Tales From The Crypt: Season 6 (1994)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
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Overall Rating 80%
Overall Rating
Ranked #3,035
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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: August 11, 2007
First, the good news. In just two months, us horror fans will have (or have the opportunity to have) the entire Tales from the Crypt series on DVD in our collections. I know that I personally will have the entire lineup staring back at me from my massive DVD library, but this leads us to the bad news: why would we want the entire series in our collection? The last couple of seasons have had some great episodes sprinkled amongst them, but it was plain for all to see that the series was going downhill: all of the better stories had been used already, the big-name directors and actors had turned their backs on the show, and it seemed like the people who did show up to do some work had no love for the original comics and only wanted their twenty-two minutes of fame on HBO. So, now we're up to the sixth season, and let me tell you: it didn't get any better here.

Season Six Episode List:
1. Let the Punishment Fit the Crime (directed by Russell Mulcahy)
2. Only Skin Deep (directed by William Malone)
3. Whirlpool (directed by Mick Garris)
4. Operation Friendship (directed by Roland Mesa)
5. Revenge Is the Nuts (directed by Jonas McCord)
6. The Bribe (directed by Ramón Menéndez)
7. The Pit (directed by John Harrison)
8. The Assassin (directed by Martin von Haselberg)
9. Staired in Horror (directed by Stephen Hopkins)
10. In the Groove (directed by Vincent Spano)
11. Surprise Party (directed by Elliot Silverstein)
12. Doctor of Horror (directed by Larry Wilson)
13. Comes the Dawn (directed by John Herzfeld)
14. 99 & 44/100 Pure Horror (directed by Rodman Flender)
15. You, Murderer (directed by Robert Zemeckis)

Impressive list of directors, eh? Well... we've got Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Back to the Future), William Malone (Fear Dot Com), and we've also got Stephen King's biggest fanboy in Mick Garris. As for the rest of the list - who cares? None of these names matter in Hollywood or in the world of horror, and although some of their adaptations turned out to be pretty nice, there's a good reason for that when it comes to the vast majority of their offerings.

The actors appearing throughout the season is a little better or a little worse, depending on how you view it. On the one hand, the big-name celebrities who wanted to appear on the show had started dwindling in earlier seasons, but here, it hit an all-time low: the best we get this time around is a handful of relatively big-name non-actors and a fair share of b-list actors. On the other hand, it was nice to see some of these people on the screen once again, and I loved seeing some of these people involved with the type of murder and mayhem that you'd never expect to see them involved with; I mean, honestly, country singer Travis Tritt as a murderer? Ben Stein getting torn to pieces? Jesus, how I loved this aspect of the show. Anyway, the highlights include Isaac Hayes, Benicio Del Toro, Wayne Newton, Corey Feldman, William Sadler, R. Lee Ermey, Slash, Jake Busey, Austin Pendleton (not exactly a big name, but I loved him so much in Oz that I couldn't overlook him here), Ben Stein, Travis Tritt, John Lithgow, Humphrey Bogart, and Alfred Hitchcock.

Wait, Humphrey Bogart and Alfred Hitchcock? Yes sir; thanks to the miracles of modern technology, archival footage, and convincing imitators, Robert Zemeckis was able to seamlessly insert both of these legends into his episode. While I have to admit that the storyline itself was rather lacking, I can't deny that I squealed like a little girl when I saw how nicely they incorporated both of these names into the episode - hell, even the Cryptkeeper's pre-episode parody of Forrest Gump was excellent.

As for the rest of the episodes... well, let's see: Revenge Is the Nuts and Comes the Dawn were both excellent, Surprise Party was a little above average, and 99 & 44/100 Pure Horror was going nicely until they decided to change the ending (the original one found in the comics was much more effective, in my humble opinion). A couple of the other episodes lean towards the average side of things, but for the most part, the rest of them were lacking to say the very least. It seemed as though the filmmakers who worked on these episodes had either never read the original comics or decided that the source material just wouldn't work for modern audiences. Gone are the great shock endings, the over-the-top gore, the black comedy, and the twisted tales of revenge - but we get a whole lot of bad writing, predictable stories, lackluster twists, and "Was that supposed to be funny?" moments in their place.

Finally, we have the lone bonus feature: another one of those virtual comic books that I loved so much in the fifth season set. This time around, we get to see the original version of Whirlpool in a semi-animated piece with John Kassir reading the story to us, and once again, I have to say that I'd plop down some cash for a disc featuring nothing but these stories. It's that damned good (although it was disappointing to compare the source material to Garris' episode - did he even read this before directing his episode?), but sadly, I would have liked to have seen just a little more from this side of the set.

Overall, this season is for completists only. There's a few good episodes and a couple of nice moments, but overall, it's not even worth the twenty bucks that I paid for it.

Season Rating: 3/10.
DVD Package Rating: 3/10.
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