Tales From the Crypt – Mournin’ Mess (S3E10)

tftcmournin01Homeless-American Robert (Vincent Schiavelli) has been out trolling the garbage cans for food.  When he hears his partner Dancer screaming, he runs back to their crib in the alley. Digging through the rubble for his friend, he pulls out a severed hand, still grasping a bottle of hooch.

He is so horrified, he doesn’t even check to see if Dancer had finished the bottle before casting it away. Unfortunately, he is spotted and leaves a bloody hand-print leading him to be identified as the Homeless Killer.

Reporter Dale Sweeney (Steven Weber), on the other hand, wakes up with a hot blonde in his bed.  He quickly kicks her out and races to his assignment to cover the opening of a cemetery by the Grateful Homeless Society.  He reasonably asks the chairman (Rita Wilson) if the money spent on the dead might be better spent on the living — a question no reporter in America would have the balls to ask at a fancy press conference.  In print, yes, but never would they dare to embarrass the official at the gala in front of their friends — it simply isn’t done.

tftcmournin07After being fired, he goes home to take a well-deserved leak.  He is stopped mid-stream by Robert.  He spotted Sweeney at the ceremony and insists that he write a story saying that he is not the Homeless Killer.  He tells Sweeney to go to the inaugural planting at the Grateful Homeless Society cemetery and he will see what is really happening.

He does go to the burial, but understandably leaves early to bang the GHS chairman. Having missed the story at the cemetery, he searches for Robert.  Unfortunately, he has been murdered.

Finding an eviction notice on his apartment door, Sweeney is desperate for a story.  So he goes to the next burial and this time hangs around for the show.  That night, he sees the replaced sod starting caving in.  He starts digging — as usual on TV — a beautiful hole with perfect right angles that would take one alchy/smoker in a suit at least 12 hours to dig.

His suspicions are rewarded when he finds a flat door at the bottom of the pit.  He struggles to pull the door open, but since he is standing on the door, that doesn’t make much sense.  Luckily for him,the door opens the other way, and he drops into a cavern.

tftcmournin12When he hears someone coming, he hides in a coffin which happens to already be occupado by Robert — dead, bloody, decaying, but smelling about the same.  When he is able to open the coffin, he is in the middle of an elegant dining room . . . on the table . . . surrounded by A-1 Sauce and Wet-Naps.

The GHS Committee enters and admits they are the Homeless Killer. Down here, they are known by their full name, Grateful Homeless, Outcasts and Unwanted Layaway Society (or GHOULS — an even more tortured acronym than SHIELD or PATRIOT Act). They begin peeling off their masks to reveal their true demonic faces.

No real twist or irony here, but still a great episode.  It had several great little scenes and a lot of clever dialogue; more clever than is usually seen on TFTC.  Writer / Director Manny Coto really understood this series, too bad this was his only script.


  • Title Analysis:  Mess, indeed.
  • Manny Coto also wrote If These Walls Could Talk.
  • In both that episode and this one, there is a female character named Tillman.

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