Tales from the Crypt: My Episode Rank

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by DVD-fanatic-9, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    5,904
    Likes Received:
    726
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    US
    I remember Yellow being very good, but not necessarily a good Tales From The Crypt episode. Kind of like King Of The Road, it feels out of place. But on it's own, it is very good. Definitely a controversial pick for number 1, though.

    I'll try to avoid spoilers here, but if Two For The Show is the episode involving a train and a gruesome discovery in a suitcase, then it was the very first Tales From The Crypt episode I ever saw, way back when it originally aired. It's definitely a personal favorite in those regards, but for some reason it isn't one I watch very often, which is why I'm not entirely positive if it is even the correct episode I'm thinking of. But seeing it as a young child, that macabre twist ending was a disturbing visual that I have never forgotten.
     
  2. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,079
    Likes Received:
    411
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Horror
    Well, again my personal favorites are scattered throughout. I chose this list according to which I think were the best according to what the show did best. Which episodes were the best at showing human heartlessness ("Yellow," "Two for the Show," "Dead Right"), were the most multi-layered ("Judy"), the most creepy ("Top Billing," "What's Cookin'"), the darkest ("Three's a Crowd"), freakiest ("Hearses"), or best at capturing pure insanity on film ("Maniac at Large"). Most people probably would have gone right for "All Through" and "Television Terror" but, all things considered, they weren't the essence of the show. The closer you look, neither one involves a potent, functioning betrayal or dark turn of humanity. Or, let alone a twist, even a genuine surprise. At any point during either episode.


    Thanks again.

    However, that's a real shame. Both episodes are absolutely outstanding in almost every way (I hated the fake-looking mutilated bodies in "Show" though). As a matter of fact, "Two for the Show" really is one of the best nightmare scenarios in the show's run. And the characters were portrayed perfectly to carry that out and make it truly horrifying. And, considering an at least equally great evil prevails at the close of the episode (much the same as I think it might have in "Split Second"), the episode has a chilling feeling that the nightmare continues. It takes a simple idea of murder as a one-up and surrounds you with it. They could have played it as "Shock! Gasp!" etc, in the cartoony way it did in other episodes (of course: "Whirlpool" is suspect #1) without going as far with the music and they thought: we can do better. We can do more. It's easily one of the best episodes at keeping the tension strong throughout the entire episode. It's smart and uncomfortably right on-the-button from minute 1. I guess in this case, I'd have to call it vastly underrated.

    Since I ranked it at #8 and you tell me it wouldn't make your 20, I'm bound to say I can't think of 12 episodes (which didn't rank higher on my list) that are better than it (though I certainly wouldn't argue hard on "What's Cookin'"). But, hey: if you can hold tight to as strong a conviction as I have for ranking it this high for why you wouldn't- more power to you.


    I don't think so. Rhett had just as many praises for it as I did. And it also ranked #2 on Cinemassacre's list. It's been consistently hailed as one of the show's best episodes since it aired and probably has the highest technical score on any site that allows users to rate the episodes. Right now, it beats "Television Terror" on IMDb .4 points. Which is my way of saying I think most viewers saw the horror of it too. And as for how "out of place" it feels... I also disagree. In fact, I suppose shy of sexual content (which Rhett certainly believes was an integral part of the show), I think I could easily argue it's The Quintessential Crypt episode. It depicts human evil, gives us an epic, deeply personal betrayal, there's a surprising amount of gore, and the tension level is off the charts.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xldbPqWkwvY
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  3. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,478
    Likes Received:
    474
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    this thread has inspired me to watch the series, so i figured i'd add my two cents as i journey through. i had considered watching them in your order, dvd-fanatic, but decided against that. i'll just go season by season. as i watch each episode, i also plan to compare my feelings to yours, as well as rhett's in his reviews (won't be able to do that for season 4, for some reason). so, without further ado, season 1:

    The Man Who Was Death
    - I'm sure this will happen more than a few more times in watching this show, but as soon as it began i realized that i had seen this, a long long time ago (despite what i said earlier about only thinking i'd watching two episodes). i enjoyed the episode, although i think i fall somewhere in between dvd-fanatic and rhett. i too felt the constant talking-to-the-audience by william sadler was hit-and-miss. sometimes it worked quite well, and other times it began to get monotonous. the story it tells is pretty great, and sadler gives a wonderful performance. the ending is immediately predictable, though.

    And All Through the House
    - this was pretty damn good. i loved just how over-the-top it was. not only does she "give it to him" when he asks for it, but she must call her lover immediately (while holding the will, or course) to leave a voicemail detailing her entire crime (can't imagine how that could possibly be a problem in the future)! there's nothing even remotely subtle about this one, and it was definitely my favorite of the season.

    Dig that Cat...He's Real Gone
    - this one was...ok. Joe Pantoliano was great, as was Robert Wuhl, and it moves at such a great clip that its never not entertaining. is it scary or unnerving? no. but its fun, for the most part. everything is very spelled out, though, with Pantoliano delivering expository dialogue near the beginning with the subtlety of a bulldozer. I was able to easily predict what would happen at the end, but i wasn't sure how, exactly, he was going to miscount. when it was revealed, it was pretty satisfying, i must admit.

    Only Sin Deep
    - this was definitely my least favorite episode of the season. the scenes with the pawn shop owner are good, but everything with Lea Thompson is a chore to get through. Her accent is atrocious, and she's so intensely unlikable as a character. i liked her in back to the future, and she was cute in Caroline in the City, so i was surprised by how unpleasant it was to watch her in this. God, that accent....

    Lover Come Hack to Me
    - both rhett and dvd-fanatic had complaints about this one. Rhett thought it was the worst of the season, and went so far as to call Tom Holland a hack in his review. Ouch. DVDF enjoyed its atmosphere and setup, but despised the supposedly unnecessary sex scene. I've got to disagree with both of you. As far as rhett goes, well...I just really liked this episode. For all the reasons DVDF mentions, the atmosphere, the house, and the interesting relationship between the main characters. But I've got to question why DVDF thought the sex scene was so unnecessary? Amanda Plummer has been a complete shy mouse for the whole episode. Something is going on, with her constant references to the "perfect" night, but regardless, we're certainly not expecting her to come out of the bathroom the way she does. Its as surprising for the audience as it is for her husband. And it goes even deeper than the setup within the episode - I just wasn't expecting that from Amanda Plummer! After that huge about-face, what do you expect? A fade to black, and reveal them both in bed smoking cigarettes? No way! You've got to see that her transformation wasn't half-hearted. The sex scene that follows (which really isn't gratuitous at all, considering the way its filmed) is a pay off to the build up of her character and their relationship. We see what she's capable of. We see what she meant when she said she wanted the night to be perfect. We see him actually begin to have an authentic desire for her. It's a scene that is not just justified, but actually crucial. Without all the information we gather from this scene, about each one of them and how their relationship changes, the ending would be completely wasted. His protestations wouldn't have the same resonance. His claims that he never really loved her and only married her for her money are darkly funny, because its almost as though he has to remind himself of that. He's completely confused about his own emotions towards her. And her assertion that he DOES love her doesn't just come across as insanity. We've seen how they consummated their relationship, and we know that she's got some justification in saying that. I thought this was a pretty great episode.

    Collection Completed
    - I thought this one was just "ok", too. I understand the inconsistency of character that DVDF mentions, with regards to the old lady, but in 25 minutes, there's only so much time to show someone going from being slightly off kilter to being completely nuts. i can cut the show some slack for that. i certainly wasn't bothered by the animal cruelty aspect. i know people who treat their pets like they are literally family members. it always makes me roll my eyes, and so i appreciate a satire that shows a man driven insane by his wife's inability to understand that "it's not your child, its a fucking dog!" (something i've dreamed of saying to a few people). you say that animal violence (even when its only implied) offends you, and that's fine. but i find it kind of amusing that implied violence to humans is ok. i know that you're by no means alone in this view. i think its actually quite common (hence why so many dogs heroically make it through in so many movies, while humans are being slaughtered by the truck load) - people have this weird unconscious double-standard when it comes to animals.

    anyway, a good start. i look forward to watching the remaining seasons.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  4. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,069
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    That's how I feel as well, they aren;t bad episodes, Yellow is actually very good, just doesn't feel like a Tales from the Crypt episode to me.

    But again, as mentioned earlier it's because those two along with Showdown were originally a part of a different suspense anthology series "Two-Fisted Tales" that unfortunately never made it past the pilot episode. So the pilot episode along with the two others were moved to and became Tales from the Crypt episodes.

    Here's some more info about the "Two-Fisted Tales" show,

    "In 1991, the comic book was adapted for a TV pilot by producers Joel Silver, Richard Donner, Robert Zemeckis and others. Apart from an opening montage of covers from the comic book and use of comic's logo, the pilot had little connection with Kurtzman's creation. In imitation of EC's horror books, the hour-long anthology drama featured ghostly gunfighter Mr. Rush (Bill Sadler) as a host and a device to connect the segments, although Kurtzman's war-adventure stories had never been introduced by a host. Two of the stories, "Showdown" and "King of the Road," were original scripts and not adaptations from EC (although Showdown did share a title with a story from issue 37). The third story, "Yellow," was adapted from a story written by Al Feldstein and illustrated by Jack Davis for the first issue of EC's Shock SuspenStories. The pilot had a single telecast, generating little interest, and all three segments were later extracted to become individual episodes of HBO's Tales From The Crypt television series. The cast included Kirk Douglas, Brad Pitt and Dan Aykroyd."
     
  5. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,069
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    Some great reading as well, can't wait to hear the rest of your thoughts on the series. You guys are tempting me to go back and watch them all again but I just know I don't have the time right now and it would be a while before I got through them all, making my thoughts no more viable then they are now.
     
  6. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,478
    Likes Received:
    474
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Ok, on to season 2 (or as much of it as i've seen at this point):

    Dead Right
    - this one was neither here nor there. Jeffrey Tambor's makeup is pretty fake looking, and while I liked his performance, there wasn't much that the character did that was interesting. he's just kind of a one-note slob. I've never been a huge fan of Demi Moore, but I must admit that she looked pretty damn good in that skimpy waitress outfit. i liked that this was a period piece, but it felt like they never actually took advantage of that in terms of the story. i mean, was there any element of the story that actually REQUIRED it to be set in that period? Both rhett and DVDF thought pretty highly of this episode, but it didn't grab me that much. not "bad" at all, but maybe the whole advancement-at-any-cost feme fatale storyline just doesn't do much for me.

    The Switch
    - this is another one that i realized i had seen long ago. i particularly remembered the shot of the buff guy with the old legs in the beach change room. i enjoyed the episode, even though each plot point is quite obvious. its not terribly disturbing or upsetting (hell, nobody even dies), in fact its played like a comic fantasy with a "ba-dum-tsh!" rim-shot type twist at the very end. its certainly fun to watch, although the best part of the episode is Arnold's cameo during the opening segment. I love his delivery of the title line.

    Cutting Cards
    - I love this episode. Flat out, LOVE it. I was laughing out loud throughout the final 5 minutes. its so over-the-top, so go-for-broke, and the performances are so great, there's not too much I can say about it. Of all the episodes i've watched so far, this has definitely been my favorite. Or, at least tied with ...And All Through the House.

    'Till Death
    - I tend to side a bit more with rhett than with DVDF...I thought this episode had some great effects, but the overall story was a bit of a let down. The location had me thinking of I Walked with a Zombie, but that's pretty much superior in every way to this. DVDF is right about the "on fire" line, it is a pretty good one, in retrospect. The DW Moffat character is quite the idiot, though. the voodoo priestess told him what one or two drops would do. i was expecting him to miscount, like Ash traveling forward in time, but no, he just dumps the whole fucking bottle in her drink. damn, that's some brazen stupidity.
     
  7. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,069
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    Yeah Cutting Cards is one of the best episodes!
     
  8. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,079
    Likes Received:
    411
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Horror
    ^ I just didn't think it was dark enough. And, might have mentioned that I didn't love Kevin Tighe.
     
  9. jcannon

    jcannon Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    For those of you who are interested in picking up the series (or filling in gaps in your Crypt collection) FYE currently has each season for $10.00 at FYE. While not as good a deal Big Lots a few years back, it's a good opportunity for those who want to snag the series on the cheap.
     
  10. MisterTwister

    MisterTwister The Schlock King

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    3,068
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Lake Wales, FL
    Yellow, Showdown, and King of the Road don't feel like Crypt episodes because they aren't.

    They were put together for a show called "Two Fisted Tales" and when it was dropped they were re-packaged as Crypt episodes.
     
  11. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,079
    Likes Received:
    411
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Horror
    Your opinion.

    (Though I agree on the other 2.)
     

Share This Page