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 »

On Disc

at Amazon




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 'N Erma's neon sign has seen better days. Letters are burnt out, so that all that's left is __E_ N E_MAS. See more »


Crypt Keeper: I suppose it's a little too late for Gaston to save face! Talk about a flesh in the pan.
Crypt Keeper: I guess that's what happens when you butcher money where your mouth is.
Crypt Keeper: As for me, kiddies, I say it's time for taps. Mmmm. 'Til next time, restaurateur in peace.
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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

Dinner Time
12 January 2017 | by hellraiser7See all my reviews

This is my forth favorite tale in the series, the plot line is uncannily similar to the 80's horror film "Blood Dinner" where humans are on the menu. The episode isn't really so much a horror though there is an element of it, it's more like a black comedy.

Judd Nelson is solid as antagonist Gaston as you can tell just like the floors he cleans his psyche isn't clean. This guy is a psychotic slime that is just slithering his way to take Fred's business and life. Art Laflour is also good as the fellow cop, he has this dry comic tone to him. Bess Armstrong is good as Fred's wife there is a good back and forth between both Fred and her.

However to me what I really liked is Christopher Reeve one of my favorite actors and I'll admit I was really surprised he would even be in an episode of this show, but then again there are a lot of other things I'm a little surprised certain actors are in.

I really liked his character whom is a man with big dreams but just a lot of bad luck. Let alone he's probably barking up the wrong tree using squid as a sole selling point (he probably should've made it a sea food restaurant like Ivar's). He really does have potential to make it he just needs a chance, and he gets it in one hell of a way. We can see that Fred is morally conflicted with the new position he's been given, where he is enduring success beyond his wildest dreams despite the dire price paid.

And of course things get really hot when we see Gaston gets greedy and then seizes an opportunity to go into business himself. But as an old saying goes it's a dog eat dog world.

Rating: 4 stars

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