This series is definitely a large contributor to my love of horror, and ultimately this blog. It really brought to life some of the original comics, and in general maintained a lot of that post-war comic/graphic horror style. The series also featured some great stars, directors and cameos, namely Demi Moore circa Nothing But Trouble, Brad Pitt, Daniel Craig…These top three episodes are some of my faves:
Three’s A Crowd
“…why’re you wearing my coat?”
Probably my favorite episode, this is one of the more serious and well-written/well-constructed ones – especially for 30 minutes. The characters and writing gave a lot of backstory without being too expositional – after all, media is a balancing act between show and tell. In this episode, the traditional horror elements worked well together – secluded log cabin, bottle swigin’ harbinger, troubled couple and touchy, confused relationships – all fortified the husband’s mounting insecurity turned paranoid delusions. Additionally, the awesomely gruesome death scenes were perfectly punctuated by the immediate surprise look on his face when he opens the guest house door.
Maniac At Large
“you are overreacting, dear.”
This episode definitely comes in #2. Mounting fear and paranoia for the lead, who gets props for highlighting the female maniac killer, in context of fear, paranoia, and reinforced ideas of victimization in the urban environment. This episode is also great because as our perception of who the killer could be oscillates,and so we feel her sense of panic as everyone frankly seems suspicious as hell. Also written with a great sense of irony – where the mean old librarian gets hers too. Finally, the reality of the public library in a big and busy city depicted here is nothing less than truly scary.
“…did I get a good grade?”
This episode has an advantage – my personal attachment to the student struggle. So I understand her commitment to her final project – real recognize real. That being said, this episode is so campy and so bad it’s turned back to good again. Classic 80’s high school movie theme, complete with ridiculously stupid jock, scuzzy prof, and the hopeful nerd. And the usual mummy tactics. However this episode is well-acted, and has that ironic ending that keeps with the Tales From the Crypt vibe.