Tales from the Darkside episode 11: “All a Clone by the Telephone”

Yes, two Tales from the Darkside episodes in a row have now had a corny pun for a title, but at least this episode presents a truly horrific concept that today’s audience might not understand: TV screenwriter Leon (Harry Anderson) has his life taken from him by the voice of his answering machine.

One of eight episodes directed by Frank De Palma — he also worked on the spiritual sequel series Monsters — and written by Haskell Barkin (who wrote the other punnily titled “Djinn, No Chaser“), this episode starts with that strong premise and then works to a silly conclusion, one of the things outside of budget that holds this series back from being thought of in the same breath as The Twilight Zone or Night Gallery.

That said — this one does have Dick Miller in it, playing Leon’s agent. Marcie Barkin from Fade to Black and Smokey and the Good Time Outlaws is also in this as Leon’s long-suffering partner.

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