Note: I’m not getting any free copies, perks, nor am I selling copies of this incredibly cool item. At times this piece might sound like I’m getting a cut of every sale, but that’s not the case. I’m just REALLY REALLY enthusiastic about it and I know horror fans in my age demographic (and up) will want to know about it.
Well, hell, even if you were born after the 80s, and just love all things horror, I’m pretty sure you’ll want to know about it. I’ve found plenty of “millennial” age horror fans who I figured had no interest in anything before the Scream trilogy (and only saw the remakes of horror classics), but who turned about to be just as devoted, knowledgable (for example, knowing who Lucio Fulci was), and (almost) as rabid as I am (“THEY’D BETTER NOT FUCKING EVEN THINK OF DOING A REMAKE OF RE-ANIMATOR!” another horror geek –probably technically young enough to be my kid– who I ran into at a horror convention said loudly and simultaneously with me within five minutes of starting up a conversation)* Real horror fans of any age, and you know who you are (especially if you’re reading this) and proud of it, will probably look into this.
Here’s the official description that Tales From Beyond the Pale gives to promote themselves, their work, and this product, and it’s fairly comprehensive:
Conceived during a fog-drenched car ride with nothing beyond the windshield but a horizon-less void, Larry Fessenden and Glenn McQuaid created the acclaimed Tales from Beyond the Pale, audio theater inspired by the vintage radio shows of Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles. Having previously released 10 studio-recorded Tales for Season One, Fessenden and McQuaid decided to up the ante and stage a second season of Tales before a live audience at the performance venue Dixon Place in downtown New York City. Tales Season Two delves even further beyond the pale with eight explosive tales to tickle your fancy and curdle your blood.
The fierce independent production house GLASS EYE PIX is pleased to present this box set of 4 CDs, a DVD and twelve-page booklet. Tales Season Two offers 8 new spooky audio dramas recorded LIVE before an audience: “Ram King” by Joe Maggio, “Like Father, Like Son” by Clay McLeod Chapman, “Stranger” by Jeff Buhler, “Dead Man’s Shoes” by Ashley Thorpe, “Sarah Minds the Dog” by Kim Newman, “The Crush” by Glenn McQuaid, “Dead Air” by Simon Barrett, and “Caper” by Larry Fessenden. The Tales are chillingly brought to life by the regular stable of performers and special guests Sean Young, Vincent D’Onofrio, Mark Margolis, [ed. note: AKA Hector “Uncle Ring-a-ding” from Breaking Bad] James Le Gros, Michael Cerveris, Kate Lyn Sheil, Jonny Orsini and others, and narrated by your host, horror maverick Larry Fessenden.
The box set includes a very special bonus DVD with a half-hour documentary film entitled Behind The Curtain, which chronicles the history of the project and the staging of the live shows. Also included on the DVD are various video clips generated for the series, collected for the first time in Dispatches From Season 1. The beautiful box set is designed by celebrated graphic artist Gary Pullin.
The series is produced by filmmakers Larry Fessenden & Glenn McQuaid; Associate producers Lisa Wisely, Jenn Wexler.
Plot (from the official website): “A struggling novelist with writer’s block takes on some translation work for a housebound elderly aristocrat who wants ‘to put his affairs in order’ before his death. The events that unfold will require every ounce of the novelist’s creativity he’s got to keep them both alive!”
Normally at this point, we would embed the trailer, but it’s an EW.com exclusive. They did let us post it in separately, though, so take a look at the post below for it (or click here).
The TFBTP S2 boxed set is only on Amazon via third-party sellers, and the least expensive copy is marked up to $30.00. If you want it right from the source, you can buy it on the TFBTP site’s official store for $25.00, which you can find right here. Oh, and the tales themselves are R-rated, another big plus. These are definitely not safe for work (unless you’re wearing ear buds, I guess) or for children!
Speaking of the official website, it’s just packed with goodies. Each “tale” not only has a description of the episode (just enough to rev you up, but not enough to spoil anything), there are Director-Writer notes for each episode. On some of then, they reveal that the story, even though there wasn’t a visual, was storyboarded (I didn’t see the actual storyboards on the site, but they could be there somewhere or included as extras for when you purchase the physical sets). That’s pretty painstaking, but it gives you an idea of just how much of a labor of love the episodes are. They also have really cool art for each tale; see the cool examples below to whet your appetite (note: I do not own these, the copyright does NOT belong to me, and I’m posting them for entertainment. If anyone at TFBTP has a problem with me using them, fine, just contact me and I’ll take them down).
I also added the story description for each one. When my review goes up, I’ll be sure to point out a few good ones to start with (especially if you can only afford to download a couple of them before committing to buying the set).
Well-mannered, well-brought-up young “Englishwoman, Sarah gets herself into a bit of a pickle when left in charge of the much-loved Rottweiler of a Russian mob boss.”
“Loretta (Sean Young) will stop at nothing to own her very own vineyard, but when the wine finally flows, it comes at a price.”
“A scientist loses his five-year old son in a car accident after losing control of the wheel. Wracked with grief, he refuses to let his boy go-choosing to bury himself in his work instead: Reanimating human tissue. On the brink of a major breakthrough, he’s determined to have a family reunion, no matter how many body parts it takes.”
“Four burglars are trapped in a phantasmagoric nightmare when they discover the abandoned mansion they break into is shapeshifting.” (Looks like Mark Margolis pops up in this one)
Season One doesn’t look too shabby either, and I’ve got some serious catching-up to do. For instance, an episode titled, “The Grandfather,” features Angus Scrimm in the title role.
If you go to the official website referenced above (hell, I’ll just give you the link again) you can hear excerpts from some of the stories. Co-creator and producer Fessenden also introduces/hosts the tales, and not only does the book-ends but steps in during a break mid-story (each of the Tales run approximately 30 minutes) with a E.C. horror-esque comment along the lines of “Well! [character name] seems to be in way over his head! But things certainly couldn’t get any worse, could they?” The breaks add to the ambiance instead of taking you out of the story.
If you don’t want to commit to the full boxed set without a taste, you can buy episodes on the iTunes store for $2.95 a pair (Season One) and individually (Season Two) for $1.95. Here’s a few more reviews to check out:
Arrow In the Head (Season One) Review