Horror and sci-fi anthology tv shows seem to have been around for as long as televisions themselves: Tales of Tomorrow in 1951; The Twilight Zone in 1959; The Outer Limits in 1963; Night Gallery in 1970; Ghost Story in 1972; The Hitchhiker in 1983; Tales from the Darkside in 1984; Monsters and Freddy’s Nightmares in 1988.
Until the last decade, most horror-themed television shows were watered down due to the ratings policies of general broadcast television. But there was one show, born from cable tv and found its way to late-night syndication with less editing than expected, that still claims the throne of the televised horror anthology: Tales from the Crypt.
Season 1 Episode 05: Lover Come Hack to Me (first aired June 21st, 1989)
Source Story: Haunt of Fear #19
Director: Tom Holland takes a break from directing horror films like Fright Night and Child’s Play to direct his first of three Tales from the Crypt episodes.
Plot: A con-artist marries a wealthy, innocent woman for her money with the intent of murdering her on their honeymoon. When a storm forces the couple to hole up in an abandoned mansion, the con-artist learns that his new wife has similar plans.
Murderous Moral of the Story: When you marry for money, you may be blind to some serious red flags.
Critique: When you’re dealing with a long running anthology television series, you’re going to have great episodes, not so great episodes, and some filler episodes that keep the series on the schedule each week. “Lover Come Hack to Me” falls into the filler column for Tales from the Crypt, but just barely.
The acting is spot-on, with Stephen Shellen as Charles dropping personal asides to show his intention of getting ahold of Peggy’s money while telling Peggy what she wants to hear directly. It’s what gives this episode its comic relief, even if it’s pretty ominous. Meanwhile, Amanda Plummer does a fantastic job of building up Peggy from a quiet, innocent woman into sexy, crazed killer. It’s the opposites that these characters build upon that keeps the story going.
Unfortunately, “Lover Come Hack to Me” is a bit top-heavy with its climax. The build-up to the climax is extremely slow until the last five minutes, making this episode feel short in comparison to other, more fun Tales from the Crypt episodes that are so engaging that you feel like you’ve been watching for an hour instead of only thirty minutes. That time expansion is what separates the great episodes from the decent filler episodes, and “Lover Come Hack to Me” fails in that regard.
Body Count: 2
2 by bloody axing
No breasts, but there is some man-ass if that’s your thing.
Actors/Actresses of Note: The main headliner of this cast is Amanda Plummer, who used her role as Peggy to reprise her role as an axe murderess in So I Married an Axe Murderer, a role in the Stephen King adaptation of Needful Things, and an opener in Pulp Fiction: pretty much crazy roles. Meanwhile, Stephen Shellen is best known as a victim in American Gothic and being an Anthony LaPaglia knock-off. Okay, maybe you have to squint to get on board with that.
Quote: “Oh, and I’d do anything for you, too… and your bank account…” – Charles
Watchability: 3 out of 5. “Lover Come Hack to Me” is a solid Tales from the Crypt episode, but its twist keeps it from being too high on re-watchability. It’s one of those “you watch it, you get it, you like it, you move on to the next” episodes.