I thought the Match Game was a Tales from the Darkside episode but the memory does betray you I guess.
Ashley Lawrence from Hellraiser guest stars as Jody who brings her weird friend Paul to a get together in a haunted house. He gets odd vibes from the place, but it’s mostly because he’s going to run into a young Tori Spelling which is a horror in itself.
They play the Match Game. They light a match and start a story. When the match burns down, the story is passed to the next person who has to continue the story by improvisation. (Oh my God, the world before cell phones and Internet. Actual face-to-face communication!)
The jock starts by telling the tale of a suicide in the pond behind the house, and a man named Herbert. He was rich, according to Beverly , but couldn’t have the one thing he desired, a woman named Ethel. Also Ethel was married and her husband was a jealous politician. A politician that was so angry he neglected to realize that Herbert was larger and stronger than him when they started fighting which is a miscalculation on his part. The man gets beaten and killed. But on the way to his lover’s place, in the rain, Herbert falls off the horse onto a threshing machine.
At this point, they notice that the previously stopped clock is now on midnight. Odd.
They continue the story. Herbert survives, scarred and wounded to be a bitter old man who hates mirrors because they reflect his growing ugliness. Eventually he drowns himself in the pond, because he has never heard of a pistol I guess.
I respect this episode for at least trying to establish tension and a slow build. It’s a slasher movie riff, but it’s trying. Herbert appears and is a figure straight out of EC comics. This episode couldn’t have had much time to shoot or money to spend, but I have to admire how much they did, and how good it looks.
As it turns out, Paul is the key to the whole mess. Somehow, its some quality of his that brings the story to life, and the only way out is for him to finish the story.
Not bad at all, and Ashley Lawrence is great as always.