Based on the popular horror comics of the 1950's published by EC Comics, Tales from the Crypt was an immediate success upon the premiere on the HBO cable station in 1989. Unlike any television show before it, Tales from the Crypt had possibly one of the most star studded line up of Hollywood biggest talent as Producers, which included Joel (Die Hard) Silver, Robert (Back to the Future) Zemeckis and Richard (Superman) Donner. As the series progressed, more film stars joined in the fun including Arnold Schwarzenegger making his directorial debut with 'The Switch'. This release from Warner Home Video marks the first time the whole six episode first season has been available in one package, as previously only various compilations were made available. So how does the Crypt Keeper and his awful puns stand up today......
“The Man Who Was Death” Directed by Walter Hill
The first episode see the story of an executioner who has lost his job but not his need to execute wrong doers. Bill (Death from Bill and Ted) Sadler plays the executioner with relish and throughout the story is constantly talking to the camera.
“And All Through The House” Directed by Robert Zemeckis
A lunatic has escaped and stolen the suit of a Santa Claus from one of his victims. It doesn't also help that you have just killed your husband with a poker and are dragging his body outside when Santa comes to call.....
“Dig That Cat... He's Real Gone” Directed by Richard Donner
What would you do if you have just had a cat's nine lives surgically implanted into you? You would become a circus act and make lots of money, however greed gets the better of some people...
“Only Sin Deep” Directed by Howard Deutch
After killing her pimp, a prostitute gets more then she bargained for when she lets a pawn shop owner (who dabbles in voodoo) to take a mould of her face for $10,000.00 Soon, she begins to age and this will obviously cause problems in her relationship with her rich boyfriend.
“Lover Come Hack To Me” Directed by Tom Holland
Marrying people for money, not the smartest of moves especially when there are interfering relatives and the fact that your car has broke down in the middle of nowhere. Also, when entering empty houses, always be wary of big axes hanging on walls.
“Collection Completed” Directed by Mary Lambert
What do you do when you retire? Relax, do things around the house, this is possible but with your wife's pets everywhere driving you crazy what can you do? Drastic measures are needed but will your wife appreciate your new hobby?
As in the comics, all the stories have a strong moral presence meaning that if you do wrong you will not get away with it. The series features some excellent performances including M. Emmet Walsh in 'Collection Completed' and a truly twisted performance from Larry (Dr Giggles) Drake as a psycho Santa in 'And All Through The House'. The direction and scripts are strong on all six episodes. My personal favourite is 'And All Through The House'. I have already mentioned Larry Drake's great performance but also Mary Ellen Trainor as the husband killing wife and Marshall (Kuato in Total Recall) Bell as her dead husband.
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