George Romero decided to take the terror to TV and he succeeded very well.
On Oct. 29th, 1983 many independent TV stations across the country ran a special Halloween show called "Tales From The Dark Side" with a half hour episode called "Trick Or Treat" starring Bernard Hughes as a storekeeper who likes to keep people in debt. Every Halloween he gives their children a chance to take the IOU's and clear the debt, but there is a catch.
Needless to say Hughes character gets way more than he bargained for in the end. The show proved to be a ratings winner and the actual first season of the 4 year long series premiered on Sept. 30th, 1984.
The first season had 23 episodes and most were very well done with some great casts.
THE NEW MAN 9-30-84...Vic Tayback stars as a reformed alcoholic working for a real estate company. One day he gets a visit at work from his young son, but he doesn't remember having a young son.
I'LL GIVE YOU A MILLION 10-7-84...Two very wealthy men make a bet over their eternal souls. Keenan Wynn is outstanding in this episode which is extremely well done.
PAIN KILLER 10-14-84...Farley Granger, Peggy Cass and Lou Jacobi star in this bizarre episode about a man whose main pain in his life is a nagging wife. He sees a mysterious doctor that just might have the cure.
THE ODDS 10-21-84... A bookie who never refuses a bet meets an old "friend" who bets that he will be dead by 8pm the following evening of natural causes. Danny Aiello and Tom Noonan star.
MOOKIE AND POOKIE 11-4-84... Mookie (Justine Bateman) and Pookie (Ron Asher) are twins and this is their nicknames for each other. Mookie is really Susan and Pookie is her brother Kevin. Kevin is terminally ill. However, they are determined to stay together forever, no matter what. Tippi Hedren plays their mother.
SLIPPAGE 11-11-84...David Patrick Kelly stars as a man who finds he is slowly ceasing to exist. This is a very bizarre and well done episode.
INSIDE THE CLOSET 11-18-84...Probably one of the most classic episodes of this entire series. Fritz Weaver stars as a college professor who rents a small room to a female grad student played by Roberta Weiss. The young woman soon finds that something very sinister and odd is living in her closet. Tom Savini directed this all time classic.
THE WORD PROCESSOR OF THE GODS 11-25-84... Michael Gornick directed this episode penned by Stephen King nd starring Bruce Davison who finds that a word processor given to him by his dead son has the power to grant him anything he wishes.
A CASE OF THE STUBBORNS 12-2-84... Eddie Bracken stars as an old man who is dead, but refuses to stay that way. A surreal episode that balances comedy and horror well.
DJINN, NO CHASER 1-13-85...A man tells us in flashback how he and his wife purchased an ancient lamp and brought a genie into their lives. Colleen Camp and Kareem Abdul Jabbar star.
ALL A CLONE BY THE TELEPHONE 1-20-85... Leon, a failed TV writer played by Harry Anderson finds that his life and career are taken over by an answering machine. Dick Miller also stars as Leon's agent.
IN THE CARDS 1-27-85... Ted Gershuny directed this episode about a Tarot Card reader whose cards start predicting nothing but death and disaster. This is one of the darkest episodes of the entire run.
ANNIVERSARY DINNER 2-3-85... A couple planning their 25th anniversary dinner have an unexpected guest in the form of a young female hiker so they invite her to stay.
SNIP, SNIP 2-10-85... Two Warlocks battle over a winning lottery ticket. Carol Kane and Bud Cort star.
ANSWER ME 2-17-85... Jean Marsh stars in this one person show about a woman who is annoyed by the constant ringing phone in the adjoining apartment. One of the best and Marsh is excellent.
THE TEAR COLLECTOR 2-24-85... Jessica Harper stars as a young woman who can't stop crying until she meets a mysterious man who collects tears.
MADNESS ROOM 5-5-85... First rate episode about a couple who find a new room in their home thanks to a Ouija board and a "friendly" spirit. Stuart Whitman stars.
IF THE SHOES FIT 5-12-85... One of the most bizarre episodes of ANY TV show I have ever seen!! The first time I ever saw this I hated it, but after numerous viewings, I have come to realize this is a disguised masterpiece. Dick Shawn in a loudmouth politician named Bo Gumbs who believes politics is nothing but fun and games and entertainment. His stay at a very odd hotel proves him "oh so right".
LEVITATION 5-19-85... A young man at a carnival bugs and goads a has been circus performer to perform a trick called the "wireless levitation" which he abandoned many years before, and with good reason. Joe Turkel stars.
IT ALL COMES OUT IN THE WASH 5-26-85... Frank De Palma directed this episode about a crooked real estate man named Carl Gropper (Vince Edwards) who finds out that a Chinese laundry run by a man named Chow Ting (James Hong) can wash away sins.....for a heavy price.
BIGALOW'S LAST SMOKE 6-9-85... A smoker finds himself suddenly locked in his apartment, or what seems to be his apartment and punished every time he lights up. The ending to this one is a real kicker.
GRANDMA'S LAST WISH 6-16-85... An elderly woman whose family is moving her to a nursing home gets one last wish. She wants her cruel family to find out what it's like to grow old. A VERY timely episode that will never lose it's impact.
THE FALSE PROPHET 8-4-85... Ronee Blakley stars as a young woman who depends on an astrology machine to make all of her decisions, which does not bode well for her.
George Romero and Richard Rubenstein were two of the executive producers of the show and Romero wrote four episodes. This was just coming off of "Creepshow" and Romero was off and running on the small screem...I meant screen. The fun was just beginning.