Director: Ted Gershuny
Writer: Edithe Swensen
Cast: Harsh Nayyar, Marcia Cross, Patrick Kilpatrick, and Paul Sparer
Composer: Irwin Fisch
Air Date: 5/11/1986
In the year 1935, Dr. Philip Carrol (Patrick Kilpatrick) makes a house call for Edmund and Marie Alcott (Harsh Nayyar and Marcia Cross). Complications arise when Edmund, revealed to be a vampire, kidnaps Dr. Carrol and forces him to mend the broken leg of Marie—also a vampire.
“Strange Love” is a haunting, well-acted episode of Tales from the Darkside. Especially worth praising are the performances of Indian actor Harsh Nayyar and Desperate Housewives actress Marcia Cross, which add an ominous quality to this offering.
Though hampered by a diminutive stature, Nayyar provides an intense, malevolent portrayal of vampire Edmund Alcott. Specifically, Alcott frequently taunts, threatens, and humiliates Dr. Carrol—a more attractive and physically superior man—in front of Marie, thereby establishing himself as a dangerous and predatory alpha male. (The character of Alcott does, however, deserve criticism for his clichéd choice of wardrobe, which resembles that of Bela Lugosi in Universal Studios’ original version of Dracula—an aspect that immediately gives away the “twist” of Alcott’s vampirism.)
“Strange Love” is marred by dated special effects, which will likely fail to convince the audience of Alcott’s extraordinary abilities. On several occasions, for example, a simple camera trick is employed to create the illusion of Alcott disappearing and later rematerializing—a laughable addition to an otherwise captivating episode.
The first Tales from the Darkside episode to feature a vampire-themed premise, “Strange Love” may appeal to fans of the supernatural horror genre. Critical viewers may nevertheless wish to avoid this entry, which contains a predictable twist ending, silly visual effects, and occasionally weak dialogue.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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