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Trivia / Tales from the Crypt

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1972 film

  • Reality Subtext: Peter Cushing plays Grimsdyke, a widower who attempts to contact his wife via Ouija board. Cushing's own wife had died shortly before he took the role, and he evidently insisted that he would be perfect for it. Ouch. And Grimsdyke's wife is named "Helen"— the name of Cushing's wife.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The film is full to bursting with early-'70s clothing and decor.

TV series

  • Acting for Two: Tim Curry plays an entire family in "Death of Some Salesmen."
    • Martin Sheen plays three different roles (two magicians and a motion picture salesman) in "Well-Cooked Hams."
  • All-Star Cast: Sort of the entire point. Everyone from Christopher Reeve to Ben Stein showed up at some point. Whoopi Goldberg even appeared As Herself in the outro to one episode being interviewed by the Crypt Keeper.
  • Dawson Casting: Brad Dourif played the younger brother of Bill Paxton in the episode "People Who Live in Brass Hearses". Dourif is five years older than Paxton.
  • The Danza: Bill Paxton as Billy DeLuca in "People Who Live in Brass Hearses".
  • Edited for Syndication: You better believe it. FOX used to run repeats in their prime-time line-up during the mid-1990s (mostly on Saturday nights after the local news), and the series later turned up on basic cable channels, like the Sci-Fi Channel, AMC, and Chiller. The show on all the non-premium networks was edited for gore, sexual content, nudity, violence, explicit language, and, of course, making room for commercial breaks.
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  • Market-Based Title: Known as Hollywood Nightmare in Japan most likely due to how obscure the American comics are overseas.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Larry Drake built a career on playing creepy, dangerous villains (and indeed, played the most creepy and dangerous villain in season 1's "...And All Through the House"), but in season 2's "The Secret" he plays the slightly creepy but very kindhearted butler who befriends the young main character and ultimately dies trying to protect him.
    • The dryly unflappable Ben Stein plays a short-tempered and verbally abusive mortuary owner in "Doctor of Horror".
    • Well-known horror actor Michael Berryman, recognized for playing mutants and monsters, plays Rupert Van Helsing (a Vampire Hunter) in "The Reluctant Vampire". The normally serious Berryman delivers a wonderful comic performance in that episode as well.
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    • Sam Waterston appeared in the Season 5 episode "As Ye Sow," playing an unscrupulous private eye who offered to (and did) hire a hitman on behalf of his client. He would debut on Law & Order one year later in the role of Jack McCoy, a prosecutor with an unshakable drive to see justice done.
  • Playing with Character Type: John Astin in "Top Billing". His character is essentially Gomez Addams, only if he was really a dangerously Ax-Crazy nuthouse patient instead of just seeming like one.
  • Promoted Fanboy: John Kassir read and collected the comics when he was a kid.
  • Real-Life Relative: "Lower Berth" guest stars Jeff Yagher, who is the older brother of Kevin Yagher (who not only directed said episode, but was a key person behind the Crypt Keeper's effects).
    • Real life father and son Kirk Douglas and Eric Douglas played father and son in "Yellow".
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Besides Demon Knight, there were plans for two more movies. Dead Easy (a New Orleans zombie romp) which would possibly have opened the following Halloween that year, and Body Count (about a documentarian who discovers his uncle's dark secret).
    • Demon Knight was supposed to be the second film in the original proposed trilogy, but Universal Studios thought it should go first because it was "the most Tales-like" feature out of the three. Ironically, it ended up being the only one made.
    • According to a rumor, Dead Easy (retitled Fat Tuesday) was finished, but due to executive meddlers who thought the film wouldn't be commercially viable, a script that called for a large African-American cast ended up being produced with a cast entirely of white actors. Out of fear of Unfortunate Implications, producer Joel Silver stepped in and locked the finished film away, hoping nobody would see or hear about it.
    • Peter Jackson had his own pitch for a movie entry: The Frighteners. Producers deemed it as being strong enough to be released as a completely stand-alone movie.
    • During the show's run, "Two-Fisted Tales", another more action-based EC comics creation, was to be adapted as a television series and three episodes ("Yellow", "Showdown", and "King of the Road") were produced. However the series was soon scrapped and the episodes were added to seasons three and four of Crypt, and was later repackaged in select markets as a TV Movie (which aired in the US exactly once.)
    • A reboot of the series for TNT was to premiere in Fall of 2017 and to be produced by M. Night Shyamalan of all people. However the series was eventually cancelled before it even started due to rights issues with HBO over the Crypt Keeper.
  • You Look Familiar:
    • William Sadler plays Talbot in "The Man Who Was Death", The Grim Reaper in "The Assassin", Brayker in Demon Knight and a mummy in Bordello of Blood.
    • Miguel Ferrer appears in prominent roles in "The Thing from the Grave" and "In the Groove", as well as having an uncredited minor role in "As Ye Sow."
    • Michael Ironside has roles in both "Come the Dawn" and "The Sacrifice."
    • Joey Pants appeared in both "Dig That Cat, He's Real Gone" and "Split Personality."
    • Larry Drake appeared in "...And All Through The House" and "The Secret."
    • Lance Henriksen appeared in both "Cutting Cards" and "Yellow."
    • Sherrie Rose first appeared in "On a Dead Man's Chest" and later in "Only Skin Deep". Given how she's under heavy makeup in the latter, you'd be forgiven for not recognizing her.
    • Character actor Marshall Bell first appears in season one's "...And All Through the House" and later in season five's "Forever Ambergris".
    • Character actor Roy Brocksmith appeared in a few episodes: He has a prominent role as the mad surgeon in "The Switch" and had minor roles in both "The Man Who Was Death" and "Cutting Cards" (interestingly enough, playing bartenders in both).

Pinball game

  • Dummied Out: A great number of the Crypt Keeper's voice clips in the Rom are unused in the finished game. The unofficial 4.00 revision restores a number of them.
  • In Memoriam: The end of the pinball game's credits reads "In Loving Memory of William Gaines", the publisher and co-editor of the original EC Comics.