Director: Bruce Dolin
Writers: Harvey Jacobs and Donald Wollner
Cast: Divine, J.D. Roth, Kathleen Doyle, David Gale, Cathy Lipinski, and Paul Sparer
Composer: Michael Gibbs
Air Date: 11/15/1987
On a cold winter evening, Henry and Ellen Strand (David Gale and Kathleen Doyle) are visited by Ambassador Chia Fung (Divine) and Madame Wu (Cathy Lipinski)—representatives of a small Himalayan country known as Lo Pu. Curious about the intentions of both guests, Henry and Ellen discover that their son Seymour (J.D. Roth) has been chosen as the new lama of Lo Pu—with an ironic twist.
“Seymourlama” is an abysmal entry of Tales from the Darkside. Specifically, this episode deserves criticism for its idiotic humor, juvenile characters, and lack of horror/sci-fi themes.
Viewers may struggle to relate with the Strand family, the dysfunctional relationships of whom often border on the obnoxious. Especially annoying are the personality conflicts of Henry—a dimwitted sports enthusiast portrayed by David Gale of Re-Animator—and his geek son Seymour, who, in an act of malicious spite, orders a female servant to devour one of the most valued baseball cards in Henry’s collection.
In addition to its grating character antics, “Seymourlama” relies on ethnic and religious stereotypes of Eastern culture for comedic impact—an aspect that may offend audiences of a sensitive nature.
Though mostly devoid of intellectual merit, “Seymourlama” offers a thought-provoking statement (albeit perhaps unintentionally) on how the majority of people—even those of a soft or unassuming temperament—tend toward abusive behavior when granted power over others.
Combining silly dialogue with a one-note premise, “Seymourlama” may fail to resonate with comedy buffs and serious horror fans alike. Worth noting in particular are the unlikable traits of each character, which, despite the efforts of a talented cast, result in a cringe-inducing outcome.
Overall Quality: 1/10
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