The Fisher King – Tales From The Darkside: The Movie – tape 1557

It’s movie time now, with a couple of movies from Sky’s various movie channels.

First, it’s The Fisher King. Jeff Bridges is a talk radio host, a ‘shock jock’ as they were called.

His agent is Frasier’s David Hyde Pierce.

He’s got a sitcom in development, everything looks perfect, but his life changes rather suddenly when a caller to his radio show, inspired by his invective against yuppies, takes a shotgun and kills twelve people and himself at a local bar.

Three years later, and he’s working at a video store, living with Mercedes Ruehl, who puts up with his frankly terrible behaviour.

He spends his time hatewatching the sitcom he was supposed to star in, which is now on the air starring Harry Shearer.

He goes out for a walk, drunk, and is attacked by a couple of frat boys who try to set him on fire, but he’s rescued by a homeless man called Perry (Robin Williams) and his homeless friends.

Perry thinks he’s on a quest to find the holy grail, which he believes is in the house of a New York Millionnaire. Bridges also learns that Williams lost his wife in the mass shooting his radio show inspired, so he fells that he has to fix his life.

Mostly, this involves Bridges and Ruehl trying to set Williams up with Amanda Plummer, an awkward woman whom Williams has basically been stalking for months.

However, after several attempts, they manage to engineer a double date, and Williams and Plummer get on, but just as Williams seems to be in a happy place, he’s revisited by his vision of a fiery knight, a symbol of the wrenching loss of his wife. The breakdown this causes leads him back into the path of the frat boy thugs from the start of the movie, and he ends up in hospital, in an unresponsive state.

Bridges, having discharged his life-fixing obligations, feels ready to get he career up and running again, and this also involves ditching Ruehl, because deep down he’s basically scum.

John de Lancie pops up as a producer pitching a show about homeless people.

So the only thing Brudges can do to fix things is to break into the millionnaire’s house and steal the grail, so Williams can come out of his coma and finally be happy. And Bridges does the right thing and returns to Ruehl.

I quite like this film, but I find parts of it unsatisfying, probably because I’d prefer Jeff Bridges not to be an enormous git.

After this, there’s Tales from the Darkside: The Movie. It starts with Debbie Harry, who’s got a kid locked up in her house, and is going to cook him, so to distract her, he reads from the Tales from the Darkside book.

The first story stars Christian Slater

And Steve Buscemi.

Who has a mummy

Slater’s sister is Julianne Moore

It’s all a bit frat boy and ho hum.

Next, William Hickey is an old man hiring a hitman to kill his cat.

This is truly terrible. Even the ending, with some gory prosthetics with a cat climbing into the hitman’s mouth – no, really – can’t enliven this. Also, the dialogue is massively sweary, which must sound awful from the little boy reading it out to Debbie Harry.

The final story sees a broke, rubbish New York artist, dumped by his agent, witness some kind of monster dismembering a man in an alley. When he begs to be left alone, the monster makes him promise he’ll never say what he’s seen, or describe how the monster looks.

Running away from the monster, he bumps into Rae Dawn Chong, and somehow persuades her that she’ll be safer off the street and in his apartment. Staggeringly, they’re soon snogging.

Pretty soon she’s pregnant, they’re getting married, and it’s ten years later, with a couple of children. He’s kept drawing the monster, but hasn’t shown his pictures to anyone.

Until that night when he shows her a model of the monster, and, to nobody’s surprise, she undergoes an icky transformation – she was the monster all along. And so are her children.

That just leaves us with Debbie Harry and her little Sunday roast. Obeying the rules of fairy stories, he escapes and she ends up in the oven.

This was about what I expected from a movie of Tales from the Darkside. Something cheap and not particularly interesting.

After this, recording continues for a few minutes with the start of one of those porny late night movies they occasionally showed on the movie channels which seem to involve lots of large rooms, women who wear long coats and not much else underneath and lots of mood lighting. This one’s called Games of Desire.

Just before the tape ends, it looks like I did a quick flip through some of the satellite channels, including this frame of credits from UK Gold

 

A bit of iMDb sleuthing tells me it’s probably A Cry in the Dark – the second fleeting appearance for Sam Neill on this tape. I hope he’s in good health.

The tape ends after a tiny bit more of the movie.

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One comment

  1. Interesting bit of prediction with The Fisher King: Alex Jones recently had to retract and apologise for a load of libellous rubbish he was spouting on his show about so-called Pizzagate because it caused a man to shoot up a restaurant. In real life, the shock jocks keep their job and continue much as they have before.

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