Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The original series was created by horror legend George A. Romero, who directed and co-wrote the seminal zombie film Night of the Living Dead in 1968. In 1982 he teamed up with Stephen King for the film Creepshow, which was an anthology film made up of several horror stories. The success of that film led to the idea of a horror-themed TV series, which became Tales from the Darkside.
The show debuted in 1984 and ran for four seasons, with each episode telling a new story. With new characters each week, the show had quite a large cast, featuring such stars as Phyllis Diller, John Heard, Carol Kane, Darren McGavin, Jerry Stiller, Abe Vigoda, Seth Green, Marcia Cross, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Christian Slater, to name just a few. After its four-season run on television, the show spawned a feature film of its own in 1990, which starred Slater along with Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, and Debbie Harry.
Tales from the Darkside certainly wasn’t the first or only show of its type. It owed a debt of gratitude to The Twilight Zone, the pioneering show of strange tales which originally ran from 1959 to 1964. The format became quite popular in the ‘80s, with Tales from the Darkside being joined by Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories and a Twilight Zone revival in 1985, and then followed by HBO’s Tales from the Crypt in 1989.
Set to write the scripts for the new series is acclaimed author Joe Hill—son of Romero collaborator and original Darkside contributor Stephen King (who had his own horror anthology show with 2006’s Nightmares & Dreamscapes). This isn’t the only film work Hill has on tap—his novel Horns has been adapted into a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple (which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and will release theatrically in 2014), and his comic series Locke & Key is being adapted into a film as well.