It’s the most wonderful time of year! Halloween season is upon us, and we are back with another celebration of all things scary. Geekade’s got spooky stuff going on all month long, including some fresh entries from yours truly. First up on this apology tour for being away for so long, is possible the scariest topic of all time… Insurance Claims!!!!!!
Tales from the Crypt
Season 2 Episode 7 “The Sacrifice”
Directed by Richard Greenberg
Starring Kim Delaney, Kevin Killer, and Michael Ironside
Originally aired: May 15th 1990
Sourced from: Shock SuspenStories #17
The story starts with an insurance salesman, James, visiting a wealthy curmudgeon named Sebastian Fielding, who updates his policy. Terrifying stuff. But, by working with James’ boss, he negotiates a kickback on the investment, making money on his own insurance policy. James then begins an affair with Sebastian’s wife, Gloria, who is made the sole beneficiary of the policy. Furthermore, James plans to murder Sebastian and run away with Gloria after diverting any police suspicion. Following through with his totally sound and not at all risky plan, James tosses Sebastian over a railing, making it appear his fall and subsequent death were accidental.
The plan seems to be going off without a hitch, until James’ boss, Jasper (the always incredible Michael Ironside) shows up at the apartment while James is still there. He reveals that from his apartment across the street he witnessed the murder and has photo evidence of it. He lets James know that he and Gloria used to be an item, and that he’s still wildly obsessed with her.
He comes up with a plan to blackmail James to “share” Gloria, that ends up being as depraved as it sounds. From dusk to dawn Jasper will have ‘rights’ to Gloria, James can have her the rest of the day. This goes on for three months with Jasper getting more and more out of control, including having Gloria hire hookers to watch them have sex.
The regret and shame gets to be too much for James, and he commits suicide, writing a confession absolving Gloria of any wrong doing. When she finds his body, and ensures he’s dead, Gloria burns the note and leaving his lifeless body to be discovered by someone else.
She then enters Jasper’s car, and the ruse is revealed that Jasper and Gloria were in on it together the whole time, and the plan was for the two of them to run away without James or Sebastian to complicate it.
Back at Sebastian’s apartment, we learn that his parrot remembers everything about his death, and can’t keep his beak shut.
On to the rating…
First Miguel Ferrer, now Michael Ironside? This season has got the best two-bit villain actors of all time. It’s a shame Ironside didn’t have a meatier role in this episode as it could only have helped it. As it stands, this episode was rather lackluster. Not terrible by any means, but far from the best. And so, we’ve got to go with another disappointing 3 Feet Deep.
The acting by the main cast was all fine and well, only Sebastian stunk up the place, but he was disposed of rather quickly, so that can be forgiven, to a point. The crux of the episode was played out by James and Gloria, as if Ironside had better commitments to and could only show up for two scenes.
The story was ok, but rather predictable as things played out. The ultimate betrayal was easy to see coming, even though they tried too hard to pretend Gloria hated Jasper. That forced animosity made it difficult to buy into the lie they were selling.
Also, with one of only two deaths occurring off screen, this episode really lacked in the horror department. This feels like the major downfall of most Crypt episodes as I rewatch them all these years later.
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