These heebie-jeebie DVDs made Judge Cynthia Boris slip a disc.
Our reviews of Tales From The Crypt: The Complete First Season (published July 27th, 2005), Tales From The Crypt: The Complete Fourth Season (published July 25th, 2006), Tales From The Crypt: The Complete Fifth Season (published December 6th, 2006), Tales From The Crypt: The Complete Sixth Season (published July 25th, 2007), and Tales From The Crypt: The Complete Seventh Season (published November 7th, 2007) are also available.
"Women. You can't live with them, but you can't cut them up into tiny pieces and tell the neighbors she's in Palm Springs, can you?"
Greetings ghouls and boys and welcome to another review here at DVD Vermin. Willard, Eight Legged Freaks, Killer Shrews—if it crawls and creeps across a movie screen you'll find it here. And speaking of creeps, today we have a special treat! A visit from our old creepy friend, The Crypt Keeper! Another review site said he was rotten so he's here today to set the facts straight. The truth is not only is he rotten now, but he's been rotting for years! So here he is, direct from a "dead" engagement in Hollyweird, it's my dubious pleasure to present Tales from the Crypt—The Complete Third Season.
Facts of the Case
It was only supposed to be thirteen episodes, a lark of a show to pay homage to the classic EC Comic of the same name. It turned into seven seasons, several movies, and a showcase for some of the biggest names in Hollywood. It's Tales From the Crypt, the quirkiest anthology series ever to hit the airwaves.
Each week, your old pal The Crypt Keeper (voiced by John Kassir) introduces a tale of murder and mayhem in his own freakishly pun-ridden way. (This is my caddy Juan. He teed me off so I shot him. Now I have a hole in Juan!) The stories themselves were an unusual mix of comedy and horror, sex and violence—and because the show was made for HBO, there were almost no holds barred. May not sound like much, but add in guest stars like Demi Moore (Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator) working with directors such as William Friedkin (The Exorcist) and producers such as Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon)…you've got one hell of a TV series.
On this DVD set you get:
Even though it has a decidedly lowbrow bent, Tales From the Crypt sports an impressive pedigree, with the likes of Richard Donner, Joel Silver, Robert Zemeckis, and Danny Elfman in the credits. Even more amazing is the list of guest stars that have visited the crypt over its seven-year run. This third season isn't as jam packed with big box office names, but you will find the stars of TV's most popular programs such as C.S.I. and Without a Trace. Having said all that, don't get the wrong impression about what you'll be seeing when you spin these three discs. There's great story telling and high production values, to be sure, but there's also a heavy dose of sex and violence. Remember, this series was originally produced for HBO and as such, didn't have to concern itself with those nasty old censors of the FCC. There's nudity (not a lot), language, and quite a bit of gore—but still much less than you'll find in your average teen slasher flick.
Tales From the Crypt straddles that barbed wire fence between horror and parody. The stories are intentionally over acted. But stay tuned, because there's usually a sweet twist before long. The colors and general look of the show runs closer to its comic book cousin than to other TV anthology shows such as The Outer Limits. And when it comes to rim shot humor, nobody does it like the Crypt Keeper—an animatronic puppet that has become a "living being" in the same way as Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog.
The packaging on this DVD set matches the tone of the show. The slipcase resembles a comic book cover and all of the included art is intentionally B-movie. However, fans who own the first two editions of the series might be disappointed to find that they shifted from digipack to slipcase. Now the three seasons don't match in height when shelved together!
I was most impressed with the navigation screen which includes two fairly lengthy visits with The Crypt Keeper that, as far as I could tell, were created for the DVD. Wonderful Danny Elfman music is made all the better with Dolby Digital Surround sound, and the comic book visuals just pop off the screen.
The extras are a bit of jumbled mess—terribly cool for true comic book geeks but less likely to impress the masses. The panel discussion that is featured was filmed at the San Diego Comic Con, so if you were in attendance that year you may find yourself on this DVD. But what's truly weird (and not in a loveable Crypty way) is that both of the featurettes are made up of the same panel footage. One is the straight panel discussion (a row of guys sitting behind a table answering questions). The other is the same panel discussion cut together with visual illustrations of whatever is being discussed. I liked the enhanced version and didn't see a need for the un-enhanced one. Apparently there are some difference between the two, but honestly, I didn't even bother once I realized I was watching a rerun and not having some overblown deja vu.
It's creepy and it's campy. It's spook-tacular storytelling with a "so bad it's good" B-movie twist. And only from The Crypt Keeper would people put up with this sort of pun-ishment, but somehow that madman makes it all work. So check out Tales from the Crypt—The Complete Third Season. We're dying to know what you think of this little monster mash-terpiece.
This court finds Tales from the Crypt—The Complete Third Season
guilty of multiple homicide. It would sentence The Crypt Keeper to death, but
that would be a bit redundant, wouldn't you say? (Insert Crypt Keeper laugh
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
• "A Tall Tales Panel" -- series creators and admirers discuss the show in a Crypt seminar
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