The 1980s and ’90s TV scene played host to multiple memorable horror anthology series, but perhaps none shone brighter than HBO’s Tales from the Crypt. Based on the legendary EC Comics that drew so much ire from moral guardians back in the ’50s, Crypt was one of HBO’s first attempts at original programming, and quickly became a huge hit. Free of the censorship standards present on broadcast or basic cable, Crypt presented tales full of graphic gore, bad language, and sometimes nudity.
Crypt proved so popular that the series ended up lasting 7 seasons on HBO, and also became a staple in syndicated re-runs for quite a long time as well, albeit edited for content. Crypt also produced two theatrical movies in the ’90s, Demon Knight and Bordello of Blood. With all that in mind, it’s no surprise that someone would eventually decide to resurrect the Crypt brand name, and that’s exactly what TNT tried to do last year.
In early 2016, it was announced that TNT – along with producer M. Night Shyamalan – was planning to reboot the Crypt franchise for modern audiences, and using it to anchor a new “horror block” of programming on the cable network. Unfortunately, those looking forward to some new Crypt stories had their hopes dashed a couple months back, as the project was stalled indefinitely due to legal issues. However, that hasn’t stopped a couple promo videos for the reboot from making their way online. The first is above, while the other is below.
The first video appears to be an original promo spot for Crypt, presumably commissioned by TNT. The second video appears to be a kind of proof of concept video for the reboot, as it features Shyamalan discussing his plans for the project, interspersed with clips from various well-known horror films and TV shows. It seems like the type of thing probably produced only for internal distribution, but that’s obviously just speculation. It also includes a quick shot of HBO’s Cryptkeeper, despite Shyamalan and company being unable to legally use him.
Opinions were divided among fans as to whether rebooting Crypt was a good idea, especially once it was announced that the classic Cryptkeeper puppet was still the property of HBO. Still, the horror community tends to be fairly accepting of new options from which to get their scares, so Shyamalan’s Crypt likely would have at least gotten a chance from many fright fans. TNT has said that the project isn’t completely dead, but only time will tell if it actually ever comes to fruition.