Tales from the Darkside Episode 43: A Choice of Dreams

General Information

Director: Jerry Smith

Writer: James Houghton

Cast: Abe Vigoda, David Chandler, Ralph Monaco, David Glen, Tracy Kolis, Dominic Chianese, and Paul Sparer

Composer: Donald Rubinstein

Air Date: 5/4/1986

 

Overview

tales-from-the-darkside-a-choice-of-dreamsJake Corelli (Abe Vigoda), a vile mob boss with tremendous power over others, is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Thereafter, Corelli is approached by Michaelson (David Chandler)—an enigmatic scientist whose invention, Afterlife, allows the user to dream for all eternity; but at a harrowing price.

For effectively coupling science fiction devices with a mafia theme, “A Choice of Dreams” should be commended. Edward F. Shaver’s unique premise is, however, limited in scope by obvious budgetary constraints.

 

Pros

Though unintentionally humorous at times, “A Choice of Dreams” may appeal to fans of classic gangster movies. Especially worth praising is the performancetales-from-the-darkside-a-choice-of-dreams of Abe Vigoda (known for his portrayal of Tessio in The Godfather), whose sinister acting makes credible the fear, hatred, and pseudo-respect that Jake Corelli elicits from his victims. Audiences will immediately feel contempt for Corelli, who vows to ruin the career of a physician bold enough to speak his mind. Nevertheless, there are moments when Corelli, a man with a deeply troubled past, comes across as sympathetic—an aspect that allows the antagonist to appear human, layered, and three-dimensional despite being remarkably evil.

 

Cons

Played on a 1980s synthesizer, Donald Rubinstein’s cheap imitation of The Godfather score may elicit groaning from viewers.

 

Analysis

tales-from-the-darkside-a-choice-of-dreamsOperating on the notion that what goes around comes around, “A Choice of Dreams” delivers karmic justice in a simple yet satisfying manner.

 

Concluding Comments

“A Choice of Dreams” is an original, captivating, and underrated episode of Tales from the Darkside. That being said, the twist ending (clever though it may be) suffers from a campy execution.

 

Overall Quality: 8/10

 

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