Title: Tales From the Crypt, Season 4 Episode 13 – Werewolf Concerto
Directed by: Steve Perry
Originally Aired: Sept. 9, 1992
Description: An Agatha Christie-style mystery sees the inhabitants of a remote hotel terrorized by rumors of a werewolf prowling the area. Not to fear, as a self-appointed werewolf hunter is amongst them. But might he have a dark secret of his own?
I love Tales From the Crypt and have seen every episode multiple times. I will argue that there are no bad Tales From the Crypt, even though that is just demonstrably not true, but that’s how much I fucking love this series. Having said that, this is one of those episodes I know I’ve seen several times, but I never remember what happens. But what’s to know, really? It’s a werewolf and werewolf hunter at a fancy lodge in the woods. Enough said? Let’s go!
We open with the Cryptkeeper and his silly, punny, intro spiel. This time out, he gives us the old “this is your brain; this is your brain on drugs” bit, with the added bonus of smashing a brain with a mallet and telling us that this is our brain after watching Tales From the Crypt. Oh, Crypty, you kill me bro!
The episode really starts with a nighttime sequence of a full moon, a wolf (werewolf!) howling, and a man running through the woods while a creepy chanting soundtrack plays over it. This episode is already classier than all the others put together! The werewolf catches up to the man and rakes its claws across the dude’s throat, then we see the werewolf (okay, this is actually more of a wolfman – it walks upright and is still mostly human-shaped) triumphantly holding the man’s severed head aloft in the moonlight. Creepy!
We cut to a woman inside the lodge screaming, and Dennis Farina as the (very stereotypically gay) concierge comforting her by saying that the coroner says her husband died instantly and didn’t suffer. I mean, a wolfman ripped his head off, but okay. Here we have a guy I’m going to call Nerdy German Guy (I didn’t catch most of the character names in this episode) kicking up a fuss because three people have died at this hotel and no one is doing anything about it. A guy I’m going to call Asshole German Guy says he’s leaving in that tone that every retail worker has heard from some dickbrain irately declaring “I’m never shopping here again!” Good! Good fucking riddance to you, sir! Except then we find out that a mudslide has made the road impassible, so everyone is stuck there. I love stories where some act of God prevents people from leaving, when leaving is the obvious course of action to avoid being monster chow. Oh, shit, one of the couples stuck at this lodge are Lela Rochon and Carl from Family Matters! I swear to God, if Steve Urkel turns out to be the werewolf, I’m gonna lose my shit. Anyway, the hotel guests are freaked out that they’re stuck here with a killer, but Nerdy German Guy is incredulous that they think it’s a killer and not a werewolf, because it’s obviously a werewolf. The other guests start to laugh at him, but then Dennis Farina calms them down by telling them that it’s obviously a werewolf and they’ve got a werewolf hunter on the case, but the hunter wants their anonymity. Well. That was unexpected! So, we live in a universe where we’re accepting werewolves as a fact of life? Cool.
Timothy Dalton (who, btw, was a great James Bond – I will argue this to my dying breath, although it’s probably not the hill I’m gonna die on) has been listening to this from a chair by the fire, and is all, “Well played, sir.” So, he’s 007: Werewolf Hunter, right? Beverly D’Angelo, our resident Blonde Bombshell, comes over and they start having some very innuendo-laden banter. Hey, Tim, I think your 007 is showing! It’s super cringey. He follows her to the stairs and finally recognizes her as some sort of performer – we put it together later that she’s a pianist. He proposes they have breakfast the next day, but she doesn’t “do” breakfast. Or lunch or dinner, for that matter. Some men would take the damn hint, but not this guy! His last proposition is “twenty questions, naked in the hot tub at midnight.” She accepts as long as it’s his back to the faucet. Um. Did that escalate quickly? I feel like that escalated quickly. She tells him not to forget his submarine. Is that a penis joke? I like penis jokes as a rule, but I’m not quite sure I understand this one. Hmm.
007 then bribes the bellboy to keep him informed of any communication any of the other guests receive. Then it’s suddenly morning and he’s walking into the dining room for some deep convo with Carl and his wife, but sadly not Steve Urkel. Wolfgang Puck (yes, they dragged the actual Wolfgang Puck into this) shows up at the table and tells 007 all about the special menu he prepared just for him, but he orders a cheeseburger and iced tea instead. You can see Wolfgang die a little inside, but because he’s not really an actor this is mostly conveyed by pouting. Literally. Like a four-year-old who has just learned what pouting is. Lela Rochon asks who they think the werewolf hunter is, and 007 points out that the better question would be who the werewolf is. Um, yeah, that’s what I would be more concerned with, too! Unless, you know, I was the werewolf. Plot twist – I’ve been a werewolf the whole time! Damn it’s hard to type with these paws! Lela shows 007 a photo of her and Carl and the dead guy and his wife all standing under a full moon, and 007 says it’s a very revealing photo. She doesn’t know what he means, but you get it, right? If they’re all under the full moon and human, then none of them is a werewolf! (I don’t see Urkel in the photo, though, so he’s still in the running.)
Apparently 007 and Nerdy German Guy know each other, and they have some loaded exchanges, but I can’t make heads or tails of it. Is Nerdy German Guy the werewolf hunter? He’s a bit like if Van Helsing came from the Renfield line, so . . . nah, probably not.
For some reason 007 walks into Blonde Bombshell’s room, even though it’s clearly well before midnight, and she’s nowhere to be seen so he takes the opportunity to snoop through her stuff. There’s a grand piano in her room, and he’s just about to play a note or two (Chopsticks!) when he hears Asshole German Guy yelling outside and goes to look out the window instead. Nerdy German Guy is following Asshole German Guy into the woods, because tension! 007 follows them, but somehow Asshole German Guy sneaks up on him with a gun. I guess he killed Nerdy German because he found out his dirty little secret. Aw snap, is Asshole German the werewolf and Nerdy German the hunter after all?! Timothy Dalton is really channeling 007 here, because he kicks the gun straight up out of Asshole’s hand, kicks him in the stomach, then catches the gun and shoots Asshole. I call shenanigans on this series of events, but the Cryptkeeper don’t give a fuck! He then reaches into the satchel that Asshole German Guy clearly stole from Nerdy German Guy and pulls out a wad of cash, making a comment about how it’s just too easy with these guys. Is . . . is werewolf hunting that lucrative a business? I may need to change careers.
Meanwhile, back at the lodge, the guests are restless and questioning Dennis Farina about when the werewolf will be caught since it’s almost dark. 007 blasts right past them into the lodge, where he’s stopped by the bellboy with a message for him. Well, not for him, exactly, but an intercepted message for Nerdy German Guy. Turns out the dirt he had on Asshole German Guy had nothing to do with werewolves – Asshole was a Nazi war criminal and Nerdy was hunting him because of that! 007 is pissed that he got the wrong guy, but I’m cool with shooting Nazis in the head. I can’t believe that’s a controversial opinion, but whatever, guys.
Anyway, 007 is throwing a fit and trying to figure out “who it could be” since “it” wasn’t Asshole German Guy. Or Nerdy German Guy. Either way, his world is all fucked six ways to Sunday now. Because of . . . reasons. He suddenly decides the person he’s looking for is Blonde Bombshell, and demands to know when she checked out and where she went. Even though all her stuff was still in the room when he broke in to look around earlier. 007 clearly isn’t too bright. The bellboy tells him she’s still there, she never gets up until late afternoon, and the staff assume she has a drinking problem. Or, you know, she’s a werewolf who gets up late because she’s exhausted from ripping heads off all night.
007 runs up to her room, gun drawn, then kicks her door in and yells, “Okay, let’s hula!” Um. What? Is that an expression? I don’t think that’s an expression. What the fuck.
Blonde Bombshell isn’t in the room, so 007 starts ripping things apart, then pauses to look outside at the full moon and . . . begins to transform into the wolfman! Like I said, this is an episode I never clearly remember, so I wasn’t sure if he was the werewolf or if Bombshell was. Wolfman 007 continues tearing the room apart, pausing to pick up a sheer white . . . robe? Blouse? Nightgown? I really can’t tell. But he picks it up and sniffs it. I can’t tell if this is a werewolf thing or a pervert thing.
A maid has the misfortune to walk in while he’s ripping up the room, and he turns his murderous attentions on her, throwing her around the room, biting her, and banging her head against the piano, which is suspiciously silent. Wolfman 007 finally notices the suspicious lack of sound coming from the piano, and opens the lid to find . . .
A pillow and dirt inside! Oh shit, Bombshell is a fucking vampire!
Wolfman 007 takes way too long pondering this turn of events and howling his displeasure to the moon, giving Bombshell plenty of time to sneak up behind him and stab him through the back with a silver candlestick. As he lies dying on the floor, she licks his blood off the candlestick and tells him maybe she’ll take him up on breakfast after all.
Then of course we get the Cryptkeeper’s outro with more bad puns and cheesy nonsense.
I’m not sure why I thought Beverly D’Angelo was the werewolf when it was clearly a wolfMAN shown to us from the beginning. I thought I remembered her being a vampire, but good God does Tales From the Crypt have an overabundance of vampire episodes! There are a lot of things that don’t make sense as far as motivations go, once you realize Timothy Dalton was the werewolf the whole time. Good thing I don’t really expect logic from this series! This episode isn’t on my top ten list, but it’s a solid entry, and one of only two Tales episodes with werewolves. Meanwhile, vampires feature in both those werewolf episodes plus several more. Sigh. At least Urkel wasn’t a wolfman.
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