Tales from the Crypt - The Switch (Season 2, Episode 2)

The Switch
Season 2 - Episode 2
from Tales from the Crypt #45
Aired April 21, 1990
Directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger
Worst pun: “no pain, no gain.” 
To woo a lovely femme, a wealthy codger trades bodes with a hunk. But there's a switch to The Switch.
It's the eighth episode and the first time the story comes from a Tales from the Crypt comic. The Crypt Keeper is lifting weights (well a bone with a skull on each end) because, as you know, curls get the gurls. I rack my brain wondering what significance this could have and oh my fucking God Arnold Schwarzenegger walks into the scene. My heart begins racing as he tells the Keeper to keep lifting and he looks straight into the camera - straight into my barren soul - and introduces the story. The rest of the episode could literally be 25 minutes of static and it's still getting 4 stars. 

This is it. The moment I've waited my entire life for.
Carlton Webster (William Hickey - the old guy who blows his brains out in The Puppetmaster) is a rich old man. But you see, money can't buy happiness. Daaaaw, that's a lesson we can ALL learn from. He's in love, but his butler (Ian Abercrombie - Wiseman from Army of Darkness) is concerned that the object of his affection is in love with his money, not him. She has no idea how much money he has, and Carlton has no plans of telling her. Carlton (I'm not putting a gif of the Carlton Dance so you can just stop waiting for it) insists repeatedly how happy she is because she's so young and she's gonna bring life back to this house. I literally wrote in my notes that I thought it was gonna turn out he was a vampire. If I had only known what kind of ridiculous shit was coming. But lets not worry about that yet because he's in love! No cruel twist of fate will leave him a broken, empty shell of a man with nothing to look forward to but a slow and agonizing death to tuck him into the afterlife like a warm quilt on a snowy winter morning!

He visits her (Kelly Preston) and Jesus Christ he wasn't joking about her being young. She was in her late 20's while filming, but has enough makeup caked on to look 25. She doesn't want to marry him because he's older than fuck and reminds her of her grandfather. She thinks he's sweet and she's not overly cruel about it, but just look.

You can see where she's coming from; it's fuckin gross. He's a kind old man who brings her flowers and tells her how much he loves her and is sweet to her, but it's that old face...He says he's not gonna let that keep them apart, and he'll do ANYTHING it takes to make her happy as ominous music plays. Oh boy.

His solution is to visit a plastic surgeon, because of course it is. Carlton tells the doctor he wants to look 30, and Bill's Dad from the Bill and Ted movies tells him there's only so much he can do. But that silly old man doesn't get it. He doesnt want HIS face to look 30, he wants a NEW face. My initial high from seeing the greatest human being of all time Arnold Schwarzenegger had subsided and I was starting to get a little bored waiting for the plot. And then, out of fucking nowhere, we get a Face/Off plot twist. Holy shit you guys. 

He's sent to another doctor who can do this procedure. And what a fucking sight it is. It's a dark, stormy night outside what is apparently Dracula's castle. A spooky organ plays as a bolt of lightning illuminates the doctor peering out the window. It has the same subtetly as Schwarzenegger's other work. 

Best case scenario is you die before his pet man-wolf fucks you to shreds
Carlton (I'm still not posting the Carlton Dance) knocks and is greeted by a hunchback in a head bandage, who bids him welcome to this glorious shot of the doctor's lab.

Not pictured: bowls of spaghetti intestines
It seriously looks like they just used the set from the show's intro and threw Halloween decorations everywhere. It reeks of black and white monster movies and I absolutely love it. The doc (Roy Brocksmith - had a bit part in the very first episode) wants a cool million for the procedure. The operation only costs $100,000, but the other 900k goes to the present "owner" of the face he's about to inherit. It belongs to Hans, your standard 90's hunk who's also dumb as a rock. Foreign guy with big muscles who had a role in The Terminator. Way to go out on a fuckin limb, Arnie. 

The operation scene is deliciously cheesy. Lightning strikes as the doctor laughs maniacally, dramatic zooms to the doctor's face and random machines and tubes. I mentioned 50's monster movies before, this is absolutely something you'd see on USA Up All Night. Daylight comes and Carlton limps out Dracula's Castle and slowly shuffles to the car. Then we get the reveal of his face. He goes to her house to show off his newest investment, has flowers cleverly hidden in front of his face, and then, SURPRISE

He literally yells SURPRISE in his old man voice as that monster face appears. It's bone chilling. 

As you could probably guess, she's not into it. I mean sure, he's got a hunkalicious face, but he's still got his old, decrepit body. I don't care what face you put on him, you could take Kurt Russell and his eyepatch and sew it on his body, but it'd still be Frankenstein's monster. A strong, charismatic, funny but serious when he needs to be, fuckable Frankenstein's monster. Yeah. Fuck yeah. She apologizes for not wanting this affront to God to stick his old man dick in her while his claymation face moans in ecstasy in rhythm with each sacrilegious thrust, but he cuts her off and tells her to be patient. His Easter Island head may be a monument to man's arrogance, but he's gonna get this all sorted out in a jiffy. 

He goes back to the doctor, who asks for 2 million bucks for a new torso. Carlton thinks it's too much at first, but is talked into it. Luckily the doc kept Hans around in case he was needed again and the surgery is a rousing success. From now on they just use the actor for Hans as Carlton and film him from the waist up and dub over him with Old Guy Voice. Fuck paying for any more makeup, just make the tall foreign dude stand shirtless, he doesn't even have to act. And when I say they dub over him, I'm not exaggerating. This guy

Slideshow. He's in it.
speaks every single line of dialogue with raspy Harvey Fierstein voice. It gets funnier every single time it happens and would be completely out of place on any other show. But this is Tales from the Crypt so... 

Cut to muscle beach where a bunch of shirtless dudes are just getting hella sweaty. Really pumping, feeling that burn, pushing their bods that just won't quit to their limits until they explode. Linda fucking loves it, and apparently Carlton's new abs make us forget that he's walking briskly without a cane. Whatever, it won't matter for long, because they get changed to go for a swim - and then she sees his legs. He has the face and torso of an adonis, but he has the NERVE to have wrinkled, skinny, veiny old man legs. She is having no part of this, and tells him she knows what she wants, and he doesn't have it. Take that, old man desperately in love, clinging to the last bits of happiness he can find in life until one day he dies in his sleep and his entire existence, a man who has acquired great amounts of wealth and lived through the Great Depression and two World Wars, amounts to nothing more than a speck of dust and will be forgotten in history. Never skip leg day, kids.

Carlton is feeling the effects of these surgeries. Not physically - he seems to have no ill effects, pain, or recovery time from literally swapping body parts. No, he's feeling it in his wallet. He can no longer afford his butler or his house. Poor guy. I just hate seeing old rich white men get hit where it hurts. Alone in the world, he goes to the doctor a third time to get a new lower body at the low price of a million dollars a limb. He gives up his last 3 million (get it, his cock is the third limb. Big, turgid, old man dick. You're welcome) and they don't even ask Hans if he's cool with going under the knife and waking up with old man dong. Look, I can go with this Face/Off scenario, I wrote about 8000 words a couple months ago that proves that, but I refuse to believe anyone has ever loved somebody so much they'd pay 3 million dollars to fuck her with someone else's dick. But I'm not a romantic. 

The surgery is a success again, and we get a nice butt shot to prove it. Yeah, hot dude butt. He's built like a Greek sculpture, but he's flat broke. Who needs money, he's so happy he could....dance. Nah. 

He goes to Linda's apartment to show her his million dollar penis, but she's moved to a fancy place uptown. Can you see where this is going? He meets her there and proposes on the spot, giving up everything he owns to transform himself into what she wants. But she says no. She likes him, but she can't marry him, because she's already married. See it coming yet? Of course you do.


She wanted somebody with money, who could take care of her for the rest of her life. Out comes her husband, Hans, with Carlton's old body, money, and butler. 

That's why they call him "One Take Hans"
Yep, he even hired his butler. The episode ends the only way this one could, with a slow zoom in on the old man's mouth as he laughs hysterically at poor Carlton. Perfect. 

We cap off this episode with the Crypt Keeper, who has a corpse and a big tub of embalming fluid. I swear to God, he pulls out a hose and says "We want to pump you up." Are you serious. Are you FUCKING serious. Fuck the 90s. I almost put a Hans and Franz joke in there somewhere but couldn't find a way to do it without hating myself afterward. Imagine my fucking surprise when I get to the end of this episode. Jesus. Christ. Normally when I watch black humor horror anthologies I don't expect the DVD to jump out of the tray and punch me in the gut. 

I really enjoyed how silly this episode was. It was unbelievably predictable and with every scene you can tell exactly what's coming next, but I don't care. It's made with such reverence for those old monster movies with the crazy mad scientist doing insane experiements on humans. Every operation scene took me back to staying up way too late and watching some garbage black and white movie on USA or TNT where the overacting doctor performs crazy experiments, but you can't get away with showing them so it just cuts to different pieces of equipment in his lab while it storms outside until it's time to see the finished creation. It's campy, silly, and has the black comedy cruel-streak that makes this show so great. And it had Arnold. I will recommend anything Arnold is in. Except Red Sonja. We don't discuss Red Sonja in this house. 

This episode won't be for everyone, and those who don't see it as an homage to old monster movies might get annoyed by the predictability. Oh, he's giving up his money. Oh, Hans is enjoying the money he's receiving so he doesn't mind the surgery. Oh, she knows what she wants and he doesn't have it. Oh, he had what she wanted all along. Whatever. Even if this bores you, apparently some people out there were able to get something out of this episode. 


Ok I lied there it is

1 comment:

  1. Am I to understand that the Cryptkeeper murdered Arnold? He was helping you pump it up and you fucking killed him for it? You're a real dick Cryptie K. He gives you a Cryptin Side Hug and this is how you repay him? Get fucked.