Tales From The Crypt: Season 3 (1991)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
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Overall Rating 80%
Overall Rating
Ranked #2,789
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Connections: Tales From The Crypt

Tales of horror based on the gruesome E.C. comic books of the 1950s presented by the legendary Crypt Keeper, a sinister ghoul obsessed with gallows humor and horrific puns. --IMDb
Review by Chad
Added: April 18, 2006
Back in the fifties, politicians rallied against comics such as "Tales From The Crypt" due to their belief that the comics were the main cause of juvenile delinquency. If reading one issue each month caused those kids to turn into little terrorists, what effect has watching three entire seasons of the television show in under a week had on yours truly? I shudder at both the possibilities and at how much of a loser that much television must make me.

In case you haven't been keeping up with my reviews for seasons one and two (or perhaps you've been living under a rock and have never heard of the comic or the show), the series attempts to resurrect the original stories from the horror comics and bring them to your television screen. Directing these stories are some of the biggest names in Hollywood (at the time), and the cast for these episodes is no different; nearly every episode features at least one "big-name" actor or actress. The stories themselves are moral episodes at heart, showing a villain doing something... well, villainous... and then getting their just reward in some ironic and usually gruesome fashion.

My personal favorite from this season has to be "Top Billing", an episode that features Jon Lovitz and John Astin (best known as Gomez from "The Addams Family"). In this bizarre little tale, Lovitz plays a failed actor who is desperate to find work... but he doesn't have "the look", so he is constantly turned down for roles in favor of less-qualified but better-looking actors. When he auditions for the lead role in a theater adaptation of Hamlet, he is once again turned away by the quirky director (John Astin, who is completely over the top in this role and has one of the best performances not just in this episode, but also in the entire season). This rejection is the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back, so Lovitz decides to murder the man who stole his role, forcing the director to replace the "missing" actor with the only available replacement... but what Lovitz doesn't know is just how accurate this rather insane director plans to make his adaptation. This episode is a shining example of what Tales From The Crypt is all about: big-name actors turning in big-budget performances and starring in excellent stories with shocking twists.

Season Three Episode List:
1. The Trap (directed by Michael J. Fox)
2. Loved To Death (directed by Tom Mankiewicz)
3. Carrion Death (directed by Steven E. de Souza)
4. Abra Cadaver (directed by Stephen Hopkins)
5. Top Billing (directed by Todd Holland)
6. Dead Wait (directed by Tobe Hooper)
7. The Reluctant Vampire (directed by Elliot Silverstein)
8. Easel Kill Ya (directed by John Harrison)
9. Undertaking Pallor (directed by Michael Thau)
10. Mournin' Mess (directed by Manny Coto)
11. Split Second (directed by Russell Mulcahy)
12. Deadline (directed by Walter Hill)
13. Spoiled (directed by Andy Wolk)
14. Yellow (directed by Robert Zemeckis)

On the bonus features side of things, we get three options to choose from. The first is a rap(!) music video performed by The Crypt Keeper himself. If you've ever wanted to see the narrator of the show dressed up in gangsta clothing and dropping some fly rhymes to a phat beat, this would be the feature you're looking for. It's silly, it's ridiculous, but it's oddly amusing.

The third feature (I'll get to the second one in a moment) is entitled "A Tales From The Crypt Reunion: A Panel Discussion" and is basically what the title suggests. Various people responsible for both the television series and other Tales-related projects give a thirty-minute panel discussion at the 2005 Comic Con convention, sharing stories about the making of the episodes, detailing their favorite episodes, and even taking a few questions from the audience. It's an interesting feature, and while it's not a must-see piece of footage, it's acceptable (especially after the trash included on Season Two's DVD release).

The second feature is entitled "A Tall Tales Panel", and it's pretty much a waste of time in my humble opinion. This is an edited version of the above feature, showing us shortened introductions of the men from this panel intercut with them discussing the series in other Tales-related appearances. The problem here is two-fold: you can watch the entire uncut panel discussion on the same disc and avoid the choppy editing, while the other appearances that are spliced in here were pulled from material shown on the first two DVD releases (and aren't interesting enough to stand on their own anyway). If you'd like to see the thirty-minute panel discussion condensed down into twelve minutes, check this one out... otherwise, skip right on over it.

Special features aside, the episodes themselves make this season another worthy purchase. While it's not a perfect run in terms of quality, the episodes are all "good" at the very least. While there are a couple of episodes that are a bit of a letdown when the twist rolls around, none of them were downright awful (which is more than can be said about the previous season).

Season Rating: 9/10.
DVD Package Rating: 7/10.
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