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Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Warner Home Video presents
Tales From the Crypt: The Complete Seventh Season (1996)

“I’m a firm believer in the teachings of Buddha, and like the fat man always said, first come first served, so we’ll just be backing out of here…”
- Ford (Ewan McGregor) – Cold War

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: January 11, 2008

Stars: John Kassir
Other Stars: Ewan McGregor, Steve Coogan, Daniel Craig, Imelda Staunton, Eddie Izzard, Bob Hoskins, Elizabeth McGovern, Francesca Annis, Bobcat Goldthwait, Jane Horrocks
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult language, graphic violence, sexual situations)
Run Time: 05h:37m:05s
Release Date: October 23, 2007
UPC: 012569754096
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A A-BB+ D

DVD Review

After a successful six season run on HBO, all signs pointed to the end of the road for the Tales From the Crypt series. However, the producers wanted to give it a go for one more batch of episodes, airing the final 13 shows during the middle of 1996. While there’s little debate that these are far from the strongest installments, there’s still plenty of great, campy scares to be had, and enough early appearances by the stars of today to make Tales From the Crypt: The Complete Seventh Season a must-add to any horror fan’s DVD collection.

The first episode of the season, Fatal Caper, kicks off Disc 1, and features Bob Hoskins (who also directed this show) as a lawyer for an old man near his final days. When the man dies, the last thing being exhibited by his airs is brotherly love. The fittingly titled Last Respects is the final directing assignment for Freddie Francis, who helmed the 1972 Tales From the Crypt feature film. The story involves three sisters who have nothing but bad luck, but (mistakenly) believe their fortunes have changed when they find a monkey’s paw.

A Slight Case of Murder tells the tale of Sharon (Francesca Annis), a mystery writer who is murdered by her husband who doesn’t exactly approve of her adulterous ways, while Escape involves an army man who finds himself in a prison camp with a fellow soldier whom he has greatly wronged. The first disc closes with Horror In the Night, one of the best season seven efforts. We get plenty of double-crosses during this story of a jewelry heist gone horribly wrong. The twists alone make this a stand-out show, but the entire episode is a consistently pleasing effort.

Disc 2 begins with Cold War, which stars a very young Ewan McGregor, along with Absolutely Fabulous’ Jane Horrocks. Unfortunately, this is one of the weaker installments, as dealing with jealousy among burglars isn’t the most dynamic of ideas, despite the inclusion of some supernatural elements. In The Kidnapper, a man takes care of a destitute pregnant woman, but once her child is born jealousy overtakes him. Next, we get a Report From the Grave, in the form of a machine that can transcribe thoughts from the afterlife, followed by Smoke Wrings, starring the new James Bond, himself, Daniel Craig. The Disc 2 finale, About Face, revolves around a priest who discovers he is the father of two girls. Unfortunately, one of them is very ugly, while the other is extremely beautiful, and when the former’s fears come true and her father tries to leave, she’ll do all she can to prevent his departure.

The third and final disc has only three episodes, and in Confession, Eddie Izzard (The Riches) stars as a screenwriter who becomes a suspected serial killer whose M.O. includes decapitating women. Ear Today…Gone Tomorrow shows us a burglar in the twilight of his career as he gets back into the safe cracking business. One of the first things to go was his hearing, and this consummate professional undergoes the ultimate in risky surgeries to make sure he’s still at the top of his game. The season and series finale is The Third Pig, an animated spin on the story of The Three Little Pigs that’s quite a bit more terrifying than the children’s version. The Crypt Keeper is once again on hand to tell the tale of the third pig, Dudley, who’s framed for the murders of his brothers and the Big Bad Wolf (Bobcat Goldthwait). This desperate little pig creates a monster of his own to take out the real murderer and clear his name. Leave it to one of the stranger TV series of all time to close things out with one of their most macabre shows yet.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Once again presented in their original full frame aspect ratios, these episodes look slightly better than the previous seasons, but, we’re still talking about decade-old material, so image detail is lacking in parts. Some softness rears its ugly head as well, but colors are rich and vibrant. There’s some annoying dirt and grain, but print flaws are thankfully kept to a minimum.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio has also slightly improved, but is, again, rather undynamic. Staying almost exclusively up front, the most important thing is that these tracks do their job of producing crystal clear dialogue that blends in well with music and other sound effects.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 40 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
Packaging: Nexpak
Picture Disc
3 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Fatal Caper: Virtual Comic Book
Extras Review: The only extra feature is on Disc 3, and it’s called Fatal Caper: Virtual Comic Book. This is essentially nine minutes of The Crypt Keeper reading along with the original comic book art work that the episode Fatal Caper was based on.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

All good things must come to an end, and that’s the sad truth when it comes to what is arguably the best TV anthology series of all time. Warner Home Video finishes things up with the DVD release of Tales From the Crypt: The Complete Seventh Season, and, while not the most comprehensive of collections, this set stays true to the rest of them with adequate audio and video, and paltry extras.

 


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