense, and basically, you know, it’s, it’s a tale as old as time. She’s a witch she’s fattening. So she can cook them up and eat and she explains, you know, very casually exactly what she’s going to do. You know, she she’s figuring out recipe times. Like, let’s see how many times this 12 going to 75, 6 times three leftover fly.
Well at 12 minutes a pound, that means you have to be in the oven by no later. One 30, oh, the deceration takes at least an hour.
So, and she talks about how she’s going to cut all his guts out. And so I’m up and she’s got these huge needles, like on a stand that she’s gonna use to visceral him. And so, and back up again, and she says something about, you know, What’d you do with that book? I gave you didn’t you read it in order to try to stall her?
He says, let me tell you a story. There, there are really good stories. Cause, cause she said that was my favorite book as a kid, but it’s been so long since I’ve read it. I, I barely remember the book by the way, is a big leather bound book with just golden bossing with the, the title tales from the dark.
Yup. And so he, uh, decides to tell her a story to try to stall. And that’s the wraparound is him telling her these stories. Um, and he jumps right into the first one, which is called lot 2 49 based on a story by sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which I didn’t know before yesterday and haven’t read, but I’m very interested to read and this story.
Stars Christian Slater is Andy Christian Slater at the height of both his youthful success success, and his youthful hotness for a minute. Christian Slater was so hot.
Todd: Christian Slater was in everything for a
Craig: while. Oh yeah. Yeah. I mean, uh, after Heathers and all of the Jack Nicholson comparisons, I mean, he was.
I mean, he was a hot ticket in Hollywood and probably in his early twenties here just incredibly handsome and really good. And he plays this college preppy kind of asshole named Andy. And he’s got a friend named Lee played by Robert Sedgwick who also did lots of TV and stuff. Um, I didn’t really recognize him, but he did do, he was around a lot and Lee is really.
The really preppy asshole. And as it turns out, he’s used his wealth and influence to cheat this other guy named Bellingham out of a fellowship. Bellingham is played by a young girl, Steve Buscemi. And what I like most about this segment is that both Christian Slater and Steve Buscemi have this kind of slot.
Wickedness to them. That’s really just delicious on screen. Like you play it really well. Yeah. I don’t, I don’t even know how to describe it really, but it’s just something in their eyes and their intensity and their performance. They’re just really good. And it’s, it’s a fairly simple story. Bellingham knows that he’s been cheated, but there’s not really anything he can do about it.
So he’s continuing on with his life and he shows these two guys, Andy and Lee, that he has ordered. Um, an artifact and, and it’s it’s lot too far, 2 49, which is a sarcophagus with a mummy inside and he opens it up and shows them, and, uh, Uh, Lee takes off. He’s going to meet with his girlfriend, Susan, who also happens to be Andy’s sister.
And there’s a little subplot about how, part of the reason that they had gotten lead. This fellowship was Susan had anonymously accused Bellingham of stealing an artifact from the museum. And while he was wrapped up in that investigation, the whole fellowship thing had happened and he had lost his. Shot.
So Susan and Lee are co-conspirators Andy. I think kind of doesn’t really know, uh, what all has been going on. But after Lee leaves, Bellingham unwraps the mummy and he explains, which is important, how the Egyptians removed all of the organs from the mummies during the mummification process. First thing the embalmers did was to stick a metal hook up his nose and they dragged his brain out through his monstrous.
This is where they cut them open so they could pull out all those entrants and they stuffed them with flowers, spices. And I just remember that I was a kid when I saw that. And I just remember that just feeling so. Scary and gross and, and, you know, because he has explained it that it’s going to happen and it does.
And it’s, it’s, it’s fun.
Todd: This, this is one of the two that really stuck with me as a kid, just because of the whole idea. Um, I, I, you know, I was really fascinated with the ancient civilizations, ancient Greece, anytime you bring a mummy or some kind of artifact, and I’m going to pay attention, uh, I didn’t know until this movie, this bit of trivia.
Exactly. You know, how they remove the organs. I always assumed that, you know, they just cut them off the head or something. And then he also pans down and explains that they would cut open the app. And remove the vital organs and then stuff them with aromatic flowers, which he, then it’s mommy, you know, that he’s bought and paid for who won wraps a mummy.
Right. And he starts to just completely unwrap this. Like it’s no big deal. It takes the stitches out and is reaching inside the mummy to pull out the stuff in there. And I’m, he pulls out a couple onions that are in surprisingly good shape for being 3000 years old. But one of the things that he pulls out is this scroll and he looks at the scroll and unrolls it and his eyes get pretty wide, but he downplays it for a Christian Slater’s character while he’s standing there.
And Andy, right. And so he leaves. Uh, Steve Buscemi sits there and reads through the scroll and reads it out loud in English, of course. And you know, it’s, I was waiting for the rhymes, I guess there weren’t any rhymes this time. I love, I love these horror movies where they’ll like, you know, read an ancient inscriptions.
Ancient languages, not English, but as they’re translating it, it turns out to rhyme in English.
This wasn’t quite that, but you know, just a couple steps below that in believability is if words of a spell are so important, you would think that they would need to be uttered in the language in which they were conceived or written. And they can’t just be translated and read out loud in some other language and still work.
Todd: not look, I’m not going to write and complain about it. I’m just saying, as he reads the spell, I believe the mummy’s hand comes across the side of the box, the sarcophagus box, and it starts to rise. And so you’re kind of left wondering, what’s going to happen here. In most stories, this guy would be the first one to get it right.
But that’s not exactly what happened.
Craig: No, it’s a revenge tale and it’s simple. I mean, it’s very simple, you know, he’s, he’s using this mummy as his weapon, I guess, of revenge. And he, uh, six it on Lee and the mummy is a guy in a suit. I mean, But
Todd: it’s a great, it’s a, it’s a great suit. It looks good. It looks good.
It looks good. And I really
Craig: like the way that it’s shot, like the mummy goes to the, the, the rich guy’s house and the camera’s just panning around the house and the mummy is walking around and Lee hears it. And so like, he’s like skulking around trying to find it. And we just keep cutting or the camera keeps cutting around corners and across walls and through walls.
So you see that they’re basically right next to each other. There’s just always walls separating them. And I just love the way that shut.
Todd: It’s funny. It’s fun. It’s fun and funny. Yeah. It really forgoes the normal suspense of creeping around the house. Is he around the corner and, and you know, the jump scares of that for this more, I think.
Jokey, you know, a little more playing with the audience, a little more comedic thing. Like aha. You see the mummies right over there. Ah, and, and this mommy’s very methodical. Like he comes in and even though he’s 3000 years old, he knows that their code hangers and where the code handlers are located. It goes straight to the closet to get a coat hanger.
And like you mentioned, you know, I just love this panning scene where it sort of pans by a doorway from inside the room, leading out to the hallway. And Leah’s skulking around in the hallway, kind of walks past the doorway as it pans over. And the mummy is just very patiently unbending that coat hanger and fashioning it into a little hook.
Like it’s a craft project, you know,
Craig: Well, and I mean, it’s, it’s kind of dark in there, but not really. I mean, it’s, it’s relatively well lit there there’s no hiding of the mummy. Like you see it, you know, it, there it’s, there’s no mystery it’s right there and it looks good. And eventually I think. Sneaks up on not intentionally sneaking, but just walks up behind Lee and, and grabs him and picks him up by the throat and Rams that coat hanger up his nose and you see blood splurt all over their feet and all over the floor.
And that’s, that’s just kind of it.
Todd: And then Susan Julianne Moore’s character comes, comes home. And, uh, this is another thing it’s just. Bedded in my brain is as she’s putting her keys down by a, on a table by the door, she looks down at their little bowl of fruit and arranged in there with the rest of the fruit is these little piece of his brain just kind of jellied right there.
Um, and, and she is remarkably calm throughout this entire encounter. I think they’re just trying to play her office. It’s really bitchy gal. Again, it becomes a little comedic, like even though she’s facing this utterly unreal spectacle, she’s enough of a self-centered egotistical jerk that she’s not that phased by it.
Craig: She’s just, she seems, I mean, okay. We’ve talked about this before, because we’ve seen Julianne Moore in another very early nineties horror movie and we remarked our, I did that. She is today. Really a brilliant actor. This is her first movie. I would not call her performance. Brilliant. She is. She’s beautiful, but I mean, she just plays it very aloof.
Todd: could be because of that. Or it could also have been a star direct stylistic choice by the director. I mean, I think it kind of fits the tone that she’s more annoying. And pissed off at this mummy, then she is scared by him because even when she sees her boyfriend’s body on the ground, in the blood, she hardly has much reaction to that either.
Craig: well, because she didn’t really care about him. She’s an opportunity. He’s a rich guy and she was just hooking up with him for that reason. She doesn’t really care. She even sees the. Walking out. It doesn’t even really seem all that phase. And then eventually the mummy comes for her because she had been involved in this plot to set up Bellingham.
So he sticks it on her too. She tries to fight it a little bit, but she ends up getting sliced up her back. And the mummy stuffs are with flowers. And somehow
Todd: that’s even a little more cringey than having a hookup. Your nose. I don’t know. Yeah,
Craig: it was, yeah. I mean it’s gory and Andy finds her dead and like wrapped in.
Like an adding machine paper
Todd: ribbon half-ass
Craig: costume. It’s funny. And then I really like this part, Bellingham, the power goes out and Bellingham goes to try to fix the fuse and he gets knocked out and he wakes up tied in a chair and Andy is there. And this is where Christian Slater is just gleefully, wicked.
Like now he’s exacting his revenge and he he’s got him tied up and he’s dousing him. Lighter fluid. Oh. And Bellingham wakes up the mummy, which I think Andy was expecting. So he’s ready. He’s got like an electric carving knife and he carves up the mummy with this carving knife. It’s just really funny cuts off the top of its head and sets it in the fire.
And it seems like he’s going to kill Bellingham, but like he can’t really bring himself to do it. So he just demands that Bellingham, give him the scroll with the text on it. And Bellingham doesn’t want to, but he’s like, okay, it’s in the desk. So Andy grabs it and he burns it up and then Bellingham is leaving school and he says something like, bye.
And then kind of under his breath, as he’s walking away, I’ll find some way to keep in touch and it turns out. As he’s in the taxi cab going away, it wasn’t the real scroll. It was a different scroll. And he reads from the real one. Um, and in the very end, the very last thing Andy’s talking to his mom on the phone about coming home soon and he hangs up the phone and there’s a knock on the door and it’s mummy.
Lee and Susan, and they just say like, Bellingham sends his regards or something like that. And they’re, they’re all gross and bloody and scary. And it’s funny. And then it goes back to the rap super briefly, like. Uh, enough time for the kid to say, oh yeah, that story was over, but I’ve got another one. Uh
Todd: it’s about this guy at a cat.
Craig: And then we get into the, the second story, which is the cat from hell, which was based on an existing Stephen King short story. I would say of the three. This is probably my least favorite, but that’s not to say that I don’t like it. I do like it. This one has almost like a no R kind of feel to it like a stylized.
Yeah. And I like that. And like, there’s some really cool cinematography. The premise is this super old guy. Drogon rich guy Drogon is played by William Hickey, who we’ve talked about on this show before. He’s this little frail old guy at a dock side. And that’s guide today’s God, he’s hilarious. I really enjoy him and everything that he’s in, he’s in a wheelchair, but he hires this Hitman named Halston plays by played by David Johansen, who some people might know as Buster Poindexter.
He’s a singer as well.
Todd: And he was in a Scrooged. He was the taxi driver
Craig: and the taxi driver. And he’s a very straight laced hard-nosed Hitman. And this Drogon explains to him that he wants to hire him for a hit $50,000. It be another 50,000. When you bring me proof that the cat has ended its time. And I don’t believe this you’re hiring me to kill a cat.
That cat has killed three people in this household.
Todd: He’s like, I can’t, it you’re kidding me. This is, this is, you know, what a lot of people think of cats turns out to be the case with this cat. It’s it’s, it’s a little, it’s a little terror Drogon is convinced that this. Um, well, he takes them, basically walks him through the story. He had two sisters or a sister and a friend or whatever.
One of the sisters is played by Alice Drummond, who I know forever as the frightened librarian in Ghostbusters and the cat dispatches, both of these ladies, one of them, uh, trips her up as she’s walking down the stairs and she falls down the stairs and breaks her neck. And, uh, the other woman, what happens to the other
Uh, it, it. Smothers her. Oh, yes. Jumps on. He tells Drogon Drogon tells the, the old wives’ tale about how cats are dangerous to have around elderly people or, or infants because they steal their, um, their breath and their sleep, which of course is a wives tale. It it, I mean, it doesn’t the cat doesn’t like suck her breath out all, uh, like cats or something.
And probably the origin of this myth, I would guess is the cat. Well, this cat like clings itself to her head. I would, I would imagine, I would imagine that the myth, if you’ve got infants or. Elderly people who are incapacitated. In theory, a cat could go to sleep on your face,
Todd: where if you have a fat cat, like I had growing up with the minute it leaps on your chest while you’re sleeping, it does take your breath away for sure.
This, this was so silly. Actually. I often confuse this sequence with a cat as, as being from catseye, which is another anthology series, which Stephen King wrote. And I think it’s just. Involves a cat and this scene of a cat kind of leaping onto someone’s chest and just trying to steal their breath happens in cats.
I have one of the stories in there as well. So I guess I just got the two conflated, but this was originally, as we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, this was originally supposed to be a fourth story in creep show too. And they just for budgetary reasons decided not to do it. So they revived it here. Um, so George Romero scripted this tale and I think.
Again, it’s so comedic. The whole sequence is really comedic. I mean, the notion that this Hitman is hired to kill a cat in this big mansion is goofy. Although it also brought me back shades of. What was that one that we did, uh, where there was the rat in the house? Oh,
Craig: I won’t be able to think of the name of it, but I know what you’re talking about.
Truder and the guy basically has to maybe intruder. I don’t know, but the guy basically has to destroy his whole building to like, try to get this
Todd: right. I, I, that was getting flashbacks of that. It was, but, but it’s so silly a to concept is silly and B this scene, when she leaps onto this woman’s face. And this cat is just literally wrapped around her face as she sits up and screams and is like flailing around this.
Get, you know, it’s just, I mean, it’s obviously like a fake cat on her face, but it’s just, it just looks cartoonish, which fits the style of the. Segment, right. It does.
Craig: And it is silly and I that’s, that’s fine. I, I like humor in my horror, but I think that part of what makes it silly is that it’s played straight.
Everybody plays this straight, um, in this segment, like you said before, it’s really stylized in terms of the cinematography. Like there’s, there’s one scene, just a few frames near the very beginning when Halston is coming in and Drogon is sitting in. Wheelchair in front of this fire and it’s this big cavernous room.
Everything is in shades of gray and black. Except for Halston, very small, right in the middle. And he’s got like this red blanket over his lap and he’s illuminated by the fire. And so it’s just this one pop of color right in the middle. And it, I just, I was looking at him like, dang, that looks great. It just looks
Todd: so good.
Citizen Kane in a way. Yeah.
Craig: Yeah. And they do cool stuff with, um, like there’s a cat POV. That’s mostly black and white with kind of some like violet around. Circling around the outer frame. Um, and then the flashbacks are in interesting dream-like colors. All of a sudden it’s not natural looking color.
It’s kind of dreamlike. And I like, you know, when it kills the two women and then Drogon tells. Butler another guy. If you watched any, if you’ve watched any movies ever, you’ve seen this guy that’s right in something. Cause he’s been in every what’s his name? I can’t remember gait, uh, mark Margolis. Oh yeah.
He’s in every super recognizable. My God you’ve seen that. He’s been, he’s still working. I mean, he’s been working for decades, but uh, he, he tells him to take the cat to a vet either to have. Caged up or put down. It’s not really clear, but the cat causes a big car accident engages, killed, and that’s why, um, Drogon is convinced that it’s coming after him next.
And so Drogon leaves. Oh, and he explains the cat’s motive. Drogon made his fortune in pharmaceutics. And they developed this one sketchy drug that’s like part painkiller, part hallucinogen, part in fed or something. I don’t know. And dragons popping these pills all the time. But, uh, in the process of developing this drug, they tested it on cats and they.
Like 5,000 cats or something. So he thinks that this cat is here’s who exactly it’s revenge for its
Todd: It’s a representative from the cat world.
Craig: And then there is probably five minutes, five to 10 minutes of Halston kind of hunting this cat around.
Todd: He’s more wandering around the house, pouring himself, a drink and stuff. And then the cattle just jump out of nowhere and scratch his face. And because
Craig: initially he thinks it’s dumb. Like he thinks the whole job is dumb, but he’s more than happy to do it because the is going to, he he’s already handed him 50,000 and he tells him that, uh, when it’s done, if, if he.
If, if Halston can give him the cat’s tail is proof that it’s dead. He’ll give him another 50,000. So he’s like, fine. I can kill a calf or a hundred grand, whatever, but the cat keeps evading him and attacking him. Uh, and each time it attacks it, uh, causes quite a bit of damage. So by the end, he’s bloodied and I mean, it’s, he’s got scratches on his face and on the back of his neck, All over.
It looks terrible. And eventually the cat always kills at midnight. So we know that when midnight comes he’s in trouble, the clocks, uh, strikes midnight and the cat rises up. At the top of the clock, I loved it. It’s very, it, it reminded me of, um, Edgar Allen. Poe’s the black like w what is this freaking cat?
Why is it always in the wrong place? And it jumps down off the, uh, clock onto his face and in a great special effects moment works its way into his mouth. Down his throat and into his
Todd: abdomen. Yes.
Craig: It’s stupid. It isn’t real fantastic and stupid,
Todd: but yeah, it’s fantastic. So then, um, I think Lee’s character comes home.
Drogan comes home. Wheel’s himself. And sees this guy on the, on the floor out of his mouth comes calling back out the cat, who then jumps on his lap and Droga knocks, dragons pills out of his hand. So he can’t pop his pills anymore. Uh, you know, in my mind, I just remembered the sequence differently. I remembered this going down the guys.
The old guy. Yeah, I totally did. I was waiting for it to happen and you know, it didn’t,
Craig: I didn’t, I don’t remember exactly what happened at the end, but then when it happened, I’m like, oh yeah, that that’s that’s right. It doesn’t have to do anything to him. It, it, it scares him to death. He, uh, he has a heart attack and he dies and, you know, and that’s it.
Todd: that’s, that’s also like, I think it’s kind of neat, except for, of course the guy with the cat kind of crawling into his, down his throat now does mouth each of these other desks. Accidental. Right. They could be explained away by his paranoia. Right. And he thinks it’s the captain. He wasn’t there to witness.
Either of these things happen. Just one woman ended up kind of like dying. And they said it was natural causes, but he knows it’s the cat, the other one falls down the stairs and he just knows it was the cat that tripped him up. And then he gets them get dispatched by dropping his pills, you know, when he can’t get to them.
And, uh, that is going to be easily explained away by the cops when they show up, except for this guy, with this jaw, that must be completely unhinged. It’s a weird story, but it does work, but it’s total comedy. I think there’s, again, I don’t really. Just like the first story. I can’t say it was really scared.
No, there’s, there’s not a lot of suspense and drama here. It’s just kind of fun and interesting to watch. You can also predict what’s going to happen with both of these stories. You know, I mean the minute, the minute and the mummy story that the hugs explained and the flowers explain to you, I go, all right, well, we know what’s going to happen there.
I think the only surprise there was when Christian Slater’s character gets the better of him. That’s a bit of a surprise. Like scary. Yeah. What I like
Craig: about this story is how simple it is. Uh, I mean, it, it, it just feels like. Storytelling, of course, it’s going to be no surprise to you or to our listeners.
I’m, I’m, I’m a huge Stephen King fan, but Stephen King says that he continues to write short stories because he feels like it keeps him sharp. As a writer, it forces him to be more condensed, condensed, and succinct. And, and it’s true. You know, I, I do love Stephen King’s novels, but he can draw things out over the course of
Todd: a novel literary elephant ism, I think is what he says he suffers from
Craig: well, and, and it’s fine.
I mean, his characters are engaging. I mean, there are some times. When I’ve read from his books, I’m like, okay, come on. There’s something else going to happen, but I still enjoy his novels, but really I love his short story anthologies. He’s good. Really good at telling a complete story in a condensed, um, space.
And this feels like a good short story. This, this feels like a story that would get told at a slumber party. You
Todd: does. Could you imagine if this story were D had ended up in creep show too, it really would have totally changed the movie. I mean, creep show too, for the most part, there’s not a lot of humor in it, right.
I mean the three stories are fairly dark and this one is, like I said, I it’s really comedic. It’s really kind of silly. And so. There wouldn’t have been anything wrong with that. It just would have been,
Craig: oh, you right. I, yeah, I don’t know. It works well here, like, and I think that it works well here in the middle for whatever reason.
I don’t know, but it cuts back then to the wrap around again. And. Betty is going to allow a Timmy to tell one last story, because he promises her. It’s going to be a love story because love stories are her favorite. This last story is called lover’s vow. And this one, and I think. Based on what you’ve already said.
You’re going to probably agree with me that this is the one that always stuck with me. And still today, I really, really like it. That may have something to do with the fact that it’s based on an actual legend, a Japanese folklore legend. It takes the, the basics of that story, but changes that. To, um, so it’s not exactly the traditional story, but it’s the same premise.
Oh, and gosh, you already said it. And I agree. It feels almost ironic to say, but there’s almost something beautiful about this story and it does feel tragic at the end. It is frightening. And something else that I, the, the images of this scene are. Seared into my mind. There, there are creature effects that probably technically aren’t that amazing, but they look so good.
Like really? I just little love it. Oh man. All right. Do you want you start. Well,
Todd: uh, I mean this again, also a very simple story. That’s drawn out a little bit, but it’s, it’s very interesting. There’s a guy named Preston and he is a living in sort of a studio apartment in New York. Uh, I think it’s New York.
It seems like it, he’s got a skylight above his studio and there’s an interesting shot in the beginning where you see this gargoyle just sitting, um, on the top of his building, but it can kind of peer down, um, into. Not peer down, but just kind of like pans across the gargoyle. And you can see down in the skylight, he’s working on this stuff.
And, uh, his agent calls him and asked him to meet him at a bar. And so he goes and meets him at this bar a little walk away. He’s like, oh, tell me how much. He now, like, what are you going to give you a big pot of cash? And the agent says, no, actually, I’m, I’m here to tell you that the gallery can’t sell on a, your stuff and they want to return it all to you.
Um, and he’s just completely dejected. And so he just starts drinking a ton. You get the sense that he’s at this bar a lot. It’s this tiny little dive bar, nobody in there. Um, but you get the sense that the bartender’s like his friend, uh, And he’s a regular there, so they walk out the side. Uh, they’re the last two.
Well, they’re like the last two to leave, but then there’s another guy who’s just slumped over the bar, uh, sleeping. And I guess they’re just going to lock him in there. Yeah.
Craig: The bartender says I’ll let him out in the morning.
Todd: It’s great. But he comes out the side entrance, which leads into an alley and a while he’s changing the. Um, Preston kind of walks a little bit further down the alley and then his friend, uh, the bartender hears a noise and, uh, he kind of goes back to investigate a little bit and suddenly you see something swipes and his hand falls.
And something swipes again, and his head comes off like something just completely massacred this guy. And, uh, Preston runs over and sees this happen and he starts to run away, but the creature kind of gets him up against the wall and he begs for his life. And the creature, like you said, is it looks great.
It’s this great gargoyle face. That’s like grinning very,
Craig: very today. And very articulate wing it.
Todd: Yeah. Yeah, very, very articulated. And he starts talking. I believe
Craig: in exchange. You got it. You ever see, you saw
promise. You gotta be kidding. I promise when it starts speaking like that, that shocked me all of a sudden, it’s just talking in English your life in exchange for a promise. Um, and I just think that’s such a cool. like, yeah, it is poetic. Like, I’ll let you live, but you have to keep this one promise and it’s really a fairly simple promise.
Just don’t say anything, you know, never, never tell, never tell anybody
Todd: fairytale. Right. It’s like the ASAPS fable or whatever, just in, in a modern day, urban legend type context. And that’s probably why it works so well. I mean, Just immediately after the monster flies away, he leaves the alley and there’s a woman suddenly walking down the street and he pulls her aside and says, what are you doing here by yourself?
You can’t be here by yourself. It’s just like, well, I’m just trying to go home, but I lost my weight. He says, no, this neighborhood is dangerous. Um, let me take you to my place. And you can call a cab from there. You’ll never get a cab here. And she’s like, okay.
Craig: Right. I mean, it seems like. Shady like, cause he, he, no, I get it.
I understand that. He knows that there’s this dangerous thing and he’s trying to protect her, but the way that he grabs her and throws her up against the wall and covers up her mouth, I mean, how would you not find that threatening? But he convinces her that he’s just trying to help out. And apparently she believes him.
The Preston is played by James Remar, who again has been in a million things. I remember him from sex in the city. He was one of Kim control’s love, interests,
very, very handsome and rich and debonair in that movie naked. Um, or that show, I mean, excuse me, but, uh, the woman whose name ends up being. Is played by radon Chong and in the mid to late eighties, radon Chong was poised to be a huge star. And, uh, I’m not really sure what happened. Uh, what I know is when Steven Spielberg made.
The color purple radon Chong was cast in it. And she was originally poised, even though she plays a very small character. She was poised to be among the top build just because she was this rising star. And, um, she looks in this movie she’s gorgeous. She’s young, she’s gorgeous. This, you know, a beautiful black woman, um, just absolutely gorgeous.
And she goes to his apartment with him. He says, come to my apartment, uh, and you can call a cab from there, but when they get there, he first dials the police. But when the police answer, he doesn’t say anything. And, um, he says something to her, like, did you want to try to call a cab again? And she just doesn’t answer.
And so he goes to the bathroom and is like, he takes his shirt off the demon monster gargoyle at the very last thing it said to him, what. After he promised, she said, cross your heart and, uh, scratched him across his chest. So he’s got these big gashes across his chest and she walks up behind him and she’s like, what happened?
And he said, oh, I was on the wrong end of a bottle of scotch or something like that. So he doesn’t say anything and she cleans up his wounds and then 10 minutes after they meet, they.
Todd: Um, exactly. They fall in love very quickly.
Craig: They do. They fall in love very quickly, but you know, it’s, it’s a fairy tale, so that’s okay.
So in the
Todd: meantime, he’s really haunted by this vision and he’s an artist. And so, you know, he expresses himself, he gets out a piece of paper and is constantly like painting or drawing this creature, but he always has. The, the drawings when she comes into the room or anybody comes in really so that he will not break his vow.
And, uh, then it fast-forwards to 10 years later. Well she’s,
Craig: before that, she says that she was talking to him while she moves in with him. The next. Oh, yeah. Then she says, you know, I’ve got a friend, actually, it’s kind of a friend of a friend who like, has a gallery or something and they’re in, I told them about you and they’re interested.
And he’s like, what’s, what’s their name? And she’s like, well, the first name’s like this, but I don’t really remember the rest. And he recognizes the name. And apparently it’s this hot gallery owner who has like the, you know, the hippest gallery of. She happens to know him. Yeah. And so they do a showing and he’s immediately successful making tons of money.
And then they cut to 10 years later. That’s
Todd: right. They cut to 10 years later and they have two little kids, two little girls or boy and a girl and
Craig: a great life. Apparently wonderful, incredibly successful madly in love.
Todd: Matt T even 10 years later, still madly in love. And they’re celebrating their anniversary and they go out and they have dinner and stuff and he comes back home and he says to her, you know, it’s just so sweet, right?
Uh, he’s like, oh, I just wanted to give you something better than, you know, what, what we had now. And she said, there’s nothing that, that you can give me that I don’t already have. And he says, well, actually there is, he pulls
Craig: out a sculpture. He gives her a very detailed. Miniature sculpture of the demon and he tells her the story and she sits there and listens to it.
And she’s almost shaking. Yeah. Her face is blank and he tells her the whole story and she gets up and she’s holding. The thing, the, the sculpture and she starts to cry. And then she says, you promised, you’d never tell
Todd: it’s so good. Oh, I
Craig: just love
Todd: it so much. Like her arms sort of split open at the elbows and outcome, these things.
And these wings start to unfurl and her face splits open, and she basically transforms back into that gargoyle and the, he looks over the room and his kids start to block out. Now gargoyle kids too. And they’re so
Craig: cute and sad. Cute. Oh my God, they’re adorable. But they look, they look so sad and they’re like clinging to each other, like they’re scared.
And I just, I loved this part because he’s, he. Crying too. And he’s begging he’s begging, please go back, please. I’m so sorry. I love you. Yeah. I love you. And uh, she says, I can’t, you broke your vow. And she, she pulls him in to this embrace. Like she wraps her arms and her wings around him and he says, I loved you.
And she says, I loved you too, but you broke your vow. And now this is. Fate. And she bites
Todd: his throat out like a kiss almost, you know, ripping his throat out. And what’s so
Craig: tragic about this is not like, obviously it’s frightening, but it’s not even so much that he skipped. He’s just devastated. Like they’re, they’re all devastated and it is devastating.
And the, you know, the last thing that you see is she grabs her little gargoyle kids and they fly out through the, a skylight and she resumed her position where she was overlooking his apartment before. But now she’s. Her two little gargoyle babies, like huddled up next to her and they turn back to stone and that’s it.
God, I love that story.
Todd: It’s such a good story. When I was a kid, it shocked me. I mean, it surprised me, like I didn’t expect this woman to be the gargoyle maybe because I’ve seen it before and I knew I was going to end up. It w it would kind of projected a little
Craig: bit, same way this time.
Todd: Yeah. You know, I mean, she shows up right afterwards.
And then, uh, and what I was a kid, my interpretation of this story was not that she was the gargoyle all along. My interpretation of the story was just that, you know, she was just a, uh, a woman, but because he broke the vow, this is how. How the punishment was meted out, you know, the, the gargoyle destroyed her and then, you know, no, I don’t think that’s it.
I don’t think that’s it. I think she’s literally the gargoyle because now I picked up on all those other things, like the gargoyle looking down from the top. And I think like,
Craig: I think that, I think this time watching it that’s the first time I thought of it in that way. Like she had been. Perched above his apartment, watching him through the skylight.
And she, you know, she knows, I think she fell in love with them.
Todd: It does beg the question though. How did this gargoyle know this super famous, um, a gallery owner in town? She’s magic. I don’t know. Just magic.
Craig: Um, it’s my favorite. It does feel tragic. It feels sad. I mean, it is frightening and the effects are great.
It looks fantastic. Um, but the overall feeling that I was left with was, was sadness. Like, God, that’s sad. I mean, especially with the little kids and they’re so cute. Oh, how devastated. And when he, when he turns and sees his kids, he falls to the floor and he’s weeping and reaching for them. And, uh, just horrible.
So then it cuts back to the rap and Betty is getting clearly frazzled at this point and she’s ready to go. She’s ready to cook him. And he’s like, wait, uh, I’m going to tell you the best story of all. And she’s like, well, you should already told me, cause it’s too late. Now. Then he starts telling his story and he’s like, it’s a story about a little boy named Timmy.
Can you tell the brother having stupid Pampers and one day give the other brother got sick. Can we have to go on and clapping? One house. She said, come on 20, went inside to treat them and she’d throw them in your pantry. She made me swift these all day long, cause she was gonna cook them. This is your story.
And you can stop telling it now because we both know how it comes. Uh, and he says, yeah, but then what, what the witch didn’t know was that Timmy had these marbles in his pocket and he’s narrating all of this as it’s tax,
Todd: he’s doing this shit and the stupid, which is not paying attention. Oh, I know.
Craig: It’s great.
And so he says, and so, and so he threw the marbles on the ground and she didn’t see. And, um, she stepped on him and she slipped and fell. And so she does, and she falls right directly back onto the. Protruding giant needles that she has on her cart. And she jumps up and is trying like he’s trying to get the needles out of her back and he gets her keys and unlocks himself and shoves.
Um, onto the
Todd: huge giant oven tray rolls out.
Craig: Yeah. I mean, it’s Hansel and Gretel, just Hansel, I guess, but it’s, it’s adorable. And he pushes her in there and then he just walks away and she’s screaming and burning up and he walks over to the counter and grab. Uh, package chocolate chip cookies and pulls one out and stops eat it, starts eating it and then looks directly into the camera.
And with a big smile on his face says, don’t you just love happy endings? And the music starts and the credits roll. I just think this movie is so much fun. Like, oh, I just had such a good time watching it. It, I was never scared, but there were scary elements. Um, You know, I, I was probably more scared by it when I was a kid.
I think I remember actually finding the cat one pretty scary when I was a kid. Um, not so much now, but, but entertaining and every story I thought was an engaging story. The acting is great. It’s really nice to look at. I mean, I just feel like it’s very well done. We didn’t even talk. The director is John Harrison who.
Did a lot of production, but this is one of the few movies. I think that he directed himself. He worked on creep show too. I think
Todd: he also composed the music for a creep show to at my right. I don’t remember. Yeah. And Don and Dave, the dad, I think I’m not sure. Oh
Craig: yeah. Yeah. He worked on that too, I think.
And so he, you know, he and Romero were, uh, you know, co workers and, and
Todd: whatnot. I think it was a modest success, but critically it was pretty mixed reviews. I think maybe a lot of people felt it was little silly. Maybe they were a little too heavy on the comedy and also thought that the stories were a little pedestrian and predictable.
I think that’s fair criticism, but just tonally. The movie is not the. As I actually, I would say it’s a lot closer to the original creep show than it is to a creep show to a, the original creep show is goofy and has a lot of humor in it. Uh, creep show too is fairly serious and tries to be a little more dark.
This movie was definitely going back to the other way of. Just goofy. I mean, the wraparound story silly, the mummy story has, is, is just, it’s not shot. Like we said, in a very suspenseful way. And then of course the cat moot, I just think the cat story is baffling, but it’s just goofy. Th th th th they’re good to end on that third one, I think, you know, which is really a tear-jerker.
I don’t know how you come back. From that you’d give Scott to end your movie after that. And that’s exactly what they do, you know, but again, it is predictable. Like you’ve got to at least a 50% chance of figuring it out almost as soon as she appears on the screen. So. That’s that’s a bit of a flaw. I was surprised to read in the trivia in, I MDB that George Romero, uh, on the commentary track.
And I think one of the, the producer or no, it was the director said that they got some pushback on casting, a black woman, romantic interest with this guy. And this was 1999. I believe that I don’t even, I don’t remember that being a thing like in the nineties, but I mean, who knows what kind of conversations happen up the chain that were never privy to, but yeah, they had some pressure to include some reason why there would be this interracial, you know, love affair.
And George Romero has always been on the right side of this sort of thing. So he was like, no, you need to do it. It’s so
Craig: stupid. Like even as a kid that never even crossed my mind, you know, like they were just too sexy people. Like why
Todd: I was in love with her as a kid, I thought she was gorgeous. I mean, to me, half the half of the tragedy was, you know, yeah.
They had this great life, but man, you bagged a nice one, you know?
Craig: Yeah, I forgot about that. I read that too, and it really shocked me too. I was like really in 1990. That’s so bizarre, but really, I mean, I guess it just goes to show that we’ve come a long way, so that’s, that’s good. I guess that’s true.
Todd: I guess there was a SQL plan too, that never made it, that never happened.
And they keep talking about rebooting the, the tales from the dark side series. But I don’t think that’s ever happened either.
Craig: Well, see, and know it. Well, they did, they rebooted it in, uh, the late nineties, I think. And it ran for a little while. And this guy, the director here, Harrison directed a couple episodes of it.
I think I’m pretty sure. I feel like it may have kind of fallen to the wayside. At this point because creep show has its own series on shutter now,
Todd: which I think these guys were involved in. Right? They
Craig: are. And Harrison has directed a few episodes of that too, I think. Um, so unless it was picked up by a different streaming service or, or a different network or something, it seems like it would almost be a little bit redundant, you know, there’s so similar, but yeah, I don’t know whatever I could make room for both, but yes, the people who were in.
In this and who were involved in the creep show, movies are now involved at least in some capacity with the show, which I need to get more into. I’ve watched a couple of episodes and I liked them that I just haven’t really gotten around to it. But anyway, It’s been, you know, a lot of fun talking about these movies this month.
I, I kind of feel bad. Todd has been wanting to do this probably for years at this point, we just never got around to it. And I’m glad that we finally did. It’s been a lot of fun. And like I said before theme month, Uh, these anthology films will continue to pop up and we’ve already done a bunch of them. So if you haven’t listened to some of those past episodes and you like this format, you can go back and check some of those out.
And if you’ve got, uh, requests, uh, you know how to find us Google to guys in the chainsaw podcast, drop us a message, drop us, um, a DM on. Facebook or, or, you know, leave us a comment on any of those places and, uh, hopefully we’ll find them. And if you’ve got a request, we’ll put you on the list and, uh, hopefully get around to it sometime in the near future until next week.
I’m Craig and I’m Todd with Two Guys and a Chainsaw.
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