Tales from the Crypt (1989–1996)
6 user 3 critic

Mournin' Mess 

A journalist tries to solve the case of a mysterious serial killer who's been killing homeless people all across the city. What he doesn't realize is how deep the conspiracy behind the murders goes.


Manny Coto


Manny Coto (screenplay), Steven Dodd (creator)

On Disc

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Episode cast overview:
Steven Weber ... Dale Sweeney
Rita Wilson ... Jess Gilchrist
Ally Walker ... Elaine Tillman
Vincent Schiavelli ... Robert
Nick Angotti Nick Angotti ... Copard
Frank Kopyc ... Climsky
John Kassir ... Crypt Keeper (voice)
Stack Pierce Stack Pierce ... Dancer
Gary Pagett Gary Pagett ... Minister
Jacqylyn Moet Jacqylyn Moet ... Woman


There's a killer on the loose who preys on the homeless. Dale Sweeney is a recently fired reporter. He's approached by a homeless man named Robert who is accused of committing these murders. He tells Dale that he will give him the whole story with names to help prove his innocence if Dale will go the Grateful Homeless Cemetery and hang out until sunset then meet him after. Dale gets sidetracked by Jess Gilchrist, the spokesperson for the Grateful Homeless Society. By the time he meets up with Robert, he finds he has become the latest victim of the homeless killer. Dale is on his own to uncover the identity of the killer. Written by grrlpunk

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

31 July 1991 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The original story from the "Mournin' Mess" in TALES FROM THE CRYPT was about a man who wanders into a town frequented by vampires. See more »


Dale Sweeney: Wait a minute, wait a minute, why me?
Robert: 'Cos you look hungrier than I do.
See more »


Featured in No Small Parts: Vincent Schiavelli (2014) See more »


Tales from the Crypt Theme
Composed by Danny Elfman
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User Reviews

Small tribute to the great Vincent Schiavelli
2 February 2006 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Recently, a great and hugely charismatic actor named Vincent Schiavelli passed away the rather young age of 57 years old. Schiavelli was a very underrated actor, who appeared in over 150 films and TV-shows, but he nearly always played supportive roles or appeared in cameos and therefore he never got the credit he really deserved. Yet, his starring was always memorable because he played eccentric characters in his very own and unique style. From his entire and versatile repertoire, one of my favorite Vincent Schiavelli roles has got to be in the legendary Tales from the Crypt episode called "Mournin' Mess". Here he plays a homeless guy who's wanted for murder, but he discovers a morbid conspiracy that camouflages itself as a charitable institution. He then tips off unemployed journalist Steven Weber who hopes to have a scoop with the story. Vincent Schiavelli only appears in two extended sequences, but he looks genuinely scary with his bizarre eyes and untidy hygiene. Many Coto (writer and director of the outrageous mini-classic "Dr. Giggles") solidly directed the episode that also contains a couple of cheerful gore-effects and a delightfully absurd twist in the end. Vincent Schiavelli played in several important cinema milestones, such as "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest", "Amadeus" and "Ghost", but we certainly won't forget the smaller, more horror-oriented parts he played. This comment is for you, Vincent…

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