Tales from the Crypt (1996)

Season 1 Episode 1

The Man Who Was Death

Aired Unknown Jun 10, 1989 on HBO



  • Notes

    • EC Comic Connection: Story adapted from Crypt of Terror #17, April-May 1950. Story by Gardner Fox and art by Bill Fraccio. The Crypt of Terror series was re-titled Tales From the Crypt at issue 20.

      This is one of only two stories adapted from the Crypt Of Terror comic book series, the other story is "Mute Witness To Murder", however, the stories "Cave Man" and "Ghost Ship" from that series were loosely adapted for the Tales From The Crypt Keeper animated series.

      [Spoiler Warning]
      There are a few notable changes from the original comic story that appears in "The Crypt Of Terror" #17 and the filmed version. In the filmed version, the executioner's name is Niles Talbot and is depicted as a slightly normal looking man with hair, in the comic story his name is Edgar Bowman, and is depicted as a bald bloodshot-eyed creepy looking man of the typical golden age comic book mad scientist variety. In the filmed version, the executioner is dismissed from his job because a law is passed abolishing the death penalty in his state, in the comic version it is explained that he gets unemployed because people just started behaving themselves and were not commiting murder or getting caught doing so. In the filmed version, the people the executioner kills after he loses his job are or seem guilty of the crimes they were on trial for but were pronounced innocent, in the comic story they appear somewhat innocent and their names are changed for the filmed version, although in the comic version there is a character named George Flood, in the filmed version there is a Jimmy Flood. The methods the executioner kills his victims differ somewhat as well, in the film version there is an electric gate, hot tub and attempted electric gogo dancer cage murders, in the comic story there are more deaths shown including a cut power line in the rain death, a guy getting electrocuted while taking a shower, an electric gate death and a botched water trough attempt. Although in both versions he does put electricity through a gate causing instant death. In the film version, there is no explanation of how the police caught on to the executioner's crimes, it is just applied, in the comic story a police officer puts the clues together and ironically, a lightning bolt lights up the area allowing the officer to see the executioner before he kills his last victim, which leads to his capture . The first person break the fourth wall narrative that appears in the filmed version does not appear in the comic story, however both stories do not give the location of the state that the executioner lives in.