Carrion Death (1991)

Posted by Mrs Giggles on October 5, 2017 in 3 Oogies, Idiot Box Reviews, Series: Tales from the Crypt

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Carrion Death (1991)
Carrion Death (1991)

Main cast: Kyle MacLachlan (Earl Raymond Digs), George Deloy (Policeman), and John Kassir (The Crypt Keeper)
Director: Steven E de Souza

Before Steven E de Souza hit a career high by direction the movie adaptation of Street Fighter – yes, the one with Jean-Claude Van Damme as a Belgian-accented Guile – one of the many gems he had his hands on is Carrion Death, an episode that has no ghosts or monsters whatsoever unless you count the human kind.

Earl Raymond Digs breaks out of prison (he was arrested for multiple murders), robs a bank, and makes his way to Mexico. Sounds easy, right? Except, a determined cop catches up with him while he is crossing the Arizona desert. They have a cat and mouse game all over the place, culminating in Earl finally killing that cop… but not before the cop forced him to abandon his getaway vehicle and half his loot, handcuffed them together, and swallowed the key. Poor Digs now has to find a way to drag himself and a dead body to Mexico even as a vulture patiently watches over the whole ridiculous thing…

“Damn! Cold beer, señoritas, maybe even a taco!” and “Women – you can’t live with them and you can’t fit more than one of them in the trunk at a time!” are just some of the many deliberately ridiculous lines in this episode, which is basically a long sequence of people behaving stupidly. Digs could have broken a table foot and use it to dig out the key from the dead cop, for example, but no, he ends up doing things that doom himself instead. Of course, you can argue that he may not be thinking straight, given that he is hot, thirsty, and under extreme stress, but still, with the way things happen here, the ending seems more like natural selection in action rather than karma.

Nonetheless, this is a fun episode. It’s silly, made even more so by the two male leads narrating the whole story to the audience by talking and thinking out loud to themselves. Kyle MacLachlan hits the right note of bravado as well as hubris and stupidity here, and even the bad special effects in the penultimate moment feels oddly quaint and right. This one may not be high art, but it’s a brilliant, brazenly dumb episode that manages to be so over the top that it ends up being rather… brilliant.

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