08th Mar2014

Tales from the Crypt 2×08 – “For Cryin’ Out Loud” Review

by Nathan Smith


Original air date – May 22nd, 1990

Let me tell you when I knew I’d be covering this episode next, I got very happy. It makes all the other episodes that I’d gone through totally worth it, because this is where the turning point truly hits for me. Everything about this episode works for me, and the ending is just a perfectly timed, perfectly structured, perfectly choreographed bit of business reveal that is truly a laugh out loud moment. I truly love the hell out of this episode, and even after I’ve seen it multiple times, I still find it a rewarding trip. Because it introduces a new kink into the episodes that we see week after week. The conscience. Most of these people are violent murdering bastards, but here, the killer actually has a voice that’s telling him, he’s doing wrong, and he is of course, but what’s so telling, is that in some way shape or form, he knows it. And then that sends you to another place, thinking that if all these villains had some sort of a conscience maybe we wouldn’t end up here, strapped into the electric chair, stone cold deaf.

Nah. We wouldn’t have a show, would we?

It’s another one location episode this week but it’s perfectly done, and that nightclub is the perfect skeezy set to get this story rolling along. It’s really a two man show between the manic, hyperactive Lee Arenberg as the appropriately named Marty Slash, essaying the perfect sweaty schlub to a tee and coupled with the late Sam Kinison’s shrieky screams as that damned conscience in his head, and what you’re left with is a winning combination. Because when Arenberg reaches his screeching pitch, he sounds just like Kinison. It’s damn perfect casting, and their verbal volleys back and forth are truly funny, which is a testament to Kinison’s immense comedic talent. I love that they offer no explanation as to where this voice came from. It just pops up and proceeds to annoy the beejesus out of poor old Marty.

The episode, written by the screenwriting duo of Jeffrey Price and Peter Seaman begins with a bang, and in a place where most Crypt episodes usually end – our main character being zapped in the electric chair. And that’s where the story begins and what follows is an alternately funny and violent tale of rock and roll retribution. There are brief appearances by the immortal Iggy Pop and Katey Sagal, right around the time that she had just started “Married … With Children,” but before she would become a recognizable star for it. She fulfills the sexpot role fairly adequately, even in her first shot in the episode. We still follows the same beats of any Crypt episode, lowlife steals charity money and kills someone to get away with it, but we all know this story, we’ve heard this song and we know how it’s going to end. We know they aren’t getting off that easy.

The reveal to the ending is well-paced punchline, and only works because it does take it’s time getting to it. Because you really get hooked into believing that the voice can in fact scream it to the rafters that Marty killed his banker, the appropriately named Ms. Kielbasa. But that can’t really be, right? The direction works so well, because they’ll have you believe it. And for a second there, you truly do, until that brilliant reveal that shows that he’s left his q-tip in his ear and everybody is just shocked by the bloody mess he’s made. Boy, they have you going there for a second though, don’t they. As I said earlier, it’s a pretty well choreographed setpiece, except for the awkward thing the director has to do, which is to keep Arenberg facing away from the camera, otherwise the joke, it don’t work. But they pull it off so well. It’s another aces output for the Crypt gang this week.


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