(Re)Animations: Tales from the Cryptkeeper



With the continuous onslaught of unoriginal remakes currently assaulting the horror-filled hills of Hollywood, it has become more difficult for a genuinely modern horror franchise to emerge (with the exception of Saw, but let's not go there). So it is with great affection that today's (Re)Animation reflects on a franchise that has achieved a legendary level of success, Tales from the Crypt (more specifically Tales from the Cryptkeeper).

Originating in the early 1950s as a bi-monthly anthology published by the late EC Comics, Tales from the Crypt brought to life tales of the grotesque, greedy and their eventual utterly grim demise. Alongside The Old Witch and The Vault Keeper, The Cryptkeeper portrayed the consequences of bad moral choices in all of its ghastly-comical, gory splendor. Although an attempt was made to bring the "scream team" to life on film in Amicus Production's Tales from the Crypt (1972), the series trademark black humor didn't return until HBO's tv series Tales from the Crypt (1989). Much more ghoulish in its portrayal of death, nudity and comedy (due to the lighter restrictions on premium cable networks), HBO's Tales from the Crypt was grounded by the vocal talents of John Kassir, whose cackled hackney puns as the titular Cryptkeeper have become a staple of the franchise.

Although the series ended syndication in 1996, it inspired a trio of feature-length films and even an animated series on ABC. Tales from the Cryptkeeper (1993) filed down its fangs for its younger viewer, essentially doing away with the violence and adult language in favor of ghosts, goblins and monsters. Developed by Nelvana, it was the first true appearance of The Old Witch and The Vault Keeper since their EC Comics days along with The Cryptkeeper (voiced by Kassir). Lasting two seasons (not including the New Tales from the Cryptkeeper in 1999) it still makes select appearances on Canadian television around Halloween with some full episodes available online as well. For those seeking a true viewing experience, though, a season one DVD release is available at Amazon.ca.





5 comments:

  1. skinny insect said...:

    Brings back so many memories. I spent a lot of Saturday mornings watching this. My dad was always cleaning shit and my mom was already in the garden 'tooling' around. Man oh man I wish they would put these on DVD.

  1. ghostLAB.DS said...:

    Its already been done my brotha: http://www.amazon.ca/Tales-Cryptkeeper-Pleasant-Screams-Complete/dp/B000TZJC32/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1253476215&sr=8-1.

    I just received my copy of Season 1 last week and its been classic. I forgot just how awesome these toons were!

  1. skinny insect said...:

    well fuck a duck my friend! i'm behind the times!! i'm about to jump up on that shite

  1. Jay Amabile said...:

    I actually have the sets of this series and I think they are a must own for fans of the series. They translate well to the younger audience and maintain their entertainment value for adults as well.

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    @Jay: I couldn't agree more! I was able to get my paws on the first set, but the second set has yet to fallen into my possession. Definitely well-produced.

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