Based on the comics of the same name from the 1950s, Tales from the crypt was a horror anthology that focused on a new topic or idea in each episode. On the bookends of each episode, the Crypt Keeper (played by John Kassir) gives a brief glimpse into the upcoming story and ends with a pun to note the character’s death.
With 93 episodes, the show had a sizeable following despite being an HBO exclusive. With a Reboot that is dead, it’s time to look back on the series that happened. Not every episode was a winner, but this list focuses on those who were. Using IMDb‘s rating system, it’s time to watch the 10 best episodes of Tales from the crypt.
10 Cut cards (7.8)
Chopping Cards would have been a better title for this intense episode of one-upmanship. After returning from a year-long stay in Las Vegas, Reno Crevice (Lance Henriksen) comes home and goes straight to the local casino where he meets an old opponent, Sam Forney (Kevin Tighe).
The two agree to a Russian roulette, but the ball is a dud. You then consent to a game of Chop Poker. The winner of each hand gets to chop off part of the other hand. They carry on for the rest of the episode until a scene where the two are playing checkers in the hospital and neither of them have arms.
9 The ventriloquist dummy (7.8)
As if Dolls and dummies weren’t scary enough, throw in a mutation to really horrify the crowd. Mr. Ingels (Don Rickles) is a ventriloquist who loses his hand and girlfriend in a fire. Fifteen years later, Billy (Bobcat Goldthwait) is an aspiring ventriloquist who meets Mr. Ingels. After finding the body of the woman Mr. Ingles was with, Billy walks after him.
After Billy scolded him about doping, Mr. Ingels reveals that his mannequin is his murderous twin brother, Morty, who is pinned to his hand. Mr. Ingels cuts off Morty and is then killed by an unrestricted Morty. Billy and Morty make a deal to work together, but Morty merges with Billy.
8th And the whole house (7.9)
Usually, Christmas episodes aren’t rated very highly, however Tales from the crypt manages to destroy the Christmas season. A woman named Elizabeth starts the episode by murdering her husband with a fire poker on Christmas Eve before calling her lover to let him know the job is done. She then goes to dispose of the corpse, not knowing that another killer was waiting for her in disguise Santa Claus.
After an argument with Santa Claus, Elizabeth tries to accuse him of the murder. Elizabeth accidentally locks herself in a closet, but escapes to find her missing daughter, Carrie. When Carrie is found by Elizabeth, she says that she let Santa Claus in. The episode ends with Santa Claus asking “Naughty or Nice”.
7th Forever Amber (7.9)
Steve Buscemi leads this episode as a photographer named Isaac and eventually melts down for the entertainment of the viewer. Dalton (Roger Daltrey) is impressed with the talent of Isaac’s wife (Buscemi). The two men are war photographers, but Isaac is better since Dalton lost his contact. Dalton makes a plan to get rid of Isaac and take over his life.
On an expedition, Dalton forces Isaac into a contaminated country, where he contracts a disease that quickly destroys his body. While Isaac finds out, he’s too late to do anything as parts of him are falling apart. Dalton returns to Isaac’s wife, Bobbi. They smoke and have sex when Bobbi tells him they have the same disease. Dalton runs into the bathroom when his nose falls off.
6th Abra Carcass (8)
Sibling problems come to a head with cardiac arresting drugs. Martin (Beau Bridges) and Carl (Tony Goldwyn) are both studying medicine. After Martin lost his hand in a prank by Carl, he wages a lifelong campaign of revenge against his brother. Martin eventually poisons Carl, now his boss and main financier.
Most of the episode is shot through the now only Carl living in his brain who sees the excruciating things his brother does to him. It is eventually revealed that Martin tested a new drug on Carl and he was never in danger, but Carl has a real heart attack and dies.
5 The New Arrival (8)
A radio psychologist takes gold’s valuation to extremes by meeting a bad kid. The psychologist Dr. Alan Goetz (David Warner) is about to lose his radio show when a desperate mother, Nora (Zelda Rubinstein) calls the doctor to come out and help. He agrees, along with producer Bonnie (Twiggy) and boss Rona (Joan Severance).
Nora turns out to be insane believing that General Douglas MacArthur would be returning home from the war (WWII) at any moment. Rona is found dead in a cot, Bonnie is chopped up by a ceiling fan, and Dr. Goetz is chained. The daughter is exposed as a zombie and Dr. Goetz stays with her.
4th Death of some salespeople (8.1)
Tim Curry plays many roles in this family affair. Judd (Ed Begley Jr.) is a scammer who pretends to be a cemetery seller looking for the families of recently deceased people in hopes of a sale. He robs one house and then moves to the next where he meets Ma and Pa Brackett (both Curry). After getting a cold coffee, he opens the microwave and finds a severed head.
After being knocked unconscious, Judd meets his daughter Winona (Curry), who is portrayed as dirty and ugly. The two have sex and get married because Judd believes he will get $ 50,000. After believing the entire family is dead, Judd accidentally digs his own grave and is killed after being betrayed by the family.
3rd TV Terror (8.2)
Exploring a mass murder site is never a good idea for public broadcasters. Horton Rivers (Morton Downey Jr.) is a field shock reporter who explores the supposedly haunted house of a mass murderer named Ada Ritter. It is noticed that Horton sleeps with his producer Sam (Dorothy Parke) and tells her that she needs a killer instinct.
While exploring, there are flashbacks to the murders that happened in the past. After a few creepy noises, the camera is dead. After a long period of intense tension, Horton notices that his cameraman has been hung up dead and is attacked by the ghost of Ada Ritter.
2 Yellow (8.3)
A father-son war story that breaks the line between horror and realism. “Yellow” follows the actions of Lt. Kalthrob (Eric Douglas) while digging into the war in the trenches of World War I. Sgt.Ripper (Lance Henriksen) tries Lt. Finding Kalthrob, however, is told to retreat. Ripper and Captain Milligan (Dan Aykroyd) argue about the yellow (cowardly) behavior. During a mission, Lt. Coldhrob away and a wounded ripper gives himself away.
Lt. Kalthrob is arrested and charged with abandoning his squad, which is said to be killed by firing squad that morning. That night his father, General Kalthrob (Kirk Douglas) tells him that he must fake his death in the morning as he will fill all weapons with spaces. Lt. Kalthrob is shot. General Kalthrob states that he lied so that his son would not appear cowardly when he dies.
1 What is cooking (8.5)
George Reeves, Meatloaf, Art LaFleur, Judd Nelson and Bess Armstrong are the stars of this cannibal story. At an octopus-based diner owned by Fred (Reeves) and Erma (Armstrong), the busboy Gaston (Judd Nelson) offers to help the owners by introducing a BBQ menu. After being rejected, he sees the landlord Chumley (Meatloaf) making life difficult for the owners.
Gaston takes the initiative, kills Chumley and portions his meat. After Fred feeds a Chumley steak to a policeman (LaFleur), he learns of the murder, but continues to serve the human meat. After trying to pit the couple against each other, Gaston is cooked by Farley, Fred, and Erma.
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