Tales From the Crypt – Werewolf Concerto (09/09/92)

tftcwerewolfconcerto01Rarely like werewolf joints.  Rarely like Concertos.  This does not bode well.

A weight challenged man is running through the forest.  Periodically, the camera cuts to another POV.  It is distorted and has a bluish tint, but I assume it is the POV of his pursuer, the titular werewolf.  Although since chubby isn’t visible in the shots, it is not 100% clear.  That is just poor directing.

Finally, tubby is caught and in what seems to be a POV shot without the established blue tint, a hairy clawed hand slashes his throat — slashes it so deeply that in the next shot, the werewolf is holding his head up like a trophy.  Merely a “Participation Trophy [1]” on big boy’s part.

Alas, poor fat guy. I slew him well.

A nearly all-star cast (or, at least people you’ve heard of) are guests at a hotel.  This is clearly modeled after an Agatha Christie joint — kind of a Murder at the Holiday Inn Express.

The guests opt for early-checkout when they hear of the decapitation. The Manager — played swishingly gay by Dennis Farina — tells them that is not possible due to a conveniently timed mudslide.

Charles Fleischer further unnerves the group by insisting that it is a werewolf; and by being Charles Fleischer.  Actually, checking IMDb, he had a much more impressive career that I remembered.  I was going to say that when you are best known for being the voice of a cartoon rabbit, your name better be Mel Blanc; I regret my snark (but not enough to actually backspace over it).

Farina says that there is an experienced werewolf hunter in their midst, but who has promised to kill the beast, but only in exchange for anonymity.  So why doesn’t he just go ahead and do it?

tftcwerewolfconcerto03Lokai (Timothy Dalton), remaining coolly detached, seems to know more than the others, but is keeping it to himself.  Beverly D’Angelo invites Dalton up to her room after some strange seductive talk about back hair and submarines.

D’angelo is not there when he drops by, but as in every post on this blog, he lets himself right into a stranger’s abode.  From D’Angelo’s window, Dalton sees Fleischer head out into the woods followed at a distance by Gotell.  He begins following them.

Before Dalton finds Fleischer, Walter Gotell shoves a gun in his face.  Pretty sloppy work by 007 since Gotell was in six James Bond movies including one of Dalton’s.  The old instincts kick in, however.  Dalton kicks the gun out of Gotell’s hands and shoots him in the head.  Gotell is carrying Fleischer’s bagful of cash which Dalton takes.  Turns out Gotell was a former Nazi, not a werewolf.  Didn’t Dalton watch any of the Bond movies? Although I think he played a Russian in those movies.  But a commie’s a commie whether Russkies, Nazis, Chinese, or MSNBCs.

tftcwerewolfconcerto05Bellboy Pieter (Jason Rainwater –where they finally ran out of money for the cast) tells Dalton that D’Angelo usually crawls into bed around noon — they think she has a drinking problem.  He goes to her room that night, gun drawn.

Suddenly, however, Dalton begins turning into the titular werewolf (with the name Lokai, this shouldn’t have been a complete surprise).  Although really, he looks more like he belongs in a GEICO commercial than like a werewolf.  Or possibly a late-stage Michael Jackson.

After killing a chambermaid by bashing her head against a piano that oddly makes no sound, werewolf Dalton opens the piano lid and discovers it is actually a coffin.  It is refreshingy old-school, filled with dirt instead of satin.  Then he is run through several times with a silver candelabra by D’Angelo who is revealed to be a vampire. One who apparently checks into hotels with her own grand piano.

There must have been a lot of problems with the production on this one.  It is fairly short — about 20 minutes without that idiot Cryptkeeper — yet there is so much left unsaid, undone, unexplained.  Reginald VelJohnson gets to say a few lines in a strangely British or The Hamptons accent, but contributes nothing and doesn’t even get a name.  How did this group happen to come together?  Why does Fleischer have all that cash?  This feels like it could have been fleshed out into something much more interesting, but was just cut to pieces.

Nothing really bad about it, just huge missed potential.

Post-Post:

  • [1] It’s always a hoot when the sequestered interbred elite NPRNYTPBSMSNBCCNN crowd are surprised, SHOCKED at what most of America thinks.  It’s the great unwashed versus the great unwatched.
  • Title Analysis:  Saw the werewolf. Didn’t see the concerto or even hear it in the score.

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