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Tales from the Crypt Recap #17 “Judy, You’re Not Yourself Today”


Tales from the Crypt: Season 2 – Episode 11
Judy, You’re Not Yourself Today (First aired:June 12, 1990)

Plot

A witch casts a spell on a young woman and takes control of her body. Not much else to this one, it’s as basic as it gets.

Thoughts

As one of the many episodes I have seen in my younger days I was looking forward to revisiting this one as an adult. I remember it as a kid as a fun little witch story with a shocking twist. So, what did I get as an adult? A mediocre little witch story that was as by the numbers as you can get. I can give this episode one thing before I completely lay into it, I was never, not entertained. Like the Christmas episode before (And All Through The House), this one starts off with a great premise, but there are just a few things that go wrong that are so major I just can’t recommend it.

First though, let’s get the good out of the way. The acting in this one is actually fairly good, save for one person in particular who I will talk about a bit later. Both Brian Kerwin (who plays Donald) and Frances Bay (who plays the witch) both bring their A games. Donald, a right wing, gun totting, nut ball turns it up to eleven in this one and completely outshines his counterpart Judy. He is so entertaining they should’ve just made the episode about what he does on his daily life. The same can be said for The Witch, she plays her part very well and you can tell from the moment she appears on screen just how evil she is. Though, for someone who is supposed to be an evil and smart witch, damn is she a gullible fool. Has she not done this before? I would assume she’s been jumping bodies for a while. How could she fall for something so obvious?

You may be noticing a lack of mentioning the star of this shindig, Judy (played by Carol Kane). Well, a lot of it has to do with how uneventful and annoying she is in this. Her voice, her facial expressions, everything about her in this episode irritated me to the point where I was praying one of those stray bullets Donald fired would hit her. Speaking of awful things in this episode, is it just me or does the score sound like it should be for a different episode? I swear, I heard Mexican music at one point. Consisting mostly of piano and French horns coming from a Casio keyboard it completely takes you out of the situation that is going on (this sadly would become a trend in Tales From The Crypt in some of the less than stellar episodes). Then at the end when things become a bit somber, the dialogue gets so silly that it takes the mood out of the score. It’s a mess to say the least. The pacing is also completely whacked in this episode. It, like the score, just seems all over the place. It seems like large parts had to be cut out of the story to make it fit into its run time. Makes me wonder if that is actually true, since it was based off a comic, maybe there were crucial scenes in the comic that explained what was going on a bit better. Still, there are ways you can work around that, and with decent screenwriting you can still make a coherent story.

When it was all said and done, this one was saved in the end from complete oblivion by two stellar actors and performances as well as a wicked (if not derivative) concept. But the execution is just not there and Carol Kane is just too annoying to root for. I say skip this one.

5/10

Cryptkeeper Segment

Trying to keep a fair complexion, The Cryptkeeper was advised by his doctor to use a bloodpack. He removes it to reveal, well, that nothing’s changed. He’s a skeleton (puppet), what did you expect? He then explains a story completely different than what we are about to see, seems like he was describing Only Sin Deep at first. He finishes up by firing a gun into the air and having a blast in doing so before turning the revolver on himself.

Punny Goodness

My cosmetologist said I was beginning to look a little lifeless.

Blood and Gore

Sorry kiddies, you’ll have to look elsewhere for your bloodlust.

Obligatory Nudity

Sorry kiddies, you’ll have to look elsewhere for your lust…um…lust. Though, according to The Witch, Judy has a great ass, a shame we didn’t see it.

Scare Factor

This one might be a bit scary if the damn soundtrack didn’t completely ruin it. I think this one would’ve worked better if it went serious.

Other interesting tidbits

G.E.L.A.T.I.N., the gun control group at the very beginning of the episode, stands for Gun Elimination Legislation for Total International Neutrality. I don’t care what your stance is on gun control, if you are part of a group that calls themselves G.E.L.A.T.I.N., you seriously need to take a long hard look at your life. Preferably with a shotgun in your mouth.

Speaking of the activist, he was none other than Todd Field, who would later go on to get himself an Oscar Nod for his writing work in Little Children in 2006 (as well as several other nominations for that movie).

Brian Kerwin hasn’t really done much of note but has always seemed to remain active in the industry starring in a lot of bit parts in TV shows. On IMDB at least, he has top billing in a movie called 27 Dresses, no doubt thinking yeah this will finally take me over the top! Considering I haven’t heard of the movie until now and that it stars universal cunt Kathrine Heigl, someone I refuse to watch a movie in which she stars, I’m sure it didn’t…what? It made 160 million worldwide!? Oh fuck this planet…

Frances Bay is the female equivalent of William Hickey, in that you have seen the face a million times and they never give a bad performance, yet you never know what their names are. For all of Bay’s work throughout the years she is probably best remembered as either the grandmother in Happy Gilmore or the old woman Jerry Seinfeld mugged for a Marble Rye. Tragically, she lost her leg in an auto accident in 2002 and had to spend the rest of her life in with a prosthetic leg. But it didn’t slow her down and she continued to act all the way until her death on September 15, 2011 (almost one year to the date of when I wrote this).

Carol Kane is known primarily for her trademark voice. A voice I find so irritating that I can’t stand her in anything she is in. Her scenes in the Princess Bride are among some of the worst in the movie (mostly thanks to the fact that she shares the screen with another obnoxious actor, Billy Crystal). And I’m sure if I ever get around to watching Dog Day Afternoon, I’ll likely find her annoying in that too (In case you haven’t guessed by now, I’m not a major movie buff).

Last Words

It is certainly not the worst episode in the series, but far from the best. This episode seems to have an identity crisis. It wants to do one thing (be scary and serious), but is forced to do another (be silly and ridiculous) thanks to the out of place score.Luckily, Kerwin and Bay figured this out and completely went over the top with their performances. They can’t fix the shoddy pacing though and at the end of the day, this is one you may want to skip.

Next Writing:Fitting Punishment

One Response to “Tales from the Crypt Recap #17 “Judy, You’re Not Yourself Today””

  • Iren:

    >I remember it as a kid as a fun little witch story with a shocking twist. So, what did I get as an adult? A mediocre little
    >witch story that was as by the numbers as you can get.
    Well, each shocking twist novelty fades very fast -_-
    I found the more I watch movies of a certain genre the more ‘by number’ each next of them is, and it isn’t only because of the movie itself but due to my familiarity with the base values of the genre.

Leave a Reply for Iren