Tales from the Crypt
Tales from the Crypt
TV-MA | 10 June 1989 (USA)
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  • Reviews

    i must have seen a different film!!

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    How sad is this?

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    A movie that not only functions as a solid scarefest but a razor-sharp satire.

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    It's funny, it's tense, it features two great performances from two actors and the director expertly creates a web of odd tension where you actually don't know what is happening for the majority of the run time.

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    I've always loved horror anthology shows, but almost all of them fit into one of these three categories: 1) mediocre knockoff of The Twilight Zone (Circle of Fear, The Hitchhiker); 2) inspired spin on The Twilight Zone (Black Mirror, either version of The Outer Limits); or 3) The Twilight Zone.Tales from the Crypt seems so fresh, in part, because it's aiming for something different; as a live-action reimagining of classic horror comic books, it's closer to, say, the Creepshow movies than to One Step Beyond. It's colorful and sleazy, and doesn't bother pretending to have a social message.Maybe because it's telling stories made to fit a comic book, the pacing almost always feels perfect - there are none of those 10-minute lulls that even The Twilight Zone was plagued with - and every shot feels storyboarded, carefully planned. Until Black Mirror, no anthology show had flaunted such insanely high production values. Every episode feels like a miniature drive-in movie. The casting is always incredible, and the scores are often excellent.It's a treat to revisit this show almost 30 years after it premiered. It holds up surprisingly well.

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    Oh as a kid I loved this show with such a fiery exuberant passion, I worshipped it, the sting in the tale just desserts style of the horror where the bad and guilty were generally punished gruesomely in priceless and delicious twist endings came to be what the ideal version of horror is to me, grim, deadly, but with a certain underlying sense of fun and humour about itself and twisted karmic justice. This has always been for me by far the best horror anthology show out there and always thoroughly blew all others of its ilk clear out of the water and its sharp tone and kick-ass attitude, as well as the healthy degree of the gleeful gory old Grand Guignol spirit put into it, all resonated with me in a huge way and a lot of those earlier season episodes went right into my memory and stayed there, this show was one of the main things that ignited my lifelong appreciation of the genre. As a show today it remains such a gem of pop horror culture, and a lot of that is down to John Kassir as the one and only Cryptkeeper. What a rotten cackling old sweetheart, what a voice, what a laugh!!! With a limitless supply of lovably groan-inducing horror-related puns and plays on words, he brought the fun and wrapped up the tales as only he could. It just wouldn't have been the same without our dear old Crypty! To me at least the first three seasons had so much heart and wicked love for the craft put into them that you could really feel that they were trying to express in film the dark fun style of the old E.C. comics the same way that the 1972 Amicus film also named "Tales From the Crypt" and the 1982 anthology masterpiece "Creepshow" had previously done so perfectly. I tried to never miss an episode and even if it had been a bad one I wouldn't have noticed! You got the really tongue-in-cheek fun schlocky tales that are noticeably trying to showcase the style of the source material and do to me really feel like macabre crazy comics come to life, like "And All Through the House", "The Switch", "Till Death", "Loved to Death", "The Ventriloquist's Dummy", and the truly excellent "Carrion Death". Most were horror comedies, but there were more haunting and foreboding horrific offerings such as "Three's a Crowd" "Fitting Punishment" and especially "Abra Cadaver", which sure as hell gets my vote as the scariest episode because it feels like it holds a chilling grain of truth... It really took off fantastically in the second season which I consider the best because it has the most episodes that I personally consider great. The quality sadly declined a little with each season with spots of greatness here and there, until we finally hit the abominable seventh season, a season that I find so monstrously awful that I don't even care to own it, it was just that cheap and terrible and just so distinctly UN-Crypt. It's the reason I consider there to be 6 seasons of the show, and one runt! Anyway for the majority of its run it was just wonderful and had so many awesome moments that were liable to leave you shocked or in stitches, and it was tailor made for the horror lover who was young at heart. For the most part they got it dead right and captured the precious macabre magic that they intended to. Not perfect, but it took care of the things that really mattered. Thanks for all the laughs screams and happy memories Cryptkeeper!

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    The horror genre has had may forms of storytelling which is part of what keeps it alive; one of the most famous was of course the EC comics which for their time were the most daring content, though nowadays it's content is more commonplace. EC comics spirit has never died as it has been the inspiration for the "Goosebumps" book series from R.L. Stine, the film "Creepshow" written by Steven King, a little of John Carpenter's "The Fog" you name it. But most importantly EC comics showed that the horror tradition is here to stay.This show is my fifth favorite anthology horror TV show, one of my favorite live action comic book adaptations as it is done right because it keeps true to the spirit of the classic EC horror comics, but most importantly one of my favorite TV shows.I've seen this show when I was about 12 to 13 years old, I was highly into anthology horror and this show and this show caught my eye and I never even knew about the existence of the EC comics at the time.I love the horror host "The Cryptkeeper", the design is great, the puppeteering and animatronics are all on cue. But I really love the voice which is by one of my favorite voice actors John Kazir. His voice just fits like a glove as he convey the both comedy and even creepiness/craziness. This guy is just hilarious as he has some of the best lines as well as puns that are so deliciously bad their good.The music is great, I really love the theme song which is one of my favorite theme songs of all time composed by one of my favorite composers "Danny Elfman". Really like the opening which is kinda creepy but fun as the camera is constantly moving forward though some foreboding enviorments from the gate, mansion, right down to the crypt. I remember as a kid always pretending I'm the person running forward as the camera was in motion.Effects are fantastic, this show has some of the best gore effects I've ever seen and is something I've never seen in any horror anthology show. Their basically the payoff element to the stories and they sure as heck pay off. It really went to show that this show wasn't messing around it was going to go all the way.The stories are great and memorable (as well as well know producers, directors, writers, and actors to boot), I like that they keep not just the gruesome beauty of the comics but also the morality tale aspect intact as to me, "Tales from the Crypt" and the other EC Comics series to me were our modern folklore, Brothers Grimm, a somewhat twisted version of Assops Fables. Though also what makes them stand out are the humor which is really dark but it works, just like in the comic stories they don't take themselves too seriously and give the horror a bit of a strange lighthearted sensibility but maintaining it's dark side at the same time. And also another thing that stand out is in most of the stories the main characters are antagonists that are unlikeable which is interesting switch around from innocent protagonists. This is one of those rare time where you actually route for the main character to get nailed because they've done more bad crap then good and it's high time they pay the piper.There are plenty of great and memorable stories. Four of my favorites "What Cookin" which was a dark comedy as a restaurant gets a boost from a new cuisine, want to know what it is, I'll give you a hint ever seen the film "Solylent Green". Third "You Better Watch Out" it's a Christmas horror tale with the killer Santa. Second Television Terror, this story as a kid gave me the creeps it was a haunted house tale but it was also a satire on the corrupt power of Sensasionalism. And of course my favorite is "Carron Death" which is suspenseful and darkly funny as a psycho is chained and forced to drag a body to his destination, little knowing it could be his final destination.So come to the Crypt you in good company.Rating: 4 stars

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    It is without exception the greatest series of all time. The acting by everyone was great and the Cryptkeepers's puns were hilarious (Just goes to show you kiddies, Be very careful what you Axe For Christmas, You Just Might Get it!) (I Call tonight's Putrid Piece "What's Cookin". This series will beat hands down any of the crap out there today. It was kind of like the Twilight Zone of the 90's. All the big and Upcoming stars were in the episodes. You had Lou Diamond Phillips, Priscillia Presley, Larry Drake, Ed Begley Jr, Judd Nelson, Christopher Reeve, Joe Pesci, Jeffrey Jones, Alan Ruck, Cheech Marin, Martin Sheen, Billy Zane, Anthong Michael Hall, Brooke Shields, and many others. The episodes were true to the comics and didn't try to change anything. The Best thing by far was John Kassir doing the Cryptkeeper's voice. That was fantastic and timeless.

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