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Tales from the Crypt Recap #14 “For Cryin’ Out Loud”


Tales from the Crypt: Season 2 – Episode 8
For Cryin’ Out Loud (First aired: May 22, 1990)

Plot

A rock performer named Marty Slash (Lee Arenberg) is about to steal one million dollars from the Save the Amazon benefit he was hosting. But he finds it very difficult to do when his conscience (Sam Kinison) decides to speak up for the first time in his life. A lot of loud screaming, music, and sound effects ensue.

Thoughts

When I first read Sam Kinison as someone’s conscience I thought to myself “Man, that is the greatest idea I have ever heard of. Let’s hope the execution is there”. Well I am happy to say it was. This was a refreshing step up from the previous two bore fests. That said, I can’t recommend it to everyone. This is definitely a different episode than all the others up to this point with the only one coming close to matching the tone being Collection Completed (and that is stretching it a bit).

If Three’s A Crowd was an example of how dark the series can get, this has to be the example of how silly the series can get. Everything is played for laughs in this episode and there is not one serious vibe about it. Considering how silly it gets the acting is also perfect. Arenberg you can tell through the episode is clearly losing his sanity and he does so in the most over the top ways (his facial expressions in particular are something to behold).

However the rest of the cast take a back seat to the one and only Sam Kinison. Once he shows up (well starts talking anyway), this entire episode becomes his and he completely sucks you in from the moment he raises his voice (which is about two minutes after he starts talking). The casting of him is pure genius and really makes what would be a six episode and turns it up a few points from his presence alone.

But I did say I can’t recommend it to anyone. Why is that? It’s certainly not the acting. The directing is top notch with a lot of great shots (love the shot from in front of the curtain). The sounds are also very fitting and match the silliness of the episode (though the music is very bland and generic, which begs the question, if you are going to cast Iggy Pop, why would you have him sing such awful songs? Could we not hear Passenger or Lust for Life?). So why can’t I recommend it? Because, well, it’s not for everyone. Some people want to watch Crypt for the horror with a mixture of comedy. This one is strictly comedy and doesn’t have an ounce of horror in it. If you are the type that wants less comedy and more horror, look elsewhere, but if you want a change of pace and want to watch an episode that is a virtual roller coaster, then strap yourself in and enjoy the ride.

9/10

Cryptkeeper Segment

I think the Cryptkeeper’s guitar is out of tune, and he finds that hysterical. Okay. He is using a finger as a finger pick, that’s pretty funny. He is also wearing a blonde wig which gives you an idea of what Madonna is likely going to look like in a few more years.

Punny Goodness

He was probably wishing he was deaf, but he got death instead. (Side Note: I love the way Keeper says death here. Fucking awesome.)

Blood and Gore

We get a guitar shot to the head that would make the Honky Tonk Man proud. Plus a lot of damage to the ear, including a pretty gruesome shot at the very end.

Obligatory Nudity

We have a quick shot of a girls tits from the stage almost as if she is completely unaware they are hanging out. Katey Segal is also wearing a very sexy number that shows off some nice cleavage. She was quite the sexy girl back in the day (though a little too tall for my tastes).

Scare Factor

The idea of Kinison screaming in my head for the rest of my life is rather unsettling, but yeah, this one wasn’t terrifying at all.

Other interesting tidbits

Lee Arenberg might be better known to many people as one of the Pirates (Pintel) in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. While I have seen the first one, I have yet to see the sequels (and likely never will honestly), so I don’t know if his role was any bigger in the later movies. I also remember him from a small role in Seinfeld as the guy who tries to steal George’s parking space (one of the funnier episodes of that series). He’s actually a pretty decent actor and a seemingly a genuinely funny and nice dude. A shame he isn’t bigger in Hollywood.

Katey Segal has the distinction of starring in some of the biggest TV shows of all time including, Sons of Anarchy, 8 Simple Rules, and Futurama. All of those pale in comparison though to her role as Peggy Bundy in the smash hit (and one of yours truly’s favorite TV series) Married…With Children. And you aren’t imagining things she’s really that tall (5’9”), I never noticed until I saw her here standing next to Arenberg (who stands at 5’4”, as opposed to Iggy Pop trying to cram it down our throats that he’s 5’1”).

Speaking of Iggy Pop, he was of course playing the singer in this episode and his voice is heard through a majority of it in the background (singing the same song OVER AND OVER!). The band he is playing with was called The Leather Weazals, I guess the Stooges were busy or something. He was actually supposed to be “Funboy” in the movie The Crow, but had a scheduling conflict that prevented him from starring and instead appeared in the vastly inferior Crow: City of Angels as the far less interesting name “Curve”. Also I’m not sure, but I think he may have beaten the record for the amount of times fuck is said in a single sentence with this episode.

What more can be said about Sam Kinison? He is a legend in the comedy business, ranking number 20 in Comedy Central’s Top 100 Comedians of All-Time (a list that doesn’t have, Mitch Hedberg, Patrice O’Neal, or Nick DiPaolo on it, so it’d validity is most certainly questioned) and given his career was so short lived, that is a major accomplishment. He was known for his trademark yelling which is featured predominately here and if you have never seen any of his stand ups you must check him out. He actually has a connection with Katey with Married…with Children where he played Al Bundy’s guardian angel (where he delivered one of my favorite lines in the series “Sorry, Bundy I failed you. I was supposed to think of why you should live but I can’t think of one darn reason.”.) He was originally cast to play Al Bundy, but the part went to Ed O’Neil (a better choice for the Al character quite frankly) instead. Tragicly, Kinison was killed in a car crash just as his career was about to take off so all that his legacy has left are a few cameos such as this one and some of the funniest stand-up material you will watch. Seek some out if you have never seen him, you won’t be disappointed.

Last Words

I’d love to give this one my glowing recommendation, but it’s tough for me to do so. Yes, I think it is a great episode, but it won’t be for everyone. It’s silly and absurd, but at the same time highly entertaining. But if you are looking for scares, gore, and a more serious tone, look elsewhere. If nothing else, watch it to see a comedic genius go to work.
Next Writing: Four-Sided Triangle

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