Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Six decent horror tales and one outstanding documentary on the origins of the notorious E.C. comics on which the tales here are based together make the first season of the old HBO series Tales from the Crypt a must buy for horror fans. Myself, I prefer my horror straight up with no chaser, so the humor in the introductions and laced throughout the stories didn't work as well on me as it might for some, but again, that's just me. And even I found a lot of the black humor somewhat amusing.
In any event, though, if you take the plunge and buy this, be sure to watch the documentary on disc two. At almost an hour long, it gives a comprehensive overview on the world of comic books in the 1950s and the eventual rise (and, alas, fall) of E.C.'s horror comics line during that period. For anyone interested in comics history, the documentary alone would be worth the price of this season one set. In a world of 10-minute (if you're lucky) DVD bonus materials, you just don't see special features like this anymore. The most interesting part of the documentary for me was seeing the E.C. artists admit that, yes, perhaps they did go a little too far in their horrific depictions of gore and violence in some of their stories, needlessly bringing on the wrath of Congress.
I actually bought season one of this show in a colorful package that bundled it together with season two, at a really cheap price (I found it in the DVD section of my local Target). Amazon and other online retailers may have a similar offer on the initial seasons, however, so you might want to look around the 'net first if you're interested in getting this.
Anyway, I'm off to check out the quality of the much longer second season of Tales from the Crypt, as I didn't have HBO during the show's initial run way back when. What can I tell you, my parents were sometimes a little too thrifty.