Tales From The Crypt: Season 2 (1990)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
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Overall Rating 80%
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Ranked #3,238
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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
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Review by Chad
Added: April 14, 2006
After the success of the first season of the long-running series, it didn't take long for the producers to put together season two and kick it off in April of 1990. Unlike the first season which had a mere six episodes, this season has a staggering eighteen episodes... however, the odds of having a perfect run of episodes (as the first season did) gets a wee bit worse with this many episodes, and sadly, we're "treated" to a few duds. Also, this is the season that the Crypt Keeper turned into the loud, obnoxious host that we all know and love. No longer does he speak in a quiet, almost-whisper of a voice as he did in the first... no sir, this is the season where John Kassir (the voice) lets loose with his "performance" and makes the character much more enjoyable. Now then, before getting into the meat of this review, the obligatory episode list is as follows.

Season Two Episode List:
1. Dead Right (directed by Howard Deutch)
2. The Switch (directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger)
3. Cutting Cards (directed by Walter Hill)
4. 'Til Death (directed by Chris Walas)
5. Three's A Crowd (directed by David Burton Morris)
6. The Thing From The Grave (directed by Fred Dekker)
7. The Sacrifice (directed by Richard Greenberg)
8. For Cryin' Out Loud (directed by Jeffrey Price)
9. Four-Sided Triangle (directed by Tom Holland)
10. The Ventriloquist's Dummy (directed by Richard Donner)
11. Judy, You're Not Yourself Today (directed by Randa Haines)
12. Fitting Punishment (directed by Don Mancini and Jack Sholder)
13. Korman's Kalamity (directed by Rowdy Herrington)
14. Lower Berth (directed by Kevin Yagher)
15. Mute Witness To Murder (directed by Jim Simpson)
16. Television Terror (directed by Charlie Picerni)
17. My Brother's Keeper (directed by Peter S. Seaman)
18. The Secret (directed by J. Michael Riva)

As mentioned, this season did feature a few duds and turned out to be pretty hit or miss. There are some excellent episodes to be found as well; "Three's A Crowd" is one of my all-time favorites, while the adaptation of "Mute Witness To Murder" found here is damned good. Then we have a couple of episodes such as "Judy, You're Not Yourself Today" that are, to be blunt, awful. Finally, we have a few episodes (such as "Cutting Cards" and "Television Terror") which aren't necessarily bad, but stray too far from the spirit of the series. Normally, the episodes have the same basic idea: someone wrongs someone else and gets their just "reward" by way of some ironic happening. How the story actually plays out is where the variety comes from; the story can have horror elements (vampires, zombies, ghosts) or it can be more of a crime-oriented theme. As mentioned, I did enjoy those two episodes... however, they would have been nicer had they stuck to the spirit of the series a bit more. For an example, I point you towards "Television Terror" - there's a haunted house, people know that its haunted, people go in, people die, end episode. Where's the irony, where's the twist, and where's the originality?

The DVD release of this season is pretty lacking in bonus features. We get one segment entitled "Fright And Sound: Bringing The Crypt Experience To Radio" which shows how a Tales episode was converted into a radio play. This could have been interesting, but nothing worth mentioning is shown; in fact, if the narrator had said that these people were recording a version of "A Christmas Story" for radio, I'd have had no problems believing it. Nothing of interest is shown, and really, this is a five-minute waste of time.

The second (and final) feature is simply entitled "Shockumentary" and features... well, nothing much. A few episodes from season two are recapped, the producers congratulate themselves on creating the series, and in the only interesting part of this thirteen-minute segment, we see John Kassir talk in the infamous Crypt Keeper voice. When the highlight of a segment is watching an actor talk in a character's voice, well...

Although you don't buy these seasons for the bonus features, it would have been nice if there had been a little something more stuffed on the discs. I wasn't entirely satisfied with the release of season one's features, but it absolutely decimates this release in that department.

The episodes and season itself: 8/10
This DVD release: 6/10 (mainly because it's nice to finally have the episodes on DVD).
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