Tales from the Crypt—Season 3

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun anthology series continues to be strong

Stories and acting can often be hit or miss


“I am the LAW!!!”

The Crypt Keeper is back with a whole new collection of tales of the dark and macabre.  From scorned lovers, to bank robbers with no conscience, to actors, and to pranks that go wrong…dead wrong, the Crypt Keeper will tell them all…Pleasant nightmares!

Tales from the Crypt—Season 3 aired from June 15, 1991 to August 28, 1991 on HBO.  The series was one of HBO’s early forays into original programming and continued to be critically acclaimed.

Tales from the Crypt is just a fun series.  Much like The Twilight Zone, the episodes can be hit or miss, and you can almost always guess the twist ending before it happens.  It isn’t about the twist, but about the ride.


The Crypt Keeper makes Whoopi

The Tales from the Crypt comics are quite simple.  Unlike The Twilight Zone the series replaces the sci-fi with gore, but it is usually very over-the-top and not necessarily as horrific as a standard horror film.  The movie has a bit more of a “classic” horror feel than the modern horror.  Everyone pays for their indiscretions, and no one escapes their fate.

The series also manages to pull in fun guests and directors.  Be it Kirk Douglas, Teri Garr, Andrew McCarthy, Kyle MacLachlan, Jon Lovitz, Anthony LaPaglia, Whoopi Goldberg, Dan Aykroyd, Lance Henriksen, or Tim Roth, the show is kind of a who’s who of the early ’90s.  Michael J. Fox steps in on “The Trap” which he also directed and Tobe Hooper (“Dead Wait”) and Robert Zemeckis (“Yellow”) also guest direct.

Tales from the Crypt is a good series that should be revisited or checked out if you never got a chance to watch it.  With syndication, the show showed up on a lot of networks, but often edited down.  Get the DVDs for a fun, quick watch.

Tales From the Crypt—Season 3 Complete Episode Guide:


“The Trap”

3.1       The Trap Airdate:  06/15/91

Luigi “Lou” Paloma (Bruce McGill) finds himself down on his luck and makes his wife Irene (Teri Garr) and his brother Billy (Bruno Kirby) help him fake his death to get his insurance.  When Irene and Billy play a double cross, Lou finds his plans going south.  Adapted from Shock SuspenStories #18



“Loved to Death”

3.2       Loved to Death Airdate:  06/15/91

A screenwriter named Edward Foster (Andrew McCarthy) finds himself infatuated with an actress in his apartment building named Miranda Singer (Mariel Hemingway).  When his mysterious unseen landlord (David Hemmings) sets up a meeting, Edward learns finds he can’t get Miranda’s attention.  The offer of a love potion looks like it could make things for right for Edward.  Adapted from Tales from the Crypt #25

tales-from-the-crypt-season-3-2-carrion-death-kyle maclachlan

“Carrion Death”

3.3       Carrion Death Airdate:  06/15/91

An escaped bank robber named Earl Raymond Digs (Kyle MacLachlan) finds himself pursued by a cop (George DelHoyo) who won’t stop.  When Earl heads into the desert to reach Mexico, it could become a life or death situation.  Adapts Shock SuspenStories #9


“Abra Cadaver”

3.4       Abra Cadaver Airdate:  06/19/91

When a prank by Dr. Carl Fairbanks (Tony Goldwyn) takes the career of his talented surgeon brother Martin (Beau Bridges), Carl feels indebted to Martin.  Funding his unusual experiments, Carl discovers Martin is experimenting with voodoo resurrection and finds himself dead but trapped alive inside his body.  Adapts Tales from the Crypt #37


“Top Billing”

3.5       Top Billing Airdate:  06/26/91

Barry Blye (Jon Lovitz) is an actor with high standards but low appeal.  His agent (Louise Fletcher) has let him go and his girlfriend Lisa (Kimmy Robertson) has left him.  Winton Robbins (Bruce Boxleitner) is a sellout, but working actor, in competition with Barry.  When Barry is cast by Nelson Halliwell (John Astin) as Hamlet without a reading, Barry wonders if a change is necessary to keep working.  Adapts The Vault of Horror #39


“Dead Wait”

3.6       Dead Wait Airdate:  07/03/91

A crook named Red Buckley (James Remar) learns of a rare black pearl being held on an island plantation and poses as a farmer to get there.  Hired by Duval (John Rhys-Davies), Red is warned by Peligre (Whoopi Goldberg) that the farm is dangerous, but Red begins to seduce Duval’s lover Kathrine (Vanity) as a partner-in-crime.  When the island rebels get closer to the plantation, the pearl disappears, and Red learns getting his hands on the pearl might not be the greatest treasure on the island.  Adapts The Vault of Horror #23


“The Reluctant Vampire”

3.7       The Reluctant Vampire Airdate:  07/10/91

A vampire named Donald Longtooth (Malcolm McDowell) with a conscience works within a blood bank.  When he begins to fall for a co-worker named Sally (Sandra Dickinson) and the blood bank is threatened by closing by its owner (George Wendt), Donald takes matters into his own hands to get the blood bank’s supply up as Rupert Van Helsing (Michael Berryman) closes in on him with the police (Paul Gleason).  Adapts The Vault of Horror #20


“Easel Kill Ya”

3.8       Easel Kill Ya Airdate:  07/17/91

A troubled artist named Jack Craig (Tim Roth) tries to suppress his homicidal tendencies through a support group.  When he accidentally kills a neighbor, Jack’s talent for portraying death blossoms.  Jack finds a buyer (William Atherton) for his work and wonders if he can quit despite the help from another member named Ellen (Debra Mooney).  Adapts The Vault of Horror #31


“Undertaking Palor”

3.9       Undertaking Palor Airdate:  07/24/91

A group of film-savvy kids accidentally uncover an undertaker (John Glover) working with a pharmacist (Graham Jarvis) to kill patients and profit from the funerals.  When the father of Josh (Jonathan Ke Quan) is killed, the children set out to expose the truth.  Adapts Tales from the Crypt #39


“Mourin’ Mess”

3.10     Mournin’ Mess Airdate:  07/31/91

A reporter named Dale Sweeney (Steven Weber) is down on his luck.  He’s been fired by his boss (Ally Walker) and evicted from his home.  Now he has a big lead on a series of murders involving homeless men and an accused killer (Vincent Schiavelli) claims a special cemetery for the homeless and its manager (Rita Wilson) are involved.  Adapts Tales from the Crypt #38


“Split Second”

3.11     Split Second Airdate:  08/07/91

A waitress named Liz Kelly (Michelle Johnson) at a small bar marries a local lumberjack named Steve (Brion James) after a quick meeting.  When Steve becomes too controlling, Liz looks elsewhere and finds a young lumberjack named Ted (Billy Wirth).  Steve has a jealous temper and when Ted pays the price, revenge could be deadly.  Adapts Shock SuspenStories #4



3.12     Deadline Airdate:  08/14/91

A drunken reporter named Charles McKenzie (Richard Jordan) finds himself out of work and at the bottom of a bottle.  When he begin seeing a woman named Vicki (Marg Helgenberger), and he decides to sober up and get his old job back.  Now stuck on the crimebeat, Charles has a deadline and needs to find a crime soon before the pressure gets too great.  Adapts Shock SuspenStories #12



3.13     Spoiled Airdate:  08/21/91

A doctor named Leon (Alan Rachins) is obsessed with his work ends up neglecting his soap-opera loving wife Janet (Faye Grant).  When Janet finds sex in the arms of the cable installer Abel (Anthony LaPaglia), Leon’s experimental new drug might get a new test subjects.  Adapts Haunt of Fear #26



3.14     Yellow Airdate:  08/28/91

A World War I offensive leads to the military being cut off from their support.  General Kalthrob (Kirk Douglas) agrees to let his cowardly son Martin (Eric Douglas) leave the front lines in exchange for a mission to reestablish the line of communication.  When Martin fails his assignment and is exposed by a fellow soldier (Lance Henriksen), Kalthrob must make the most difficult decision.  Adapts Shock SuspenStories #1

Related Links:

Tales from the Crypt—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Tales from the Crypt—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Tales from the Crypt—Season 4 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Tales from the Crypt—Season 5 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Tales from the Crypt—Season 6 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Tales from the Crypt—Season 7 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Tales from the Crypt (1972)

The Vault of Horror (1973)


Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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