The Corrupting Covers of Tales From The Crypt


Published by EC Comics, Tales From The Crypt is one of the most fondly-remembered horror comics books of the 1950s.  The series actually began under the title International Comics and went through several other title changes before becoming Tales From The Crypt.  A horror anthology series that was hosted by The Crypt Keeper, The Vault Keeper, and the Old Witch, Tales From The Crypt ran from 1950 to 1955 and was so popular with young readers that a psychologist named Fredric Wertham claimed that reading the comic book could lead to juvenile delinquency and other deviant behavior.  The resulting moral panic led to a Congressional investigation and the adaptation of the Comic Book Code.  It also led to the cancellation of all of EC’s horror titles, including Tales From The Crypt.

In the decades since, issues of Tales From The Crypt have been highly sought after by collectors and the comic book even inspired a television show on HBO.  Below is a selection of the covers of Tales From The Crypt, the series that corrupted America’s youth.

It’s always interesting to see what used to be controversial.

Halloween Havoc! Extra: The Mind-Warping World of EC Comics!


cracked rear viewer

William M. Gaines’ graphic and gruesome line of horror, crime, and science fiction comics helped turn America’s youth into mouth-foaming, homicidal Juvenile Delinquents until they met with a horror of another kind – Dr. Fredric Wertham and the U.S. Congress! These beasts effectively destroyed EC through censorship and propaganda, ending one of graphic arts’ most creative eras. But EC still lives in the hearts and minds of horror fans everywhere, so here’s gallery of ten spine-chilling covers from the Golden Age of EC Comics! Spa Fon!

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Horror on TV: Tales From the Crypt 1.2 “All Through The House” (dir by Robert Zemeckis)


For tonight’s excursion into the world of televised horror, we have the 2nd ever episode of the HBO anthology series, Tales From The Crypt!

In this one, a woman (Mary Ellen Trainor) kills her husband on Christmas Eve, just to discover that she can’t properly dispose of the body because a psychotic escaped mental patient (Larry Drake), who just happens to be disguised as Santa Claus, is hanging around outside of her house.  It’s a bit of a mess, especially since the woman’s daughter is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa herself.

This originally aired on June 10th, 1989 and it’s an enjoyably insane package of holiday cheer and menace.  And, of course, it was directed by none other than Robert Zemeckis!

Enjoy!

Horror on TV: Tales From the Crypt 7.10 “About Face” (dir by Thomas E. Sanders)


For tonight’s excursion, we have one final episodes from HBO’s Tales From The Crypt.

About Face is the 10th episode from the 7th and final season.  It deals with a Victorian-era minister who discovers that he has not one but two daughters.  And one of the daughters might be a little disturbed…

For the most part, the 7th season of Tales From the Crypt has a fairly bad reputation but About Face is better than the average 7th season episode.  Anthony Andrews does a good job as the hypocritical Anglican.

This episode first aired on June 28th, 1996.

Enjoy!

Horror on TV: Tales From the Crypt 7.2 “Last Respects” (dir by Freddie Francis)


Tonight’s excursion into televised horror is the 2nd episode of the 7th season of HBO’s Tales From The Crypt!  In Last Respects, three bickering sisters inherit not only a struggling store but also a monkey’s paw that grants wishes.  Of course, as with all wish-granting monkey paws, there’s a catch!

This episode was directed by veteran British cinematographer and horror director, Freddie Francis!

It originally aired on April 26th, 1996.

Enjoy!

Horror on TV: Tales From The Crypt 6.15 “You, Murderer” (dir by Robert Zemeckis)


To be honest, tonight’s episode of HBO’s Tales From The Crypt isn’t really a horror story.  Instead, it’s a somewhat satiric homage to film noir.  But I’m going to share it anyway. Halloween is about more than just ghouls and ghosts and goblins, right?

You, Murderer is an experiment that doesn’t quite work but is interesting all the same.  This episode is basically one long POV shot.  Whenever our protagonist sees his reflection, we see Humphrey Bogart staring back at us.  Actual footage of Bogart was used in the show.  Sometimes it work, sometimes it just looks strange.  But it’s always interesting!

This episode originally aired on January 25th, 1995.  Enjoy!

Horror on TV: Tales From The Crypt 6.1 “Let The Punishment Fit The Crime” (dir by Russell Mulcahy)


For tonight’s excursion into televised horror, we present you the premiere episode of the 6th season of HBO’s Tales From The Crypt!

In Let The Punishment Fit The Crime, attorney Geraldine Ferrett (Catherine O’Hara) is pulled over while driving through a small town in upstate New York.  It turns out that Geraldine didn’t have enough numbers on her licence plate.  (That’s because she has a vanity plate that reads, “Sue me.”)  It doesn’t sound like a huge crime but, as everyone at the courthouse keeps trying to warn her, she is in “a very strict town.”  Let The Punishment Fit The Crime is a satirical look at our overregulated and overlitigious society.

This episode originally aired on October 31st, 1994 — hey, this is a Halloween episode!

Enjoy!