Tales from the Darkside: Season 2, Episode 15

A New Lease on Life (26 Jan. 1986)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Thriller
7.1
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Archie Fenton moves into the St. George Apartments, where the lease has caveats: he must take out the trash every night, and he must not hang pictures on the walls. These aren't the only strange things about the St George.

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Title: A New Lease on Life (26 Jan 1986)

A New Lease on Life (26 Jan 1986) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
Madame Angler
Robert Rothman ...
Archie Fenton
Ben Frank ...
Al
Robert Sutton ...
Mac
Patricia Pelham ...
Helen Tanner
Paul Sparer ...
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Archie Fenton moves into the St. George Apartments, where the lease has caveats: he must take out the trash every night, and he must not hang pictures on the walls. These aren't the only strange things about the St George.

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26 January 1986 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Tales from the Darkside--A New Lease on Life
1 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Now this one is just bizarre. An "apartment complex" (with an appetite) with cheap rent ($200 a month; too good to be true because it is) seems to be the ideal living arrangement for Archibald Fenton (Robert Rothman). He just can't hang pictures on the wall with hammered nails, must feed "organic garbage" in a particular "disposal unit", and isn't allowed a microwave (its rays for the disposable food, its radiation not good). He must rub a "wall console" in order for the lights to come on (no switch), and a neighbor's mental state seems to be worsening as her rental lease is not to be renewed. That neighbor is evicted one night (well, she was "disposed of"), and Archie is told it was just a dream. It was a harbinger of doom Archie wasn't quite susceptible to. Two "mechanics" often are at odds with Archie over his "misbehavior" (he hammers a nail into the wall for his mom's picture, and it spits it out and "bleeds" from the hole (the mechanics call it a wound they tend to as such, with peroxide!)), and the whole building tremors when Archie doesn't adhere to the rules of the St George (as handed down to him by Marie Windsor (of all people), with a dragon tattoo on her arm, and a dragon insignia that shows up on coats they wear and consoles in the apartment). You hear the damn apartment complex growl when Archie eats from a turkey leg meant for the disposal unit. When Archie becomes fed up after his apartment "has a temper tantrum hissy fit", he feeds broken plates, motor oil, and the like to the disposal unit, reaping "its wrath" as well as a scolding from Madame Angler (Windsor) and the mechanics. So Archie must appease the apartment for his many sins, with Angler and her men sorely disappointed because they felt "he belonged at the St George". This synopsis and the episode's presentation are so absurd and surreal it is hilarious, which was the intent. Windsor knows her character was fit for the strait-jacket, and Ben Frank and Robert Sutton have these disapproving expressions (Shame on you for your misdeeds!) towards Archie (right from the get-go) that fits the bonkers premise. It was a bit too silly for my tastes, but I imagine fans of black humor will get a kick out of it.


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