Thursday, December 31, 2015

Tales from the Darkside: Strange Love

Who'd have thought an episode of Tales from the Darkside about a couple of vampires would be charming, but "Strange Love" in its own way is romantic, even if it is kind of silly at times. After all, what else can you expect from a love triangle in which the human man is more dashing and seductive than the male vampire?

Dr. Phillip Carrol (Patrick Kilpatrick) makes a house call one night and finds his patient Marie (Marcia Cross) is a vampire with a broken leg. Her husband Edmund (Harsh Nayyar) orders him to heal her and announces his attention to feed on the good doc once she's better. Fortunately for Carrol, sparks fly between him and Marie.

Most short stories in the horror genre are constructed so they build to single scare or shock. "Strange Love," especially compared to other episodes in this series, has more of a plot. There is character based conflict: Edmund wants to eat Carrol, Carrol is attracted to Marie but trapped, and Marie is getting tired of Edmund, and when this handsome young doctor turns up and is polite, well spoken, and considerate toward her, she sees a solution to both their problems.

Edmund isn't scary as the bloodsucker. He looks like a dweeb, and his traditional formal wear is hopelessly out of date, even in a story set in the 1930s like this one. But that's kind of the point; he's old hat. Time for some new blood.

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