Saturday, June 25, 2011

Are You Afraid of the Dark? Episode 4

Tonight we have ourselves the series' first Halloween special, which is also based off of a classic horror tale as you will find out in the "Bonus Trivia" section.  Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story..........................

Original Air Date: 10/31/1991 & then 9/5/1992  (yes, it was shown on Halloween long before the show proper actually aired, see Bonus Trivia)

Episode Synopsis: The story starts with Kevin peer-pressuring his good-natured pal Doug into pulling a prank on the neighborhood elderly woman who is rumored to be a witch (every good neighborhood has one of these types, no?). The two knock on her door on "prank night" just before Halloween while dousing the place in shaving cream. Unfortunately, the "witch" happens to open her door mid-shaving-cream-stream and gets it in the face. The boys run away, but the witch stands there cackling and is quite obviously planning her revenge. It's no surprise that when the boys knock on the door again the next night on Halloween, that the "witch" is ready with a treat (or trick?) of her own. She offers the boys a piece of wood that resembles a claw (hence the episode title, "The Tale of the Twisted Claw") and tells them it will grant their wishes -- with a creepy caution to be careful what they wish for. The boys quickly learn of the claw's wish-granting power and why the "witch's" disclaimer was necessary. But can they figure out how to get rid of it?

Storyteller: David

Featured Fiend:  An old bag, who is probably a witch, and a magical piece of wood shaped like a claw.

Freakiest Moments:  After our main characters prank the old lady/witch, they run away as the old lady bursts into a fit of maniacal cackling.  Another freaky moment is when Kevin unintentionally spends one of his wishes commenting on the existence of Doug's parents.  Immediately following said wish, the phone rings and a sorrowful voice informs the boys of some terrible news involving Doug's parents.  Our final freaky moment is when Doug wishes his grandfather was still around to help.  Guess whose classic car quickly comes rolling down the street shrouded in an ethereal mist?


Totally Radical 90's Moment, Dude:  Observant viewers will count at least three mullets, paying careful attention to scenes in Doug and Kevin's school hallways.

Gratuitous Screenshots:  Little slices of "The Tale of the Twisted Claw"
Reminding us that this was an "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" Halloween special

They should have known she was a witch what with the creepy puritan witch family pic hanging on the wall

Another creepy part in this episode is when a gang of rascals tries to steal Kevin and Dougie's Halloween loot! 

The claw apparently gives off radioactive pollution after granting a wish, or Cinar just thought this was a really cool "wishing" effect

A last minute message from our creepy hag/witch to the boys who had pranked her

Bonus Trivia:
- The Tale of the Twisted Claw is lossely based off of the 
classic "The Monkeys Paw" by W.W. Jacobs -

- This episode could actually be considered the show's pilot!  It was originally aired on Halloween in 1991 before the show was picked up by Nickelodeon and then shown as the fourth episode of season 1 on September 5th 1992 -

- Yet another episode to start mid-tale instead of at the fire with the Midnight Society.  The tale originally being told was never actually finished.  After the show gets around to the traditional Midnight Society segment the show then transitions into The Tale of the Twisted Claw. (below are two screenshots from the first tale being told) -

- Another episode to end without the proper dousing of the fire -

- The creepy old hag, a.k.a. the witch, a.k.a. Miss Clove was played by Ann Page.  Any guess as to who Ann Page is married to?  Well if you guessed Aron Tager you'd be correct!  Yes Ann Page is married to Dr. Vink (and Zeebo if we're keeping track)


Brandon said...

well i guess its safe to say that the casting director for "are you afraid of the dark" is very similar to rob zombie in the fact that they hire the same people, or keep it in the family for every film they do lol but they both put out excellent things so alls good in my book

Justine's Halloween said...

She's married to the guy who played Dr. Vink? Insanity! Well, you're unearthing some trivia I've never heard. I might have to share my "biggest fan" title with you. :)

I was kind of surprised at some of the lines they crossed with this one - the parents and the grandfather showing up. Yeah, I remember the bullies in this being terrible.

From what you're saying, there was another Halloween special? Was that the Sleepy Hollow one?

Halloweenman666 said...

Well thank you Justine, I'm more than happy to share the title. Also, thank you very much for the compliments! Yes there were other Halloween specials on the show as well which we'll be posting about later on.