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Tales from the Crypt Recap #15 “Four-Sided Triangle”

Tales from the Crypt: Season 2 – Episode 9
Four-Sided Triangle (First aired: May 29, 1990)


A girl who is trapped by a couple of farmers to be a slave ends up falling in love with a scarecrow. If you thought that was confusing, wait until you hear more about this convoluted mess. A bunch of nothing ensues.


Bad, bad, bad! I think this one might be the worst one yet. The key phrase I kept repeating to myself while watching this was “What is going on?” and not in the good way either. This episode was a complete mess from top to bottom with bad acting, bad pace, confusing outcome, and what’s worse, an awful, been there done that storyline that just screams re-hash. It’s not like Crypt hasn’t done rehashed stories before, but this one is so poorly done it can’t be excused. What’s worse? I turned off my brand spanking new Nintendo 3DSXL to watch this! The least I could’ve gotten was a good episode!

A young girl named Mary Jo (Patricia Arquette) is on the run from the law, when she is “saved” from being busted (She had robbed a convenience store) by a local farmer George (Chelcie Ross) and in return for saving her, he and his wife Luisa (Susan Blommaert) make her a slave. None of this is actually shown as it is all pretty much thrown at you with thirty seconds of dialogue, but at least they explain that, because they certainly don’t explain anything else. Now, I’m not one of those guys that need things completely spelled out for me, but Christ give me something so I’m not left scratching my head. Let’s take a look at the unexplained stuff in this show; 1. Luisa has a limp. It never comes into play and is never explained. So why does she have it? 2. Is the Scarecrow really alive? We see it move once, but never again. Is it supernatural or a figment of Jo’s imagination? 3. Is Mary Jo really losing it? Is it all a set-up? Even by the end I was still asking this. This is only the tip of the iceberg, but this is all I can remember off the top of my head. This is enough to make my point though, a repeated viewing of this one is not necessary.

Another thing that really bugged me was the awful character development. We get a feeling that Luisa is evil early on, but apart from her constant yelling (and her insistent need to call people fools, seriously, she gives Mr. T a run for his money), she actually seems the most sane and genuine people out of the lot. Sure she is abusive to Mary Jo, but she’s clearly in a failing marriage and just seems to be taking her anger out on her. I found her sympathetic, which from the flow (or lack thereof) of the story is a very bad thing. She was supposed to be hated as an evil controlling wench and it just didn’t play out well at all. George is also established as nothing more than a sex-crazed, pervert, which I guess in the end is better than Mary Jo, who after a clunk on the head, appears to have her entire personality ripped out of her and replaced with a dimwitted, bubble-headed blonde who seems to have Schizophrenia.

This one was a disaster. It is without a doubt the worst one yet. It left me with more questions and unsatisfied. There are so many better Scarecrow stories out there (Harlod, a scarecrow story from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, a children’s book mind you, was scarier than this) and it’s a shame Crypt had to waste theirs on this hunk of garbage. Avoid at all costs.


Cryptkeeper Segment

Aww…the Cryptkeeper seems to have a crush as he is playing “She Loves Me” with a flower. He then throws it to the ground and says what do flowers know when he doesn’t get the desired result proving he does, in fact, have the mind-set of a fourth grader. At the end he mentions that Mary Jo formed a union with The Scarecrow. If only. The Scarecrow would’ve at least made this one scary and ten times more awesome from his presence alone.

Punny Goodness

…and just as George was going to reward Mary Jo with a big BONEus. Now that is what you definitely don’t call…safe sex.

Blood and Gore

A bottle shot to the head that leaves some blood and a pitchfork through a chest. Yawn. Next…

Obligatory Nudity

Within the span of the first ten minutes of this episode there was maybe three shots of Patricia in very revealing clothing (complete with pointy nips in a tanktop). Not that I’m complaining, I just wish she went all out for this one. If any episode needed it, it was this one.

Scare Factor

That has to be the least scary clown face I have ever seen. I don’t even know if this one was going for scares.

Other interesting tidbits

Patricia Arquette is, of course, from the Arquette clan featuring Richmond (Best remembered for being the delivery guy at the end of Se7en), David (Best remembered as Dewey from the Scream movies and former WCW Champion…seriously…), and Alexis (Best known for having a sex change). Of the four, she is likely the best known (though an argument can be made for David) starring in such films as True Romance and Ed Wood. She had her breakout role in Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors, arguably the second best Nightmare movie. She is a pretty good actress and a shame she was wasted in this dreck.

I don’t really have much on Chelcie Ross other than the fact that he was in Basic Instinct and The Last Boy Scout, two movies I have sadly not seen, and two movies that I absolutely must see at some point in my life. Apparently his characters in Basic Instinct and The Sopranos share the same name (Talcott). Yeah I don’t have much on him.

Susan Blommaert hasn’t had a break out role, but yet still seems to have been typecasted playing a Judge in not one, not two, but seven different shows (if you count all the Law and Orders as different shows). She is often credited using the “J” from her middle name, so not to confuse you from all the other Susan Bloomaerts out there (yes I stole that joke from Spinal Tap, no I don’t care.)

Is it really a surprise to anyone that the same man who directed Lover Come Hack To Me directed this travesty? I’m convinced Tom Holland is a two trick pony (Child’s Play and Fright Night). He’s got one more chance to prove me wrong with Tales From The Crypt in a later episode…how can he POSSIBLY do any worse? He even wrote the screenplay for this one so we got a double dose of his crap.

Last Words

I have nothing left to say about this…this was something different to say the least. It wasn’t funny, scary, erotic, or even entertaining in any way. This one is bad and not even in the good way. Watch it at your own risk, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Next Writing: The Ventriloquist’s Dummy

5 Responses to “Tales from the Crypt Recap #15 “Four-Sided Triangle””

  • Cecil:

    (editor’s note) Just to mention, Holland is not a two trick pony. Thinner and The Temp are both solid horror/thrillers. Not as huge as Fright Night and Child’s Play but good in their own rights. He also wrote Cloak and Dagger, which is awesome. For that matter he also wrote The Initiation of Sarah, The Beast Within, and Class of 1984. Maybe the short nature of the Tales episodes doesn’t work for him? His Masters of Horror episode was ok.

    Also, good god I want to do things to young Patricia Arquette. She was so unbelievably hot in True Romance.

    • Keith:

      Editors Note: I completely disregarded Rosanna Arquette in my notes and should feel ashamed for doing so, my apologies Rosanna…

      Yeah, I kinda figured I’d get some heat from you for trashing Holland, but look at it from my point. My exposure to him is Fright Night (Great), Child’s Play (Classic), Langoliers (Awful), Thinner (Which is okay, but hardly what I’d call a horror classic) and these two episodes (with King of the Road coming up…which to my knowledge I have not seen yet). So judging him based solely on his Crypt stuff, he has been very much underwhelming scoring my only ones so far. Also of note, I am not referring to his writing work, more his directed stuff, and in short term at least, he has been horrendous. King of the Road is his last one so he has another chance, but early research is not looking promising lol.

      But Patrica we can agree on, I would do very naughty things to her backside lol

      ANYWAY, here is this weeks episode…feel free to watch all and judge for yourself 🙂

    • Cristiona:

      Oh wow, Cloak & Dagger. There was a fun movie. I’ve got a copy around here somewhere…

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