Tales from the Crypt (1989–1996)
8 user 1 critic

What's Cookin' 

Married couple Fred and Erma's restaurant has seen better days. But things change once a stranger walks in, with a rather unique steak recipe...


Gilbert Adler


William M. Gaines (in the comic magazine entitled 'The Haunt of Fear') (as originally published by), A L Katz (screenplay) | 2 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Christopher Reeve ... Fred
Bess Armstrong ... Erma
Art LaFleur ... Phil
Meat Loaf ... Chumley
Judd Nelson ... Gaston
John Kassir ... Crypt Keeper (voice)
Jeannette Lewis Jeannette Lewis ... First Secretary
Helen Nassilski Helen Nassilski ... Second Secretary (as Helen Nasillski)


Married couple Fred and Erma's restaurant has seen better days. But things change once a stranger walks in, with a rather unique steak recipe...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

22 July 1992 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby (as Dolby Surround)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Fred's wife Erma mentions "The Daily Bugle" to her husband. The fictional newspaper is the one Peter Parker worked for in the Spider Man comic book series. See more »


Crypt Keeper: [upon pulling out a chef's eye] Next time I book a table for 8 o'clock, Wolfgang, I expect to be seated at 8 o'clock! Yes, a good whine. Not a great whine, but locally groan, that's for sure. A pleasant enough boo-que. Almost reminds me of a good scream sherry! I hope you brought your appetites, kiddies, because tonight's tasteless tidbit is something I'm sure you'll savor. It's a real epi-gorian delight about a nice young couple who find the restaurant business a little hard to swallow. I call ...
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Tales from the Crypt Theme
Composed by Danny Elfman
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Yummy! Meat loaf for dinner!
27 April 2006 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Now this is exactly what I expect and hope to find in a "Tales from the Crypt"-episode! A fun and undemanding story, some gore, morbid black humor and familiar faces in unusual roles! "What's Cookin' features it all! The late Christopher Reeve stars as an unsuccessful restaurant owner with loads of debts and no customers for his cephalopod-dishes. When merciless landlord Chumley threatens to throw him out, homeless employee Gaston comes along with a wonderful recipe for steak and saves Fred and Erma's restaurant! The steakhouse rapidly becomes the hottest joint in town, but what exactly is Gaston's culinary secret? And where has Mr. Chumley gone all of a sudden? You guessed it; pretty much like in Paul Bartel's cult-favorite "Eating Raoul", human flesh is served as a true delicacy here and everyone is ordering seconds! This is a very amusing entry in the Crypt-series, neatly directed by Gilbert Adler who was one of the principal producers of the entire franchise. The plot offers no surprises but the acting performances are enthusiast and there's a fair amount of action. And they can say whatever they want about vegetarianism but those steaks looked extremely good and gave me the munchies! Christopher Reeve, Art LaFleur and Meat Loaf are all great in their roles and especially Judd Nelson seems to have fun as the supplier of fresh meat! This episode ranks top 3 best "Tales…" of the whole fourth season.

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