Tales From the Crypt – Split Second (SE11)

tftcsplitsecond02OK, you’ve got my attention.

The beautiful Liz Kelly (the beautiful Michelle Johnson) is waitressing at a honky-tonk bar that is far beneath her.  With her looks she should be working in a classy place . . . with a tuxedoed maître d.  Or stripper pole.

One of the local losers starts hitting on her and she just wants to get away.  He grabs her and says, “I bet if I got you drunk enough, I could have you out in my truck in no time.”

I love this line because he could have said “bashed your skull with a rock” instead of “got you drunk” and his conquest would have been just as noble.  And given her complete inability to resist, in his fantasy he doesn’t even opt for a hotel with clean sheets — the truck will do fine. Efficiently says it all about the character.  That, and his name is Banjo.

tftcsplitsecond12Luckily there is one gentleman in the bar.  Steve Dixon, owner of the local timber company, puts a pistol to Banjo’s neck and tells him to apologize to the lady.  Liz likes a man defending her and gives him a drink and a slow dance.  By the end of the night, he asks her to marry him and she accepts.  Being no looker, Dixon made sure to mention he was rich.  But I’m sure that had no impact on her decision.  At least no more than a few drinks or getting bashed in the skull would have.

The next day Dixon is in the bunkhouse talking to his men.  Liz shows up in a pair of Daisy Dukes and a halter, making him furious.  He is even more furious at the men ogling his wife.  He smacks down one of them for a misheard comment.

tftcsplitsecond29Liz quickly grows bored with life in the lumber camp, then a cute new worker named Ted starts.  He is not a fan of chainsaws, preferring to do it the old fashioned way with an axe.  As great as he is at it, it is still hugely inefficient, but they need someone for the upcoming lumberjack contest.  Liz sneaks down to the worksite and watches him chop the wood all sweaty and muscles a-rippling.

Liz wastes no time summoning the new guy up to the main house to move some boxes; one box in particular.  She just happens to be in the shower at the time.  When she tries to seduce him, he runs out in fear of Dixon.

Ted decides it is time to leave the camp, but Liz catches him in the bunkhouse and they start making out.  Dixon catches them and gives him a beating.  Then he whacks him several times in the head with an axe.  But to be fair, he used the side of the axe, so Ted kept his head.  Ted ended up alive but blind.

Apparently a beneficiary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Ted is welcomed back to the crew of the lumber camp.  But you can’t have a blind guy swinging an axe — that’s just crazy.  So they give him a chainsaw.

tftcsplitsecond31Later that day, they have Ted chainsaw through a vertical log.  It has been hollowed out and Dixon is inside.  Once the blood starts spraying on his face, even Ted gets it.  He asks if there is another one, and it is revealed that Liz has also been put into a hollow tree like a Keebler MILF.

Another good episode.  Brion James was great, hamming it up in just the way this series requires.  Michelle Johnson was also great, although the cigarettes were a major turn-off.


  • Michelle Johnson was last seen in First Anniversary, in another marriage to a below-average Joe.
  • The Mathesons must really love Michelle.  This episode was written by Richard Christian Matheson; First Anniversary was written by his sister, based on a short story by their father.
  • Title Analysis:  Another misfire — OK, splitting wood, and referring to Liz as sloppy seconds, I guess.  Better choices:  Something like Mourning Wood or Don’t Axe me Again.
  • I was sorry to see Brion James died in 1999.  He will always be the “nice” Cajun in Southern Comfort to me.

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