Tales from the Crypt (1996)

Season 2 Episode 2

The Switch

Aired Unknown Apr 21, 1990 on HBO



  • Trivia

    • Future star sighting: Peter Kent, actor and one time personal stunt double for Arnold Schwarzenegger appears in the Muscle Beach scene as a trainer walking by spotting the weight lifters. He would gain fame later on for his reality series, Stunt Dawgs.

    • Music: Composed by Jay Ferguson.

    • The Crypt Keeper shares hosting duties this episode with director, Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, he only appears in the opening wraparound segment and not the closing one.

    • Crypt Keeper Wardrobe: In the opening wraparound segment, the Crypt Keeper is dressed in a workout outfit. In the closing wraparound segment, the Crypt Keeper is dressed in his traditional hooded robe.

    • [Spoiler Warning]
      Goof: Linda should have been able to figure out that Carlton was rich, since he did in fact have face and body transplants.

  • Quotes

    • Linda: It's your legs. They're so scrawny and old.

    • [Opening wraparound segment with the Crypt Keeper lifting weights]
      The Crypt Keeper: It's disgusting what people will do to stay young.
      Arnold Schwarzenegger: What's the matter with you? You want to keep that 90 pound corpse for the rest of your death? Keep Pumping while I tell the story. Tonight's story is about an old man who finds a new wrinkle in the fountain of youth. A twisted tale that we call "The Switch".

      [Closing wraparound segment with the Crypt Keeper embalming a body]
      The Crypt Keeper: Poor Carlton. Looks like he blew it. But no pain, no gain! I like a body that's nice and strong. It's your lucky day, fella. We want to pump you up! [laughs]

  • Notes

  • Allusions

    • Charlatan

      A swindling con artist usually in the sales or medical profession performing a sham to gain money with trickery or deception. They are also commonly known as a "quack", like a doctor of questionable character.

      In this episode when Carlton asks the mad doctor where he performed the operation before, he tells him, "In Bratislava. But in America, no one believes me. They call me charlatan". This is a direct reference to the public addressing the doctor as a "quack" and a con artist out for a quick buck.

    • Frankenstein

      Originally a novel published in 1818 written by a then 19 year old Mary Shelley. The premise is that of a doctor and his desire to bring life to the dead when he builds and brings back to life a large creature known as Frankenstein's Monster. The story is a parable of what happens when scientists overstep their bounds and try to play God. Later, the story would be made into numerous films, most notably the 1931 version, Frankenstein, The Bride Of Frankenstein and the infamous Frankenhooker. Since the films, most people incorrectly acknowledge the monster as Frankenstein, despite that being the doctor's name. In most depictions, the doctor is portrayed as being somewhat mad and insane and one that go to any length to perfect his creation. Since the movie versions the doctor is usually accompanied by a hunchbacked assistant, usually known as Igor.

      In this episode, the mad doctor that gives Carlton the body switch, appears to be somewhat of an homage to the mad Doctor Frankenstein due to his body exchange insanity and also somewhat from the look of his lab and his hunchbacked doorman who is seen letting Carlton into the castle.

    • Adonis

      A Greek mythological figure who has come to be known in modern times as the perfect male speciman and the model for handsome youths. He is depicted in statue form as a naked figure with a perfectly sculped body. When most people refer to a male with a perfect bodybuiler body they usually refer to them as an "Adonis".

      In this episode, when Carlton gets the torso of Hans, the mad scientist tells him, "You are an Adonis now, everything about you, down to the last minute detail, is perfect". Also when Carlton is looking at himself in he mirror, there is a statue of Adonis visible in the reflection.

    • Pumping Up with Hans & Franz

      In this episode, during the closing wraparound segment, the Crypt Keeper uses Hans & Franz's popular catchphrase, "We want to pump you up"!, also, the character that gives up his body to Carlton is named Hans, perhaps in tribute to the Hans and Franz characters. Due to Schwarzenegger's involvement with this episode and the fact that the Hans & Franz characters are based on him, these are clever in-jokes.

    • Arnold Schwarzenegger

      Famous Austrian bodybuilder turned actor, noted for his mega-popular early 80's to early 90's reign as one of the top box-office attractions in the world. Among his many string of hits were, Conan The Barbarian, The Terminator, The Running Man, Total Recall and True Lies. He became as well known for his action films as he did for his dry sense of pun type humor which he used a lot in his movies. It should be noted, this pun type humor is a lot like the Crypt Keeper's and his first directorial effort came with this episode. At the time of this episode's airing in 1990, Schwarzenegger was still one of the top box-office stars in the world, it would be three years later, in 1993 after the poor box-office performance of The Last Action Hero that his box-office star power would begin to cool off. He went on to become Governor of California in 2003.

      Arnold Schwarzenegger directed this episode and appears with the Crypt Keeper as himself in the opening wraparound segment.