Author’s Note: All articles on MK Horror contain spoilers.
Article written by Maggie K. Ward
Based off a classic horror comic, Tales From the Crypt was a campy HBO horror television anthology that began in 1989. Since it was aired on HBO, the episodes were allowed to have graphic violence, nudity, sexuality, and profanity.
The first episode “The Man Who was Death” depicts the story of an electric chair operator obsessed with killing people. Niles Talbot (William Sadler) enjoys his job. He liked to look a prisoner in the eye before throwing the switch. He said, “They say electric current so fast the brain gets cooks just as soon as the switch is thrown. Prisoner never feels a thing. Boy I’d hate to think that was true.” It seems he enjoys the art of inflicting pain upon another person.
When the state does away with the death penalty, Talbot looses his job. However, he doesn’t let the State stop him from electrocuting people he thinks deserve it. When a murder gets off due to a clerical technicality, Talbot takes the situation into his own hands. He sets up a trap and electrocutes the life out of the man.
A sleazy couple kills the man’s wife so they can be together. Yet, a jury finds them not guilty. Talbot disagrees, sneaks into while they are enjoying a romantic soak in a Jacuzzi, and electrocutes them. Since violence is allowed to air on HBO, we see the woman writhe around in the bubbly water until she dies.
Finally, the “Queen Bitch herself,” a stripper dancing in a cage at a club, is due to die. Talbot seems to have rigged her cage with electricity and she’ll die dancing. But, he is arrested – probably because he was sloppy, and standing in the open waiting to electrocute the stripper. But the joke’s on Talbot. They just reinstated the death penalty and Talbot is up for the electric chair.
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