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Tales from the Crypt (TV Series 1989–1996) Poster

(1989–1996)

Trivia

The introduction sequence that started every episode through the Cryptkeeper's home is actually the size of a miniature golf course green. Small "snorkel" cameras were used to film this portion. The descent into the crypt in the end of the intro is computer generated.
John Kassir came up with the trademark voice of the Cryptkeeper himself. When Kassir auditioned for the part, the producers loved it so much they almost immediately chose him.
The show was originally only planned for three seasons, but it proved so popular it lasted seven. Series creator William M. Gaines only lived to see season three.
John Kassir, voice of the Cryptkeeper, often had to swallow lemon juice and honey to sooth his throat after doing his lines.
The series was originally envisioned as a trilogy story feature film. This was changed to a television program because the producers feared it would bomb as a movie, as trilogy-style horror films rarely had success at the box office.
It took six puppeteers to operate the Cryptkeeper during his scenes, four puppeteers alone just for his facial expressions.
While animatronics expert/puppetmaster Kevin Yagher was in the final stages of designing the Cryptkeeper, he tried on a few noses to see which would look best for the character - who had already shed lips, hair and most of his teeth - but none looked quite right. Director and producer Robert Zemeckis simply remarked, "You know, you don't necessarily have to have a nose."
For the episodes they directed, Walter Hill ("Cutting Cards") and Joel Silver ("Split Personality") studied the comic book originals they were based on and used them to plan out their shots.
Walter Hill cast William Sadler in the lead for "The Man Who Was Death" only if Sadler promised to perform exactly the way he did for the audition.
The concept for the movie The Frighteners (1996) was originally going to be a Tales From the Crypt film, but Robert Zemeckis loved the script so much that he had it spun off with Peter Jackson directing.
At William M. Gaines 's request, director Robert Zemeckis coaxed a bloodcurdling scream from Mary Ellen Trainor in the closing scene of "And All Through the House."
For the final season (7), production moved to England.
The series was released by HBO Home Video on 7 DVD Volumes in the USA and Canada.
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John Kassir would go on to voice the Cryptkeeper in the kid friendly animated version of this show called Tales from the Cryptkeeper (1993).
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Tales from the Crypt (1989) alumni Miguel Ferrer and William Sadler both appeared in Iron Man 3 (2013).
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Tiny Toon Adventures (1990) parodied this series in the episode, "Toons From The Crypt", with Buster Bunny, voiced by Charles Adler, portraying a Cryptkeeper-type character telling scary stories. Later in the series, John Kassir, who's the voice of the Cryptkeeper, would go on to voice Buster Bunny after Adler left the show.
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The series was released by HBO Home Video on 12 VHS Volumes in the USA and Canada.
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William Sadler (credited as Bill Sadler), who plays an executioner and the titular character in the very first episode titled "The Man Who Was Death", would go on to play the Grim Reaper two years later in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991).
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William Sadler ("The Man Who Was Death") and Billy Zane ("Well Cooked Hams") both ended up starring in the first theatrical adaptation of this show, Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995).
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The episode, "Loved to Death", follows the same plotline as The Twilight Zone (1959) episode, "The Chaser".
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Freddie Francis, who directed the season seven episode, "Last Respects", directed Tales from the Crypt (1972).
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Sometimes mistaken for another anthology show, Tales from the Darkside (1983) mainly due to almost identical titles.
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The character name Judd Campbell appeared in season 5 episode "Death of Some Salesmen" as well as season 6 episode "The Pit".
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The final episode, "The Third Pig", is the only episode in the entire series that's not only animated. It's also the only episode that isn't an adaptation of any of the stories from the original EC Comic books.
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Death Becomes Her (1992), which was directed by this show's producer, Robert Zemeckis, is often said to be "an extended episode" of Tales from the Crypt (1989).
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During the Cryptkeeper intro in episode four of season one, "Only Sin Deep", he looks into a mirror and chants the "Mirror, Mirror" rhyme to which it breaks. He proclaims that he's brought seven years bad luck. In fact, the show lasted for seven years from 1989 to 1996.
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A year after this show had ended, HBO made a spin-off series called Perversions of Science (1997) which lasted ten episodes. The show was based off of the 1950s science fiction EC Comics like "Weird Science" and "Weird Fantasy". Like this show, it had a host, only this time, the host was a female robot named Chrome.
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Not all of the episodes were based specifically on the "Tales From The Crypt" comic book series of the 1950s EC Comics. Many episodes were also based on the "Vault of Horror", the "Haunt of Fear", "Shock SuspenStories", "Crime SuspenStories", and "Two-Fisted Tales" comic book series.
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Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995) and Bordello of Blood (1996) were spin-off films of this show that were released in theaters. Ritual (2002) was the third film that was meant to be released theatrically. However, it released without any connection to Tales from the Crypt (1989) until 2006.
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The fifteenth episode of season six, "You, Murderer", was the only episode that used computer generated imagery. This was for "resurrecting" the long deceased Humphrey Bogart by using old films to digitally insert his face on either a stand-in or a dummy in scenes where the main character's face is shown in mirrors and other reflective surfaces, since the whole episode is seen through his point of view. The effects were done by Industrial Light & Magic which also previously worked on Robert Zemeckis's Oscar winning film, Forrest Gump (1994).
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Miguel Ferrer appeared in three episodes in this show. The episodes are episode six of season two, "The Thing From the Grave", episode two of season five, "As Ye Sow", and episode ten of season six, "In the Groove".
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This show was briefly spun off into a radio series by Seeing Ear Theatre, an online subsidiary of the SyFy Channel, in 2000 with John Kassir once again voicing the Cryptkeeper. Only eight of the originally planned thirteen episodes were recorded. However, one of the eight episodes, "This Trick'll Kill You", was never released nor included on the CD set because it was deemed too gruesome.
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A Cryptkeeper-led Christmas album called "Have Yourself A Scary Little Christmas" was released in 1994.
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In the third and final season of Tales from the Cryptkeeper (1993), the Cryptkeeper's appearance took on a more shaggy and gaunt look similar to this show despite the difference in skin tone and eyes. In the first two seasons, the Cryptkeepers appearance was a bit more skeletal with stringy hair.
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Clarence Williams III, who starred in the season four episode, "Maniac at Large", starred in the African American film version of this show called Tales from the Hood (1995).
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Fox had aired a pilot for "Two-Fisted Tales" which was intended to be a spin-off series to this show in 1991. The show was based off of the 50s EC Comics of the same name. The episodes, "Yellow", "Showdown", and "King of the Road" were originally intended to be the first episodes of that show. When the network passed on the pilot however, the episodes were given to HBO and the Cryptkeeper segments were added onto those episodes.
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According to John Kassir, in the first season, he had to do his lines slowly because the show didn't have a big budget for the Cryptkeeper's mouth to movie more quickly.
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Secrets of the Cryptkeeper's Haunted House (1996) was a kids' game show semi-spinoff with John Kassir returning as the voice of the Cryptkeeper.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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