Tales From the Crypt – Oil’s Well that Ends Well (11/24/93)

tftcoilsell02Jerry and Gina are in the graveyard. Jerry is digging one of those TV graveholes that any sap can dig by hand with an ordinary shovel in 45 minutes.  The perfectly squared-off corners are a nice touch.  It’s nice to see people taking pride in their work again.

There is a noise from the coffin at the bottom of the hole, and their partner in crime makes a memorable entrance.  Through some scheme, he was buried with $20,000 and the others were in on the plan to rescue him.  Although, I gotta say, it would take a hell of a lot more than $20k to let them bury me; I’m not sure I want to go that route even after I’m dead.  He talks a little too trashy to Gina and Jerry shoots him.  He falls back in the hole, into the coffin, and the lid slams shut — the man knows how to make an exit, too.

tftcoilsell04Some time later, Gina walks into a bar in a snappy business suit and immediately starts making friends by grabbing gonads, throwing a man to the ground, making an awesome joke to a guy with a colostomy bag, and buying rounds for the house; but mostly that last thing.

She let’s them know she’s fed up with all men. Especially her bosses in the oil business. Jerry enters the bar and spills the beans about an oil discovery.  She offers him $5k to sit on the info for a week until they can talk to the landowners.  He wisely says losing his job is not worth $5k.  The rubes in the bar chip in to bring the total to $25k.  Now there’s a figure that would set a dude for life!  Just one problem — the oil is under the graveyard.

The next day, the rubes show up with their stake.  There is a problem though in that they need to buy all the land surrounding the oil.  This time it is them telling Gina that they need an additional $74k stake from her.  Showing she is no smarter than the boys, she puts up the money.

tftcoilsell06Jerry ends up being in cahoots with the rubes.  But there is real oil under the graveyard.  Once Gina finds out she’s been hustled, she lights it up!

Not a lot to cover here, but I did enjoyed the episode.  There was nothing supernatural, no one back from the dead (not even the guy emerging from the coffin), no blood and guts. But Lou Diamond Philips and Priscilla Presley really sold their parts.  I came away thinking that both of them have been under-utilized by Hollywood. The rubes were not all uber-that-guys but were certainly solid mid-level that-guys including Cameron from Ferris Bueller, the captain from Lethal Weapon, and Rory Calhoun in his last IMDb credit.

And for some reason, it seem exceptionally well-staged to me.  Maybe it was because there were was a real outdoor scene at the cemetery.  Both there and in the bar, the ensemble was handled expertly and the shots were well-composed.

I give it a 10W30 even though I have no idea what that means.


  • Title Analysis: One of their best.
  • Kudos on the shot of the crude oil bubbling in the ground reflecting the men peering down at it, then dissolving to bourbon being poured into a glass.
  • Also kudos on the explosion — great stuff.

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