Tales from the Crypt (1996)

Season 7 Episode 11


Aired Unknown Jul 05, 1996 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
72 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

A screenwriter finds himself as the prime suspect when a serial killer is on the rampage decapitating female heads in the city.

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  • Great acting, but a painfully predictable episode. A screenwriter who specializes in macabre storylines is interrogated by a determined detective about a series of gruesome murders.

    Despite the great acting by Ciaran Hinds and Eddie Izzard... I gotta say, this episode was kind of a let down. It had the feel of a potentially great TFTC episode, what with the gruesome special effects, fitting cast, and wonderful dialogue. But it lacked a lot of the themes that I look forward to seeing in an episode: suspense, mystery, twists, comeuppance for the villain, etc.

    I mean, I had the bad guy figured out from the beginning, but I was hoping the episode would throw in a massive twist and leave me dumbfounded like other great episodes did. Or at the very least, build up suspense or give me a harder mystery to solve. But this one didn't.

    Not to say that Tales From the Crypt has to involve intense mystery or resort to throwing in lame M. Night Shyamalan-esque twists to make it a good episode. I'm just saying that whatever they were trying to do with this episode to make it different and therefore "stand out," it didn't work.moreless
  • A serial killer expert investigator (Ciaran Hinds) questions a horror film screenwriter (Eddie Izzard) about a serial killing involving three decapitated women.

    For me, this episode is the best of Season 7 aka the British season also the final season of the series.

    I like this episode very much. The plot is interesting, and I like the performances especially the dialoge between the investigator and the screenwriter. The only thing is, it could have been handled better if certain things were changed to make the end a little less obvious. The predictable ending isn't the problem for me though because this episode is about mood, character, motivation, ect; it's not a mystery. It's not who dun it? It's the road there that makes it entertaining.moreless
  • A screenwriter is acused of being a serial killer because he was found washing blood off his hands just blocks from the last murder. The suspicion quickly mounts as more is uncovered, but all is not what it seems.moreless

    This episode was just terrible. I mean, I don't know if it's suppose to be some kind of mystery as to who the serial killer is or whatnot, but it's so obvious. If you are suppose to know who it is from the very beginning than what's the point of this episode in the first place?

    There was none of the usual "Tales from the Crypt" antics in it. No shocking twists, no people getting what they deserved, nothing. All this episode is is an example of why the show got cancelled because of crap like this.

    Do I even have to mention how terrible the acting was?moreless
  • Very predictable but still enjoyable.

    Even though it was a season seven episode, I really enjoyed this one for some reason, the acting was good, nice direction and even though you can pretty much figure out the "twist" after about 5 minutes into it, it's still pretty decent. With the excepton of the fine Eddie Izzard, I didn't recognize a single face but then again I don't watch much BBC. The interrogation scenes are great and the cuts to the two cops in love with the profilers work are hilarious and set up the ending quite well.

    I certainly recommend this one, it's well written and even though it's not really that "Crypt like" it's one of the few good episodes of as I said before, imo, a very weak seventh and final season. (Since I originally wrote this review in November '06 I've grown to love season 7).

    Despite the fact that you know what's gonna happen, the ending still delivers because somehow they make it seem special. It gets a solid 7 from me.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • When Warhol's records are read by Jack, it's revealed that his real name is Kenneth Keith Landau.

    • Running gag: Jack Lynch's love for bowling is not only shown by his constant carrying of his bowling bag but also there is a sound effect of a bowling ball striking pins used several times throughout scene cuts and following some of Jack's actions.

    • Crypt Keeper Wardrobe: In the opening and closing wraparound segments, the Crypt Keeper is dressed as an eye doctor attending to a patient.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • The Crypt Keeper: (closing wraparound segment) Too bad about Warhol, if he had kept his mouth shut, he wouldn't have gotten a-head of himself. Still, I think prison might work as a career move, I hear great things about their chop placement. (laughs) Well, kiddies, your condition isn't as bad as I thought. A prescription for diefocals should do the trick. Otherwise, your eyes are perfectly fine. (holds up eyeballs) Want me to put them back in your head for you? (laughs)

    • Jack: Minty, get me the tabloids, I've got a story they're gonna love. Innocent Hollywood writer decapitates three women to get ahead!

    • (opening wraparound segment with the Crypt Keeper dressed as an eye doctor attending to a patient. Eye chart is shown with the letters LOP; ARGH; MDCP, PECFD)
      The Crypt Keeper: Read the next line for me please.
      Patient: Okay, I see "M", "D", "C"... (Crypt Keeper pulls away chart)
      The Crypt Keeper: Okat, that's enough. I think I see what the problem is, your eyes are in terrible shape, probably from watching too much Tales From The Crypt. (laughs) To fix it will require corrhacktive lenses, maybe even radial scareatotomy. Although there is another test I can perform, we'll start by turning out the lights and making you look at this. (opens Crypt storybook) It's a nasty nugget about a writer who's pretty fear sighted himself, I call this one... "Confession".

    • Jack: Let's begin again, shall we? These are your video rental records for the past five years. Of 2,403 tapes rented, 2,012 of them are pornographic. 811 of those involving bondage, human sacrifice and necrophilia. Your online computer accounts, 204 of which have material deemed as obscene or of an adult nature, 403 involving scenes of bestiality in some shape or form.
      Warhol: Research!
      Jack: (reading book titles) "How to Make a Pipe Bomb", "How to Make a Silencer", "How to Make a Landmine".
      Warhol: All of it research.

    • Warhol: (looking at the photos) Look... let's have a look at the evidence. Now... this is murder by numbers. No sign of a break-in here, locks still bolted here. Dinner on the table. This woman was killed by someone she knew. These women were... they knew their assailant! You're looking for someone, someone they trust. A friend. A priest. A policeman... maybe? And this. (holds up "No Class" sign written in blood) Could it be anymore plain? The killer is obviously someone with a hard-on for authority figures. He's tormenting his pursuers. Defying them to work out who he is. Check your records. Look for someone who's been sacked recently. Passed over for a promotion? Ring any bells? And this. Obviously, the killer is physically very strong, the right arm particularly. Look at the bruising here, on the right shoulder. A sportsman, perhaps, someone.... Inspector... someone who likes to, perhaps, roll large round balls down a wooden pathway towards ten oddly-shaped pins. See, anybody can do this, this is fun!

    • Jack: I found this in your pocket. You wanna tell me about it? (holds up flyer for The Shady Lady, the club where the murder happened)
      Warhol: They hand them out on the streets. I thought I might pop by sometime.
      Jack: Did you "pop by" tonight?
      Warhol: Only to hide a corpse. (Jack stares intently at him) I'm sorry, it's a joke, it's a joke.

    • Jack: (Scrimp is opening Jack's bowling bag and looking at his ball without asking) Scrimp. Can I ask you something?
      Scrimp: Sure, Jack.
      Jack: Do you often handle other men's balls without asking?

    • Scrimp: So, is he guilty, Jack?
      Jack: Oh, he's guilty, all right. I'm absolutely convinced about it. But the b*stard's good, Scrimp. He's very good. He's not giving anything away.
      Scrimp: How can you be so sure that he's the one?
      Jack: I don't know. It's in his eyes, In his gestures, the way he speaks. Individually, the signs may seem insignificant, but put them all together, and you've got your man.

    • Jack: Says here you wrote something for a television program called Tales from the Crypt. What's that?
      Warhol: Ancient history. Years ago. I was a kid. They rewrote everything I did. It's been canceled now. Serves them bloody right.

    • Guard: It must be hard to live with perfection.
      Jack: Somebody's got to do it.

    • Guard: Always carrying that bowling ball around like some kind of bloody trophy.
      Jack: Serial killers collect trophies, you know. Might take a bit of clothing, a necklace, something to remind them of their victim. Some of them even have the nerve to wear it in public. To flaunt their crime in the face of justice.
      Guard: More fun facts from station's foremost expert on serial killings.
      Jack: And ten-pin champion.

    • Scrimp: Jack's arrived sir. I gave him the file. (goes to leave)
      Insp. Herbert: What did he say?
      Scrimp: He told you to go and... (glances at both men) He said that he'd be here in a minute, sir.

    • Insp. Herbert: He's the one.
      Insp. Minty: He's our psycho.
      Insp. Herbert: Most serial killers have a truncated sense of identity. Their frustration stems from the feeling that no matter how fierce their ambitions, they can never attain the place in society they desire. Subconsciously, they long for the international celebrity that comes with their capture.
      Insp. Minty: Where'd you hear that?
      Insp. Herbert: Jack told me.
      Insp. Minty: He's good.
      Insp. Herbert: Tell me something I don't know.
      Insp. Minty: I wish I could.

    • Jack: So who's bright idea was this? (Scrimp starts to answer) No, let me guess, Minty.
      Scrimp: Herbert and Minty both. I'm sorry, Jack. It's the missing head case.
      Jack: "Big case on the line, call in Jack. Jack's our man. Jack will make us look good." Wankers. Tell them to go f*ck themselves.

    • Insp. Minty: Scrimpy, get me Jack Lynch.
      Scrimp: But sir, Jack doesn't like to be bothered on his bowling night.
      Insp. Minty: Bowling? I don't care if it's his wedding night, you find me Jack Lynch and you find him now!

    • (Herbert laughs)
      Insp. Minty: What's so funny?
      Insp. Herbert: I can see the tabloids now, "Headless Girl in Topless Club".
      Insp. Minty: That's rich. Ever think about a career in journalism?
      Insp. Herbert: No, too cutthroat for me.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (11)

    • Gilbert Adler
      The producer of HBO's Tales From The Crypt from season 3 to it's end, taking over from William Teitler. He also wrote several episodes for the series and produced the two feature films, Tales From The Crypt Presents: Demon Knight and Tales From The Crypt Presents: Bordello Of Blood. He is a longtime writing and producing partner of A L Katz.
      In this episode, the book that Warhol bought in the occult shop was The Satanic Scriptures. According to its cover, it was written by Alan Katz, and was from Gill Adler Publications.

    • Andy Warhol

      An American artist of the twentieth century. He would help find the pop art movement, and his work in various media from music to performance art to painting to film tended to be controversial for either what it said about popular culture (critics sometimes disliked his work at the time for the fact that he simply would paint celebrities or commercial ads or product containers) or what it contained with regard to frank sexuality (particularly his films).

      In this episode, the screenwriter with the decidedly controversial "research" style may be named "Warhol" Evans in his honor.

    • Edmund Kemper

      A serial killer in the early 1970s, aka "The Co-Ed Killer". He would begin his overall spree by killing his grandparents as a teenager in 1964, later his mother and her best friend, among many others. He would be found guilty of 8 counts of murder and sentenced to life in prison (as the death penalty was suspended when he was convicted).

      In this episode, upon Jack's asking him if he's ever been in therapy, Warhol says that "Murder is faster than therapy" and says that he is "paraphrasing Edmund Kemper."

    • Harvey Glatman

      Harvey Glatman, aka "The Lonely-Hearts Killer", was a serial killer in the late 1950s. He would lure models in Los Angeles to his apartment with promises of jobs, only to rape them and strangle them. He committed a total of three murders and was caught in the act of preparing to commit his fourth. He would be convicted of his crimes and would die in the San Quentin Prison gas chamber in September 1959.

      In this episode, during Warhol's discussion of serial killer psyche with Jack, he mentions that he's surprised Jack hasn't asked him about his "Murder Kit" yet, saying that they all had one and citing Harvey Glatman as an example.

    • Kenneth Bianchi
      A serial killer in Los Angeles, California. He and his cousin, Angelo Buono(Jr), became known as "The Hillside Stranglers". They would trick unsuspecting women into getting into their cars with fake police badges, then murder him. His cousin would stop after a failed 11th murder but Bianchi would try again in Washington state, killing two University students but leaving ample evidence linking him to the crime and prior crimes. He is currently serving a life term.
      In this episode, during the cross-examination, when Warhol is showing off his own knowledge of the serial killer psyche, he asks why Jack hasn't asked about his "murder kit" saying "Bianchi had one."

    • Alan Katz

      Alan Katz or A l Katz was one of the more prolific writers of HBO's Tales From The Crypt, writing such notable episodes as "Two For The Show", "What's Cookin' ", "Death Of Some Salesman" and "You, Murderer". He was one one of the story editors for the series and would later became one of the co-producers beginning with season 4. He is a longtime writing and producing partner with Gilbert Adler.

      The book that Warhol bought in the occult shop was The Satanic Scriptures. According to its cover, it was written by Alan Katz, and was from Gill Adler Publications.

    • Jeffrey Dahmer

      A serial killer mostly in the 1980s and 1990s who focused on men and boys in particular. His killing spree began after a series of arrests relating to sexual molestation of boys. He would become known for the rumors that surfaced after his arrest of possible cannibalism and necrophilia with his victims. After being sentenced to 15 life terms, or 957 years, he would claim to convert to born-again Christianity. He died in 1994 from the severe head injuries he and another inmate sustained when a third inmate beat them with a weight bar in the prison weight room.

      After Warhol asks to speak to his lawyer, Inspectors Minty and Herbert discuss serial killer psychology behind the one-way glass. Jeffrey Dahmer comes up as an anomaly to the idea that serial killers tend to kill only within their own ethnic group.

    • Cancellation Of HBO'S Tales From The Crypt

      Tales from the Crypt ended its run on HBO after 7 seasons in 1996. During its run, it had spun off two feature movies Tales From The Crypt Presents: Demon Knight and Tales From The Crypt Presents: Bordello Of Blood) and two children's shows (Tales From The Crypt Keeper and Secrets of the Crypt Keeper's Haunted House). Ironically, the year after Tales From The Crypt ended, HBO brought in another show they had been working on, Perversions Of Science, based on EC's Science Fiction and Fantasy comics. The show would flop and only last 10 episodes.

      It is revealed during Warhol's interrogation that he wrote an episode of Tales from the Crypt but that they changed everything he wrote, and the show had been cancelled, and that it "served them bloody right". This was probably an inside joke to the fans about the fact that this was the final season of the show and the second to last episode in the series.

    • Internet Movie Database

      The Internet Movie Database, or IMDB, is an online repository of quotes, stats, trivia and facts about celebrities, movies, and tv shows from around the world.

      In this episode, during the interrogation, Jack mentions they got screenwriter Warhol's movie and TV credits off of the Internet Movie Database.

    • Dirty Harry

      Dirty Harry is the main character of the 1971 film of the same name, which spawned four sequels, Magnum Force, The Enforcer, Sudden Impact, and The Dead Pool. Clint Eastwood would play Harry in all five films. Harry was a San Francisco police officer known for taking only "the dirty jobs". Particularly known for his somewhat-vigilante, loose-cannon justice and his .45 magnum handgun, Dirty Harry the character would spawn an entire archetype and genre of cop films.

      In this episode, while being interrogated by Jack, Warhol comments that he's face to face with the "Dirty Harry of bowling".

    • Radial Keratotomy

      Fast outpatient eye procedure in which the surgeon makes several small incisions to the cornea to flatten it out resulting in reduced near sightedness or myopia.

      In this episode, the Crypt Keeper is dressed as an eye doctor and refers to Radial Keratotomy as Radial Scareatotomy.