Director: Richard Friedman
Writer: Carole Lucia Satrina
Cast: Adolph Caesar, Rosetta LeNoire, Donna Bullock, John Calonius, Tiffani Caesar, and Paul Sparer
Composer: Godfrey Nelson
Air Date: 10/20/1985
Unable to evict Mars Gillis (Adolph Caesar)—a kindly Haitian man—from his apartment room, landlady Linda (Donna Bullock) implements an underhanded method of encouraging the unwelcome tenant to vacate the parlour floor front where he resides. When Mars puts a voodoo curse on Linda and her husband Doug (John Calonius), however, many unfortunate circumstances plague the couple in question.
“Parlour Floor Front” benefits from an intriguing central narrative device. That being said, the lackluster acting, writing, and direction of this installment serve to undermine an otherwise tremendously spooky concept.
An ominous finale involving the desecration of one’s coffin and the consequences thereof will undoubtedly appeal to fans of the horror genre. Exceptionally commendable are the foreboding qualities embodied by Adolph Caesar, which add credibility to the fantastic premise of a resurrection and subsequent revenge killing made possible by the decedent’s intimacy with voodoo rituals.
Marred by the cringe-inducing performances of Donna Bullock and John Calonius, “Parlour Floor Front” fails to elicit either sympathy or contempt for the husband-and-wife pair upon which this episode is centered. Especially problematic is that Bullock never conveys the dishonest, manipulative nature of Linda in a believable fashion, thus preventing the audience from even suspecting her true intentions (i.e. feigning injury and poisoning her cat in order to convince Mars that his curse had been successful, thereby prompting him to feel guilty and leave the apartment as a result) prior to her expository confession at a later point.
A well-executed twist ending aside, “Parlour Floor Front” makes underwhelming use of the voodoo zombie trope. Therefore, all but the most enthusiastic of Tales from the Darkside fans are advised to avoid this unintentionally dreadful episode.
Overall Quality: 4/10
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