Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tales From The Crypt, Season 3

Now *this* is what I'm talking about. These are the kinds of episodes I associate most (positively) with the show, this is what it's all about. Four of these six are honestly big favorites of mine; watching them all in a row was really fun.

1. The Trap 

"An abrasive husband comes home to tell his wife that he has lost his job again. She reminds him that they are behind on their bills and suggests she get a job. He refuses. Instead, he comes up with a scheme to make a lot of money quick. Calling his coroner brother over, he tells them his plan to fake his own death and collect his half a million dollar life insurance policy." (IMDB). 

This is entertaining because of the lead actor, Bruce McGill. ("I'm Lou Paloma. Blow me.") That, and the story is kind of funny, too. Michael J. Fox directs and has a cameo; I think it all comes together just fine. Also, I like Terri Garr, who played the wife.

2. Loved to Death.

"A classic "boy wants girl, girl is unresponsive to his attentions" storyline gets the Tales from the Crypt treatment, as a young man gets a Love Potion by his mysterious landlord, in an attempt to win over the girl of his dreams. But things soon get out of hand..." (IMDB). 

Clearly I'm no fan of Andrew McCarthy's, but this one is definitely in my top five, ever (adapted from The Twilight Zone's "The Chaser,"). I mean, be warned, it's extremely annoying (I don't know which is more so, the actors or the characters they're playing) but it's a good one. The twist is ridiculously fun; the original had the new Mrs. knitting some baby booties (to stop what ends up happening in this). Ha ha; be careful what you wish for . . . .

3. Carrion Death

"A sadistic serial killer has unforeseen complications when pursued by a determined motorcycle cop in a barren desert." (IMDB).

Not the strongest in the lineup, but worth watching. 1. Kyle McLaughlin, Agent Cooper in the bad boy role? Yes. 2. There are some silly bits of comedy in this crime story, dancing with and talking to corpse antics, etc. 3. The effects with the vulture are really terrible, but terrible enough for you to suffer through or someday show your kids to illustrate just how differently films and shows were made before computers did everything.

4. Abra Cadaver

"A former potential surgeon sets out to wreak revenge on the brother who's cruel practical joke prevented him from realizing his dream." (IMDB).

I always liked this one; it's just really unnerving. Tony Goldwyn had just come off the Swayze-assassinating character in Ghost---this will be cathartic for anyone who held a grudge (which is probably no one, or no one that reads this, anyway). This whole experience was like being buried alive, but above the ground, with people messing with him. Shudder.

No, no, NO! It's all WRONG!
5. Top Billing

"An unattractive and unlucky actor can't get a role because of his looks. His agent and girlfriend leave him. But he doesn't intend to give up - he wants the role of Hamlet." (IMDB). 

All right, here it is, y'all. MY FAVORITE EPISODE IN THE SERIES. I don't know how many times my brother and I watched this (since we recorded it on a beta tape somewhere, probably), but it was a lot. A little background----I had no interest in reading Hamlet (or Shakespeare) until after seeing this, and for those who think television has no intrinsic value to children or teenagers, I'll have you know that I quoted Hamlet's speech by Yorick's grave for Martinson (OPIE) in whatever literature class he taught junior year---just because I felt like throwing it into the essay question and because even then, I was probably laughing hysterically about this show and Biggs----the son of a bitch gave me like five bonus points for it (moving my score up to like 104%, thanks very much). God dammit, sometimes I'm fucking brilliant.

Anyway. This is damned near perfect, this is. It's well-written, well-cast (not only Lovitz, Boxleitner, and Astin, but Sandra Bernhard, Louise Fletcher, and Kimmy Robertson are all excellent), SARCASTIC as hell---"I especially love the last commercial you did, you know, that tango over the top of a disposable DOUCHE!" And the theater bit is perfect. On the characters---my favorite is Biggs (always calling the director "your vastness" or "your bloatedness,") along with his gestures and that lisp . . . I'm giggling now just thinking about it. Obviously John Astin steals the show, but the supporting characters (and how they were written) are brilliant and I think that's what really makes it. I'm not saying anything else because building it up too much would be a mistake, but just know that this is one of my very favorite things, ever in the universe. Myles Berkowtiz was the screenwriter on this . . . BRAVO, sir, BRAVO.

6. Dead Wait

"Red Buckley is a natural red head in search of a one-of-a-kind black pearl." (IMDB). 

This is another one I really like; Whoopi Goldberg, John Rys-Davies, James Remar, and yes, fricking VANITY (Nikki Sixx's heroin buddy) all star together. The way she says, "worm tracks," is actually pretty brilliant----but even though it's all really fake-looking, those worms are downright nasty. Ick, but great ending.


Justin Garrett Blum said...

I'd like to see that scene of the vulture eating that guy's eye again, because as a kid (teenager, I guess), I remember being really disturbed by that.

I also liked the one with Tony Goldwyn. That really bothered me, thinking that you'd still be conscious of the world around you after you died.

Donald said...

That was actually one of two episodes told from the perspective of a self-aware corpse. The other one is better than this one, but Beau Bridges and Tony Goldwyn are always good.

Whatever happened to Tony Goldwyn anyway? He's had a fine career, but why didn't he ever become a superstar? He's a great actor and he's as handsome as anybody I've ever seen. He should've been bigger.

Or not. Maybe he's right where he belongs. I dunno.

Anna said...

i always remember that little bit in the elevator they did in GHOST (tony and swayze) about the "itching genitals." what a couple of funny guys.