DVD Release Date: October 23, 2007 Rating: Not Rated Running Time: 337 Minutes on 3 discs
Tales From The Crypt had everything that a couch potato could look for. It had horror, suspense, comedy, drama, and even small touches of romance from time to time right in the comfort of your very own living room. Of course if you liked all of those things but weren’t very fond of gore, then you were most probably turned off but nobody’s perfect. Each week a new tale that was bound to amuse and terrify you came to the forefront and it was all brought to us by that memorably-voiced skeleton, The Cryptkeeper.
Originally a comic book from the fifties, the series took those stories and released them as thirty-minute shorts so more could enjoy their dementedness. What made this series so different from others such as The Twilight Zone was that it always ended with a unique twist. Rod Serling’s landmark series made things weird for the victims throughout the entire episode, but Tales had a way of finishing off things with just one last tidbit to make the viewers gasp.
After gaining in popularity after the first two seasons, the episodes started casting big name stars from Hollywood that drew even more viewers in. The only problem is how finicky people are which caused Tales to lose its appeal quickly and the stars to draw out. As you’ll be able to tell by this season, the names aren’t nearly as recognizable as they were in seasons past. But still using what they had to work with, the directors always delivered tales of horror and chills that included just a touch of dark humor to make you smile instead of cringe.
Those of you that are not familiar with the series may want to take a bit of caution before checking it out. I urge you to start from the first season although it isn’t necessary for continuity purposes, but this warning holds true for any of them. Considering the series appeared on HBO; well, censorship was thrown right out the window. There is plenty of gore, foul language, dark situations, and even a good amount of nudity. HBO gave Tales from the Crypt the ability to be exactly what it wanted to be and it wouldn’t have worked any other way.
Fatal Chapter: An elderly nobleman wants his family to love one another after he’s gone so he forces his two sons to find their long lost brother in order to receive their inheritance.
Last Respects: Three sisters stumble upon the House Of Curios where they have found the answer to their problems. Inside the house is a cursed monkey paw that is able to grant wishes, but their greed brings more problems then they already had. This is a really good episode from this last season.
A Slight Case Of Murder: The author of some best-selling mysteries seems to have everything in working order, but her nosy neighbor’s son may be kink that her jealous ex- feels is the answer to it all.
Escape: The setting is a World War II prison camp and a traitorous rat is imprisoned there with one of the men he has betrayed. He’s always been able to use his smarts to get out of sticky situations but now he may be outsmarted and revealed for what he really is.
Horror In The Night: A jewel thief is shot during a robbery attempt and finds a nice cozy hotel to hide out in. Little does he know the strange things that go on at the hotel as he starts to hallucinate and see things that aren’t really there.
Cold War: In perhaps the best episode from the entire season zombies and vampires prove to be totally different entities then one another and don’t like one another for many reasons.
The Kidnapper: A man has taken in a young pregnant woman to help her out and ends up falling in love with her. He is determined to not let anyone come between them, even her newborn child. Which is why he kidnaps the baby and takes off.
Report From The Grave: People never learn that the dead should simply be left alone when he creates a machine to read the memories of those who have passed on. It brings about some problems including the death of his beloved and he’s now willing to go a step further and bring her back from the dead.
Smoke Wrings: Advertisements and commercials have always been about trying to persuade people to buy things. So when a young inventor comes up with a device that actually plants ideas in people’s minds, a high-up executive is all over it. But he’s in for much more then he bargained for.
About Face: A priest’s sexual escapades come back to haunt him in the form of two vengeful daughters, beautiful Angelica and the not so pretty Leah. They are happy to have him back in their lives and vow to make sure he doesn’t run off again.
Confession: The police are hot on the trail of a screenwriter that is the prime suspect in a few murder cases. Apparently a serial killer has been going around lopping off the heads of many women in town.
Ear Today…Gone Tomorrow: A safecracker is way past his prime and no longer has the ear for the job. He hires a specialist to correct his hearing but the surgery doesn’t go quite as he planned.
The Third Pig: The series finale is an animated tale that puts a nice demented twist onto the story of the “Three Little Pigs.” These aren’t the pigs you grew up knowing but a trio by the names of Dudley, Drinky, and Smokey.
The episodes are shown in 1.33:1 Full Frame format and they look as good as they did when they first aired. It doesn’t seem as if they were touched up much or remastered virtually at all, but they get the job done. Colors are bright when they need to be, which isn’t often; and the darks look nice too.
The episodes are heard in Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Sound and like the video, they get the point across. Not much seems to have been done to enhance the sound in any way which is a shame because hearing the Cryptkeeper’s laugh a lot sharper would have been fantastic. Still, the music is at a reasonable level and dialogue can be heard at all times.
Fatal Chapter – The Cryptkeeper narrates a flip comic book that goes through the same story as the episode. It is pretty good and well worth sitting through the ten minutes it takes the skeletal figure to read it.
The Inside Pulse
While it isn’t the best season out of the series, season seven still gets the job done with some dark situations that just seem to bring a smile to my face. The show was really dwindling off in terms of quality and not even being able to get some of the big named stars it used to. As you can tell by those appearing in episodes this season, they went straight to British actors instead of the stars they once showcased. Little did they know some of the stratospheres that stars like Craig and McGregor would go on to, but at the time they just weren’t there yet. A severe lack of special features also hurts this DVD set, but this began back with the release of season five. For some reason audio commentaries, interviews, and other such things just stopped being included. Fans of the series and those who have the first six seasons will definitely want to pick this up, but non-fans looking for a fun weekend of dark humor can do with a rental. I really wish this great series had gone out with more of a bang, but it just faded away with a slight whimper instead. Kind of sad kiddies.
The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for
Tales From The Crypt: The Complete Seventh Season