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Case Number 11753

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Tales From The Crypt: The Complete Sixth Season

Warner Bros. // 1994 // 370 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 25th, 2007

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson is starting his own horror anthology TV show. It's called Yarns from the Barn.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of Tales From The Crypt: The Complete First Season (published July 27th, 2005), Tales From The Crypt: The Complete Third Season (published April 5th, 2006), Tales From The Crypt: The Complete Fourth Season (published July 25th, 2006), Tales From The Crypt: The Complete Fifth Season (published December 6th, 2006), and Tales From The Crypt: The Complete Seventh Season (published November 7th, 2007) are also available.

The Charge

(insert high-pitched, maniacal Cryptkeeper laugh)

Opening Statement

As we drag our bloody, drooling, ghoulish bodies ever closer to the finish line of HBO's horror-fantasy anthology series, here is Season Six in all its maggot-ridden glory.

Facts of the Case

Fifteen more episodes of terror, twists and Del Toro, served up with the trademark Crypt flair for wit and irreverence and partitioned into three discs. Your offering for this set:

Disc One
"Let the Punishment Fit the Crime"
"Only Skin Deep"
"Whirlpool"
"Operations Friendship"
"Revenge is the Nuts"
"The Bribe"

Disc Two
"The Pit"
"The Assassin"
"Staired in Horror"
"In the Groove"
"Surprise Party"
"Doctor of Horror"

Disc Three
"Comes the Dawn"
"99 and 44/100 % Horror"
"You, Murderer"

The Evidence

I love this show, but I have to confess, this season lacked in comparison to its predecessors. The creative energy appeared to have been partially siphoned from the writing, leading to a batch of episodes that strike me as the most inferior of all I've seen. However, like any series, there are some standouts, and for the sake of optimism and because I'm generally a good-natured person, let's glance at the best of the bunch first.

"The Bribe"
Starring the great Terry O'Quinn and featuring Benicio Del Toro in a supporting role, this is one the few "serious" tales. O'Quinn plays a Fire Marshal seeking revenge against a sleazy strip club owner. The denouement here is gruesomely ironic, like a good Crypt ending should be.

"Comes the Dawn"
Vampires + Michael Ironside and the guy what was the terrorist leader in Passenger 57 = awesomeness!

"99 and 44/100 % Horror"
A slow build-up culminates in one of the most disgusting images I've seen in the entire series. Seriously, it's pretty damn gross.

"Staired in Horror"
Curses are always fun, and this show uses a novel one. D.B. Sweeney stars as a Deep South fugitive who meets an old woman with a crazy secret. Good ending.

"Doctor of Horror"
This one has it all: a manic set of characters, headlined by Hank Azaria, an outlandish premise (a bonkers doctor searches for the human soul in corpses) and a satisfying, back-from-the-dead slice of revenge.

Unfortunately, the rest of the shows are disappointing. They're either too goofy—"The Pit" (cage-match fighters pit their wives against each other in their stead), "The Assassin" (a housewife turns on home invaders and caps with the worst ending of the season), "Let the Punishment Fit the Crime" (Catherine O'Hara is stranded in a surreal courtroom and…er, actually I have no idea what the #$%@ is going on)—or uneventful—"In the Groove" (a lame attempt at a twist ending that everyone should see coming), "Operation Friendship" (a guy and his imaginary friend and a dead-end plot)—or, frankly, needlessly obtuse—"Only Skin Deep" (it's dark, but that's about it), "Whirlpool" (a cutesy meta-narrative on the Tales from the Crypt writing process devolves into an incoherent mess.

And then you have the shows don't fall into any category: "Revenge is the Nuts" and "You, Murderer." The former is okay, but it's recycled from the Tales from the Crypt 1972 film (the one where the guy in charge of the blind folks home gets f-ed over) and the latter…well, that's a tough one. You, Murderer was directed by Robert Zemeckis, so you can expect something different, and you certainly get that. The entire thing is told from a first-person perspective, which is pretty cool, but that's not even the real gimmick. No, the true gag is using composite special effects and archival footage to include Humphrey Bogart's likeness in the show. Sure, it's nifty, but it was done better in those creepy Fred Astaire vacuum cleaner commercials. Besides, the story isn't even that good, leading me to think that Zemeckis just wanted to screw around with some cool technology.

Full frame, 2.0 stereo, marginal video quality, the typical for these sets. The lone extra is a virtual comic book of "Whirlpool." At least the packaging still looks slick.

Closing Statement

Fun in spots, the sixth season of Tales from the Crypt nevertheless disappoints as a whole. I'm thinking the creative artery is beginning to run dry.

The Verdict

The accused needs a formaldehyde enema—stat!

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Scales of Justice

Video: 80
Audio: 80
Extras: 60
Acting: 80
Story: 75
Judgment: 76

Perp Profile

Studio: Warner Bros.
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• Spanish
Running Time: 370 Minutes
Release Year: 1994
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Comedy
• Fantasy
• Horror
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Virtual Comic








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