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Featured TV on DVD Review: Tales from the Dark Side: Season Three

April 26th, 2010

Tales from the Dark Side: Season Three - Buy from Amazon

This week, Season Three of four of Tales from the Dark Side comes out on DVD. This horror anthology series ran during the mid 80s and still has fans today. As with all anthology series, it's hit and miss, but does it have more hits than misses? And how well does it compare to the first two seasons, which I previously reviewed?

The hit to miss ratio is a lot better here than it was in Season Two. In fact, it arguably has a better hit to miss ratio than in Season One, with The Geezenstacks being an early example. In this episode, a girl is given a dollhouse that her uncle found in an abandoned house, but the father notices that whatever happens to the family of dolls will happen to them. Seasons of Belief has parents telling their kids a scary Christmas tale, but the power of a kid's imagination turns out to be more powerful than their parents thought. Everybody Needs a Little Love is a Film Noir tale with a terrific guest appearance by Jerry Orbach.

Even second-tier episodes could be considered solid hits.. For instance, The Circus has a good atmosphere and an excellent guest performance by William Hickey, but overall it is a little too predictable. Likewise, The Milkman Cometh is a typical wish-granter story, the kind that starts out great, but soon the wish-granter turns on the wish maker.

As for the misses... there are no real misses, at least not major ones. There are a few that are frankly not scary, not because they are poorly made but because they are not true horror. For instance, Deliver Us from Goodness is about a woman who is so good she's a saint. Literally. She glows, a heavenly choir is heard wherever she goes, and she can perform miracles. However, she's hates this and tries her damnedest to change, including saying the word, "Damn". (It's one of the Ten Commandments.) Also, A Serpent's Tooth is also on the more humorous end of the scale. In that episode a nagging mother is given a necklace that makes all her dire warnings come true. Fun episodes, but not true horror.

Unfortunately, there are no extras, no subtitles, and no proper chapter placements. There are play all buttons, but that's it for DVD authoring.

The Verdict

Tales from the Dark Side: Season Three is a step up from Season Two and might be even better than Season One. Sadly, there are no extras on the three-disc set and the video and audio quality are showing their age. If you own the previous two seasons, then this one is obviously worth picking up. If you are just a fan of the genre in general, give it a rental.

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