Plot: What’s it about?
Ah yes, Tales from the Crypt. This anthology series combined horror with humor and was a smash success, even with the mainstream audiences. So this was a show horror fans could embrace, but so could everyone else, a rare breed, without question. The series also attracted elite level talent on both sides of the camera, from all star casts to top flight directors. So the talent involved was always high level, including gifted writers and some terrific special effects creators. The end result was a dynamic series that was often hilarious, but also never flinched about going over the top with the horror elements. Now some episodes were more eerie than outright scary, but all in all, the series has a fine variety of styles involved. The first season was a little shaky, but showed promise and later seasons fulfilled that potential. This fourth season features fourteen episodes, including some fantastic ones, such as Split Personality. As with any show, some episodes are better than others, but this fourth season has some great installments.
The stories continue to be inventive in this third season, with more ironic twists and dark humor than before, which is crucial in a series like this. You’ll see what happens when gorgeous, but eerie twin sisters find true love, or when a tattoo is just a little too realistic, or an old folks’ home thinks it has discovered a youth tonic, or even the truth about a most delicious meat served at a popular diner. But those are just a few of the sick, twisted tales you’ll find in this second season, I even left some the most disturbing ones unsaid. And if you want stars, how about Treat Williams, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Timothy Dalton, Joe Pesci, Margot Kidder, Christopher Reeve, Meat Loaf, Kathy Ireland, and others? This is just a great season and the best part is, the series only gets better from here. This fourth season of Tales from the Crypt is highly recommended, and I can’t wait for more episodes to arrive.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. This looks as good as it did when shown on television, with enhanced sharpness to up the ante a shade. The image is clean and very sharp, a solid looking presentation that should please fans. The show has some decent visuals to soak in, but remains mostly basic in approach, so while the episodes look good, they won’t dazzle the audience. But colors come through in bold and beautiful form, while contrast is stark and provides well balanced black levels at all times. Not a dynamic visual effort, but a solid one and in truth, we couldn’t ask for much more here.
Audio: How does it sound?
A 2.0 surround soundtrack is provided for each episode. The first season was rather bland in terms of audio, but the later seasons kick it up a touch. A little more activity and more creative presence and in the case of audio, a little can mean a lot. The atmosphere is some episodes is enhanced and made more eerie, while basic elements also have a cleaner sound. Of course, the Cryptkeeper’s hideous voice comes across just as it should, which is a key element. The third season soundtracks won’t win any awards, but you can tell a little more effort went into the sound design this time. This release also includes subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The Cryptkeeper himself offers his audio comments on the What’s Cooking episode, joined by a couple of crew members for good measure. This is a discussion on not only this episode, but also the series on the whole, so it proves to be a worthwhile listen. There is also a featurette that showcases the various celebrities on display in this fourth season.