Tales from the Darkside Episode 63: Red Leader

General Information

Director: John Sutherland

Writer: Edithe Swensen

Cast: Joe E. Tata, Carmine Caridi, Brioni Farrell, Peter Bromilow, Joseph Della Sorte, and Paul Sparer

Composer: Ken Lauber

Air Date: 2/15/1987

 

Overview

Tales from the Darkside Red LeaderAfter the death of his partner Jack Caine (Carmine Caridi), shady businessman Alex Hayes (Joe E. Tata) is offered a position by the devil (Peter Bromilow) himself. Despite rejecting the devil’s proposal, Alex soon finds himself in a “hell” of his own making.

“Red Leader” deserves criticism for its cheesy acting and clichéd humor. Also worth noting is the climactic twist of this episode, which suffers from a predictable execution.

 

Pros

Peter Bromilow should be commended for his unique portrayal of the devil, who, by sporting a hardhat and work jumpsuit instead of two horns and a pitchfork, may remind the audience of a stereotypical union boss.

 

Cons

“Red Leader” is marred by weak performances, which strain the credibility of an already farfetched narrative. When Jake returns from Hell, for example, the mainTales from the Darkside Red Leader character reacts in a nonchalant manner upon reuniting with his dead business partner. While demanding her fair share of company profits from Alex, Jake’s widow Amanda (Brioni Farrell) fails to exhibit the characteristic charm of a gold-digger—another example of how cringe-worthy acting, even in a supernatural setting with comedic undertones, can hamper the realism of an otherwise well-written story.

 

Analysis

Tales from the Darkside Red LeaderThough lacking in subtlety, “Red Leader” contains a laudable critique of nepotism, corporate greed, and assessing human relationships in terms of business value.

 

Concluding Comments

Casual viewers should avoid “Red Leader” for its one-note premise and poor production aspects. Tales from the Darkside fans, in contrast, may enjoy this offering for its tongue-in-cheek elements.

 

Overall Quality: 3/10

 

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