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Tales from the Darkside is an anthology horror TV series produced by George A. Romero; it originally aired in syndication from 1983 to 1988. Similar to Amazing Stories, The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, The Outer Limits, and Tales From The Crypt, each episode was an individual short story that ended with a plot twist. The series' episodes spanned the genres of horror, science fiction and fantasy, and some episodes featured elements of black comedy or more lighthearted themes. As of October 1, 2009, It can be seen as re-runs on the Syfy Channel and this program is nowadays often rated: TV-14-V when it airs on Re-runs in the United Statesmarker.


The moderate success of George Romero's horror anthology film Creepshow led to initial inquiries about the possibilities of a Creepshow series. Because Warner Brothers owned certain aspects of Creepshow, Laurel Productions (which produced the film) opted to take their potential series into a similar, yet separate, direction, including changing the name to Tales from the Darkside. The new name reflected Creepshow's focus, that of a live-action EC-based horror comic book of the 1950s like Tales from the Crypt or The Vault of Horror, though the series would not carry the trappings of a comic as Creepshow did.

Some episodes of the series were written by or adapted from the works of famous authors. Stephen King's short stories "Word Processor of the Gods" and "Sorry, Right Number" were amongst them. Works by Frederik Pohl, Harlan Ellison, Clive Barker, Michael Bishop, Robert Bloch, John Cheever, and Fredric Brown were also featured.

After wrapping, Tales from the Darkside was succeeded by Monsters in 1988, a similarly styled syndicated weekly horror anthology also produced by Laurel and longtime Romero associate Richard P. Rubenstein.

The series was followed by Tales from the Darkside: The Movie in 1990. Stephen King also contributed a short story to this film, "The Cat From Hell". The film starred Deborah Harry, Christian Slater, William Hickey, Steve Buscemi, and Julianne Moore (the first three previously appeared in episodes of the TV series). Tom Savini has called this film "The real Creepshow 3".

The series was originally syndicated weekly by Tribune Broadcasting, with most stations airing it after midnight. After ending production, it was picked up by LBS Communications for barter-based syndication (with the exception of the episode The Apprentice, which was distributed by Lorimar-Telepictures. Worldvision Enterprises later became the series' distributor, and the rights currently are held by Worldvision successor CBS Television Distribution. (All three syndicators' logos appear following the closing credits.)

The series currently airs on Syfy as well as Chiller.

On November 17, 2008, CBS Home Entertainment (distributed by Paramount) announced the first season of Tales from the Darkside would be released on DVD February 10, 2009 complete with audio commentary by producer George Romero on the episode "Trick or Treat". [59626] [59627]

Opening/closing sequence

The opening/closing theme to the series was performed by Donald Rubinstein (who co-wrote the theme with Erica Lindsay). Donald (The brother of Laurel Productions' founder, Richard P. Rubinstein) had worked on scores for Laurel Productions in the past, such as the films Martin and Knightriders. His previous works qualified him to try his hand at the theme for Tales from the Darkside, and the haunting composition helped define the series as a separate entity from Creepshow. George Romero wrote the narration.

As in the case of The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, the series begins each episode with a montage of images - in this case, several shots of a forest and countryside - accompanied by a narrator (Paul Sparer) delivering a foreboding voice-over:

Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality.
But... there is, unseen by most, an underworld, a place that is just as real,
but not as brightly lit.....a DARKSIDE.
Each episode would also end with a second voice-over:

The dark side is always there, waiting for us to enter, waiting to enter us.
Until next time, try to enjoy the daylight.


DVD Releases

CBS Home Entertainment (distributed by Paramount) released the first season of Tales from the Darkside on DVD in Region 1 on February 10, 2009. [59628] The DVD set contains an audio commentary by executive producer George Romero on the pilot episode. However, as the back of the DVD box states in very tiny font: "Music has been changed for this home entertainment version." Every episode has had its music changed in this release except for "Inside the Closet" and "Grandma's Last Wish". Unfortunately, this includes all music cues from George Romero's Creepshow as well as Night of the Living Dead. Paramount has replaced music before with the release of The Fugitive on DVD. Fan outcry for that set was so great that Paramount issued free replacement DVDs. Fans of Tales from the Darkside hope that this will be the case for them as well as the music gave the show much of its atmosphere. The second season was released October 27th, 2009.

See also



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