Live wasn't / isn't easy for young horror-flick-aficionados: As a kid we spent time scanning over the newly arrived TV-schedule, always hoping for some old vampire-, monster- or spook-flick, but since most of them were shown after eleven o'clock, the evening usually ended early with a harsh-sounding "off to bed you go". Life was easier when spending time at the grandparents, who was way more "lenient" in such matters (or shall we say: soundly fell asleep before 10AM), leaving the young mind to his own devices. Like watching shows like "The Darkroom" (here in Germany relabelled as "My Darkest Hour" and narrated by creepy old Karl-Heinz Schroth, telling creepy stories from his second-hand-store).
Creepy ol' Tad (Pat Buttram) loiters around the local truck-stop, where he befriends a biker (David Carradine) who has fallen on hard times, being out of money and transport. After having inspected the biker, who still owns a valuable watch and fine snake leather-boots, Tad offers him a ride. Under one condition: First they must visit a dilapidated funhouse, sitting over a lake, which belongs to Tad and his partner "Al" (according to Tad, a strange kind of guy with an even stranger smell, who shuns the company of people). Reluctant but pretty much out of options, the biker agrees and soon finds himself in the dark funhouse – almost falling apart, with a failing power-generator and something strange lurking in the waters below There is a good reason why "The Darkroom" never reached the fame of similar shows like "The Twilight Zone" or "Night Gallery" (and hence never made it past its first season): the stories where usually comparably simple, and the sets and effects rather cheap, always looking like leftovers from above mentioned shows. But the episodes often compensated that with an excellent cast and sheer creepiness. Good, neither Carradine nor Buttram are given much to do – one mainly looks scruffy and perplexed, the other one shady and dubious – but "The Partnership" may well be among the creepiest of them all. Of course this stuff wouldn't scare a five year old in this time and age, but if you have a heart for both 80's horror-anthology-series and, perhaps more importantly, creepy old funhouses, I can do nothing more than highly recommend this short. 7/10
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