Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Tales from the Darkside The First Season|
Actors: Paul Sparer, Catherine Battistone, John Marzilli, Karen Shallo, Neil Kinsella
Directors: Bob Balaban, Timna Ranon
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
Genre: Television: Series Rating: TV14 Release Date: 10-FEB-2009 Media Type: DVD
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A pathetic DVD treatment of a classic show.
Michael P. Beck | Allentown, PA United States | 02/11/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"News of the release of Darkside's first season on DVD was long awaited. Unfortunately, the product ultimately delivered was a tremendous disappointment. Please be aware that all of the show's original music has been changed here for every episode as far as I can tell, with the exception of "Inside the Closet", which is presented with its original score. In all fairness to the producers of the set, this music alteration is mentioned on the back of the DVD case, along with a statement about some episodes that may be modified. However, these facts are stated nowhere in the amazon.com product description, so many buyers may find this out after the fact.
It appears that music library licensing has forced the producers of this set to strip the series of all of its original soundtracks. I find it somewhat difficult to believe that compensatory arrangements couldn't have been made with the original composers or their families in order to allow for this music to be included in the DVD release. Consider the DVD release of The Twilight Zone, for example. Beyond the 4 or 5 major composers that contributed music to that series (Herrmann, Goldsmith, Constant, etc), there were a plethora of other musicians that contributed little musical cues, as confirmed by the new Zone book by Martin Grams. With this in mind, the Zone DVDs still present all of the original music from the series. Again, I find it difficult to believe that the producers of the Darkside DVD set could not have done the same.
I personally would have paid $20 to $40 more for the set if it included the original music. For me, the inclusion of altered music makes the DVD set utterly unacceptable and unwatchable. For all of its campiness, low production value and overall marginal episode quality, I really feel that the music of this series was well written and indispensable. Some viewers, and especially anyone new to the show, may not care about the altered soundtrack. However, for anyone with even a casual admiration for the series, I would think that the changes made here will be of great concern.
Regarding the picture quality of the DVD release, it appears that no effort was made by the producers to improve upon or re-master the video. This being said, I would not say that the visual quality is poor. It is at best average, but does not take away from the enjoyment of the viewing experience. That said, it is my opinion that the visual quality of the program as aired on the Sci Fi channel is better than what one would get with the DVD release. If nothing else, this is still disappointing.
There are two other very minor issues that I would like to mention. This is really nitpicking on my part, but hopefully it can be of value to someone. First, the commentary by creator George Romero that is advertised in the product description appears to be nothing more than bits taken from an interview done with him around the time of the creation of the series circa 1983. In other words, Romero has not been actively involved in contributing any new material to the DVD release, which he could easily have done. This is in a way deceptive advertising, as the product description leads one to believe that Romero provided new commentary for the purpose of the DVD release. In addition, this supposed commentary appears as an option for only one episode, the pilot "Trick or Treat". My initial impression after learning of the inclusion of commentary was that Romero would sit down and review at least 5 of the most well written episodes of the season. The second gripe is virtually meaningless, but something that was still disappointing. The show's commercial bumpers are not included in the set. This is trivial, but I cannot help to again reference the DVD release of The Twilight Zone, which does include all of the original show bumpers as each episode went to commercial. In virtually every way, the Zone DVD release is IMO the model for which all other TV programs should strive. Unfortunately, this release came nowhere near to satisfying what the fans of the program deserve.
Unfortunately, it is true.... The sound is butchered on EVER
Doctor Wily | 02/11/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I really can't believe that I'm on Amazon actually giving a Tales from the Darkside product a negative review... but here I am doing just that. I consider myself one of the biggest "Darkside" fans ever. I have been waiting 15 years for this show to get the treatment it so rightfully deserves, and what does Paramount/CBS DVD do? They TAKE OUT ALMOST EVERY PEICE OF ORIGINAL MUSIC IN EVERY EPISODE! I have the entire series made from TV airings burned onto DVD from my DVR, and these DVD's only improve on the picture quality a microscopic bit. Grain is apparent everywhere. This is inexcusable. If they can make Night of the Living Dead look like it was made yesterday, then they can fix up an 80's show!!! Speaking of "Night of the Living Dead", all of the musical tracks from "Night" as well as "Creepshow" ( two of George Romero's most remembered films ) are taken out completely. Funny thing is, "Night of the Living Dead" is in the public domain, so this couldn't be a rights issue. So what do we get instead? An incredibly inferior alternate soundtrack that sounds like someone is playing around on a Casio keyboard. This is the first review I have ever done for Amazon, and I am really sorry that it has to be a negative one, but come on Paramount! You can't get anything right! Can you watch Titanic, Rocky, or Star Wars with the soundtrack completely changed? Of course... but why would you want to? It would be almost a sin. But Paramount likes to experiment with this on one of the greatest and creepiest shows of all time. What do I rate "Tales from the Darkside" as a series? That's easy: 6/5. What do I rate this set? I've had bowel movements that have been better. Hopefully, if enough people complain, this will be rectified... and I'm praying that's the case so that this show won't be remembered as "That 80's show with the bad soundtrack"! Paramount is the devil."
Steven Beck | Allentown, PA | 02/10/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Like other reviewers, I've been an avid fan of this series since it premiered when I was a kid. So, when my brother broke the news to me last week that the first season would be released on dvd, I ordered my copy immediately. Shipping took 2 days from the time of availability. I thought, "this is too goood to be true." Well, it is. The big problem I have with the release is that A FEW EPISODES DO NOT CONTAIN THE ORIGINAL MUSIC. Now, I'm not referring to the beginning and ending titles. That music is the same. Just do me the favor of comparing the Youtube versions of "Trick or Treat" and "The Odds" with the versions on the disk. You will notice markedly different music throughout the course of the episode. And these are two of the greatest episodes in the series!!!
Many people would find this trivial; to have the episodes in one place for the first time is enough. However, I am certain there are fans out there for whom this has been a long anticipated event who will be disappointed. My memories of this show are not just the stories: they are the images, the diaglogue and, yes, THE MUSIC. George Romero should be ashamed of himself.
Now, it is possible that having been syndicated, these episodes were not shown with the original music since their first airing. I invite anyone to prove that assumption; it would be reassuring.
Finally on DVD!
John Lindsey | Socorro, New Mexico USA. | 03/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
This is one of the most beloved anthologies to hit TV besides "Tales from the Crypt" or "Twilight Zone". From George A. Romero who gave us the Living Dead saga and Richard P. Rubinstein (Producer of "Creepshow", "Dawn of the Dead 1978 and 2004" and "Pet Sematary") originally pitched this as a TV spin-off to their successful 1982 classic "Creepshow" but instead they wanted to not just throw horror stories but also Sci-fi and fantasy stories just like "Twilight Zone" or "Outer Limits" thus "Tales from The Darkside" was born on October 1983 then finally hit 1984 until 1988 for it has became a cult fave.
This season has the 1983 pilot episode called "Trick or Treat" which deals with a spoiled rich man who sends kids into a special haunted house attraction in his mansion to scare them witless until a weird visitor gives him one hell of a scare. Next the first real episode from 1984 called "The New Man" has an alcoholic businessman who meets a young boy who claims to be his other son when the man doesn't have any other son but one which drives him to madness. Next "I'll Give you a Million" deals with an old fellow who is offered a million bucks by a very rich fellow in exange for his soul but there is a terrible price to pay once it's for real, "Pain Killer" is about a mysterious doctor who helps a back-pain patient as he must make a strange payment in order to be cured for all times on his back. "The Odds" tells the story of a gambling man who does the most unsusual odd even without learning what dark secret is behind this devilish game. "Mookie and Pookie" is a fantasy tale about two twin brothers and sisters who one of them dies and leaves his soul & mind in a computer for now the sister must prove that he exists in their.
"Splippage" tells us about a graphic designer who finds he is losing his mind when he's slipping through reality, next is "Inside The Closet" where a female college student who takes a room at a room-and-board dorm from a professor who keeps literally a secret in one of his closets. "Word Professor of the Gods" is a Stephen King written story about a married man who's got a humdrum life until his newphew gives him a magical word processor that makes his life better, "A Case of the Subborns" is a funny story about a griefstruck southern family who's grandpa recently died until he's mysterious brought back as a zombie who refuses to believe that he's dead. "Djinn No Chaser" is a tale about a couple who buys a magic lamp from a strange dealer but the Genie in the lamp is unfriendly towards the couple until one of them frees him then he will be nice again. "All A Clone by The Telephone" is a bizarre story of a TV show writer who's answering machine begins to become literally enchanted for it wants to help the man, "In The Cards" has a phoney psychic who is tormented by haunted cards that predicts terrible futures for many people.
"Anniversary Dinner" has a cannibalistic couple who takes a young girl in whom is running from her boyfriend as they invite her to their anniversary dinner and she will soon discover she's the main course. "Snip Snip" has a rival Warlock and beautician witch who each lay claim to a special lottery ticket as they battle each other for who should have the million bucks. "Answer Me" has a terrorized British actress who is taunted and harrassed by phone calls all night and day long, "The Tear Collector" has this cry-baby girl who meets a strange man that collects tears for profit. "Madness Room" deals with a rich couple and a friend who plays a Ouji-board game and are brought into the madness room where the wife plans to scare her husband to death, "If the Shoes Fit" has a politician who's running for governor is staying at a hotel that somehow becomes a trap that will turn him into something else. "Levitation" is about a circus magician who proves that his magic is for real, next "It all comes out of the Wash" has a Chinese laundry owner who washes out the guilt of a developer until that customer learns the true meaning of a price to pay. "Bigalow's Last Smoke" has a man trapped in a caged area by a anti-smoking company to quit his smokin habits, "Grandma's Last Wish" deals with grandmother who's about to go to a retirement home makes a special wish of her desire and finally "The False Prophet" has a fortune telling machine who desires a young woman and begins to become progressive yet hostile.
This season is a nice start with some good stars like Jessica Harper of "Suspiria" fame, David Patrick Kelly ("Commando" and "The Warriors"), Jean Marsh ("Willow" and "Return to Oz"), James Hong, Kareem Abdul Jabar, Keenan Wynn, Bruce Davidson, Harry Anderson, Dick Miller and Richard Romanus ("Heavy Metal", "Wizards", "Hey Good Lookin"), it became one of the most popular shows of the 80's and started out well. This DVD does have some episodes that aren't really remastered and has only one extra which is an audio commentary by George Romero on the pilot episode but who cares, what really matters is that this great show is on DVD."