Tales From the Crypt – Undertaking Palor (S3E9)

tftcundertaking05A group of 14 (?) year old boys emerge from a theater swearing in the way teenage boys do — having no more concept of how to effectively use the words than most screenwriters.

They are joined by their video-camera wielding pal who, by the rules of 1980’s stereotypes, is Asian.  They head down to the Esbrook Mortuary to film a “real” horror movie.  They break in and find the body of Mrs. Groves, the librarian.

The boys hide in various nooks, crannies and coffins as the undertaker enters with his dinner.  He has conveniently built the traditional “slab” into a 3D contraption so he can spin Mrs. Groves to a vertical position.  He whacks her in the face with a mallet so he can form a smile.  He then jams a hose into her to Hoover out her insides.

The doorbell rings and all of the boys except Norm are able to escape.  From his position under the casket, he can only see a man in snake-skin shoes who is “expediting” the flow of bodies to the undertaker.

tftcundertaking07They identify the pharmacist Mr. Grundy as the other man.  Breaking into the mortuary again, they discover the undertaker has been swindling Grundy.  They secretly let Grundy know, so Grundy comes to kill the undertaker, but the undertaker kills him first.

The boys come out from hiding and each has a camera on him.  They jam the Hoover into him and start sucking his insides out.

One of the boys notes that the librarian now has a smile on her face.  This is a little confusing since the undertaker had already used the mallet to put a smile on her face — removing the suggestion of a supernatural element form the story.  However, we only got a look at the mallet-induced smile from the side, so maybe she ended up with a bigger smile.  Either way, the muddled writing kills the ending.

tftcundertaking12Really nothing more than that.  Blah.


  • Title Analysis:  Just a mess — they could have at least gone with “Funeral Palor?” And did they mean pallor or parlor?  Palor isn’t even a word.
  • The movie the boys come out of is Radio Flyer.  It is unlikely to draw a lot of teenage boys, but was directed by one of the producers, which I guess is more important.
  • Second appearance of Zemeckis Pizza.

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