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
Reunited with her high school boyfriend Elmo Shroud (Larry Gelman), Betsy Cowland (Sharon Madden) tries an experimental weight loss program. Specifically, while 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.
By 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.
“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.
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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