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Tales from the Crypt Recap #19 “Korman’s Kalamity”

Tales from the Crypt: Season 2 – Episode 13
Korman’s Kalamity (First aired: June 26, 1990)


A writer for the Tales From The Crypt comic books finds that everything he draws comes to life.


As the first episode to really pay homage to the beginnings of Tales From The Crypt (the series started as a comic book back in the 50s), you would think they would of done better than churning out this dreck. From the moment I saw the name of this episode (they spelt Calamity with a K because the characters name is Korman! How klever!) I knew I was going to be in trouble and, sure enough, this one met up to its expectations. This one is not good and may be the single most annoying thing I have ever witnessed on this show.

Before we get into that though, let’s take a look at the positives in this episode. For starters, the monsters that show up are actually very creative. Up until this point the monsters have consisted mostly of just zombies so this is the first episode that really had a chance to go all out and be as creative as possible. Sadly, I still feel it was a missed opportunity as, while they make mention of other monsters, we only get to actually see three come to life. With the amount of freedoms this episode allowed, I felt the concept was wasted. Another thing I did enjoy was the chemistry of the two leads (Harry Anderson and Cynthia Gibb) once they actually meet. It is built up nicely in this episode and the payoff is actually worth the wait and you can’t wait for these two to eventually get together.

Sadly, the fun stops there as every other scene in this episode is full of the single most annoying people on the planet. The man in the Laundromat (the single most unconvincing rapist I have ever seen) and the kids in the junkyard are bad enough and rest assured, they will make you want to put your fist through your tv screen (or maybe I just have anger problems). Of course they all pale in comparison to Mildred, Korman’s bitch of a wife. I understand she was supposed to be hated and annoying, but good lord. There is a point where it just isn’t entertaining to watch, Mildred (played by Colleen Camp) went over that point, took a mean dump on it, and pole vaulted two miles from there. She may be the most annoying character ever derived from a television show and I’ve watched countless episodes of All in the Family and Family Matters.

Other thing that really bugged me was the enormous plot holes in this episode. I don’t want to give anything away, but I’m just going to say Cynthia Gibb’s character of Lorelei is a cop. With everything Harry has drawn coming to life, couldn’t he be held liable for some of the actions of the monsters? I’m sure the argument can once again be made that it’s Crypt and not meant to be taken seriously, but there is being campy and then there is poor writing. And the latter is inexcusable when trying to make a quality television show. Unless of course your show is on MTV, then it’s a necessity.


Cryptkeeper Segment

The Cryptkeeper begins by showing his talents as an artist, making a pretty cool drawing of himself. I have to say, I’d hang that up in my bedroom. He then explains Crypt’s beginnings as a comic book (or magazine, whichever you prefer) and tells us a bit about tonight’s tale. He ends by recapping the episode and saying a couple of wonderful puns that are so bad they made my teeth itch.

Punny Goodness

Maybe if she had been nicer to him, she wouldn’t have ended up, a monsterpiece!

Blood and Gore

We have a severed head, some bullet wounds, and of course some monsters! Not as gory as others, but it’s passable.

Obligatory Nudity

Colleen Camp is either padding herself or she is one of the most oddly proportioned women on the planet. She keeps her top on so you can only see it through some of the worst clothing you’ll ever lay eyes on. Cynthia Gibb however shows some lovely cleavage shots towards the end that was most certainly appreciated.

Scare Factor

With the amount of monsters here, hard to believe that this one didn’t have an ounce of scares in it. The Laundromat scene may get some, but for the most part, this one was played for laughs.

Other interesting tidbits

Harry Anderson was pretty big for a short while in the 80s and 90s largely thanks to his role as Judge (get this!) Harry on the smash sitcom Night Court. He also had a follow up show called Dave’s World that had moderate success in itself, but once that was cancelled his career kind of petered out. After his career in Hollywood ended, he moved to New Orleans to open a magic shop (2002) and night club (2005), but has since left the city (2006) after the decline in tourism. This also isn’t the first anthology he starred in as he also appears in Tales From The Darkside in the episode “All A Clone By The Telephone”.

Cynthia Gibb was actually discovered by none other than Woody Allen himself as before she was in acting she was a model appearing on the cover of Vogue and Young Miss. When Woody saw her he offered her a small role in Stardust Memories as an autograph seeker and after than role she quit her modeling career to take up one in acting. She never really had a breakout role as her most notable role is a recurring role in the TV show Fame as Holly Laird.

Colleen Camp has the distinction of playing a police officer more than any other woman in Hollywood. Ironic that Gibb plays the cop in this episode while Camp is regulated to cunt wife. Her most famous roles of a cop are likely from Die Hard with a Vengeance where she plays Connie and the Police Academy series as Sergeant Kirkland. She has also appeared in a Tales From The Darkside episode named (interestingly enough) Connie in the episode “Djinn, No Chaser”.

Look for a cameo of the Cryptkeeper in the actual episode itself.

Last Words

I was dreading this one and lo and behold, it was bad. BUT! I can see this being a great episode to drink with your friends and goof on and it can most certainly fall under the so bad it’s good category. But watching it alone and stone sober, I was hardly entertained. It’s a creative premise, but it is sadly wasted. Skip.

Next Writing: Lower Berth

5 Responses to “Tales from the Crypt Recap #19 “Korman’s Kalamity””

  • Cristiona:

    I believe it was technically a comic book. It and its sister publications were all comics before everyone got their panties in a bunch. The three horror comics went away, and the biting satire was rebranded a magazine (ie: Mad Magazine) in order to side-step the code.

    Incidentally, it’s too bad Dave’s World didn’t ever find its legs. You’d think the writings and life of Dave Barry would have made for a richer mine, but I guess not. Then again, I only remember a couple episodes of it.

  • Keith:

    I figured I had to mention them as magazines since that’s what the Cryptkeeper refers to them as in this episode. But to me they are most definitely a comic book, especially considering they were published by EC (Entertaining Comics).

    I didn’t even remember Dave’s World until I did my research for this episode. It lasted for 4 seasons with almost 100 episodes so it did have its fan base, but it was nothing compared to Night Court.

  • Cristiona:

    100 episodes? Holy crap. I had no idea it lasted that long! Like I said, I had vague memories when it was originally on (mainly because I regularly read Dave’s columns), but thought it only lasted half a season or so.

  • Jimaur:

    Colleen Camp is just REALLY voluptuous. See her as the maid in “Clue” and you’ll think” how does she even stand?” She’s picked up weight since then so she now looks like a chubby aunt with two nuclear war heads on her chest, which is a turn on for me 😀

    • Keith:

      I actually saw Clue recently and yes, she is a lot more…ahem…gifted than I remembered. A low cut here definitely would’ve helped her character be a little less annoying lol.

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