Tales from the Crypt (1996)

Season 1 Episode 4

Only Sin Deep

Aired Unknown Jun 14, 1989 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
166 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

A drop-dead gorgeous prostitute eager for a career change, sells her looks to a pawnbroker and uses the money to snag a rich bachelor, but finds out that her looks seem to be deteriorating at an abnormal rate.

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  • 104

    Lea Thompson is a really annoying actress, but this was a good enough story to make her presence avoidable and not that disruptive. The end with her being the killer so she could not get her looks back, just the kind of perfect writing and moral that only The Twilight Zone and this show could come up with.

    Tales From the Crypt deserved a longer run, I wish that it was still on the air, because even the solid episodes like this one really resonate with you and you'll be remembering this episode for years to come after watching it.moreless
  • This episode is a continuation of the last as in the show is headed in the right direction. I thought this show was very entertaining.

    Awesome episode! Very memorable. This episode hopefully sparked the direction this show is headed. I thought he would forget about the bullet shot death, I didn't even think of the first death being the cat. hide show


    I've always enjoyed horror flicks that deal with masks and beauty and so fourth so it was a good premise to begin with.


    I thought it was told very well, pawning her beauty away without realizing it before it is too late. It was a bit 'over the top' but good enough for this show.


    Decent enough


    Pretty good acting actually and that guys teeth, ehh.


    Pretty good



    This episode is a continuation of the last as in the show is headed in the right direction. I thought this show was very entertaining.moreless
  • Sticks to the classic EC comics forumula where in the end, a person gets their just desserts, which a ending I love

    This episode, starring the beautiful and fantastic Lea Thompson, sticks to the formula pioneered by EC Comics publisher William M. Gaines and artist Al Feldstein back in the 50s, where in the end, someone gets what they deserve, in this case, a golddigger who cherishes her good looks has to spend the rest of her life looking like a old crag....those endings are what made EC famous in their pre-MAD days, and it is a highlight of this wonderfully acted episode directed by Pretty in Pink director Howard Deutch, while some people do not care for this episode, I love itmoreless
  • Lea Thompson is a prostitute who is obsessed with her looks. She pawns some jewlery of a man she killed in order to a get a complete "make over" from an eccentric pawn dealer. She soon pays a bigger price than for which she had bargained.moreless

    Lea Thompson (who I agree with the previous review cannot act for anything) plays a conceited prostitute obsessed with her looks. One night, she murders a pimp in an alley and takes his jewlery; then, she taks the jewlery to a pawn shop. When she cannot get enough for the jewlery, the man suggests she has something better to offer than money: That is her beauty. He puts some cream on her face and makes a concrete image of her face. He tells her she has 4 months from the day to come back and get her "beauty". She just shakes off his comment and leaves with her money. She uses the money to buy some jewlery and new clothes in order to attract the attention of a wealthy man to whom she is attracted. Her plan works. They eventually marry. One day while looking in the mirror, she notices some advancing wrinkles on her face and is extremely bothered by it. Eventually, her once beautiful face begins aging rapidly, and she becomes extremely ugly and old. She goes to plastic surgeon, but he cannot do anything for her. When she goes back to her apartment, her husband walks in from his business trip and doesn't recgonize her, for she has grown so hideous. When he threatens to call the police because he thinks shes an intruder, she shoots and kills him. She goes back to the pawn shop to retrieve her beauty back only to learn she is one day too late. The pawn dealer says he will give it back to her but only for 100,000 dollars; however, the police are on the look for her and if she turns back to normal, they'll find her and arrest her for her husband's murder! She takes her concrete face and runs. She bumps into one of her old prostitute friends who also doesn't recgonize her and her concrete beauty breaks...moreless
  • a young woman sells her beauty for money, to get a rich man. Her plan backfires when she really starts losing her beauty. I like the ending.

    This is yet another episode I can remember from seeing it on television. I really like Lea Thompson's performance in this movie. She really made herself sound different with her 'fake' accent. A shady character at a pawn shop makes an offer she cannot refuse on her beauty and she has to take it. She gets a wad of cash, and decides to go shopping to win over the guy she wants, who just so happens to be rich. She does not pay attention on the date the pawnshop man gives her to 'pay him' back and ends up losing her beauty forever. This is a favorite of mine.moreless
Lea Thompson

Lea Thompson

Sylvia Vane

Guest Star

Britt Leach

Britt Leach

Joe (Pawnbroker)

Guest Star

Brett Cullen

Brett Cullen

Ronnie Price

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Name gag: Although Sylvia tells Ronnie her last name is Vane, as in "weather", taking the name in context to it's other spelling "Vain", which means conceited and in love with one's looks, this could be an in-joke pun as it matches her character's traits.

      Name gag: Like Sylvia's name somewhat matching her personality, Ronnie's last name being "Price" can also be somewhat of an in-joke pun, matching his character's traits as he is rich and even remarks that his name is Ronnie Price, as in "everyone has theirs".

    • Running Time: [excluding opening title sequence] 27 minutes 14 seconds.

    • Music: Composed by Jay Ferguson.

    • Crypt Keeper Wardrobe: In the opening wraparound segment, the Crypt Keeper is wearing his traditional robe with the hood down and is wiping a mirror then breaks it after looking at it. In the closing wraparound segment, the Crypt Keeper is wearing his traditional robe with the hood down and is putting on Acme Acne Cream.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Pimp: Hey, baby, how's business?
      Raven: Cat's meow.
      Pimp: [Takes his money] Mmmmm Hmmmm. All right. [Kisses Raven, turns to talk to Sylvia] How about you, sweet thing? A pretty girl like you, could use a manager. You hear where I'm at?
      Sylvia Vane Yeah, well don't do me any favors, honey.
      Pimp: Yeah, uh, [Grabs Sylvia by the arm] Just talking business, sweet thing.
      Sylvia Vane: I'm gonna say this once. You touch me again, I'll shoot your d*ck off.
      Pimp Well, you listen up, little girl. This is grownup time out here. You wanna have an attitude, you might need some protection. Yeah, pretty girl like you, could get ugly real fast with an attitude. You hear where I'm at, sweet thing? [Laughs, walks away]

    • Raven: You know something honey? If I had a dollar for everytime you stood in the mirror admiring your face, I could get off the streets and retire to the Bahamas.
      Sylvia Vane: Yeah, well this face is my meal ticket honey. I'm cold, let's go get some coffee.
      Raven: I don't know about you, but my sh*t's always hot. [laughs]

    • [Opening wraparound segment]
      The Crypt Keeper: [wiping a mirror] Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fearest of them all? [mirror breaks] Looks like I just bought seven years bad luck. Speaking of bad luck, its time for another nasty little terror tale from my crawly collection and this one's got a message too. It's a story about greed, death, and a girl that learned that beauty is "Only Sin Deep".[laughs]

      [Closing wraparound segment with the Crypt Keeper putting on Acme Acne Cream.]
      The Crypt Keeper: Poor Sylvia, eh kiddies? Guess she heard the old saying, "If looks could kill...", So she did. Just goes to show you, if you want to sell yourself, take a look in the mirror first, [looks in broken mirror] Bleech. Well, see you next time boys and ghouls.[laughs]

  • NOTES (6)


    • Snow White

      In this episode, during the Crypt Keeper's opening wraparound segment, he rewords the classic line from the Snow White fairy tale, "Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Who's The Fairest Of Them All"? as "Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Who's The Fearest Of Them All"?

    • GQ

      In this episode, when Sylvia and Raven see the Ronnie for the first time going into his lavish apartment, Raven says, "If it isn't Mr. GQ". This is her way of saying Ronnie is a smart dressed fashionable male.

    • Let's Make A Deal

      In this episode, when Sylvia is robbing the pimp in the alley, she asks for his watch and when he refuses, she replies, "What is this?, Let's Make A F***ing Deal!"

    • New Woman Magazine

      In this episode, when Sylvia is getting herself made over after getting the ten grand, she's in the salon reading a copy of New Woman magazine, cover-dated April, 1989.

    • Clairol

      In this episode, when Ronnie is hitting on Sylvia at the party, his date looks on and Sylvia remarks, "Don't look now but I think Miss Clairol might be getting the wrong idea". This is another way of saying she's a manufactured makeup beauty.

    • Macy's

      In this episode, in reference to all of Sylvia's makeup and beauty products she had on her table to conceal her recent wrinkling features, Ronnie replies, "What's this?, the makeup counter at Macy's".

    • Alpo

      Popular and well known U.S. canned or bagged soft dog food. Alpo is manufactured by the Ralston Purina Comapany and is sold in different varities such as Prime Cuts In Gravy, Classic Chunky and also as a dry kibble version.

      In this episode, when Mac, the cop comes to see Joe, the pawnbroker with coffee, he sees Sylvia with her vale covered deteriorated wrinkled face, and says, "must be Alpo time". Due to it's association with dog food, this is another way of referring to her ugliness and saying "what an ugly dog".

    • Pituitary disorder/Acromegalia

      In this episode, when Sylvia goes to see the dermatologist about her facial deterioration, he tells her that they can safely eliminate any pituitary disorder specifically, acromegalia.