Tales from the Crypt - 'Til Death (Season 2, Episode 4)

'Til Death
Season 2 - Episode 4
from Vault of Horror #28
Aired April 24, 1990
Directed by Chris Walas
Worst pun: Girls like that are pretty hard to dig up

Who do that voodoo? A scumball developer needing dough seeks occult help to land a millionaire bride.

Right off the bat the Crypt Keeper segment isn't anything special. There's no puns, just a bunch of alliteration like a high schooler trying to cram as much fancy shit into his AP English essay as he can. Why didn't I just completely skip over it and get to the episode, you ask? Why waste your precious finite time in this world with a useless paragraph instead of skipping straight to the story? Because then I wouldn't be able to mention that this is the first thing you see after the opening credits.

It may not be significant, but if I'm not going to take the time to point out the Crypt Keeper lounging back with some shades on then why the fuck am I even writing about this in the first place? 

So we go from Casual Cryptie to a full-on voodoo ceremony in the beautiful landscape of Generic Tropical Island. We're talking banging drums and dancing around a fire pit, some dude rubbing a human skull, some other guy holding a snake over his head like Simba. All the things white people in the 1950's thought black people did. A voodoo priestess named Psyche (Janet Hubert) holds up a portrait of a handsome man. And by portrait, I mean his portfolio headshot. A chicken is decapitated and the blood splatters on the picture, and it's placed into the fire. I used to be skeptical of voodoo but looking at this guy's acting credits on IMDb I'm starting to think there might be something to this whole “cursing someone” business after all. 

Cut to that handsome man. Slicked back hair, a pronounced chin, arms you'd feel safe resting in forever; even though it's a quick hug and pat on the back you feel like you lived a lifetime in his embrace. That man is Logan Andrews (D.W. Moffett (sat on his tuffet)), your generic 90's rich profiteering businessman asshole. Him and his doctor/business partner Freddy (Aubrey Morris) are prematurely celebrating the construction and grand opening of a hoighty toighty the-only-black-people-inside-are-carrying-your-bags hotel on a plot of land he's inherited through shady means. I don't know who "the widow Fitzgerald" is and it's never brought up again, but someone was found dead, Freddy showed up too late to help, and suddenly he's got a hotel in construction. Being rich and white must be awesome. 

This celebration is taking place in a room full of a bunch of other old white guys who are all dressed like they're extras in the dinner party scene in Ace Ventura. Once Logan and Freddy have had enough fist bumping over profiting off the death of another human being, Logan spots someone across the room. Spoilers, it's a girl he wants to put his wiener inside. He has Freddy introduce him to her and Margaret (Pamela Gien) does not stop complaining about the god damned humidity from the second she opens her mouth. She rambles about the heat, the food, the ride down there. It's pretty impressive that in 30 seconds she becomes instantly more unlikable than a guy who just finished celebrating another living being's mortal flame being stomped out. I'm sure their soul will finally be laid to rest, no longer forced to roam this barren earth in search of closure, once they see the baller ass spread at the continental breakfast. 

The party is interrupted by a black guy dressed like a homosexual gardener running into the room and yelling "there be a terrible accident." I shit you not. Logan is led outside and told that one of the men working on the land drowned in quicksand. Just to recap: five minutes in and we've had voodoo and quicksand. The rest of the shuckin and jivin "locals" tell him he's not going to be able to build there. The entire plot of land is quicksand. Apparently he didn't realize it was a fucking swamp before sinking his money into it. 

Logan realizes it's going to take millions to get anything built on this land and sets his sights back on Margaret, who's recently widowed and has some money in the bank. And by some money, I mean 4 million bucks. That's like 400 million Obama fun dollars. Logan tries to put the moves on her some more and the more she talks you realize she's probably addressed a baker's dozen people as "Boy" since she arrived. She wants no part of him or his beautiful, piercing eyes and exquisite facial structure and leaves for the night.

The next day Logan visits Psyche, a black character who doesn't talk like one of the crows from Dumbo. Turns out they used to be friends. What could break up this Riggs and Murtaugh? His white friends didn't approve of him hanging out/boning down with a black woman, so he ditched her. Hooray! She agrees to help him with his lady troubles anyways. And why not; I'm sure a guy who looks like this

will show a lot of respect to the local cultures and customs and not just pay some fisherman a wheelbarrow full of seashells to murder everyone and bury them underneath a cabana. She gives him a potion: One drop, Margaret become his wife. Two drops, she'll be his for life. But she gives him enough potion to fill up a shot glass. I'm sure this will end up ok. 

Logan approaches Margaret again with a pocketful of roofies and a skip in his step. He may have the gift of gab and natural good looks, but he's got an ace up his sleeve the rest of the islanders are lacking: voodoo fuck potion. He tries to convince her the old fashioned way (i.e. not spiking her drink with goat's blood and THC) and it becomes more and more apparent just how awful the two of them are. If he's ordering the natives to be executed, she's the one not taking her foot off their head until the bubbles stop bursting in the quicksand. 

His smooth talking gets nowhere so he spikes her drink. She gets all hot and bothered but storms off. She comes back later that night and they get their fuck on. The next morning he gets her a glass of champagne and dumps the rest of the ting tang walla walla bing bang juice into her glass and shes toasts "to our undying love" as they drink. You figure it out yet? Of course you did.

She mounts him and starts kissing him and then spazzes the fuck out. She's convulsing violently and screaming generic crazy voodoo words that are probably just nonsense. She screams "I'll always love you. Forever and ever" and dies. She's given a proper funeral and buried. That night, Logan shows he's taking it all in stride by visiting her grave and drinking heavily. As you do. She emerges from the ground hand-first Carrie style and pulls him towards her for a kiss. As you do. He's ecstatic to see her alive again and they fuck right there next to her grave. As. You. Do.

The next day Logan arrives home from work to see she's spent the entire day making a giant dinner for him and he comments that it smells like something died. Get it. The only thing that DIED here was your JOKE. Nailed him. 

He asks if she's ok because something looks a little off and she insures him she feels great, positively "reborn." GET IT?

Cut to later that night and Logan and Freddy are laughing over some drinks, just shooting the shit and talking about someone dying well before their time, the novel of their life ending abruptly in mid sentence. Logan asks him how he could have fucked up so bad to pronounce Margaret dead, but Freddy insists he knows a corpse when he sees one. After all, he had her embalmed. And for a split second you think "oh, I see where this is going," but before you can spell out the rest of the episode in your head she walks in from off camera and fucking decapitates Freddy.

She is rapidly decomposing. He realizes what happened after he gave her the entire potion and unloads a pistol into her. From here on out, both actors ham it up for the rest of this episode and it's glorious. They seem to realize how campy it is and he goes from playing the smooth talking millionaire to making this face

and running out of the house screaming. It's even funnier with sound.

She chases him into the swamp, declaring his "honey-bunny wants a kiss" in a sing songy voice. Every time we see a glimpse of her she's even more decomposed, until he gets caught in Chekov's quicksand.

God damn I love practical makeup
He's not getting off that easy tho. Right before his entire body is submerged, she grabs his hand and yanks his ass out. Appearing as if he would've preferred suffocating in mud, he kicks her over and she lands ass over teakettle onto the lantern she was using and catches fire. She gets back up, a zombie completely immersed in flames, and tells him to take her right now because she's "burning with desire." 

He pushes her into the quicksand and watches her become completely submerged. He heads back home and starts drinking from the bottle, because what the fuck else would you do? You know how this episode is going to wrap up.

But how do they decide to end it? Does she come crashing through the window? Does she just appear in the frame with a screeching noise to scare the beejezus out of you? Nope. She taps at the door. She taps again. And then she barrels through it and sings "I'm baaaaaack."

Seeing no other alternative, he chugs a bottle that's labeled "poison" as her skeletal zombie form puts a hand to her face as if to say "oh my word."

Cut to another voodoo ritual. Psyche brings him back from the dead. She was having no part of him taking the easy way out, because "there's someone who's just dying to see you." You think you know where this is going, but you're not fucking ready, so get a white knuckle grip onto something and take a deep breath. 

Zombie Skeleton Margaret walks in the room holding a makeshift cage. In the cage is Freddy's head. We get a close-up as he says "I always said you'd get ahead, Logan" and laughs as she leans in and gives him a big ole decaying zombie kiss. 

The Crypt Keeper's second segment isn't anything special, either. But we are left with this parting image.

This episode is flat out bonkers. The best part for me was looking up the individual actors afterwards. D.W. Moffett and Pamela Gien aren't really anybody, the latter of the two doesn't even have a profile pic on IMDb. Aubrey Morris had a bit part in A Clockwork Orange as that weird ass corrections officer but I honestly recognized him more from Bordello of Blood because I'm a dumb piece of shit. But then you get to one Janet Hubert. Through the episode something seemed familiar about her but I couldn't put my finger on it. I'll be god damned if it isn't the first actress that played Will's aunt on Fresh Prince. This fucking episode is The Great Gatsby with voodoo and the woman who got fired from the only successful project she's ever been a part of because she was mad she was making less money than the person the show was named after. 

For the first half of this episode this was hovering in the 2-3 star range. Nothing terrible, but something needed to happen and soon. Then it got fucking redonculous. The dialogue is funnier than anything in the Crypt Keeper segments and the hammy acting makes it even funnier. Because of that this gets 4 stars. 


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