Tales From The Darkside TV Series

In the eighties, I would watch this as much as possible. It was a good Twilight Zone type show that had some hits and misses but even when it missed it could be creepy. The show combined horror, science fiction, and comedy. The series was made in the 1980s and boy can you tell! The music, the sets, and the hair.

Each episode of this TV series depicts a short, strange tale…with a twist! With eerie stories that were most of the time smartly written. The usual plot formula is comprised of an initial normal, mundane situation that gradually begins to get off-kilter, with suspense building up to the final, chilling, surprise conclusion.

Some episodes are gruesome, a few are of a lighter comedic style. Like many such shows, they were adapted from the work of famous genre authors of the period such as Harlan Ellison, Stephen King, and Clive Barker. Many episodes also featured veteran actors of the 40’s and 50’s.

The show ran from 1983 to 1988 and had a total of 90 episodes.

So…listen very carefully… get some popcorn, put some 80’s acid-washed jeans on, and binge watch this show at night time to make the atmosphere a little creepier.

Thanks to Lisa for recommending this show!

IT the Novel

I’m not writing a summary of the book…a good one is here… Just how IT affects me.

Everything I was scared of in childhood comes back to me in this book…vividly. What if it was really a monster in the dark like I thought?

I did a post on the old tv mini-series and the new movie but the novel is a great piece of work. I have read it at least 7 times. I keep coming back to it and visiting Derry and the kids that grew up together. After reading the book you feel like you know these people…or you have known people like them while growing up. It makes you think of the friends you had at 10-11 that you have forgotten their name and some of the things you did with them.

When I’m reading it I’m transported to Derry in 1957-1958 and then ahead to 1984-85 and then back to the 50s. King is so detailed that you feel like you have been in that town and know the townsfolk, the streets, the stores and the dirty secrets.  I always…always find things that I missed before because it is so massive.

It’s like learning about your town. The star of the book…isn’t Pennywise…it’s Derry. They are maybe one in the same but it holds the secrets of everyone in that town. The book is also about coming of age and the awkwardness that comes with it…for the kids and for the town.

Some things I feel while reading is:

Rage… The rage for Henry Bowers is something that the movie and the tv series does not halfway convey. He is the ultimate bully. Most of us had a form of a Henry Bowers to contend with…

Familiarity… the losers club is basically a bunch of misfits that blend together and all of them have talents that no one else outside of the group really notices but are used by the club. It’s a story you are familiar with and you may have been in a similar group as a kid.

Nostalgia… No, I wasn’t raised in the 50s or even close but the same things these kids were into as kids…rock and roll, curious about the opposite sex, exploring, still believing in magic… having no real responsibilities, the fun of being a kid and every day was new…is not era related.

I make it sound like a quaint little book about growing up… no… it is scary but what makes it scary for me is I can relate to most of the characters in the book…that makes it real. Stephen King is a master at that. He makes everything seem plausible.

Pennywise is one of the greatest monsters/evil entity ever. You get a vast variety of monsters that IT changes into also… if IT is not doing tha… it is busy influencing some of the weaker citizens of Derry.

The infamous sex “scene”… I’ve read reviewers talk it up like it is some cheap porn setup (I’m hearing the 70’s wah wah guitar in the background)…it’s not like that. It’s very innocent and they have no clue really on what to do. Was it a surprise when I read it? Yes…Was it erotic? NO it wasn’t at all… I didn’t know about it beforehand…I had to do a double take but I got King’s meaning. To find their way back out of the sewer they had to reunite and be adults and in a sense leave childhood behind…it was used as a bridge from childhood to being an adult. It was a different era (1980s) when he wrote this…he probably would not have written it the same way now.

Of course, all of this is just the way it affected me.

Get the book and read it…or reread it.