And just as quickly as it started, we come to the end of the first season of Tales from the Crypt. It was a short season of only six episodes but how was the season finale? Well, that’s the problem with anthology series. Without an overarching story, there really is no finale. The season just kind of stops.
Tales from the Crypt
Season 1 Episode 6 “Collection Completed”
Directed by Mary Lambert
Starring M. Emmet Walsh, Audra Lindley, Martin Garner
Originally aired: June 28th 1989
Sourced from: Vault of Horror #25
Director Mary Lambert may not jump out as a recognizable name to many, but her work is certainly known. She got her start directing music videos for Madonna, Sheila E., Janet Jackson, Sting and The Go-Go’s. From there she directed the original two Pet Sematary movies. Let’s just say this episode may not be her career highlight.
It starts with newly retired Jonas coming home from his final day of work. He’s greeted by his loving wife, Anita, and yet another stray that she’s brought home. Their house is filled with stray animals because Anita was lonely with Jonas out working all day everyday. But now that he’s home, she doesn’t need all these animals anymore, right? Wrong. Have you ever talked to a pet owner? They’d never willingly give up their ‘babies’ and Anita is no different.
At breakfast the next morning, Anita is preparing a steak, and Jonas gets excited, but is quickly disappointed when he realizes the steak isn’t for him, but the latest stray dog that Anita brought into the house. Instead he’s left with a small box of Oat Bran that he has to pour for himself. It quickly becomes clear that this couple doesn’t know how to live with each other, and Anita suggests that Jonas pick up a hobby with his friend, Roy. Unfortunately, Jonas’ many years of not being personable have ruined any social skills he may have had, not to mention Anita’s affection for the animals in the house outweighing that of her own husband.
Regardless, Jonas starts a hobby in the basement, removing him from Anita’s hair, and occupying him during the day. She has no idea what he’s doing, but she doesn’t seem to care. That is, until she notices one of her animals is missing. She asks him if he’s seen it, but she can’t see what he’s doing. He says he hasn’t, and tells her not to come any further into the basement. Slowly, more and more of her strays go missing, and Anita worries that Jonas may be behind it. She enters the basement, and finds Jonas stuffing a dog. He has a display of numerous cats, squirrels, dogs, birds, beavers, even spiders all stuffed and mounted. He reveals that he has her newest stray, a cat she was most recently looking for, and is about to kill it in order to have it stuffed. Hey, she’s the one who told him to get a hobby!
Anita attacks Jonas with a hammer, and the scene cuts black. They resume with Jonas watching TV with the cat sitting in his lap, but they don’t show Jonas’ face. Anita is overly happy with the new status quo. Roy shows up looking to hang out with Jonas, but he’s shocked when he sees that Anita has killed and stuffed Jonas, poorly, and propped him up in the couch watching TV. I guess now we know who had the taxidermy skills in this family.
On to the rating…
What a disappointing ‘finale’ for the first season. If it seems my review is brief, that’s because the episode had only 10 minutes of story/development, and another 17 of nonsense crap. The only thing going for this episode was Jonas’ overacting, which fit perfectly for the story. The actor, M. Emmet Walsh, is a great character actor that has been in many things in the past, but he’s another one of those actors without a name worth remembering. Even the other two people in the episode, Audra Lindley, and Martin Garner, have been in plenty of things, but all forgettable
I know I said earlier that because this is an anthology series, there is no real ‘finale’ for a season, but you’d still hope they finish strongly. “Save the best for last” and all that malarkey. But alas, they did not, and this felt like a big let down for the first season of the show. Perhaps the second season will be better. I guess we’ll find out next month!
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