Tales from the Crypt – TV Shows for Halloween viewing!

It wouldn’t be Halloween without watching a couple of episodes of Tales from the Crypt!



Tales from the Crypt  (HBO)top-horror-tv-shows
The Thing from the Grave  – Season 2 episode 6


Teri Thatcher plays, Stacy, a young model with an abusive boyfriend. Her photographer wants her to get away from the bad situation and gives her the keys to his pad. That night she shows up at his place and he professes his love for her. He wants her to stay with him and gives her a necklace saying, as long as you have this gift I will be there for you when you need me. As they kiss and lay upon the bed, we see “Mitch” the abusive boyfriend outside the window spying on them. Several nights later, “Mitch” lures the photographer to his summer house in the woods where he kills him and buries him. Then Mitch confronts Stacy saying he’d like to start over and that he would forget the past if she would.

Suspicious, Stacy goes to the photographer’s place to check on him. With that, she has failed the test and Mitch brings her to the summer home to kill her too. The dead photographer hears her screams and digs his way out of the shallow grave to save her. He drags the abusive boyfriend, Mitch, back to the grave site and holds him down as he drags the loose dirt on top of them both.tales-from-the-crypt-thing-from-the-grave-sea-2-pic-17

The usual rich lighting captures the right mood for the chilling ending. The make up on the dead photographer was excellent, very corpse-like but allowing facial movement. I will admit that part of the highlight of the episode is Teri Thatcher sporting skimpy bathing suits and lingerie. Naturally that sex appeal had always been a part of the allure to Tales from the Crypt, offering the little naughty visuals allowed by cable television but not allowed on broadcast TV.

Miguel Ferrer plays the part of, Mitch, the abusive A-hole boyfriend to the hilt making us viewers really loathe his character. This is your typical Tales from the Crypt episode; a love triangle, jealousy and a murder, resulting in a return from the dead due to a promise or curse. A little bit of campy fun and highly visual horror drove the series to become a horror favorite in the early 90s and although the themes and plots were familiar tropes pulled from the comics of several decades earlier, they are still fun to watch.


Horror TV Shows – Tales From the Crypt

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My favorite horror TV Show episodes.

Tales From the Crypt – HBO
Seasons 7, episode 8
Report from the Grave

Two young scientists break into a mausoleum so Elliot can perform his experiment. His machine can retrieve left over residue from the human brain like computer code left behind on a hard drive. He seeks out the corpse of Valdemar Tymrak, butcher-type mass murderer, who wrote books about the dead. He hopes to gain some insight about Valdemar’s lost notes. Arianne is not pleased with her boyfriend’s choice of subject for the experiment, but helps him out of love and devotion. Hooking up his Tales season 7machine to Valdemar, he hears a faint signal. When he goes back to the machine Arianne puts the head device on, right as he’s boosting the power to high. She screams, then dies.

After a time of mourning and depression Elliott sets up the experiment again to see if he can resurrect the memory of his love Arianne. He gets more than that as he actually resurrects the conscious spirit of her, proving the afterlife exists. After a celebration of their love, she tells him that Valdemar is there with her, keeping her soul prisoner and keeping her from moving into the light. He wants to torture her forever. She sits up alert and nervous as she feels him coming for her reclamation. Valdemar arrives and he is one ugly, freaky, creepy, son of a bitch, wielding a curved bone-cutter knife.

This is one of my favorite episodes. The camp angle synonymous with the “Tales” series is played down and the story plays out in a serious manner. It’s a gory, bloody, ugly episode, rich with atmosphere and haunting visuals. If I was a little younger and less jaded, that creep, Valdemar would have given me cause for nightmares.

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Horror Art – Tales From the Crypt comics – cover art

Tales From the Crypt comics cover art

Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror were very popular horror comics in 1950 to 1955. After a congressional hearing on violent comic books and their effects on children, Tales from The Crypt ceased its publications, but its impact on the horror scene is still felt to this day.

tales crypt pic 1 tales pic 2 tales pic 3 tales pic 4 tales pic 5 tales pic 7 vault pic 1 Vault pic 3 Vault pic 4 vault pic 5 vault- pic 6 VaultofHorror pic 2

Years later, these comics spawned two movies from Amicus Film Studios. Some years after that the HBO series Tales from the Crypt ran for seven seasons. During that time there were also two additional movie releases.

Amicus Films released Tales From The Crypt (1972) and Vault of Horror (1973) based on the comics.
Tales crypt 1972 vault-of-horror-movie         Tales-From-The-Crypt-cover series Tales_from_the_Crypt_TV_Series 2

Tales From the Crypt series on HBO (1989 to 1996). While the comic had three “hosts” trading stories, the series settled on one host, the Cryptkeeper, to introduce the episodes.

The 1990’s Tales From the Crypt series spawned two films: Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight (1995) and Tales From The Crypt: Bordello of Blood (1996).
tales -Demon Knight tales - bordello

A cartoon series called Tales from the Cryptkeeper produced 39 episodes from 1993 to 1997. The cartoon however, was aimed at children and was very mild compared to the Tales From the Crypt legacy. (Think Scooby-Doo, not El SuperBeasto).

(late breaking news: apparently there was a 3rd Tales From The Crypt film in 2001 called Ritual, which I did not know about and judging by the reviews… ignorance is bliss.)
Of course, I own all of these movies and series, (with the exception of Ritual and the animated Tales From the Cryptkeeper). I will review them all in time but that’s the subject for a different post.