Season 1, Episode 2: “And All Through the House”
Holiday specials are an important part of any television show, and Tales from The Crypt was no different. Unless of course you count a maniac Santa trying to murder you different. When TFTC does a holiday special, you know they do it right.
The episode opens on Christmas Eve, a time of the year when everyone is happy and around those they love. Joseph Kamen (Marshall Bell) is no different. He sits staring into a fire thinking about the joy he has in his heart. He notices that the fire needs a little tending to, so he asks his wife to give him the fire poker and boy does she give it to him. His wife, Elizabeth (Mary Ellen Trainor) picks up the fire poker and slams it deep into Joseph’s skull. The noise wakes up their daughter Carrie-Ann (Lindsey Whitney Barry). Carrie-Ann rushes downstairs hoping to catch a peek at Santa leaving her presents under the tree. Instead, she finds her mother standing behind the couch holding the bloody poker she just used to kill Joseph. Elizabeth quickly rushes the kid back upstairs before she can see the now cooling corpse that once read her A Christmas Carol. When they get upstairs Carol-Ann asks her mother what she wants for Christmas. Elizabeth smiles at her daughter and replies, “I already got it sweetheart.”
When Elizabeth goes back downstairs, she calls someone up and leaves them a message explaining that “she did it” and that they will soon have all of the money. This of course is her lover on the side. With the incriminating message left on what I am assuming to be a much younger man’s answering machine, it is time for Elizabeth to tidy things up.
She places a plastic bag over her (now ex [axe is more like it]) husbands head and begins to drag him outside. While she is dragging his lifeless body into the snow covered outdoors, a news bulletin comes across the radio informing listeners that a maniac dressed as Santa Clause just escaped a mental hospital and has already killed a number of people. The news states that all families should stay inside and lock their doors. Elizabeth does not hear this broadcast however and wonders out into the dangerous world.
Luckily for Elizabeth, there is a well just a few feet away from the house. Like any good murderer would do, she decides to drop the body down the well where surely no one would ever find him. Hopefully he does not release a VHS tape of his murder that kills you after you watch it. Nope, luckily that’s another film!
Just as she is about to drop his body down into the darkness, he reaches up and grabs her throat! It is amazing that a fire poker AND a plastic bag that has now been over his head for at least five minutes did nothing to slow his reflexes. She escapes his death grip and runs to grab a nearby axe to finish him off. She does not grab the axe however because fortunately, Joseph seems to have really died now from his previous wounds. While contemplating her next move, a sound escapes the woods that reminds her of sleighbells. She looks back where the axe was, and it is now gone. Just then, the crazed Santa suit wearing maniac (Larry Duke) attacks her! They begin to fight, and she grabs an ice cycle (Santa’s only weakness legend says) and slashes his face with it. While he is grabbing his fresh cut, she kicks him in his sleigh bells (below the belt mind you). Elizabeth picks up the axe Santa drops and runs for the house. Just before she can shut the door he reaches in and tries to grab her. Using the axe in a slicing motion, not a chopping one as most would do, she cuts his hand, and he pulls it back out.
The now out of breath Elizabeth tries to call the police but before she reaches them, she suddenly remembers that she just murdered her husband so if the cops show up, she would be found out. She hangs the phone up in fear. While thinking about what to do next, Santa bursts through the window and attacks her again. This time, she bangs him over the head with the axe and knocks him out cold falling to the snow outside.
The phone rings and when she picks it up, it is the police calling her back. They let her know the situation and inform her that they are sending a car out just to be safe. In a stroke of genius, she comes up with the idea to frame the psycho killer Santa with her husband’s murder. Now with the axe in hand, she goes outside to set up the frame. Standing over her dead husbands’ body, she plunges the axe into his head and runs back inside to call the police back. While she is on the phone explaining that the killer is at her house and he just killer her husband, she looks out the window to notice that not only is the Santa gone, but so is the axe that was in Joseph’s face.
She runs upstairs to get a gun and gets stuck inside a room. A noise is coming from outside and she looks out a window to see Santa climbing up a ladder. Her daughter (remember she has a daughter in the house) hears the noise and opens her window to help Santa come in. Elizabeth explodes out of the room and runs into her daughter’s room screaming. To her horror, Carrie-Ann is not in her room. Carrie-Ann then calls for her mother downstairs so Elizabeth bolts downstairs to see her daughter standing by a doorway. Now relieved her daughter is okay, Elizabeth begins to relax a little. However, her relaxation doesn’t last too long because Carrie-Ann is not alone. Santa walks around the corner and asks while smiling into Elizabeth’s screaming face, “Naughty, or Nice?”
Thoughts on the episode: The fact that Robert Zemeckis directed this episode should have been a clear indication that I was going to love it. The back and forth with Elizabeth and Santa has so many bad horror movie tropes that it is extremely entertaining to watch. This is one of my favorite holiday specials.
Written exclusively for TheLastPicture.Show by Jacob Ruble
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