Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tales from the Darkside: The Old Soft Shoe

A philandering, traveling salesman (Paul Dooley) literally steps into the past when he checks into his motel room and has a ghostly encounter with a mysterious woman (Dorothy Parke) who keeps calling  him by the wrong name.

While not outright bad, "The Old Soft Shoe" is ultimately not a particularly interesting entry in Tales from the Darkside. I'm not sure if it was intended to be funny, romantic, or scary, and in the end, it's not really any of these.

There seems to be an attempt at a noirish atmosphere with the jazzy saxophone on the soundtrack and a mysterious woman from the past who wears stockings and leads the main character to his doom, but it doesn't resonate very strongly. The encounters between Chester the salesman and Glenda the ghost woman don't sizzle like they should because the characters are one-note.

The twist of the story, Chester re-enacting the past in a haunted room and playing the part of a murder victim, isn't a terrible concept, but he's just a random guest at the motel who doesn't really have any connection to its history. Maybe in a longer format, the episode could have had time to establish and support a connection.

It is nice to see John Fiedler (the voice of Piglet until his death in 2005) as the motel manager. The turtle with a candle on its back is also a rather strange but neat visual detail, even though it has nothing to do with the story.

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