Reviews & Ratings for
"Tales from the Darkside" Ring Around the Redhead (1985)

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A full length film worth of material shoved into 20 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!

Author: ericphil from Provo, Utah
9 July 2008

They tried to shove a great story into twenty minutes!! The story this episode was based on is unique and very original. It probably is worthy of a 1.5 hour film but certainly not a 20 minute episode. Most of the action in the episode occurs off camera and we are left with the main character giving a quickie recap of what happened. Way too rushed. It almost felt like a preview for a real movie.

The story involves a lonely inventor who, after an earthquake, discovers a hoola hoop sized metallic ring in his basement. He quickly learns that the ring serves as a portal into other dimensions. Every time he touches the ring it moves and the portal opens to a new dimension. He begins to experiment on the ring and uses a machine line to pull objects out of the other dimensions. After successfully removing large gems and other artifacts, he pulls out a young beautiful woman.

The rest of the plot involves a deceitful confidant who wants the ring for himself and the love story between the inventor and his beautiful and alien discovery.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Features the incandescent personalities of John Heard and newcomer Penelope Ann Miller

Author: b-jacobsons from United Kingdom
13 February 2007

"Tales From The Darkside: Ring Around the Redhead" is the godchild of "The Twilight Zone" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents". Lovers of wronged-men suspensers, sci-fi fantasies, and ethereal beauties simply can't go wrong with this one. It features the incandescent personalities of John Heard and the brand-newcomer Penelope Ann Miller...and an ending to die for. The traditional mixed genres that came out of radio and grew into unforgettable post-war television series continue to serve the imagination of millions everywhere. Stories like this one attract both child and adult alike. And as is often the case in American TV, there is the added charm of the two stars' unique talents...

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Enchanting episode

Author: Woodyanders ( from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
16 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Death row prison inmate Billy Malone (an excellent and engaging performance by the always reliable John Heard) is about to be executed on the electric chair for a murder that he didn't commit. Malone relates to a reporter how an attractive woman named Keena (a radiant and appealing portrayal from the ravishing Penelope Ann Miller) who he met under unusual circumstances brought about his current predicament. Writer/director Theodore Gershuny handles the neat fantasy premise with remarkable precision and assurance: The pace unfolds at a steady clip, the tone is warm and winning, and the whole thing concludes on a pleasant upbeat note that's a welcome and refreshing departure from the standard downbeat conclusions which are a trademark of this show. Heard's customary stellar acting holds everything together; he ably creates a likable character that one can't help but root for. Miller brings a disarmingly sweet innocence to her role; the charming chemistry between Heard and Miller gives this episode an extra beguiling lift. Moreover, there's sound supporting contributions from Caris Corfman as sympathetic reporter Adele and Greg Thornton as Billy's smarmy pal Jimbo. An utterly delightful episode.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Ring Around the Redhead

Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
18 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Strong episode in the early part of the second season of Tales from the Darkside just proves how capable yet uneven this anthology series was in regards to quality. I don't think it was necessarily the story that sets this off as much as the talent involved. John Heard is just natural on screen and his work really gives this episode exactly what it needs in regards to the everyday man involved in an extraordinary event that changes his life forever. He's an inventor whose workshop gets shaken up by a certain earthquake, a literal small volcano rises up through his floor with a "magic ring" that is an actual portal to another world. He begins to use a hook on a pulley, dropping it into the volcano, through the ring, pulling out rubies, objects, and eventually a woman! A young Penelope Ann Miller, all doe-eyed, virginal, and innocent, is the young woman, Keena, that comes out of the volcano magic ring. The magic of this episode is familiar but I found it irresistible: Heard teaches Keena, a quick study, the English language and before long she's speaking clearly and understanding science, the two eventually in love. Heard relates this to a news reporter (Caris Corfman) who records this on cassette while they are in a prison cell. Heard's on death row for a murder he didn't commit, related to a sleaze he knew from high school (Greg Thornton). Thornton took the ring from the volcano by force, started pulling rubies from it to benefit financially, soon actually ripping an arm from one of Keena's people! This is a reason Thornton's life is "crushed" while in the middle of an argument with Heard. Ultimately this is a blossoming romance with quite an ending: while in The Chair, Keena returns to his rescue as the Execution onlookers watch behind the glass. The storyline, admittedly, is flat bizarre, no doubt, but Heard's sincere performance really helps keep this episode grounded. Miller is a cutie, sugar sweet and captivating, and you understand why John falls hard for her. This may be a bit too equally cute and odd for many viewers, but I liked it myself.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Weird, different, and very strange episode of the series.

Author: Danny Blankenship from Petersburg, Virginia
15 March 2010

This "TFTD" episode from season 2 titled "Ring Around the Redhead" is clearly a very strange and odd entry really a fantasy themed episode, because you really couldn't describe it as horror or something scary. It centers around a convicted felon Billy Malone(John Heard who would be a future "Sopranos" guest star) who's scheduled to die in the electric chair. Before it he gives an interview to a TV news reporter who finds out not only how and why he got there, but the odd occurrence that happened to him also. She finds out that Billy had an unusual ring hole appear which spit out an attractive redheaded woman! In the end a crazy and strange thing happens when the state throws the switch the redhead reappears to Billy! Overall it's an okay episode just strange and so oddly done with an unbelievable ending.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Dumb romantic fantasy tale from Tales from the Darkside

Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
26 May 2015

RING AROUND THE REDHEAD is another lame episode from season two of TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE. I keep watching these stories in the hope that I'll find something decent but instead there seem to be plenty of these filler episodes with ill thought-out narratives and a generally silly feel to them.

The episode is told in flashback by a Death Row inmate who's revealing the bizarre reasons for his incarceration and sentence. It turned out he discovered the portal to another dimension in his basement and none other than Penelope Ann Miller (in her debut screen appearance) popped out! Yes, the episode is as inexplicably silly as that, and nothing that happens makes much sense; even worse, it has a twee ending. This kind of romantic fantasy is something I could have done without.

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6 out of 23 people found the following review useful:


Author: Tommy Nelson from Long Beach, California
2 August 2006

An all too happy story, similar to the new M. Night Shyamalan film Lady in the Water. It's about a man, now in prison waiting for the death penalty telling us how he got here. When in his basement, he accidentally opened a portal to another dimension and a redhead confused woman came out. Revealed right away we learn what a nice guy our soon to be fried man is, but we really don't care. It's just an annoying episode. It's too happy and cutesy for my taste and the plot isn't that good to begin with. The ending however made me smile because I was into the good main character. Not very good in the long run.

My rating: Mildly amusing. 21 mins. TV G

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1 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

"Your problem is your an idealist." Rubbish Tales from the Darkside episode.

Author: Paul Andrews ( from UK
11 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tales from the Darkside: Ring Around the Redhead starts as convicted murderer Billy Malone (John Heard) is about to be led to the electric chair, before he is though a journalist named Adele (Caris Corfman) is allowed to interview him. Billy denies the charge of murder & tells Adele a fantastic story about a large metal ring which transported an alien shaped woman named Keena (Penelope Miller) into his basement, after teaching her English within two days Billy's problems really started as his friend Jimbo (Greg Thornton) steals the magical ring...

Episode 3 from season 2 this Tales from the Darkside story originally aired in the US during October 1985, the second of three Tales from the Darkside episodes to be directed by Theodore Gershuny I have to say I personally thought Ring Around the Redhead was total crap. It's almost as if someone came up with this bizarre outline for a story & decided to turn it into a 20 minute TV program without any regard for the poor audience who has to sit through it, the story is just weird & if you like strange stories which make no sense & don't work on any sort of narrative level then Ring Aroiund the Redhead may be the TV program you've been waiting for your whole life. If, however, like me you like your stories to have a purpose & actually tell an entertaining tale then Ring Around the Redhead isn't for you at all. There's no twist at the end, it's predictable, it makes no sense, it's just bizarre & I really can't see what anyone would get out of it.

I thought Tales from the Darkside as a series focused on horror anthology type material, a sort of forerunner to the excellent Tales from the Crypt (1989 - 1996) but it doesn't have that show's dark humour, it's twists, it's gore or it's horror content. Again I was left asking myself just who Ring Around the Redhead was meant to appeal to, it's some sort of horrible lighthearted Disney type fantasy with no horror elements at all, no bite & no substance. This was Penelope Miller's screen debut & has gone on to appear in many films & TV show's since.

Ring Around the Redhead perplexes me as a viewer, it did nothing for me & I just can't see why anyone would enjoy it. It doesn't really do anything & I struggle to see why anyone would like it & even at a brisk 20 odd minutes in length it still bored me.

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