Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (Scream Factory) 4K Blu-ray Review + 1080p Screenshots

One of the first horror films of the 90s makes its 4K debut courtesy of Scream Factory

Scream Factory
Release Date: May 4th, 1990 (theatrical) / November 28th, 2023 (4K blu-ray)
Run Time: 1 hour 33 minutes 24 seconds
Region Code: FREE (4K blu-ray) / A (locked) (2K blu-ray)
Disc Count: 2
Picture: 2160p (1.85:1 aspect ratio) (4K blu-ray) / 1080p (1.85:1 aspect ratio) (2K blu-ray)
HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (both discs)
Subtitles: English SDH 
Slipcover: Yes (original pressing)
Digital Copy: No
Starring: Deborah Harry, Christian Slater, David Johansen, William Hickey, James Remar, Rae Dawn Chong
Written by Michael McDowell, George A. Romero
Directed by John Harrison
Rating: R (strong horror violence and gore, language, and some nudity)




What's It About?

The first of three dark tales involves resentful student Bellingham (Steve Buscemi) looking to an Egyptian mummy for help in settling some scores. Then, hit man Halston (David Johansen) is contracted to kill a cat that has terrorized and even killed members of an extremely wealthy family. Lastly, struggling artist Preston (James Remar) witnesses a demon commit a bizarre murder on a city street, but agrees to keep it a secret when the devilish being promises wealth in return for his silence.


First off, I want to say that I love having this film in it's original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Paramount was notorious for releasing their 1.85:1 films in 1.78:1. I hate when studios don't present the films they are releasing with the filmmaker's intended framing. The difference between the two aspect ratios is small but it is noticeable. Colors also are given a nice makeover with many of them popping off the screen. Blacks are deep and whites aren't blown out. I really love the way this transfer came out.

That being said, this is one nice looking transfer. The film was given a brand new transfer for this release and the bump in resolution is quite noticeable. Small details like fabric textures and the groves on the various knives Deborah Harry has in the wraparound story are very impressive. 

The audio is nice here but it is not the original theatrical audio that was present on the original blu-ray that Scream Factory released a few years ago. The original audio was 2.0 stereo with sound coming out of the front left and right speakers. Scream Factory, for whatever reason, ditched this audio in favor of a mono 2.0 track with the same sound coming out of the two front speakers. I don't know why Scream did this but I know that they will not fix it. It feels like Scream does this shit on purpose just to piss people off. That or they are trying to save money by not having any quality control. Of course, Scream will ignore any complaints just like they have for the past few years.


Disc 1: 4K Blu-ray

Commentary with director John Harrison and screenwriter George A. Romero
Commentary with co-producer David R. Kappes
Commentary with film critics Emily Higgins and Billy Dunham

Disc 2: 2K Blu-ray

Commentary with director John Harrison and screenwriter George A. Romero
Commentary with co-producer David R. Kappes
Commentary with film critics Emily Higgins and Billy Dunham

Tales Behind the Darkside: The Making of Four Ghoulish Fables (1h 43m, HD, 1.78:1)

  • Chapter One: From Small Screens to Big Screams (16m 20s)
  • Chapter Two: Rising Stars and the Walking Dead (17m 41s)
  • Chapter Three: That Damn Cat! (16m 51s)
  • Chapter Four: A Vow to Keep (25m 42s)
  • Chapter Five: The Order of Things (14m 2s)
  • Chapter Six: The Test of Times (13m 11s)

Behind the Scenes Footage Compilations (11m 5s, SD, 1.33:1)
Theatrical Trailer (1m 57s, HD, 1.85:1)
TV Spots (1m 6s, SD, 1.33:1) 2 spots
Radio Spots (1m 35s) 3 spots
Still Gallery (4m 2s) auto plays with no music or sound.
Behind the Scenes Still Gallery (4m 11s) auto plays with no music or sound.

The wealth of the special features is found in the feature length making of done by Red Shirt Pictures who have done a ton of special features on releases like EXTREME PREJUDICE, PHANTOM OF THE MALL: ERIC'S REVENGE, and LITTLE MONSTERS. They have done an excellent job bringing us behind the scenes while giving us some great stories along the way. We do get eleven minutes of footage shot by the guys over at KNB as they test out the animatronics for the gargoyle. The special features are finished out with the film's theatrical trailer (narrated by the awesome Percy Rodriguez), a few TV and radio spots, and two still galleries.

The packaging consists of a slipcover featuring the film's original theatrical poster, which is my favorite theatrical poster of all time. I am glad that Scream Factory went with the theatrical poster instead of that awful artwork they commissioned for their previous blu-ray release. These companies should always use a film's original artwork as the commissioned artwork costs money and they could be putting this money into quality control or any other thing they need the money for.

The 2-disc 4K blu-ray case features the same awesome artwork and the two discs inside each feature a still from the film.

The 4K blu-ray disc is REGION FREE
The 2K blu-ray disc is REGION A (locked)


TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: THE MOVIE should have been the third CREEPSHOW film. It has everything that made that series what it is but the powers that be made it not so. Each of the stories presented here are worth checking out and the wraparound story is deliciously dark and funny. 

Scream Factory has done a good job bringing the film to 4K blu-ray with one caveat: they screwed up the sound. For some, this isn't a big deal but it is. I wonder why Scream did this as their previous blu-ray contained the correct audio. It's like they are trying to piss off their customers. The rest of this release is nice with great picture quality and fun extras.





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