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 third season features fourteen episodes, including some fantastic ones, such as Loved to Death. As with any show, some episodes are better than others, but this third 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 a vampire works security at a blood bank, or when a band of lumberjacks decide to saw through more than wood, or even a woman who betrays her husband to enjoy the embrace of the cable repairman. 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 Mariel Hemingway, Whoopi Goldberg, Malcolm McDowell, Kirk Douglas, Lance Henriksen, Jon Lovtiz, and Teri Garr? This is just a great season and the best part is, the series only gets better from here. This third season of Tales from the Crypt is highly recommended, and I can’t wait for more seasons to arrive.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. The visuals, while not pristine, look more than solid and that’s good news. The images just have a cleaner, more refined presence, so the softness is lessened and grain isn’t so much of a factor. Still, if you compare these episodes to the later seasons, the visuals probably won’t be as solid. Even so, these episodes look good and since there is an improvement, it gives me hope that the later seasons will look terrific.
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, should you need those.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release includes two panel discussions about the series, one a reunion of sorts and the other made up of creators and admirers. I found these to be solid as far as panel discussions are concerned, but not must see type supplements.