Director: Warner Shook
Writer: Jule Selbo
Cast: Kaiulani Lee, Mary Louise Wilson, Albert Macklin, Steve Vinovich, Bill McIntyre, Jane Adams, and Paul Sparer
Composer: T.O. Sterrett
Air Date: 11/30/1986
While running for mayor of an Alabama town, Julian Cantrell (Steve Vinovich) encounters a problem when his wife Valeria (Kaiulani Lee)—unofficially sainted for her wholesome character—performs an accidental miracle on her husband’s top contributor. Hoping to end her predicament, Valeria decides to break each of the Ten Commandments in numerical order.
Lacking the ominous and atmospheric tropes of a typical Tales from the Darkside entry, “Deliver Us from Goodness” will likely fail to captivate fans of the horror genre. This episode may also evoke criticism for its groan-worthy humor and unrealistic performances, which often border on the obnoxious.
“Deliver Us from Goodness” is marred by comedic devices of a cringe-inducing nature: a bucket of fried chicken that falls from the ceiling, an angelic choir that sings whenever Valeria performs a good deed, and a teenage girl who prays to Bruce Springsteen every night before bedtime.
(Spoilers beyond this point)
In addition, this episode lacks a macabre, satisfying plot twist to punish Valeria for her immoral behavior—a shortcoming that may annoy viewers who possess a firm sense of justice.
Though intended as a clever, tongue-in-cheek commentary on Christian fundamentalism, “Deliver Us from Goodness” relies on one-dimensional, if not cartoonish, stereotypes of religious people in order to warn against the dangers of legalism.
“Deliver Us from Goodness” is a goofy, poorly-written episode of Tales from the Darkside. Specifically, this offering should be noted for its juvenile tone, random twist ending, and over-the-top acting.
Overall Quality: 1/10
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