15 Favorite Tales From the Crypt episodes: A Primer

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Tell me you don’t read that title in the Cryptkeeper’s voice

Tales From the Crypt was a half-hour anthology horror show that ran seven seasons, from 1989 to 1996. It featured stories adapted from the EC comics of the 1950s, and was like a gorier, more horror-oriented take on The Twilight Zone. Most episodes ended with a twist and/or the villain of the story getting their appropriately ironic comeuppance. And, of course, the Cryptkeeper was there to guide us with his pun-filled intro and outro to each episode.

I started watching Tales as a young teenager, when NBC would show two episodes late Saturday nights, right after SNL. Still later, the Sci-Fi (now, annoyingly, Syfy) Channel used to have marathons I would watch, and even later than that, I had Netflix send me the entire series, three DVDs at a time (look, I’m old, okay?) to make sure I hadn’t missed a single episode. Now, of course, you only have to search YouTube to find most (all?) episodes for free.

Discovering Tales From the Crypt was very exciting for Tween/Teen Me; I cut my baby horror teeth on it. It helped develop my tastes in horror, giving me stories to explore and discover which themes worked for me and which didn’t. But even the “bad” episodes are still Tales From the fuckin’ Crypt, and I’ll still watch them any day of the week.

So, this list is more a list of personal favorites and episodes I feel added something to the series than a list of the “best” episodes of the series. Many of these are among the top-rated of the series; some aren’t; and many of the highest-rated episodes of all time aren’t included here at all. Everyone has a different opinion; it’s all about what hits you in a certain place at a certain time. All of these episodes hit me just the right way at some point in time.

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Recap #66 – Cutting Class (1989)

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Title: Cutting Class

Director:  Rospo Pallenberg

Released: July 17, 1989

Description: After spending time at a mental institution, troubled student Brian Woods (Donovan Leitch) returns to class following his father’s death, amid a swirl of rumors about his emotional state. Brian competes for the affections of Paula Carson (Jill Schoelen) with her boyfriend — the school’s resident rebel, Dwight Ingalls (Brad Pitt). When students begin disappearing at an alarming rate, Brian is the obvious suspect, but the real threat may be coming from an unexpected source.

Notes: Although this movie was released in 1989, it was filmed in 1987 and sat on a shelf for two years. I may swing between referring to this as an ’89 and ’87 movie in this recap. *shrug* [bat: Some things that get stuck on a shelf age well, like Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, some… do not…]

Nostalgia Time!


So, I’d never actually seen this one until recently. I remember when I was maybe 13-14ish, and being in some big box store (it was possibly Kmart) with my cousin, and we spotted this VHS on a rack somewhere in the store. My cousin picked it up and begged her mom to buy it for her, on account of it starring a very young Brad Pitt in one of his first movie roles. Her mom (my aunt) looked at it and was like, Yeah right, I’m not buying this shit for you.

Cousin was bummed, but looking back it was probably the right call. This movie is . . . well, it has a 25% on Rotten Tomatoes. I can’t find a single in-depth review that makes it sound worth watching. Which I actually find odd, because I don’t think it’s as unwatchable as people make it out to be. Oh, it’s not good. I’m definitely not saying it’s good. But in my eyes it has enough going for it to land it in “entertainingly bad” territory, rather than “unwatchably bad” territory.

And yes, part of what it has going for it in my eyes is Roddy McDowall. Fuck it, I’m leaning into this now. I joked a few recaps back that Roddy was quickly going to be in the running for the title of most recapped actor on this site, and now I’m apparently endeavoring to make that a reality. I could recap Planet of the Apes, but no, here I am with this dumpster fire instead. I’m not sure what’s wrong with me, but I hope whatever it is is at least entertaining for y’all.

As a special treat (although that’s a dubious term considering how bad this movie is), I’ve invited a new recapping friend, bat, to comment on this recap. Hey, she made invited me to comment on My Demon Lover, and that movie was sincerely painful to watch! bat?

[bat: HEEEEYYYYYY, JC! Yeah, I was invited to this through a message that included the terms “horror/comedy” and “young Brad Pitt” so of course I said sign me up. I am that person who tracked down 1991’s godawful Johnny Suede and watched the whole worthless film yet all I can remember is the leg shaving scene. Basically, it’s a part-time hobby, watching horror-comedy films and/or the original My Little Pony ‘N Friends cartoon and recapping them. I am full of snark and sarcasm. Also, I adore Roddy McDowall in The Planet of the Apes! I even have the Funko Pop of Cornelius!] [JC: I bet that’s adorable as fuck! I don’t think I’ve seen it locally or I’m sure I would have snapped it up!]

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