James: When it comes to horror anthology shows, Tales from the Crypt was the one which had the biggest impact on my generation. Because it aired on HBO, it was completely uncensored, giving us the most gruesome taste of horror on our humble living room TV screen.
And let's not forget, one of the greatest horror hosts ever, the Crypt Keeper!
Crypt Keeper: Bwahahahahaha!!
James: Oh the days of animatronic wise cracking corpses are long gone. I also remember the Saturday morning cartoon, Tales from the Crypt Keeper. What a contrast, it's like "Hey kiddies! Here's the show that's safe for you to watch, but don't you really wanna grow some balls and watch this?!"
*A scene comes up of a guy getting his head blown apart with a double barrel shotgun at point blank range*
James: The show's name came from the EC horror comic of the 1950's, but many of it's stories were taken from The vault of horror, The haunt of fear, and Shock Suspense stories. Many of the plots dealt with Siamese twins, dummies and cruel people who get supernatural punishments. I present to you my favorite episodes!
It's Cinemassacre's top 10...
Crypt Keeper: Tales from the Crypt!
#10: And all through the house
James: This is only the second episode. Back then, the idea of making a Christmas themed horror movie was kind of ironic and original. A woman kills her husband and then is stalked by a crazy psychopath wearing a Santa outfit. She can't call the cops because her husband's body is still laying in the yard.
There's some pretty good scares.
*The wife is standing by a window when suddenly, a tire swing comes crashing through it! She screams in shock*
James: And it's just as entertaining as any of the slasher movies coming out at the time, just without the filler.
Psycho Santa: Naughty... or nice?
#9 Carrion Death
James: This is one of the more simple episodes. It focuses on a criminal whose running for the Mexican boarder. He's being chased by a police officer, he gets handcuffed but ends up killing the officer. Now he's stranded in the desert and has to drag the dead body all over.
I won't spoil the ending, but I will say it's so simple and so stupid, you gotta love it.
#8 The Switch
James: Arnold Schwarzenegger directed this episode and actually appears alongside the Crypt Keeper.
Arnold: What's da matta' wit you?
James: A rich and elderly bachelor wants to seduce a young woman, so he goes to a mad doctor who knows how to make him younger. The plan is to surgically trade bodies with a young man whose willing to sacrifice for the money. But this woman happens to be very picky and doesn't even really know what she wants.
I won't say what happens but the payoff is a good one.
#7 My Brother's Keeper
James: Here we have two Siamese brothers. One of them is nice and the other one is just a mean rotten peace of shit.
Frank: God damn pussy... *he slams a meat cleaver down near the spot where he and his brother are connected*
James: He wants to be separated from his nicer brother so he does everything in his power to make his life miserable, like being an asshole when he's out on a date. It doesn't really make any sense, why would the good twin not want to be separated from the bad twin? Besides they're just barely connected by the hip. How hard could the operation be?
That's the only flaw in this episode, but it's a riveting drama of two brothers who hate each other's guts.
#6 Ventriloquist Dummy
James: A struggling ventriloquist goes to his idol for help, he wants to know his secret. And well... he gets it.
Mr. Ingels: IT'S MY BROTHER!! *he pulls a black cloth off his hand and reveals his Siamese brother is in the place of his hand*
James: The trick to his success is having a Siamese brother on his hand.
*Mr. Ingels starts hacking away at his brother with a meat cleaver while screaming at the top of his lungs*
Brother: What are ya doing?!?!
Mr. Ingels: I'm splitting up the act!!
James: This little guy is the real talent. He's the only reason this is one of my top episodes. All this craziness going on, it's like an early Sam Raimi or Peter Jackson film.
*The main character Billy is seen trying to cram Mr. Ingels' brother into a meat grinder. It's not going so well.*
Brother: What are ya doing...?
Billy: I'm making an asshole casserole pal, and you're the main ingredient.
#5 Split Personality
James: Joe Pesci plays a bullshit artist who meets a pair of twins. They happen to be rich so he pretends to have a twin brother of his own, just so he can marry both of them and inherit 100% of their fortune combined. The reason this is one of my favorites is because Pesci is always phenomenal in these kind of roles, as a sleazy conman.
Vic: ...What da fuck is dis piece-a shit?
James: But the real twins have their own tricks up their sleeve.
#4 Strung Along
James: Zach Galligan from Gremlins plays a puppeteer who goes to a golden age marionette performer to learn the tricks of the trade. The only problem is that the wife doesn't want the poor guy around.
It may sound the same old dummy story but this one's a little different. It's a great episode because it tells the story of deception and of a husband and wife's relationship falling apart. Besides, we get to see a dummy killing people.
*The puppeteer, Joseph Renfield, bursts into a room to see one of his clown puppets stabbing his wife*
#3 The Third Pig
James: The 7th and final season went way downhill, every episode by that point was boring and unwatchable. Until all of the sudden in the very last episode, they hit you with a cartoon. Yes, the only animated episode in the entire series. It's a bloody disgusting retelling of The Three Little Pigs.
The big bad wolf kills the first two pigs, the third pig is convicted of the murders. His brothers come back to him as ghosts and then he creates a Franken-Pig! Holy Hell... this episode is fuckin' awesome!
James: This is the only episode that's an hour long. A soldier in World War 1 is convicted of the death of his fellow troops, on the grounds that he was a coward and negligent in the face of danger. So he has to confront the general who happens to be his own father!
The son never wanted to be in the war, but the father is a cold hearted man of the machine and won't have it any other way. The young soldier's played by Eric Douglas, and the general is his real life father, Kirk Douglas. There's an all-star supporting cast including Lance Henriksen and Dan Aykroyd, and it's directed by Robert Zemeckis.
This is another really unique episode, it's not horror material and nothing remotely supernatural happens, but it's better than TV quality, it's like a movie! It may be the best episode if you take a serious stance, but my personal favorite is gonna have to be one that's more funny and over the top.
It has to be one that I like to watch repeated times and enjoy more every time I see it.
#1 Cutting Cards
James: It's a rival story of two gamblers who have an excruciating hatred for one another! We don't know why but that's not important. All that matters, they fucking hate each other. So they decide to play Russian Roulette.
Sam Forney: Come on, you wanna go again?
Reno Crevice: Son of a bitch, I got a better way of settling this shit. You wanna fuck with me? You wanna duel? Alright, let's do it! Russian Roulette!
James: They load the revolver with one bullet, spin the cylinder, and each take turns pulling the trigger until one of them gets killed. But it doesn't work out 'cause the bullet is a dud.
*Reno has the revolver placed to his temple, he shuts his eyes and pulls the trigger but nothing happens*
Reno: God... a dud?!
Sam: The ammo, two or three years old! Maybe it got wet!
Reno: Gaaaggh!! You can't talk your way outta this fuckin' thing!
James: Shouldn't he be happy to be alive? He's more concerned about there being a chance of the other guy dying, that's how much he hates him! Next thing they're playing another game where they get to chop each other's fingers off.
*Reno holds up a meat cleaver*
Sam: Careful! Only one! *Reno chops off Sam's pinky and Sam reels in agony*
James: Both of them know how much it hurts but they have zero sympathy. You can see the expression in their face, how much they love it when they get their turn. The performances by Kevin Tighe and Lance Henriksen are outstanding. Seeing these guys go at it for me is the highlight of the series.
Reno: No no wait a second! Easy, Jesus, aim that god damn thing straight!
Sam: Oh don't worry... it don't hurt that bad... *he chops off Reno's index finger*
Reno: OHHHH!!! God. Damn!!!
*The video ends with the Crypt Keeper laughing evilly*