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Of the famous directors represented, best in show is John Frankenheimer, whose "Maniac at Large" makes sinuous use of a single set, a large library; Blythe Danner plays a meek librarian in fear of a serial killer, and Salome Jens (star of Frankenheimer's "Seconds") is her shrewish boss. Elsewhere, William Friedkin should be embarrassed by "On a Deadman's Chest," an extremely silly rock & roll thing about a tattoo with a life of its own. And Richard Donner's "Showdown," while providing a welcome bit of Western atmosphere, is either an existential puzzler or an unfinished production. The directorial novelty must be "Split Personality", a story of a con man (Joe Pesci) seducing a wealthy pair of twins. It's one of the more entertaining episodes, and it marks the sole directing outing for Hollywood mega-producer (and Tales exec producer) Joel Silver. For sheer perversity, few segments top "Beauty Rest", in which aspiring actress Mimi Rogers ends up regretting a successful audition (with Buck Henry, of all people).
The biggest rising-star find is probably Brad Pitt in "King of the Road", a lame tale of hotrod racers. Timothy Dalton, then fresh from his James Bond run, stars in one of the better shows in this set, "Werewolf Concerto," a clever piece about a werewolf hunter staying at a lodge terrorized by a lycanthrope. Perhaps the most sustained episode--nailing the series' blend of campy humor and gory fright--is "What's Cookin'," in which Christopher Reeve, the owner of an all-squid restaurant, revitalizes the business by switching to a different kind of meat.
The minimal extras are a commentary track for the Chris Reeve episode (including the voice of the Cryptkeeper, John Kassir) and a perfunctory montage about the season's stars. The show has a loyal following that will be happy to own this set, but for anybody else it must be noted that season 4 is a year of decline, and not the place to start for horror-curious boils and ghouls. --Robert Horton
Tales from the Crypt was one of my favorite shows. Glad to have them all on DVD now.Published 2 months ago by Mark
Very good show here! Season 4 is filled with terrific episodes.
My personal favorites from season 4: On a Deadman's Chest, What's Cookin', Strung Along, Curiosity... Read more