Cat Power and an Old Trick: Tales from the Crypt Retro-watch Part 2

Cat Screen

Dig That Cat… He’s Real Gone Season 1 Episode 3

Only Sin Deep Season 1 Episode 4

Veteran TV director Richard Donner made his theatrical debut with the Exorcist-ripped The Omen in 1976, and followed that two years later with Superman, the first superhero blockbuster. In 1989, he got to combine his roots in television, horror and comic books as a producer and director on Tales from the Crypt. The show’s first Donner-helmed episode is the most comic-booky, the least horrific, and possibly the most fun so far. Continue reading

‘Tales from the Crypt’ is Grimy as Hell: a Retro-watch Project

Tales Santa

The Man Who Was Death Season 1 Episode 1

And All Through The House Season 1 Episode 2

Moved by the autumn spirit and a cover featuring a man dueling a giant rat at sea, I recently bought a reprint of the 1950’s EC Comic Tales From the Crypt. It’s insane, and reminded me of the 90’s TV show that I always wished I was allowed to watch as a kid.

I saw Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight at a sleepover and fondly remember it as the second half of From Dusk Till Dawn, but I have no memory of ever seeing the HBO anthology series that spawned it. Although it aired for seven seasons between 1989 and 1996, the premium cable juggernaut seems ashamed of the show now, leaving it off the HBOGO streaming roster that sports nearly every bit of the network’s original programming, forgotten alongside anti-prestige fare like Arliss and Mr. Show with Bob and Dave (you can get the full series on DVD for pretty cheap, though). But while Mr. Show kickstarted the careers of a bunch of today’s most nerd-loved comedians, Tales From The Crypt coincided with career declines of almost as many geek-film luminaries of the 70’s and 80’s.

The show is great, though. The first two episodes, short, manic bursts directed by Walter Hill and Robert Zemeckis, respectively, harness the crude dark comedy of the comic series that inspired the Comics Code of censorship. Continue reading