Sunday, December 11, 2011

And All Through the House (25 Days of Shitmas Day #11)

And All Through the House Print by Chris Ott

Today's spotlight is all about the Tale's From Crypt Story "And All Through the House" taken from the Vault of Horror #35 comic book. I'm gonna cover the segment from the 1972 Tales from the Crypt film and also the 1980s Tales From The Crypt TV show episode of the same name.

The 1972 "All Through The House" is the first story told in the T.F.T.C. movie by the Crypt Keper, played here by an Old Ralph Richardson and not the pun heavy puppet of my childhood. It's a cold and snowy Christmas Eve, Joanne Clayton (The Very striking Joan Collins) sick of her husband's ways murders him in Cold Blood with a Giant Sword.

He actually seems like a nice dude if you ask me, and even went out of his way to buy her an expensive brooch as for Christmas. With her daughter harassing her from up stairs about whether or not Santa has left presents for her, Joanne has to move quick to hide the dead body and to avoid being caught by the curious girl.
While moving the body, the Radio breaks in with an urgent announcement . . . A Homicidal Maniac is on the lose! And wouldn't you know it but he's right out side her house dressed like Santa! After some Cat and Mouse chases the little girl lets the maniac into the house since she believes him to be Jolly Saint Nick.
He get's a hold of Joanne, chokes her to Death and that's the end of the story. Pretty anticlimactic if I must say.
Now I seen the Tv Episode I am about to recap numerous time compared to the original so maybe I'm being impartial here but this version of the story is only so-so. The Homicidal Santa is not very menacing, just looks like an old confused dude in a red suite.

The story is way to short, and could have been fleshed out better. But I did really like Joan Collins's performance, she's very believable as her character of the Rich House Wife with a Darkside.

And All Through the House (1989)

Now this is the version I know and love. It has pretty the same set up as the story above but is filled with better actors and the story takes so wild turns.
This was the very second episode of the series to air back in June of 1989. It was directed by Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future/roger Rabbit) and written by Fred Dekker (Monster Squad/Night of the Creeps)
It opens very much the same with a man sitting by the Fire Place (The Great Marshall Bell) having a conversation with his Wife (The Mom from "Parker Lewis Can't Lose") when suddenly she kills him with a Fire Poker.

The bit about the daughter and the radio message about a Homicidal Man who escaped from the looney bin are also carried over from the other story, but here "Santa" is a lot more scary. Played by the Underrated Larry Drake (Darkman/Dr. Giggles) he looks Batshit Crazy and when he's chasing his prey inside and outside the house you almost feel sorry for her.

The ladder scene involving the kid and him saying "Naughty… or nice?" feel kinda like they were taken right from the pages of "Silent Night, Deadly Night" but work really well her. After a Brutal Axe Killing we are treated to some bad Crypt Keeper Puns "Oh, don't worry about little Carrie. This particular Santa preferred older women... in pieces, that is."
Oh Crypt Keeper . . . You Just Kill Me Sometimes!

Watching these two different takes on the same story makes for a interesting viewing. I there were parts of the original I wish I could swap out with the 80s one, mainly Joan Collins.
But after watching both back to back I still don't understand how they didn't call the Cops and try to blame it on the Escaped Nutcase . . . It's not like C.S.I. was going to try and prove she did it! Both Stories back to back will take less then an hour to watch so give them a watch and let me know what one you like better.

- Tom Bryce


  1. Um, the whole reason she was putting the body outside in the snow was to blame it on the escaped "Santa", right?

    1. I think she was moving the body so the kid wouldn't see it