Tales from the Crypt

1989 · Universal Pictures
Tales from the Crypt — Movie Review by Karthik
8 out of 10
Directing Credits
Walter Hill, Robert Zemeckis, Richard Donner, Kevin T. Yagher
Writing Credits
Screenplays by Walter Hill, Robert Reneau, Fred Dekker, Terry Black; Based on the comics published by William M. Gaines
Bill Sadler, Mary Ellen Trainor, Larry Drake, Joe Pantoliano, Robert Wuhl

The Review

This is a made-for-TV movie, consisting of three horror stories, each one introduced to us by the Crypt Keeper (voiced by John Kassir, Crypt Keeper sequences directed by Kevin Yagher).  Each one of these stories was based on stories from the 1950s E.C. Comics, and are all creepy, while being funny and entertaining at the same time.  Reviews of the three segments in this production follow.

The Man Who Was Death

Bill Sadler plays Niles Talbot, a man who is devoted to his job.  He started off working as an electrician in the city's prison, eventually becoming the head executioner.  He takes a lot of pride in his work - electrocuting dangerous criminals.  The fun starts when the poor man loses his job (because the government outlaws capital punishment), and takes matters into his own hands!  I liked the way this segment was written, Sadler's character had a lot of very funny dialogue.  This is Walter Hill's segment.

And All Through The House

It is Christmas time.  Mary Ellen Trainor plays a wife who is tired of her husband (Marshall Bell) - and so she kills him.  Now the problem is, the police are patrolling her locality, because an insane psycho (dressed in a Santa Claus suit and armed with an axe) has escaped from an asylum and is on the loose in that area!  She gets the bright idea of blaming her husband's death on the psycho.  Suffice to say, not everything goes as planned!  This is Robert Zemeckis's segment and has one of the funniest openings I have ever seen!  And I thought Larry Drake was just terrific as the psycho, with that makeup on he looked really creepy!

Dig That Cat... He's Real Gone

The final segment in this movie is directed by Richard Donner.  Joe Pantoliano plays Ulric - a character who works at the circus.  He makes tons of money by literally dying for the audience!  The episode begins with Ulric being loaded into a coffin, and being buried deep underground.  The coffin will be opened twelve hours later, and Ulric will be dead.  But he will be resurrected soon after that!  This is made possible because a scientist performed surgery on Ulric, giving him the ability to have nine lives, like a cat.  This segment was a lot of fun, the actors (Pantoliano and Robert Wuhl, who plays the ringmaster) seemed to be having a lot of fun too!  Unfortunately you will be able to predict the final twist just as the segment starts off.

Overall, I thought Tales from the Crypt was a lot of fun.  I liked the Crypt Keeper's character and even his bad jokes ("be careful what you AXE for - you might just GET IT!"), and the unusual stories and situations made the film very interesting.  The music in the segments (by Ry Cooder, Alan Silvestri and Nicholas Pike respectively) was also very good!

More Details

Running Time: 90 minutes | Country: US | Genre: Horror/Black Comedy

Ratings Info

I rate all movies or game add-ons on a scale of 1 to 10 points.  1 is the lowest score, 6 is barely above average, 8 is good, and 10 is excellent (this score doesn't indicate something that is perfect in every way — it just means that I enjoyed it a lot).  You'll find that I tend to give ratings of 8 and above often (that's only because I enjoy whatever I'm reviewing!).  Reviews are updated as felt necessary.  Of course, everything said in these reviews is my humble opinion only.
Review Date 3 Nov 02
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The Author

Karthik Abhiram

27-year old Taurean (birthday 15-May-82), Assistant Manager - HR at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd in Hyderabad, India.  Previously, did Post Graduate Diploma in Management from T A Pai Management Institute (2003-05) and before that, Computer Science Engineering from Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (1999-2003).

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