Tales from the Crypt - And All Through the House (Season 1, Episode 2)

And All Through the House
Season 1 - Episode 2
from Vault of Horror #35
Aired June 10, 1989
Worst pun: "Be very careful of what you 'ax' for for Christmas. You might just get it."

The holiday chopping season runs late when an axe-toting maniac dressed as Santa makes a Christmas Eve visit to a philandering wife who murdered her hubby. Sorry, lady. He's not offering an escape Claus!

Right off the bat we get the Crypt Keeper dressed as Santa Claus. Because OF COURSE we do.

Sorry about your day being ruined

Why is he all dressed up? Because, you see, there's a “Clause” in his contract. Ugh. This episode is directed by Robert Zemeckis, meaning at the time this episode aired he was responsible for directing Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and an episode where Santa Clause mercilessly torments a woman with an ax. I'll take 90 minutes of the latter over Contact any fucking day. 

If that wasn't enough to get you into the holiday spirit, the story beings with the camera slowly panning across the most Christmas-y house imaginable. Nat King Cole drones as the camera slowly pans to the heavily decorated tree, the piano with sheet music for Christmas jingles, milk and cookies, presents, a wreath, a lit fireplace, and a husband and wife in the living room. The husband (Marhsall Bell - the gay S&M gym teacher from Nightmare on Elm Street 2) says some snarky, asshole-ish comment about Christmas cheer. His wife (Mary Ellen Trainor - the mom from The Goonies) is casually strolling behind him with the fire poker in hand. He tells her something needs to be done about the fire and asks if she has the poker. When she says yes, he tells her to "let him have it." She's had enough of this bah fuckin' humbug and lets him have it - right in his head.

The daughter Carrie Ann (get it, like Carol Anne. Remember Poltergeist?) comes out of her room because she claims saw Santa outside. Mom insists he's not there and takes her into the light back to bed and cracks the window for her, because foreshadowing. Carrie asks Mom what she asked for for Christmas, and she tells her she already got her present. And then repeats herself in case you didn't get it. 

Mommy Dearest phones her lover, who we only know as "The Vic Monster," but gets his answering machine. She tells him the life insurance money is all theirs while holding a giant piece of paper that literally says "Last Will and Testament" at the top because why be subtle in a killer Santa episode. Apparently leaving a voice recording saying you finally did it an all of the money is yours now never crossed her mind as a bad idea. 

She puts a plastic bag on his head in a nice little homage to Black Christmas and begins to drag him outside into the snow. She is talking shit to his corpse the entire time he's dragging him, telling him how he she told him to lose some weight, how he should've done some sit ups, how a trip to the gym every once in a while wouldn't have killed him. Even as you escape this mortal coil and your soul vanishes into the ether, you can't escape the endless fucking nagging. 

Unfortunately she's too busy talking to the corpse to notice the public service announcement on the radio about a large Caucasian man who has escaped from a mental institution and is murdering women dressed as Santa. Oh well, that probably won't come back to bite her in the ass. 

Her plan is to throw his body into a well, because they have a well near their house for some reason. The heavy wind slams the door shut and her keys are inside. If doors automatically locked when they were shut, that would mean something. As she goes to throw his fat, fat, FAT ass in the well, he jolts awake and chokes her. She reaches for the ax that's just out of arm's reach, but he just grunts and dies anyways. 

She walks over to his corpse to talk shit to him again but doesn't notice the ax is now missing. She hears sleigh bells ringing and jing ting tingaling too and goes to investigate. Santa (Larry Drake - Pops from Johnny Bravo) attacks her with the ax. To really drive home the "escaped madman" angle, they gave him Austin Powers teeth and wonky eyes.

She disarms him by slicing him in the face with an icicle and delivering a swift kick to the jingle bells (I'm so sorry). She grabs the ax and runs inside. He wedges his arm in the door but she lodges the axe in his arm and he pulls back and she locks the door. 

She calls the operator to call the police because...I don't know. She was too busy dialing 411 to get the number for 911 to remember just minutes ago she stabbed her husband in the head with a fire poker. When the operator asks for her location she remembers that his FAT LIFELESS WORTHLESS PIECE OF SHIT corpse is sitting there on the front lawn in front of God and everybody. 

In a legit creepy shot we see Santa run by the window, pause to look inside for a brief moment, and run off. She hears him and slowly approaches. 

And all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a JESUS FUCK
So in typical slasher fashion she slowly approaches the window and don't go near that window bitch don't go near that fucking window don't you get any closer he's right there don't go neaOH SHIT HE JUMPED THROUGH THE WINDOW. 

She hits him with the ass end of the ax and he collapses into the snow. She closes the shutters that conveniently have a panel missing that makes it easy to look outside to the exact spot he's laying in. 

The phone rings again, it's the police calling to not only warn her about the psycho on the loose, but to alert her they're sending officers to her location. The police know Santa's been using an ax, so she decides she's going to make it look like he killed her husband. 

She goes outside with the axe and gives him a good one right in the kisser - as the front door slams hard behind her. Now, Carrie has slept through not one, but two different occasions where her mother has fought for her life literally kicking and screaming. This bitch is catching z's while her mother is yammering at her dad's STUPID FAT corpse and a holly jolly retard is juggernauting through windows, but a door slams and she jumps up and yells "SANTA!" I hate this whole family. Carrie looks out her window and sees Santa is gone, there's just an outline in the snow. 

Mom-Wife leaves the ax in his head and goes back inside and calls the police and pretends to panic, telling them the madman is there and he killed her husband. She looks outside as the operator asks for her location and she realizes the ax is gone. She is now legit panicking and gives the police her address. When they ask if she has a weapon, she remembers her husband's gun and goes to get it from the closet. The handle falls off the closet door and she's locked in, because that's how all doors work in this circus town universe. 

Through the tiny window in the closet she sees Santa climbing a ladder - to Carrie's open window. 

Oh you better believe he's checking it twice
That stupid asshole kid is ecstatic to finally see Santa and reaches out to try to help him up. WifeMom breaks down the door and runs upstairs to Carrie's room only to find it empty. She hears Carrie calling for her and runs downstairs to see her standing at the foot of the stairs.


She let Santa in. Carrie's hand is at first obscured by furniture, but Santa steps into frame holding her hand in one hand and the ax in the other. Mom screams in horror as he raises the ax and says “Naughty…or nice?” She keeps screaming as it fades to black.

Not really a twist but I'll take that over Santa really being her lover or some other horse shit. 

Never fear boys and ghouls (oh my God he said boys and ghouls I'm so happy), Crypt Keeper assures us that Carrie wasn't harmed. That particular Santa "preferred older women...in pieces." Get it.

Way better than the first episode. It's basically the last 20 minutes of a slasher movie where it's down to The Last Girl who's trying to both evade the slasher villain and also protect some little kid that you know isn't going to die. In other words, it's the best part of a cheesy horror movie without an extra hour of bullshit, so it's definitely worth watching. I haven't seen every episode, but I remember this being one of my favorites and it didn't disappoint. 


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