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Old 12-24-2011, 04:51 PM   #1
Talon87
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Tales from the Crypt

Have spent my Christmas Eve watching old episodes of Tales from the Crypt that kind folks uploaded to Youtube.

Tales from the Crypt was a cable TV series that ran from 1989 until 1996. I used to catch re-runs of it as a kid on my local Fox channel late at night. Each episode is a sort of cutesy "halfway-horror, halfway-comedy" fable. In fact, every episode is very much so like a fable, with a moral to be learned at the end and everything, making the series very much like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and others. That stated, the original versions broadcast on HBO can be pretty graphic -- sex, violence, profanity, you name it, the show's got it -- so by no means should you think that this is 100% a-okay family entertainment. That stated, I used to watch the Fox version when I was like 11, 12 years old, so I don't think there'd be any problem for your average UPNer to check this one out.

Some episodes I'd recommend checking out if you want:

The Switch - haven't watched this one since childhood, but as a kid it was one of my favorites. It's about an old, rich man who spends his fortune bit by bit in order to obtain a younger body in order to impress the woman of his dreams.

Strung Along - this one's about a puppeteer who gets an invitation to do a comeback performance long after his golden days on television are over. There's more to it than that but I feel like if I try to explain it I'll give things away. Just check it out.

The New Arrival - the doctor from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: the Secret of the Ooze stars in this episode about a radio child psychologist who pays a house call to one of his frequent callers-in.

Some of the others I've watched include Dead Right with Demi Moore and Jeffrey Tambor, Only Sin Deep with Lea Thompson, and Beauty Rest with Kathy Ireland, but I wouldn't recommend those, to be perfectly honest. They're much more predictable than the ones I've recommended, Dead Right has explicit sexual nudity, and Beauty Rest is rather gruesome in parts. (Beyond the regular stab-stab stuff of Tales from the Crypt and more in line with the sort of thing you would find in Hollywood slasher films.) But they weren't bad, per se, so if you want to check those out too, be my guest.

Still haven't watched Split Personality with Joe Pesci -- am wanting to do that now -- nor Cutting Cards, a supposed classic.

In any event, yeah: what a bizarre way to spend Christmas Eve, huh?
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:42 PM   #2
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Terrifying. This show was worse than The Shining, seriously.

I am still haunted by Bordello of Blood.
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:51 PM   #3
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I haven't watched any of the Cryptkeeper movies. From what I understand, they're basically 90-minute episodes (as opposed to the usual 30)? Is this correct? Or are they their own stand-alone films and they just so happen to have the Cryptkeeper in them?

I watched Split Personality with Joe Pesci before dinner. That one ended predictably but only because I saw a preview for it elsewhere and it happened to show ...
Spoiler: show
the part where Pesci's character is tied to the bed and the one sister brings in the chainsaw and revs it up

Had I not seen the preview, I might still have expected ...
Spoiler: show
... I might still have expected them to murder him but not necessarily that they would split him down the middle with a chainsaw. That would have been a "HOLY SHIT " surprise from out of nowhere.

Will probably watch Cutting Cards next and then maybe the first of the two movies. Although I have to admit that it's always Bordello of Blood and not the other one of the two which Youtube is always recommending to me whenever I finish one of these episodes. So I'm guessing that it must be the more popular film. *shrug*

I've never seen The Shining, but really? You would describe Tales from the Crypt as being scarier than The Shining? Or is that just Bordello of Blood? If the latter, then maybe I don't want to see it. ^^; (I have wanted to see The Shining since people say it's a classic but have also put it off since people say that it is gross in some parts and really scary in others.) But if the former, then I guess I should just get []The Shining[/i] out of the way and off of my To See list.
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Old 12-24-2011, 09:06 PM   #4
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Two episodes of Tales from the Crypt stand out in my mind, aside from the movie Bordello of Blood -

1. Some episodes where this guy had this jewel, and he was the dude who played Sala in Indiana Jones. He swallowed the jewel but was murdered by his friend, or something.

2. The Three Little Pigs - this was the real nightmare fuel episode. The horrifying, destructive violence still freaks me out to this day. Even more than the real life "Pig meets Chainsaw". I absolutely hate this episode.

Basically, most of the stuff that can be seen as "funny" came off to me as scary. The end of Bordello of Blood is textbook for why I don't like TftC. It's like the show's antagonists bend logic just so they can kill the protagonists. With enemies depicted that overwhelmingly powerful, it's hard to watch the show with any sense of expectation.
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Old 12-24-2011, 09:18 PM   #5
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The Three Little Pigs episode I won't watch. It looks like Ren and Stimpy's and Itchy and Scratchy's lovechild. Very grotesque, gruesome, sick, crude humor. Not for me. I know some people like this episode and even point to it as one of the best TftC episodes of all time, but I'd really rather not watch something so depraved. I like a good ghost story, not a "Freddy milks Jason Vohrees' amputated dick for blood to put in his coffee" fucked up shit like the previews for the Three Little Pigs episode has shown me. >_< Good ghosts stories have been, predominantly, what I've gotten from most of the other episodes I've watched so far, even the bloodier ones.

I don't remember (and haven't recently seen) the jewel episode you mentioned.

The protagonists never win in Tales from the Crypt stories but that's sort of supposed to be the point. TftC is at its most horrifying when a good protagonist meets with a bad end and is at its most emotionally-rewarding when a bad protagonist gets their comeuppance (although I tend to still feel really bad for them, e.g. the woman in Beauty Rest). I know what you mean though about it removing some sense of suspense or expectation. I guess what I would say is, watching TftC is less about getting the answer to the question "Will they make it? :o" since you already know the answer is always "No " and is more about getting the answer to the question "How will they fail to make it?" If you go in watching it like that -- watching it for the clever (or sometimes not so clever ^^; ) plot twists instead of for the outcomes -- I think you'll enjoy it more.
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Old 12-24-2011, 09:51 PM   #6
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From a child's perspective, no protagonist is bad. Even an anti-hero or an outright villain isn't supposed to have a gruesome end. In The Third Pig and the jewel episode (which is Dead Wait), the protagonists do things that are bad, but I still didn't want them to die. I spent most of the pig episode gripping my seat in terror and hoping the pig wouldn't be killed.

The Twilight Zone, for all its tenebrous mystery, handled this a lot better. There was an episode where some guy could "see ahead" which worked pretty well. But I was also a lot older watching that episode. Maybe direction is important for keeping an audience from sympathizing with the main character?

Are You Afraid of the Dark? was also a good source of fear way back when. Though the episodes weren't always as heart stopping as TftC.
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Old 12-24-2011, 09:58 PM   #7
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Just finished Cutting Cards. The Russian roulette scene in the middle of the episode was surprisingly good, deep, philosophical. Particularly the part where the cowboy gives the speech about why he needs to think before pulling the trigger. The third (and final major) scene of the episode, by contrast, felt very much like a let-down even though it was supposed to the climax. The fourth (and final) scene of the episode was a "cute" finish, although ...
Spoiler: show
... as I've mentioned in Anime a thousand times over, I have a hard time with amputation, so the final scene here was pretty tough to swallow.

Next on my list, I guess, is the first movie. If I can't find that, then the second movie. Although ... it's 11pm already, so I may opt instead to watch one or two more half-hour ones instead. We'll see.

What a bizarre Christmas Eve!
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Old 12-24-2011, 11:15 PM   #8
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Merry Christmas, everyone!

Currently through the first thirty minutes of Demon Knight. This has to be the most inappropriate thing I have ever watched the night before Christmas. Rated R for extreme violence.

Spoiler: show
I just saw Billy Zane (the villain from Titanic) punch his fist through a guy's head.

The movie was pretty cute and cliché until that "HOLY FUCK " extreme gorefest. Now I'm stuck in that rut I'm sure you're each all too familliar with: "I don't want to keep watching, but I want to know how it ends and I don't want to read a summary on Wikipedia, soooooo ... I'm going to keep watching. " Wish me luck!

EDIT: 12:43am and I'm through Part 5 of 9 of this person's upload, roughly 50 minutes into the movie. Every time it gets gory -- and it gets gory often -- I regret that I'm watching it. But every time it reverts to the old trope about people from different backgrounds who are all stuck in a hotel together and are trying to accomplish a common goal, I get interested and want to see how things'll finish. Thoughts:

Spoiler: show
Didn't expect Cordelia to be the one who got corrupted. I expected it would be Wally the ex-postal worker. After all, they made it pretty obvious with all of the earlier demon slayings that when demons die, they fire out this eerie green aura through their eye sockets and aim it towards the heroes. Then, when Wally slayed a demon to save Cordelia, he became the first one to actually get struck by this green energy. The moment that happened, I thought, "I bet he's going to get possessed. " And sure enough, mere moments later Braker is explaining to the others how possession works. So I totally figured Wally was possessed. Little did I expect that that would prove to be a red herring -- well played, TftC? -- and that it would be Cordelia who would be the one to fall under Billy Zane's hypno-magic.

Was kind of sad that Cordelia died. Or that she died way before Roach. But I guess credit should be given to Demon Knight for not killing off the characters in reverse order of interest since that tends to pull people out of the illusion that what they're watching is real. By having the order be random, it really does send the message that this is bedlam right now and no one is safe.

Trying to figure out whether Braker is the descendant of a disciple of Christ, whether he himself is a disciple of Christ, or whether he's some random dude who just happened to collect Christ's blood. Also trying to figure out why there were demons flocking about Christ's crucifix.

Wondering if Braker is going to run out of Christ's blood. I would assume so.

Am I even spelling his name right? Is it Braker or Breaker?

Kind of interesting that this movie ended up being fitting as a Christmas film, given the tie-ins with Christ and all. I guess you would say it's more so an Easter film than a Christmas film, but whatever.

All this gore though ... Definitely not for children. Very gratuitous violence. Blood for blood's sake.

Last edited by Talon87; 12-24-2011 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 12-26-2011, 04:40 AM   #9
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Yeah, The Demon Knight is a gore-fest. It's the prequel to Bordello of Blood, but has like 100x the violence.

While I've looked at only parts of TDK, incidentally I think Zombieland is more gruesome. The first 10 minutes of Zombieland should kill that whole movie.
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