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 fifth season features thirteen episodes, including some fantastic ones, such as Well Cooked Hams and Forever Ambergris. As with any show, some episodes are better than others, but this fifth season has some great installments.
The stories continue to be inventive in this fifth season, with more of the ironic twists and dark humor as before, which is crucial in a series like this. You’ll see what happens when someone tries to rip off the wrong ice cream man, or witness the most memorable fraternity initiation ever, or when dueling magicians go too far, or when a preservative provides eternal life…at a cost. But those are just a few of the sick, twisted tales you’ll find in this fifth season, I even left some the most disturbing ones unsaid. The talent behind the scenes is impressive, from the star studded executive producer list that includes Richard Donner, Joel Silver, and Robert Zemeckis, to the line of solid directors at the helm of these episodes. And if you want stars, how about Traci Lords, Steve Buscemi, David Paymer, Roger Daltry, Bill Paxton, Martin Sheen, and others? This is just a great season and fans will have ball revisited these episodes. This fifth season of Tales from the Crypt is highly recommended, and I can’t wait for more episodes to arrive.
Video: How does it look?
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 Spanish and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release includes a virtual comic book, titled Death of Some Salesmen. I was hoping for more audio commentary tracks or featurettes, but no such luck.