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Warner Home Video presents
Tales From the Crypt: The Complete Fifth Season (1993)

"You've got to pay closer attention to your oral die-giene, or you'll end up looking like me."
- The Crypt Keeper (John Kassir)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga  
Published: November 09, 2006

Stars: John Kassir
Other Stars: Steve Buscemi, Roger Daltrey, Traci Lords, David Paymer, Vincent Spano, Martin Sheen, Billy Zane, Kevin Dillon, Adam West, Sam Waterston, Patsy Kensit, Ernie Hudson, Joan Chen, Bill Paxton, Nina Siemaszko, Anthony Michael Hall, Brooke Shields, Perry King, Priscilla Presley, Lou Diamond Phillips, Cheech Marin, Clancy Brown, John Stamos
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult language, graphic violence, sexual situations)
Run Time: 06h:20m:00s
Release Date: October 31, 2006
UPC: 012569753938
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

It's always good to know that an old friend is always around on DVD. Warner Home Video continues to give maximum exposure to Tales from the Crypt, and Season 5 is the latest episode collection of what is a classic anthology series.

All 13 episodes that aired in 1993 are here, and, while this wasn't the best overall season of the show, there are plenty of strong, fun entries. The first, Death of Some Salesmen, stars Ed Begley Jr. as a con man who has sighted his next victims. Unfortunately, the people he's targeted are the Brackett family (a trio of roles, all played by the entertaining Tim Curry), who have a secret of their own hiding in the basement.

As Ye Sow not only stars Adam West, Sam Waterston, and Patsy Kensit, but it also finds Kyle MacLachlan in the director's chair. The story isn't the most engaging, though, although we do get to see quite a bit of the lovely Ms. Kensit. Forever Ambergris is another mediocre effort, despite an early appearance by Steve Buscemi. The Who's Roger Daltrey plays Dalton Scott, a war photographer who falls in love with his friend's wife. Dalton comes home from the war, but something is different; something that will eventually affect everyone he comes into contact with.

Next is Food for Thought, an interesting effort involving a psychic, with Ernie Hudson and Joan Chen, and the excellent People Who Live in Brass Hearses. This episode stars Bill Paxton as Billy, a criminal who seeks revenge after his old boss put him in jail. It doesn't get much better than this in Season 5, thanks in large part to the work by Brad Dourif. Two for the Show is another fun one, with Traci Lords starring as Emma, whose husband Andy (David Paymer) goes ballistic when he suspects she is cheating. In classic Diabolique fashion, a dead body is placed in a bathtub, but it doesn't stay there for long.

The darkly comedic thrills continue in House of Horror, with Entourage's Kevin Dillon as one of many fraternity pledges who must get to the top floor of a "haunted" dwelling. After an incredible performance from Martin Sheen in Well Cooked Hams, we come to my personal favorite from this season, Creep Course. This very funny, sexy, and scary installment features not only Anthony Michael Hall as a crooked jock, but also the gorgeous Nina Siemaszko as nerd by day/mummy's girlfriend by night. After four seasonal sets of waiting, it's great to finally have this classic readily available on DVD.

Came the Dawn is a twisted (if that's possible) take on Psycho, starring Brooke Shields and Perry King, while Oil's Well That Ends Well overcomes a cheesy title with fun (and equally cheesy) performances by Priscilla Presley and Lou Diamond Phillips. This set closes with Half-way Horrible, a voodoo tale featuring Cheech Marin and Clancy Brown, and Till Death Do We Part, starring John Stamos as a male escort who cheats on his older fiancée with a younger woman. The consequences are typical series fare, making for a nice bookend to another wonderful collection of episodes.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The 13 shows here are presented in their original format, and the overall quality continues to improve with each new installment. The colors are a bit brighter, with solid blacks and contrast levels working together to create crisp images. There's still some dirt and grain, but most of the flaws are either inherent or seem to have been cleaned up.

Image Transfer Grade: C+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: Once again, the Dolby Digital 2.0 is nothing special, but these newer shows do utilize the surrounds a bit more, offering a slightly fuller, more dynamic audio experience. The music and ambient sounds also blend in nicely with the consistently clear dialogue.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 65 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
Packaging: Nexpak
Picture Disc
3 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Death of Some Salesmen Virtual Comic Book
Extras Review: The extras are disappointing this time around. There's a Death of Some Salesmen Virtual Comic Book, which is a nearly 14-minute collection of comic book pages representing the Tales from the Crypt episode of the same name. While the Crypt Keeper provides some fun narration, this is far from entertaining.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

Get ready for more darkly funny tales of greed, deception, and just plain horror, as Tales from the Crypt: The Complete Fifth Season is ready for DVD primetime. While the set is basically status quo with the rest of series collections, the lone extra is a disappointment.


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