Tales from the Darkside: Season 2, Episode 23

Fear of Floating (25 May 1986)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Thriller
4.7
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At an Army recruiting station in Arizona, Arnold Barker asks for protection from the Cooper's, who are trying to hold him hostage as "The Human Balloon" in their circus. But the Cooper's are nearby and have a different story to tell.

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Title: Fear of Floating (25 May 1986)

Fear of Floating (25 May 1986) on IMDb 4.7/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Arnold Barker (as Howard Sherman)
Anne Lange ...
Cpl. Marcia Smith
...
Sgt. Buzz Caldwell
...
Betty Ann Cooper / Good Time Rita
John Ridge ...
Paul Sparer ...
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At an Army recruiting station in Arizona, Arnold Barker asks for protection from the Cooper's, who are trying to hold him hostage as "The Human Balloon" in their circus. But the Cooper's are nearby and have a different story to tell.

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25 May 1986 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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The uniforms of the two Army recruiters are completely out of regulation. They are wearing no name tags or insignia of any kind other than their rank, one of which isn't even an Army rank. Also the Corporal has her sleeves rolled up. See more »

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User Reviews

 
"I don't fly, I float. There's a big difference." Odd episode.

Tales from the Darkside: Fear of Floating is set in a US Army recruitment office manned by Master Sergeant Buzz Caldwell (Leon Russom) & Corporal Marcia Smith (Anne Lange). A man named Arnold Barker (Sherman Howard) walks into the office seeking help, Arnold has the unique ability to float & ask's for protection against the circus owners who are trying to exploit him in an act called 'The Human Balloon'. However Arnold is know as a bit of a liar...

Episode 23 from season 2 this Tales from the Darkside story originally aired in the US during May 1986, directed by John Lewis this is yet another oddball story that almost defies description. The script by Donald Wollner is maybe perhaps best described & thought as of a modern take on the Pinocchio fairytale although instead of the main character's nose growing longer when he lies he floats, eventually to his death in a rather grim ending which is out of keeping with the general light hearted fantasy tone of the episode up to that point. This episode is OK, I can't say I loved it but at only twenty minutes in length at least it's short, it's got a bit of imagination about it & the mean spirited twist at the end works well. I also couldn't help smile to myself whenever anyone referred to Arnold as a 'floater', I just kept getting images of unflushed toilets...

Like a few Tales from the Darkside episodes Fear of Floating takes place entirely within a single location on a single set, the production team were incredibly good at setting stories in a single location & pulling the actual episodes off. The acting is alright, fans of the excellent Day of the Dead (1985) should note that Howard who plays Arnold here played the zombie Bub in Romero's zombie masterpiece while Yeardley Smith is better known to millions as the voice of Lisa Simpson in the hit telly show The Simpsons has small role.

Fear of Floating is another strange little Tales from the Darkside episode, the ending is pretty good but the rest isn't so hot.


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