Tales from the Darkside was an anthology TV series from the 1980s produced by George A. Romero. Each episode was an individual short story that ended with a plot twist, and Tales from the Darkside centered mostly around horror stories. However, the series contained some episodes which would more likely be considered science fiction or fantasy-based, as well as some episodes which were more comical and lighthearted in tone.
Clip from “Inside the Closet”, one of my favorites, and one which utilizes puppetry.
Ms. Ainsley, a young graduate student, shows up to rent the last room available in the town. This room is in the house of the reserved, stoic Dr. Fentry, Dean of Veterinary Science. The room used to belong to Dr. Fentry’s daughter, Margret, but now retains a door to a very short closet as the only reminder of her. Despite the doctor’s assures that the door doesn’t open, it is quite active.
Directed by Tom Savini,award-winning special effects and makeup artist.
The effects are, of course, cheesy by today’s standards, but that’s probably why these type shows are so dear to my heart. I’m sure back then they caused quite the distress in the under-10 category, however.
All the full versions of this episode have been removed from YouTube, so there’s no way to show the terrific payoff at the end, which I’ll put under a cut:
The monster in the closet IS Dr. Fentry’s daughter, Margret, whom he endearingly dotes upon.The closet monster puppet was named “Lizzie” by Savini, and there was an actual Lizzie monster doll on sale on Ebay a few years ago.