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I remember several science fiction, horror, suspense and mystery episodes from an anthology TV series in the eighties. Here are some episodes (with spoilers, sorry)

a. Two policemen get kind of lost in the fog and find a ghost town where a little girl tells them that she got her dress "from the boxes". Later we discover that the local priest took in a devil-child who converted the entire town into corpse-eating people.

b. A wine connoisseur gets into a contest with a drunk hobo, who starts having hallucinations and at one point sees a snake.

c. A man kills another man by building a brick wall and locking him on the other side, police wouldn't have notice this, but the man forgot his cat on the other side of the wall.

d. A man buys a can of "human fingers" and goes back to the store to complain about it, the clerk says that it's offer and demand... He says that he remembers the first time refined sugar was offered. The man goes to the complaint department of the factory that manufactures the product and discovers that that department is the source of the "raw material" of the product.

e. A man in jail gets convinced by a fellow convict that it is possible to teleport just by thinking about it. It's all a trick to get him to talk about some documents. At the last moment when he already revealed the location of the documents he actually succeeds in teleporting...

f. A man leaves many leftovers on his fridge and a clone is born from his DNA mixed with the leftovers. He feeds spoiled food to the clone that lives in the fridge. Eventually he unplugs the fridge and in the last scene he tells a girl something like "No, don't keep the food, throw it away, I never keep leftovers".

Maybe it's not just one show, maybe it's two or more anthology tv series, but I sure hope that you can help me identify at least one of these. Thank you.

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    Well, C is clearly a version of Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Black Cat', but it's been remade many times. Off the top of my head, it sounds like 'Tales from the Darkside', or possibly 'The Outer Limits.' I'll see if I can find episode synopsis pages and follow up on this.
    – K-H-W
    May 31, 2012 at 21:31
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    You said 80s, which suggests it was in color.. Can you confirm that? (Older shows in B&W might still be playing in the 80s)
    – K-H-W
    May 31, 2012 at 21:38
  • I recognize (e) and just saw it recently. I can't remember which anthology series, but if you're in the U.S., it was re-run on Chiller Network.
    – Tango
    May 31, 2012 at 22:08
  • @Keith H Weston... To be honest, I'm not sure if they were all in color; it's been a long time. So yes, some of these might have been reruns from other decades. May 31, 2012 at 23:13
  • Some of them could be "Tales of the Unexpected", although I cannot place any specific episodes. The style is TotU. Jun 21, 2012 at 8:01

4 Answers 4

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These are not all from the same series, but (e) is from the 1980s revival of The Twilight Zone. It was Room 2426. Dean Stockwell (best known in SF&F for playing Al on Quantum Leap) was the prisoner.

As one comment pointed out, (c) is definitely The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe, but anthology shows would sometimes do adaptations of older or classic stories.

About this time there was also an anthology series titled The Darkroom with James Coburn as the host, but I don't think any of these stories came from that series.

Other anthology series that might have some of the stories are Monsters and Tales from the Darkside, both of which were syndicated in the U.S. in the 1990s, NIght Gallery, which was earlier (started in 1969), the newer The Outer Limits, but that was also 1990s.

And, of course, you can always check through the obvious shows, The Twilight Zone (the original) and The Outer Limits (the original).

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  • Thank you for finding (e). I will take a look at the list of episodes of the 80s revival of The Twilight Zone to see if anything else rings a bell. One down, five to go... May 31, 2012 at 23:17
  • @TangoOversway... I checked the list of episodes of the 80s and 90s anthology tv series you mentioned (The Twilight Zone, The Darkroom, Monsters, Tales from the Darkside, The Outer Limits) and I did not find anything. By the way, I found other episodes from the 80s revival of The Twilight Zone (I didn't remember those when I first formulated my question). So, thank you for that. Also, I doubt that (a), (d) and (f) were in black and white, but I will check for (b) and (c) among the earlier B&W shows. Jun 1, 2012 at 4:19
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    @ChalkDaStick: I think at least one episode of the original The Outer Limits, from the 1960s, was in color, so you might check those, as well. I love anthology shows so I've tried to keep track of ones when they air. If I think of others, I'll let you know. Also, anthology series were still around in the 1960s, more so than later. Most shows changed from B&W to color at the start of either the 1966 or 1967 season, so if it was before that, it was B&W, during, it might be both, and after, it should be all color.
    – Tango
    Jun 1, 2012 at 5:04
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    I also looked up The Black Cat in the Wikipedia, since they list adaptations. There weren't many listed, but one was for a short run horror series (can't remember the name), but the other episodes didn't seem to match. If you look up that story in the Wikipedia, you'll easily find the same link.
    – Tango
    Jun 1, 2012 at 5:05
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    In the list of adaptations you pointed, I found out that this was a segment of the 1962 anthology film Tales of Terror (with Peter Lorre and Vincent Price). The segment combined the The Black Cat with another Poe story, The Cask of Amontillado. Also, I got confused, I thought the "drunken hobo" part was another tale, but it was the same character at the beginning of the story. So (b) and (c) are now solved. Thank you (and thanks to Keith H Weston too). By the way, you can watch the trailer of this film on YouTube. Three down, three to go. Jun 1, 2012 at 11:12
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(f) is from a 1990 anthology film called "With Friends Like These..."

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(a) is almost identical to the segment "The Ghouls" from the 1980 British horror film The Monster Club. It's a film producer who gets lost in the fog and finds a ghost town, with the girl you mention who got her dress from "the boxes". He learns about the history of the town from a text left by a local minister, who took in a pathetic creature which somehow (it's not exactly clear how) filled the town with corpse-eating ghouls like itself. The producer runs into the two policemen while trying to get help after escaping from the town.

I'd say that this film is the one you're thinking of, except that the movie was based on the stories of R. Chetwynd-Hayes, so it might have been filmed again at some other time. Here's the 1980 version of the segment on YouTube.

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a) is from the anthology film The Monster Club, segment 3 , The Ghouls, although it is somewhat mangled. The 'little girl' is a young woman. But she does take her clothes from 'boxes', i.e. graves. The policemen only appear at the end of the segment.

A movie director (Stuart Whitman) scouting locations for his next film pays a horrifying visit to an isolated, decrepit village, Loughville, where the sinister residents refuse to let him leave. He discovers to his horror that the village is inhabited by species of corpse-eating demons called ghouls who unearth graves for food and clothes. And now there are no more graves to plunder, and the ghouls are hungry for flesh. While imprisoned by the ghouls, he meets Luna (Lesley Dunlop), the daughter of a ghoul father (Patrick Magee) and a deceased human mother, making her a Hum-ghoul. Luna advises him to hide in the church, as ghouls cannot cross holy ground. Whilst in the church, the director discovers the terrifying truth of Loughville; centuries before, a swarm of ghouls invaded the village, mated with the humans, and made their nest there. With the aid of Luna, the director attempts to escape and almost succeeds - only for Luna to be killed by the ghouls and the director captured again and returned to the village by ghoul policemen.

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