Director: John Sutherland
Writer: John Sutherland
Cast: Jerry Orbach, Richard Portnow, Phil Lenkowski, Don Peoples, Teresa L. Jones, and Paul Sparer
Composer: John Sutherland
Air Date: 2/22/1987
Following a recent divorce, a lonely drunk known as Curtis (Richard Portnow) falls in love with a mannequin named Estelle (Teresa L. Jones). Meanwhile, Curtis’ friend Roberts (Jerry Orbach) grows increasingly concerned over the mental state of his fellow alcoholic.
A noir piece with a supernatural twist, this episode should appeal to classic film enthusiasts and horror fans alike. “Everybody Needs a Little Love” may also evoke praise for its haunting atmosphere, chilling (albeit brief) gore effects, and clever use of the power of suggestion.
Though heavy on exposition, the flashbacks of the main character benefit from a neo-noir style—similar to “You, Murderer,” a Tales from the Crypt episode about a slick criminal who, after disguising himself as Humphrey Bogart, conveys a tale of theft, murder, and romance to the audience.
Also worth commending is the performance of Richard Portnow, who, by acting in a dangerous and irrational manner, offers a realistic portrayal of obsession during his interactions with Jerry Orbach.
In addition to its predictable nature, the twist ending of this episode is marred by a disturbing lack of justice.
Based on a short story by Psycho author Robert Bloch, “Everybody Needs a Little Love” is a unique and poignant episode of Tales from the Darkside. The final scene of this offering may, however, perturb those with a strong sense of fair treatment.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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