Oh my little gravediggers and undertakers, we here at Geekade are in the thick of our annual 31 Days of Halloween celebration, and things couldn’t be spookier around the office. For the second week in a row, I present you a new review climbing out of the grave for a new edition of Rising from the Crypt, and this one is a real head banger.
Tales from the Crypt
Season 2 Episode 8 “For Cryin’ Out Loud”
Directed by Jeffrey Price
Starring Lee Arenberg, Katey Sagal, Sam Kinison
Originally aired: May 22nd 1990
Sourced from: Shock SuspenStories #15
We begin with the star of the episode, music promoter Marty Slash, played by the always peculiar Lee Arenberg. You may not know the name, and I don’t think he has a single other starring credit to his resume, but if you’ve been watching TV since the 80’s, you know his face and voice, especially for his role as one of the pirate stooges in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Marty is being led to his execution, and he is trying to rush ahead so they can hurry up and kill him. He’s seen talking to himself, and the priest and officers are questioning his situation.
Then we go to two months earlier and Marty is at an ear doctor because he’s been hearing mumbling. The doctor explains that this is an aberration caused by the loud music he works with. He’s prescribed some medicine drops, ear plugs, and a solution to rinse out his ears, but the doc suggests he leave the business if he wants to keep the rest of his hearing. Marty asks if ‘tonight is soon enough’.
Next we see Marty, he is at a concert with his main star on stage. He has been hosting a series of concerts to raise money for the Amazon rainforest, and with tonight’s final concert, they have reached their goal of a million dollars. At this time, we see a police officer on the premises asking for Marty.
Little does the public, or anyone else for that matter, know that Marty has withdrawn all of the money from the bank and is planning, against the judgment of his very vocal conscious, to flee with the “charity” to a tropical country with loose extradition laws. His conscious is voiced by Sam Kinison, an actor known for his irritating voice.
Conscious warns of danger, but Marty ignores him. A wrench is thrown in Marty’s plan when, Ms. Kilbasser, played by a rocked out Katey Segal, enters the picture. Initially, Marty thinks his luck is turning around when it appears she’s seducing him, but Conscious reminds him that no woman as attractive as her would want a guy like him. Then Marty’s disheartened when he believes she’s a prostitute, to which Conscious finds amusing. Reality is so much worse for Marty when he discovers she’s actually a banker DUHN DUHN DUHNNNNNN!!!!!!
Kilbaser reveals that she had been watching Marty every time he made a deposit for the charity, but when he withdrew all of the money earlier in the day, she knew his plan. Her demands were simple, half the money or she goes to the cops. Conscious pleads for Marty to turn himself in before it’s too late, he begs for Marty to give it up. Marty interprets that as giving her half the money, and lets her count out the $500,000 amidst protests by Conscious.
As the banker is counting the money, he begins telling her about a bass guitar he was gifted during his career. She ignores him, not even bothering to look at the instrument, which proves to be her downfall. Conscious tries to warn her and stop Marty, but she can’t hear the voices in his head. Marty beats her to death with the guitar. Get it, Ms. Kilbasser, was killed, by a bass. The name is pretty on the nose, even for Tales from the Crypt.
With non-stop verbal assaults from Conscious, Marty stuffs her body in the drum case of Donny Osmond, who apparently went on tour some months back.
Quick side note; I’m not sure if it actually was Sagal or a stunt double, but Lee Arenberg actually fits a real person in the drum case, which was pretty impressive.
As he’s shoving the body’s legs into the case, the cop from earlier begins knocking on the office door. When Marty doesn’t answer, the cop forces one of the stage hands to open it up. They finds Marty, very poorly, playing the bass with one foot on the drum case.
The cop tells Marty that he’s received several complaints about the noise level, and demands he lower the volume. Conscious tries interjecting, by convincing Marty to confess, and he does slip up, saying he killed his banker. When the cop asks him to repeat it over the music, Marty says “I killed my hearing,” explaining he didn’t realize it was so loud. Radioing in to the sound mixer, he has him turn the music down appeasing the officer, who remains suspicious of Marty.
Alone again in the office, Conscious does what Sam Kinison does best and non-stop yells, pleading for Marty to come clean. Marty resolves to end the situation by going overboard with the ear drops and solution to drown out Conscious, but when that doesn’t work he jams two oversized cotton swabs (or Q-tips) into his ears. When again that doesn’t work, Marty threatens to take it to an extreme and jab a sharpened penciled into his ear. Conscious convinces him that isn’t the best course for either of them.
Deciding his best bet now is to simply leave the concert and get on the plain he originally planned to, he leaves the office holding his money filled briefcase. Conscious goes full Kinison and begins telling everyone he passes what Marty did, and they all back away from him in fear. Realizing that people can now hear Conscious, he raises the volume back up of the concert, redrawing the attention of the officer.
When Conscious confesses to the cop, Marty admits what he did, telling everyone his plan, but then Marty discovers part of the cotton swab stick is still in his ear, and blood is pouring out of it. No one could hear Conscious, but Marty confessed anyway. He’s later seen being executed, bringing the episode full circle
On to the rating…
There is something in this episode for everyone to hate: whether it’s Arenberg’s over-the-top performance, Kinison’s irritating voice, the lack of horror, the threadbare plot, the complete ignorance of how the real world works or the criminally small role of Katie Sagal.
However, with that said, if you don’t actually hate all of those things combined, this episode is still pretty rubbish. There’s certainly a comedic element to it, and that is due largely to Arenberg’s portrayal of the Marty Slash character, but this felt more like an over drawn out SNL skit.
What I didn’t mention during the review, or in my list of things you might hate, is who Slash’s client is. I don’t know if I love or hate the fact they got him to do this, but I feel it deserves a special mention that the headlining rock star is Iggy Pop. If you like Iggy Pop, you’ll probably be glad to see him in the episode. If you don’t like him, you most likely would have preferred a different musician. If you don’t know who Iggy Pop is, you may be asking yourself how they reanimated an emaciated corpse.
I for one was surprised they were able to get a star of his caliber for such a meaningless cameo, but not that surprised since it was twenty years after his heyday. Iggy performed on stage and dropped a bunch of f-bombs. I’ll admit, I don’t know his music that much, but this seemed like an accurate portrayal of his stage persona, for better or worse.
For one thing, I think everyone was cast perfectly, from Sagal to Iggy, and Arenberg to Kinison (maybe especially Kinison) all played their roles perfectly.
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