Tales From The Crypt came on the air 30 years ago on HBO. Tales From the Crypt was an anthology-style series based on the E.C horror comic books of the ‘50s, with each episode being introduced by the Crypt Keeper. The series was well-received by fans and even nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards during its seven seasons.
The series delved into several different themes, most of which ended with a big twist and a witty and dark pun from the Crypt Keeper. Despite the series being out for 30 years, there are some things fans still might not know about the show. Here are 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Tales From The Crypt.
10 It Took Six People To Bring The Crypt Keeper To Life
While many horror movies and shows nowadays use CGI to create monsters and ghouls, the Crypt Keeper was actually a puppet. The character was voiced by John Kassir, but was controlled by six different people. Four of those people controlled his eyes, mouth, and facial expressions, while the other two worked the different parts of his body.
They would also use machines to blow smoke down into his crypt, which was made of dark polyurethane rocks. The Crypt Keeper is the face of the show and without using an actual puppet for the character, he just wouldn’t have looked as spooky.
9 A Filtered Version Of The Show Aired On Fox
With Tales from the Crypt airing on HBO, the showrunners had a lot of creative control and the ability to use as much gore, profanity, and nudity as they wanted. Due to the rise of streaming services today, everybody seems to have their own exclusive shows, but HBO actually allowed Fox to air a filtered version of their show.
When they filmed Tales from the Crypt, they actually shot two different takes in preparation for the show to get picked up by a broadcast station. These episodes excluded most of the gore, profanity, and nudity, which were a big part of what made Tales from the Crypt so entertaining.
8 John Kassir Won His Role Over Charles Fleischer and Michael Winslow
John Kassir is most remembered today for providing the chilling voice of the Crypt Keeper. When Kassir auditioned for the voice, he was basically hired right away because of how impressed the producers were. That being said, he wasn’t the only one that had auditioned for the role.
Charles Fleischer who voiced Roger Rabbit and Michael Winslow who is known for the Police Academy movies both tried out for Tales From the Crypt. Both Fleischer and Winslow have iconic voices, but it’s hard to imagine anybody besides Kassir voicing the Crypt Keeper.
7 The Crypt Keeper Has Chucky’s Eyes
Kevin Yagher has made a career as a makeup and special effects artist, but he is mostly known for his work on horror movies. He began his career in 1984 as the special makeup effects artist for Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, but he would go on to work on films like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2-4, The Phantom of the Opera, and Hellraiser: Bloodline.
Yagher is also the man behind the design of Chucky from Child’s Play and the Crypt Keeper in Tales From The Crypt. If the Crypt Keeper’s eyes look a bit more terrifying than the rest of him, it’s because Yagher decided to put Chucky’s blue eyes in his newest creation.
6 The Final Season Was Filmed In London
While six seasons of Tales From the Crypt were filmed in the US, the final season of the show moved to the UK to film at Ealing Studios in West London. Some people expected the decision was to cut production costs, but it was actually to get fresh faces, writers, and directors to work on the series.
Unfortunately, the final season had a lot of weird episodes that didn’t really go over well with fans, including the series finale which was a graphic animated tale of the three little pigs. Season 7 is often considered the worst of the series, so HBO’s plan didn’t really work.
5 The Crypt Keeper’s House Was A Miniature Set
Whether you like Tales from the Crypt or not, there’s no denying that the opening to the show is memorable. Before the Crypt Keeper introduces each episode, the intro begins with a creaky metal gate opening as viewers are taken on a tour through the Crypt Keeper’s mansion.
Viewers probably didn’t even know since the set was so detailed, but the intro was actually filmed using a miniature set. Everything was filmed with small cameras to go through the house, while the staircase leading to the crypt was computer generated.
4 From Dusk Till Dawn Was Supposed To Be A Tales From The Crypt Movie
Before Tales from the Crypt came on the air, a film of the same name was released in 1972. As the TV series was starting to wind down, Tales From the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight was released in 1995. The film starred the likes of Billy Zane, William Sadler, and Jada Pinkett Smith, but only got mixed reviews. The film was the first of a trilogy of films including Bordello of Blood and Ritual, however, two other famous films were supposed to be sequels.
Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s From Dusk Till Dawn was originally supposed to be a sequel, but when they couldn’t make a deal with producers, Tarantino and Rodriguez decided against making it a Tales from the Crypt movie. The Frighteners was then supposed to finish off the trilogy, which would have been way better than Ritual.
3 Several Celebrities Directed Episodes Of The Series
Tales from the Crypt had a ton of celebrity cameos, most of which occurred before they were actually famous. That being said, the series also had several celebrity directors because of the freedom HBO had. Famous directors like Robert Zemeckis and Richard Donner got to direct episodes, along with Tom Holland, who directed the original Child’s Play and Tobe Hooper, who directed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Other movie stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael J. Fox, and Tom Hanks directed the episodes “The Switch”, “The Trap”, and “None but the Lonely Heart” respectively. Even the special effects and makeup specialist Kevin Yagher got to direct two episodes.
2 It Got A Spin-Off Series
Seeing the success that Tales from the Crypt brought them, HBO tried to duplicate their success again with another show a year later. The show was titled Perversions of Science and like Tales from the Crypt, it was based on the E.C. Comics from the 50s and had a character introduce each episode.
The series was based on Sci-Fi comics rather than horror and instead of a decomposing ghoul, a female robot named Chrome introduced the episodes. The TV movie Two-Fisted Tales was also a pilot for a spin-off series that didn’t get picked up by HBO. Tales from the Crypt episodes like “Yellow”, “Showdown”, and “King of the Road” would have been a part of this series.
1 The Crypt Keeper Almost Had A Nose
Even though each episode of Tales From the Crypt told a different tale, the Crypt Keeper was always a constant throughout the series. His face is the most iconic image of the series, but it could have looked very different. Not only did Kevin Yagher give the Crypt Keeper Chucky’s eyes, but he also almost gave him a nose.
When looking for the right nose to include on the character’s face, Executive producer Robert Zemeckis worked closely with Yagher on the design. After Yagher looked through about six noses, Zemeckis said, “You know you don’t necessarily have to have a nose.”