Tales from the Crypt (1996)

Season 5 Episode 5

People Who Live in Brass Hearses

Aired Unknown Oct 13, 1993 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
80 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

A smalltime criminal with the help of his slow-witted brother is out for revenge on the town's ice cream man who sent him to prison years earlier. When they attempt to rob the ice cream warehouse they end up getting a double scoop of surprise.

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  • Death and ice cream. It doesn´t get much better that this.

    This was definitively one of the best episodes of the season. And I´m not just saying it because I love ice cream.

    A strange story of revenge set in the childish enviroment centered around an ice cream salesman stands out by itself. But add Bill Paxton and Brad Dourif as the DeLuca brothers and it is an episode to remember. Paxton´s rage and Dourif´s akwardness complement each other paiting the picture of the family´s lineage: forgetable individuals that live small lives, dream big and always, always have a new stone in their paths. And they will have to do something to prove destiny wrong.

    Meet the DeLuca brothers arch nemesis: Mr. Bryd (Michael Lerner). The self righteous icecream salesman with a secret on his back, main focus of Billy´s rage. The story takes off after we get to know the trio, filled with twists and turns that have a slight hint of vainilla.

    Now, one might argue that this sort of story has been done before, and it has. But the esthetics, the style and the acting in this episode gives it a different flavor, a little bitter but still so much fun to watch.

    Bottom line: Watch it until the last minute. Surprises guaranteed.moreless
  • An ice cream man rats on a fellow employee, and puts him in jail~ but he is out for revenge, and just might get more then he thought he would!

    This episode is just very silly. I didn't like this one too much. An excon, and his brother try to get back at the ice cream vendor who put him in jail. This episode is just plain silly, for one reason the dumb brother. He was really violent and stupid, and makes the plan not work. The ice cream vendor has a few unknown secrets of his own. Mr. Byrd has another thing coming for the crooks when they break into his house fixing to steal all his money. The ending is just plain silly, and I wouldn't watch it again.moreless
  • Billy wants revenge on Byrd, who sent him to jail. With his invalid brother, Virgil, Billy plans to rob an ice cream factory. When problems arise, Billy goes to Byrd's house for revenge, but their's a surprise in store for Billy and Virgil.moreless

    A very good episode in the series. Brad Douriff is really convincing as a handicapped individual. For those of you who say "Yeah right!" then just try not to drop your jaw when Bill Paxton's character slaps him around and knocks his food out of his hands. A high level of blood and guts for those of you that are into that kind of thing (I have to admit, though, that it's kind of funny to see Bill Paxton get his leg blown off with a shotgun!). All in all I would say that this episode is enjoyable and funny that leaves pretty much everyone in it dead or attached to a dead man- just watch it and you'll see what I mean!moreless
Bill Paxton

Bill Paxton

Billy DeLuca

Guest Star

Michael Lerner

Michael Lerner

Mr. Byrd

Guest Star

Lainie Kazan

Lainie Kazan

Miss Graffunder

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Bill Paxton plays the older brother of Brad Dourif, but in real life, he is actually five years younger than Brad.

    • Product Placements

      In this episode, the following products and their logos can be seen:

      Life Cereal: The famous American Quaker Oats Company cereal known for their 1970's "Mikey" commercials, can be seen when Billy is ransacking Mr. Byrd's house in search of money, and finds a box in the cupboard.

    • The name of Mr. Byrd's puppet is Little Willy. This is notable since the main character's name is Billy and both names are derivitives of William, which is what Byrd calls Billy.

    • Brad Dourif receives the "with" credit, and Michael Lerner receives the "and" credit.

    • Music: Composed by Brad Fiedel.

    • Crypt Keeper Wardrobe: In the opening and closing wraparound segments, the Crypt Keeper is dressed as a football player.

    • Brad Dourif's character is seen reading a comic book of "Jesse James VS. Predator". Although the Predator, an alien race first seen in 1987's film, "Predator" has squared off against many outlandish fictional characters in comics for Dark Horse, this particular matchup has never appeared and was made up entirely for this episode.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Byrd: Brotherhood is kinda like a bond, isn't it? The kind that you can't easily walk away from.

    • Miss Graffunder: Listen, mister, this is not a playpen for boys in short pants!
      Cooter: [Pauses, looks down, then back up] I ain't wearin' short pants.

    • Danny: Yo, Byrd, your ice cream sucks.
      Mr. Byrd: Hey kid, b**w me.

    • [Opening wraparound segment with the Crypt Keeper as a football player.]
      The Crypt Keeper: Chop them to the left! Chop them to the right! Chop them every chance you get! Fright, fright, fright! Alright, creeps, it's fourth and ghoul. They're probably expecting us to run a ghost pattern, so let's do a scream pass instead. [laughs] Of course, I could pull out a few other surprises from my playbook, like tonight's tale. It's about a couple of brothers who are planning a little high-scaring of their own, in a nasty bit of offence I call, "People Who Live in Brass Hearses".

      [Closing wraparound segment with the Crypt Keeper as a football player.]
      The Crypt Keeper: Shame about Billy and Virgil, but you know what they say, kiddies: two deads are better than one. [laughs] And as for Byrd, he stayed in the ice scream business, and did very well. Everyone loves Ben and Scary's! [laughs] Well, I gotta get back to my practice. Next week we're playing the Washington Dreadskins. Forty-five! Twenty-two! Thirty-three! Hut! Hut! Hut! [pulls off a hand from a teammate] ...You idiot! I didn't call for a handoff! [laughs]

    • [Spoiler warning]
      [After Virgil shoots Byrd in the head]
      Billy: You f**kin' idiot.
      Virgil: Well, he wouldn't tell us where the money was, would he? [laughs].
      Billy: Is he gonna tell us now? Huh? Is he? Is he? You f**kin' retard!

    • Billy: Hands where we can see 'em Byrd! We want it all, and we don't mean 31 flavors!

  • NOTES (6)


    • San Quentin

      California State Prison where the state's death row male inmate population is kept, methods of execution consisting of the gas chamber and lethal injection. Some notable inmates past and present include Charles Manson, Merle Haggard, Sirhan Sirhan, Danny Trejo, Scott Peterson, and Stan "Tookie" Williams.

      In this episode, Billy has just spent two years in San Quentin and reminds Virgil of this early on.

    • Hawaiian Punch

      A popular brand of fruit juice drinks owned by Dr. Pepper/Seven Up Inc. Starting with the Fruit Juicy Red original flavor, it's grown to have other flavors including orange, melon, and berry. The drink is also known for its mascot Punchy. Starting in 2008, a new sugar-free version called Light Hawaiian Punch debuted.

      In this episode, Billy remarks that someone drank all the Hawaiian Punch. Although it was most likely Virgil, he replies that he doesn't know who did.

    • Jesse James

      A famous outlaw from the 1800's. Although he was a real person in the old west, he has become somewhat of a fictional pop culture icon in music, film and books with most having no regard for historical accuracy.

      In this episode, Brad Dourif's character Virgil is seen reading a fictional comic book, "Jesse James VS. Predator". This is likely inspired by the Predator's many crossovers with many unlikey characters in comic books.

    • Predator

      A 1987 Action-Adventure, Sci-Fi feature film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger which spawned two sequels, Predator 2 (1990) & Predators (2010), and two spin-off films, AVP: Alien VS. Predator (2004) and Aliens VS. Predator: Requiem (2007). All of which featured different casts and settings with alien beings that hunt different types of species for sport. The Predator films became the basis for a a huge comic book franchise from Dark Horse Comics and has been used in many "VS." crossovers with the "Alien" franchise and also against many unlikely antagonists such as "Batman", "Tarzan" and "Judge Dredd".

      In this episode, Brad Dourif's character Virgil is seen reading a fictional comic book, "Jesse James VS. Predator". This is likely inspired by the Predator's many crossovers with many unlikey characters in the comics.