Tales from the Darkside Episode 80: Love Hungry

General Information

Director: John Strysik

Writer: John Strysik

Cast: Sharon Madden, Larry Gelman, Diana Hale, John Romo, Catherine Battistone, Neil Kinsella, and Paul Sparer

Composer: Ken Lauber

Air Date: 2/21/1988

 

Overview

Reunited with her high school boyfriend Elmo Shroud (Larry Gelman), Betsy Cowland (Sharon Madden) tries an experimental weight loss program. Specifically, Tales from the Darkside Love Hungrywhile donning a special pair of glasses and a hearing aid, Betsy realizes that all food is alive, sentient, and unwilling to be consumed by humans—a fact that cures Betsy of her binge eating, though at a terrible cost.

Implying that food can experience pain when eaten, “Love Hungry” offers a clever premise for a tongue-in-cheek horror story. Nevertheless, this episode is marred by a high camp factor and a vile twist ending.

 

Pros

Tales from the Darkside Love HungryBy providing a unique voice and personality for each food item in Betsy’s kitchen, “Love Hungry” compensates for the puppet-like movements and appearances of the talking pear, apple, and banana trio. In fact, sensitive viewers may sympathize with the articulate fruit, who express a strong desire for self-preservation.

 

Cons

“Love Hungry” will likely raise eyebrows for failing to cast a handsome actor as Elmo, who, by merely showing up one evening, inspires Betsy to begin her weight loss regime. For example, viewers may question why Betsy feels self-conscious around Elmo given his short, balding frame and below-average looks.

(Spoilers beyond this point)

Additionally, this episode suffers from a “tasteless” ending. Especially worth criticizing is the fate of Betsy, who sews her mouth shut and starves to death as a result.

 

Analysis

Despite being only moderately overweight, Betsy literally tortures herself to death while obsessing over food—a morbid commentary on the dangers of anorexia.

 

Concluding Comments

Combining dietary horror with cheesy acting, this offering contains all the “ingredients” for a solid Tales from the Darkside episode. Unfortunately, “Love Hungry” lacks a fitting conclusion for its main character—a significant drawback for those with a sense of justice.

 

Overall Quality: 4/10

 

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