Rising from the Crypt: Til Death

Top of the morning to yeh… Ok enough of that. Maybe you’re hung over from the Irish related festivities yesterday, but I’ve got the cure for you my faithful gravediggers and undertakers. Another entry in the continuing chroniclization of the landmark series, Tales from the Crypt! In our latest edition, we take a look at an episode that proves it’s worth paying attention to the warning labels.

Tales from the Crypt

Season 2 Episode 4 “Til Death”

Directed by Chris Walas

Starring D.W. Moffett, Pamela Glen, Janet Hubert

Originally aired: April 24th 1990

Sourced from: Vault of Horror #28

D.W. Moffett plays Logan Andrews, a plantation owner who is trying to expand his ownings in the Caribbean. To achieve those goals, he decides to use his “magnetic charm” to woo a local heiress for her considerable wealth. The plan, crafted by his friend Dr. Freddy (played by Aubrey Morris) crashes and burns before it really gets off the ground

The heiress, Margaret (Pamela Glen), sees right through Logan’s attempts, and rebuffs him coldly. Undeterred, Logan formulates a new plan, utilizing the abilities of his ex, a voodoo priestess. From her, he receives a love potion that comes with a warning. ‘one drink and she’ll love you for a time, two drinks and she’ll love you forever.’

Seems innocuous enough, and Logan eagerly takes the potion. Slipping it into Margaret’s drink, she becomes madly obsessed with him, and that night they make love (or whatever you call it when love’s not actually involved. That’s right, they fucked.) They begin talks of Logan’s business plan, and all seems to be in order. However, shortly after, Margaret begins to revert to herself and Logan realizes the potion has begun to wear off.

Logan decides his only option is to give Margaret a second drink of the potion, but he is ill prepared for the results. Tricking Margaret to have another drink with much more potion than was recommended, or even needed, she is now completely infatuated with him, and all is lining up in his favor… or is it?

This is Tales from the Crypt, of course something goes wrong! Margaret almost immediately gets sick as the voodoo priestess chants a spell in her shed. Unsure of how to help her, or at least keep her alive long enough to have the deeds and money he needs procured from her, he enlists the aid of Freddy.

To their dismay, she dies that same night in bed, and is buried without Logan ever getting the money he sought after. Drunk at her grave, Logan is shocked when Margaret bursts out of the ground completely enamored with him. So they fuck again, this time on her actual grave next to the hole she climbed out of.

The following morning, things are off with Margaret, who is still lusting after Logan, but there’s a rank smell in the air. That night, Logan confides in Freddy that he was wrong when he pronounced her dead. Freddy questions how that can be when he’s already embalmed her. Then for some reason, Margaret chops his head off with a machete.

With a better look at her face, Logan sees that it’s begun to decay, and she is in fact dead. He recalls the warning for the potion and realizes his folly in overdosing her with it.

He tries shooting her several times, however it does no permanent damage to her, only her dress. A chase ensues, leading them to the swamps beyond the property, and Logan falls in. Margaret can’t allow him to die, she loves him, so she pulls him out. This gives Logan an opening to grab the gas lantern that she was using and set her on fire and pushes her into the swamp, drowning the skeletal zombie that was Margaret.

Thinking she’s finally done, he returns home and tries to enjoy a drink. Unfortunately, Margaret shows up to ruin his libation. Scared witless, with no other options before him, Logan decides to kill himself by overdosing on some pills and poison Dr. Freddy had in his medical bag. (Why he had poison is beyond me, but at least it proved useful). What follows is possibly the most overacted, over the top death scene in the show’s entire run, and that’s saying something.

Much to Logan’s dismay, he awakes in the voodoo priestess’ hut, who explains that he’s stuck with Margaret who is little more than a skeleton and a massive grotesque tongue. At least the good news is that the priestess reanimated Freddy’s head.

On to the rating…

I was ready to give this episode a much worse rating, but after re-watching it, I came around to the absurdity of it. It’s horribly acted, but honestly, that is more the norm for Crypt as opposed to an exception. But in that shitty acting is where the charm lies.

Had this episode been handled seriously, it wouldn’t have worked on any level. However, taking a lighter tone worked well in it’s favor. None of the actors are anyone with a name, although Freddy is another of those faces from the 80/90’s that you’ve seen often.

The makeup and costume design improved as the episode progressed. Margaret’s initial decaying faces was pretty shoddy work, but once she progressed to full on zombie and later skeleton, the special effects were spot on.

Episode is far from perfect, but worth a romp for a lighter horror mood.

For more from Dr. AzarRising, please visit his website here.

Dr. AzarRising

Alex Azar is an award winning author bred, born, and raised in New Jersey. He had aspirations beyond his humble beginnings, goals that would take him to the skyscrapers of Metropolis and the alleys of Gotham. Alex was going to be a superhero. Then one tragic day, tragedy tragically struck. He remembered he wasn't an orphan and by law would only be able to become a sidekick. Circumstances preventing him from achieving his dream, Alex's mind fractured and he now spends his nights writing about the darkest horrors that plague the recesses of his twisted mind and black heart. His days are filled being the dutiful sidekick the law requires him to be, until he can one day be the hero the world (at least New Jersey) needs. Until that day comes, he can be reached via email azarrising@hotmail.com or azarrising.com

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