Written by: John Edward Betancourt
The 1980's proved to be an incredible time for horror. From slashers to zombies, it was a golden era for all the awful things that go bump in the night. In fact the wonder of horror even managed to extend to television.
Freddy Krueger had his own show, so did Jason Voorhees, even though Jason never made an appearance. Syndication did wonders for any one who wanted to bring something scary to the airwaves, and thankfully for all of us, George Romero wanted in.
In 1984 George brought forth an extension of Creepshow; the brilliant Tales from the Darkside. Every week we were treated with an individual tale of terror. From ghouls and ghosts to things that lived within our closet, the show was a cornucopia of horror, providing breathtaking visions of our nightmares week in and week out. In fact the series was a draw for even the big names, with Stephen King penning a couple of episodes, Harlan Ellison and Clive Barker each wrote for the show and Tom Savini cut his directing chops stepping behind the camera a few times as well.
This show oozed the best parts of the genre, from the creepy opening sequence to the top notch special effects, clearly something this ambitious will never find its way to broadcast television again. Sadly, after the first season or two the show did begin to run out of a little bit of steam, leaning toward campy and downright silly with some its episodes and in the end it only survived four seasons. Yet it still managed to bring a feature length film based on the series to theaters in 1990.
If anyone is wondering where to see these classic gems of horror you can now find the entire series on DVD. I have to say every episode is worth watching, just to enjoy the raw creativity that the series had to offer. For every episode similar to the goofy "The Grave Robbers" there is another "Inside the Closet" waiting to surprise you.
For those who have never heard of this series, I do advise caution when watching. Some of these tales are genuinely terrifying. In fact there a few of them that leave me unsettled when I turn off the lights. So I leave you with an image of just how far this show was willing go and the sound advice of the show's narrator: "try to enjoy the daylight."