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Tales from the Crypt Recap #9 ”Cutting Cards”

Tales from the Crypt: Season 2 – Episode 3
”Cutting Cards” (First aired: April 21, 1990)


Two hardcore gamblers risk it all to try to run the other out of town for good. Yeah, there is not much substance to this one.


Talk about a simple episode. This one quickly gets to the point. Right after the two- minute intro, our two gamblers meet up. What follows is an eighteen minute (Yeah, this is a short one) one-upmanship game that consists of Dice, Poker, and the oh-so-friendly game of Russian Roulette. Because of how little substance is actually in this episode, you might think that it’s not that great to watch. Well, you would be completely, utterly, wrong.

What it lacks in substance, it more than makes up for with building tension of the two leads. It also helps that there are two very gifted actors playing the parts in Kevin Tighe and Lance Henriksen. They give so much emotion in their parts as Sam and Reno that you can truly get a feel of the hatred these two have for each other – all because they want to be the one who wins. They want to be the one to say, “I am the greatest gambler in the history of the world!” Of course, it’s not that easy to beat the greatest gambler in the world, and as they keep trading games and beating each other, the stakes get higher and higher (which climaxes in one of the silliest moments yet in Tales from the Crypt).

There isn’t much left to say about this one since it really doesn’t give much. Like I said before, it has no real substance to it. It’s just two guys who really hate each other and want to see the other lose in the most ruthless of ways. It is a fun little episode that is definitely worth a watch. It’s quick and enjoyable while it lasts, but it ends just as things start to get going, leaving you wanting more. In other words, it’s like my sex life (Oh, yuck; too easy).


Cryptkeeper Segment

The Cryptkeeper begins by dealing cards (complete with a dealer’s hat, of course) and telling us about the tale and ends by cooking up a less that scrumptious meal. I won’t give it away, but let’s just say it gives new meaning to the term finger food (Oh, yuck again!).

Punny Goodness

I heard of giving someone the finger, but this is ridiculous! But at the risk of going out on a limb, I have to hand it to Crevice and Forney (Three for one! Hit it out of the park this time, Keeper!).

Blood and Gore

This episode has a couple of cut off limbs. It is rough to watch, but it’s nothing we can’t handle by this point in the series.

Obligatory Nudity

Nothing here but a cleavage shot by one of the bar’s waitresses. That was nice of her.

Scare Factor

The tension level is certainly up there for this one. I wouldn’t necessarily call it scary, but it is intense to say the least. Maybe I just really like watching gambling.

Other Interesting Tidbits

Maybe it’s just the gambler in me, but when you have four spades, give up one card, lose the hand, and say you should’ve gone for the flush, what the fuck card did you get rid of!? You didn’t have a pair (the camera shows the cards), so the only logical move if you have four spades and you give up one card is to go for the flush. These guys suck at poker (or maybe I do).

Anyway, Lance Henriksen (who, if you ask me, looks a lot like Anthony from the Opie and Anthony radio show in this episode) is a legendary actor who has starred in many a movie since the 80s, including two of the biggest sci-fi movies of all time, Aliens and Terminator. He is also an accomplished painter and potter (but the site hosting images seems to be gone), and he has an autobiography out called Not Bad For A Human, which describes his career. I’m sure it is a fascinating read (no sarcasm intended).

I’m not too familiar with Kevin Tighe, but I know I enjoy him immensely in anything I see him in. He’s one of those guys I don’t know him by name or can name a single thing he has done, but I enjoy it when he’s on screen, which is the sign of a fantastic character actor.

There’s our good friend Roy Brocksmith again, playing yet another bartender. I wonder if it’s the same bartender from “The Man Who Was Death;” after all, they are directed by the same guy (Walter Hill).

Allen Graf has a cameo as the guy driving the car. He’s a name I’m sure you’ve never heard and a face you’ve likely never seen, but he has been responsible for the success of some of the biggest movies of all time as the Stunt Coordinator and Performer. Some movies he has worked on are Independence Day, Pirates of the Caribbean, and even The Dark Knight Rises.

Last Words

Like I said before, there isn’t much to say about this episode. It’s a quick one without much in the way of story, but it is entertaining nevertheless. It’s not the best episode of the series, but it’s definitely an enjoyable one that is worth a watch.

Next Writing: ‘Til Death

2 Responses to “Tales from the Crypt Recap #9 ”Cutting Cards””

  • Keith:

    Here is this weeks episode…on another note, FEARnet has announced they will be airing Tales From The Crypt episodes starting October 5th (with And All Through The House)…help support it by watching it all over again so it never disappears from the airwaves again 🙂

  • Keith:

    Oh one thing I’d like to add about this review, this episode has one of the best scores in the series…I’ve been humming the opening theme for the best few weeks .

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