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YMMV / Tales from the Crypt

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YMMV for the comic can be found here.

TV series

  • Adaptation Displacement: Most modern audiences are more familiar with the TV series than the original 1950's comics, especially the portrayal of the Crypt Keeper as a wisecracking revenant rather than an old man. It doesn't help that reprinted collections of the original comics are ungodly expensive.
  • Anvilicious: A pretty intentional and self-aware version of it.
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  • Complete Monster: While Tales from the Crypt tended to play a lot of its horror for camp or Black Comedy, Howard Prince, from season 4's "None But The Lonely Heart", is an exception. Prince is a charismatic young man who courts older, richer women and gains their affection. However, once they've tied the knot, Prince poisons them and cruelly leaves them to die as he reaps their riches, all while playing the part of the grieving husband before he starts the process over again. His Faux Affably Evil persona makes it all the more cruel. And he's willing to kill anyone else who might pose a threat to his operations, as even his own partners in the scheme aren't safe when Prince becomes paranoid over someone discovering the truth of his actions.
  • Conspicuous CG: Even though the CGI to bring Humphrey Bogart (and Alfred Hitchcock in a cameo) back to life in the episode "You Murderer" was still pretty well done, there are moments when the CGI can be off at times.
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  • Creepy Awesome: The Crypt Keeper, oh so very, very much. His Faux Affably Evil nature and twisted sense of humor certainly help.
  • Designated Villain: The husband from "Collection Completed", while not a genuinely good person, it's quite understandable as to why he'd snap the way that he did. See Jerkass Has a Point for further details.
    • Charlie from "Dead Right" also comes to mind, taken the fact that his wife was a no-good gold digger with little to no sympathetic traits, yet is our viewpoint character for the episode. While Charlie was in the wrong to murder her, his only sins up to that point were being a bit slovenly and a Big Eater.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: The main character of "The Man Who Was Death" gets this, as lots of people agreed with what he was doing!
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Inverted in "The Switch", where a rich old man spends all his money on a new, youthful body, only to have the woman he was pursuing leave him for the now-wealthy doctor who performed the operations. It's presented as a Downer Ending for him, even though A: his intended lover was an obvious Gold Digger he's much better off without, B: he's essentially purchased a do-over on life itself, something many, many people would happily trade a fortune to have, and C: since he has regained his youth, the best case scenario would be for him to use his business experience to rebuild his fortune.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • "Yellow" features Kirk Douglas and his son Eric as a general and his cowardly son, the latter being executed for abandoning his fellow men in the field. Sadly, as Eric died in 2004 of an accidental drug overdose, Kirk ended up outliving his son in real life as well.
    • At the end of "Dead Right," Jeffrey Tambor's character going to jail for a crime against a female character is now a bit more uncomfortable due to Tambor suffering from sexual harassment allegations in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and #MeToo movement.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In "Confession," Eddie Izzard's character talks about his new story idea about Satan being reincarnated as a serial killer. The twist? He's a serial killer that only kills other serial killers.
  • It Was His Sled: The twist to "Lower Berth" which shows the origin of the Crypt Keeper was surprising at the time, but not so much anymore. Many episode descriptions reveal the twist so casually, as does the Season 2 documentary featurette on the DVD.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Jon Lovitz's character in "Top Billing".
    • Leo Burns in "As Ye Sow" who, whilst fundamentally a decent person, was driven to insane rage when he suspects his wife (whom he is deeply in love with) is cheating on him. Even if you don't sympathise with him after he crosses the Moral Event Horizon by ordering a hitman to kill the other man in question, by the time it ends you will certainly wish it had turned out differently.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The husband from "Collection Completed" goes too far in trying to kill his wife's many pets, but it's tough to deny he had a right to be upset by the way she neglected him to dote on her animals. Her resentment that he was rarely there for her is hard to justify when one bears in mind that he spent decades working his ass off to support her and her pets.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Once an Episode. When a character crosses this line, you know they're in trouble.
  • Recycled Script: The host segments in Bordello of Blood are almost the same as the ones from "The Assassin" - even reusing guest star William Sadler!
    • Both "Top Billing" and "Beauty Rest" are pretty much the exact same plot and twist- just with the gender of their main protagonists and their goals changed. One was getting the leading role in Hamlet in the former story and the other was becoming a pageant winner.
  • Shocking Swerve: Some of the Mandatory Twist Endings can feel like this, where there is little to no hint for how the ending scene would be like. A good example is Split Second, where no one expected the lumberjacks to become insane murderers. Another lesser example would be None But The Lonely Heart, where many people probably expected a Karmic Twist Ending but there was absolutely no foreshadowing that it would be that of the supernatural.
  • Special Effect Failure: The Crypt Keeper puppet itself still looks good today, but the slight audio delay required to operate it meant that John Kassir can sometimes be heard cackling off-stage before the puppet starts talking.
    • At the beginning of Abra Cadaver, you can see the sound mic at the top of the screen.
    • At the end of "Carrion Death", when the vulture kills Diggs by ripping his eye out, while the initial effect still looks pretty good it's clearly a dummy head switched out for Kyle MacLachlan's in the final shot.
  • Tear Jerker: The endings to "As Ye Sow" and "Three's a Crowd" are quite possibly the saddest moments in all of Tales From The Crypt.
    • The ending to the mostly humorous "Judy, You're Not Yourself Today," is also a pretty big one.
    • The ending to "'Til Death Do We Part" is another. Viewers will likely see the twist coming well ahead of time, which can make the seeming Moment of Awesome leading up to it become a Gut Punch in itself.
    • The Cruel Twist Ending of “The Bribe” is almost right up there with that of “Three’s A Crowd”.
    • The ending to "Yellow," particularly for Kirk Douglas' character. And that's without the real-life Harsher in Hindsight aspect.
    • After the Crypt Keeper shows us how he was conceived, you expect him to crack a joke at the end. He does...while sobbing his eyes out. He's legitimately upset he never got to see his parents and he admits the tale makes him utterly depressed. He even kept the doll that his father received from a little girl at the circus, and apparently passed on to him. The final shot is him letting out a cackle that dissolves into a tragic laugh.
      • Even before that, the sad fate of baby Crypt Keeper. By all indications, his parents loved him, and the last we see of him is him sitting a few yards away from their decaying corpses, alone save for the doll. Among his babblings is the word "mama."
  • Ugly Cute: Baby Crypt Keeper
    • For others, the Crypt Keeper himself. Must be something about those baby-blue eyes...
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The episode "Three's a Crowd" has a man kill his old friend and his own wife due to be driven mad by what he thought was an affair. It turns out that the old friend and the man's wife were setting up a surprise anniversary party where she would reveal that she was pregnant with his son. The problem is that for all of the episode, the wife and the old friend do nothing but act suspicious when they both know the man is violently paranoid and yet constantly do nothing to dissuade him from his mania. They're less innocents tragically killed than two people Too Dumb to Live.
    • It also didn't help that the two were very flirtatious with each other leading up to it. Which just encourages the husband's paranoia.
  • The Woobie: Quite a few:
    • Bobby in "Fitting Punishment" may be one of the more notable examples.
    • Enoch in "Lower Berth."
    • It takes a lot to make viewers sympathize with someone pulling a verbatim "If I Can't Have You..." moment, but by the time Charlie in "Dead Right" snaps and stabs his cruel, openly spiteful gold-digger of a wife to death, you still can't help but feel sorry for him, especially when he's convicted and executed for the murder itself.
    • Dudley from The Third Pig, being framed for the murder of his brothers and his attempt at revenge against the wolf who really killed them backfiring on him.
    • Patricia Arquette's character in "Four-Sided Triangle." The way she tells old man Yates in a near-cry that she'd rather die than stay on his farm says the most about the way he and his wife abuse her.


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