This is a bittersweet undertaking for me, my Gravediggers and Undertakers. This edition of Rising from the Crypt is my final article for Geekade’s 31 Days of Halloween, but that also means we’re only 48 hours away from the big day!
This is also the penultimate episode of season 1 of Tales from the Crypt. With a short six-episode season, you would be forgiven for thinking HBO would want every episode to be of the highest quality.
Tales from the Crypt
Season 1 Episode 5 “Lover Come Hack to Me”
Directed by Tom Holland
Starring Amanda Plummer, Stephen Shellen, and Lisa Figus
Originally aired: June 21st 1989
Sourced from: Haunt of Fear #19
I will say this about the first season of this show, every director they had was a ‘name’ in the industry before joining the show. Tom Holland (no, not the kid playing Spider-Man) was the man Fright Night (behind both the original and the recent remake), the original Child’s Play, and Thinner. The cast of the episode, on the other hand is a who’s who of nobodies.
The episode begins with a newlywed couple about to go on their honeymoon. The bride’s aunt warns the bride that she’ll regret marrying this man, and then tells the groom he’ll similarly regret the marriage. The bride comes from money and, with her parents dead, the aunt fears the groom, Charles, is only in it for her money. Confronting Charles, the aunt accuses him of not loving his bride Peggy, but only her money and real estate, which he admits to. Peggy chooses to ignore her aunt, and the couple drives off for their honeymoon.
At night, on their way to the hotel, they find the road is blocked by a felled tree, and the pouring rain doesn’t show any signs of letting up. Peggy finds a gun in the glove compartment, and neither claims ownership of it, but Charles says he’ll hold on to it. After trying to move the tree to no avail, Charles seems to have lost the keys to the car, meaning they’re unable to turn around, so he decides they should stay in the abandoned mansion nearby.
Although it doesn’t appear anyone has been inside for some time, the fireplace is prepped and they decide to warm up by the fire. He strips naked, and this is the first time she’s seen him, or any man naked. It’s revealed that Peggy is a virgin, who has been waiting for her wedding night, but it seems like she still has reservations.
The episode spends a considerable amount of time showing how little Charles actually cares for Peggy, and she begins to sense this. He coos and lies his way back into her good graces, but as the audience we know his intentions aren’t pure.
Rebuking Charles’ advances, Peggy claims she’ll prefer if they do it in a bed. In a bedroom that seems to be miraculously clean, Charles gets into the bed, as Peggy changes into a negligee, impressing Charles. They make passionate PG-13 love.
Shortly after making love and losing her virginity, Peggy leaves Charles alone in the bed to sleep. He wakes up to a stranger’s voice from outside and Peggy meeting the man outside in the rain. Charles follows them to the living room with the fireplace and watches as they have sex on the couch. Peggy calls the man Allen, which Charles remembers as her father’s name. It is revealed that the woman isn’t Peggy, but her mother on the night that Peggy was conceived. After coitus, Peggy’s mom kills her husband with an ax that was above the fireplace, and Charles wakes up from the nightmare.
Peggy re-enters the room, exclaims that she can feel the baby inside of her, using the same lines her mom had used on the night she was conceived. She explains while brandishing the same ax, like her mother, that she wants to keep everything perfect just the way it is now, so she has to kill Charles. But Charles says he doesn’t love her, and that it isn’t perfect, he was just in it for the money. He even shows her the gun, saying that he was going to kill her. She challenges him, and he tries to shoot, but Peggy has removed the bullets from it, exclaiming that their love is perfect.
Brutally, Peggy kills Charles with the ax, and the following morning Aunt Edith picks Peggy up from the family estate, and they discuss how Peggy’s daughter will do the same on her wedding night.
On to the rating…
Oh man, what happened here? This episode was a train wreck, and not in the sense that this is a horror story about train wrecks. Nothing worked in this episode. The acting was bad, the story was poorly thought out, and the ‘horror’ was laughable.
From the very first scene it was obvious that, although it was the groom’s plan to kill his bride, she would be the one to turn the tables on him. Like I said at the beginning of this review, with only six episodes in the season, you’d think HBO would put in the effort to make them all better than average.
Come back next month, where I’ll be wrapping up the first season, and see if they are able to recover some ground. We all know those people that consider their pets as a real part of the family, perhaps you are that person, but I doubt you’d take it to the extremes of the housewife in the final episode.
For more from Dr. AzarRising, please visit his website here.