1 9 8 1 – 1 9 8 2 (USA)
16 x 60 minute episodes
“You’re in a house. Maybe your own. Maybe one you’ve never seen before. You feel it. Something evil. You run. But there’s no escape. Nowhere to turn. You feel something beckoning you. Drawing you into the terror that awaits you in . . . the Darkroom.”
This tepid attempt from ABC at recreating the success of Night Gallery originally ran at 9:00 pm on Fridays from November 1981 to January 1982.
Probably the best thing about it was the mere presence of James Coburn, who introduced the short horror stories from his photographer’s darkroom – hence the title.
While it featured such talents as Billy Crystal, Brian Dennehy and the young Helen Hunt in screen adaptations of stories by genre legends like Robert Bloch, it somehow managed to deliver very few chills and never developed much of a following.
Only seven episodes were aired on television. Several episodes were filmed and then deemed too intense for viewing on the show.
These episodes were culled into an anthology film and capped with an opening scene for the film Nightmares (1983).
Arguably the best episode of the short run was a special effects extravaganza entitled ‘Siege of 31 August’, which involved a Vietnam veteran and southern farmer named Neil (played by Ronny Cox) locked in combat with toy soldiers and toy military vehicles, including a helicopter.