Tales from the Darkside: The Movie- -
The first segment features an animated mummy stalking selected student victims; the second tale tells the story of a "cat from hell" who cannot be killed and leaves a trail of victims behind it; the third story is about a man who witnesses a bizarre killing and promises never to tell what he saw and the "in-between" bit is the story of a woman preparing to cook her newspaper boy for supper.
Official Movie Poster:
Tales from the Darkside: The Movie Movie Trailer in HD – 1990
Essentially, we’re given four stories here starting with “The Wraparound Story,” which involves Deborah Henry who has a kid (Matthew Lawrence) locked up in her kitchen, ready to cook up. To keep himself from being eaten, he starts telling her favorite stories (three of ‘em to be exact) from a book: Tales from the Darkside. The first story “Lot 249” revolves around a nerdy college guy who imports a very special package. There’s a mummy inside the crate, and he resurrects it to seek revenge on some rich jerks. The next story is “Cat from Hell,” which gives us a hit man who tries to takes down a pussy with a bad attitude for a rich old man. The last story, “Lover’s Vow” involves a struggling artist who happens to run into a killer gargoyle who lets the artist live only if he keeps his damn mouth shut. The problem? He falls in love with Tommy Chong’s daughter, and he doesn’t like hiding things from her.
The movie opens with Betty, an affluent suburban housewife and modern-day witch (Deborah Harry), planning a dinner party. The main dish is to be Timmy (Matthew Lawrence), a young boy whom she has captured and chained up in her pantry. To stall her from stuffing and roasting him, the boy tells her three horror stories from a book she gave him, titled Tales from the Darkside.
In the first segment, Michael McDowell adapts Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story, “Lot No. 249”. A graduate student named Bellingham has been cheated by two classmates, Susan, and Lee, who framed him for theft to ruin his chances of winning a scholarship for which they were competing. As revenge, Bellingham reanimates a mummy and uses it to murder them both. Susan’s brother Andy kidnaps Bellingham, and burns the parchment and mummy. He considers killing Bellingham, but in the end cannot bring himself to commit real murder. However, Bellingham brings Susan and Lee back from the dead (having switched the reanimation parchment with a similar one) and dispatches them to Andy’s dorm, where they greet the terrified Andy by saying that Bellingham sends his regards.
In the second tale, George A. Romero adapts a Stephen King short story of the same name. Drogan is a wealthy, wheelchair-bound old man (William Hickey) who brings in a hitman named Halston for a bizarre hire: kill a black cat, which Drogan believes is murderously evil. Drogan explains that there were three other occupants of his house before the cat arrived: his sister, Amanda, her friend Carolyn, and the family’s butler, Richard Gage. Drogan claims that one by one, the cat killed the other three, and that he is next. Drogan’s pharmaceutical company killed 5,000 cats while testing a new drug, and he is convinced that this black cat is here to exact cosmic revenge.
Halston doesn’t believe the story, but is more than willing to eliminate the cat since Drogan is offering $100,000. But when Drogan returns to the house to see if the deed is done, he finds that the cat has killed Halston by climbing down his throat. The cat emerges from the hitman’s corpse and jumps at Drogan, giving him a fatal heart attack.
The third and final segment is written by Michael McDowell and based on the Yuki-onna, a spirit or yōkai in Japanese folklore or more specifically Lafcadio Hearn’s version in Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things. A despondent artist named Preston witnesses a gruesome murder committed by a gargoyle-like monster. The monster agrees to spare Preston’s life as long as he swears never to speak of what he saw and heard or describe the monster’s appearance to anyone. The monster vanishes, leaving Preston traumatized and confused, but bound by his oath never to talk about the incident.
After that night, Preston’s life takes many turns for the better. He meets a beautiful woman named Carola, and they fall in love, marry, and have two children. Preston’s struggling art career becomes wildly successful, and life seems promising, but he is tormented by memories of his encounter with the monster, and his vow of silence weighs on him. One night he breaks down and tells Carola about the monster, even showing her a statue he sculpted of it. She appears upset; at first Preston assumes she thinks he is lying, but then she lets out a heartbroken screech and reveals herself to be the very same creature he met that night.
With Preston’s promise broken she can no longer remain human, and their children transform to monstrous forms as well. She kills Preston (though she says that she loved him), gathers the children and flies away.
The final scene shows that the gargoyle and children have turned to stone upon a building ledge, staring down at Preston’s body with sorrowful expressions.
Tales From the Darkside: The Movie is a 1990 anthology film directed by John Harrison from a screenplay written by Michael McDowell and George W. Romero. The first segment is based on the Arthur Conan Doyle short story “Lot No. 249”; the second segment is based on the Stephen King short story “The Cat From Hell”; the third segment is based on the tale of “The Woman in the Snow.”
The film is a continuation of the 1983-1988 television series Tales From the Darkside, and a spiritual successor to Creepshow 2.