Dead Right (1990)

Posted by Mrs Giggles on August 10, 2017 in 3 Oogies, Idiot Box Reviews, Series: Tales from the Crypt

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Dead Right (1990)
Dead Right (1990)

Main cast: Demi Moore (Cathy), Jeffrey Tambor (Charlie Marno), Natalia Nogulich (Madame Vorna) and John Kassir (The Crypt Keeper)
Director: Andy Wolk

As the second season opener of Tales from the Crypt, Dead Right sets the tone of the season pretty well: the Crypt Keeper has gone from sinister to a more campy, pun-heavy sort, and the episode also has a more overt campy feel. Not that this is a bad thing at all, when it is done right. Interestingly enough, right away we see a higher calibre of guest stars in each episode.

In this one, Cathy is a clerk who visits a fortune teller, Madame Vorna, during her lunch time, and is told that she will be fired on that day, but she will also find a new job on that very same day. She scorns that woman’s prediction, goes back from her very lunch break (which is okay because her boss is out of town), and… oops, her boss is back in town, and worse, he overhears her telling his PA that he is an asshole. There goes her job. But she also passes a strip club just as the manager of the club fires a waitress. The manager hires Cathy on a whim.

Oh my god, Madame Vorna is on to something after all! Cathy runs back to her, and learn from the fortune teller that she will meet a man whom she will marry that very night. That man won’t be wealthy, but he will eventually inherit a lot of money, before meeting a violent end. Cathy realizes that this means she will be a rich widow sometime in the future. Oh goody! She is so ready… until the man she meets turns out to be Charlie Marno, a disgusting, slobbering, hideous, overweight asshole. Jeffrey Tambor really pulls a valiant stunt here, wearing make-up and such to appear really repulsive. Not that his character is in any way sympathetic, despite Cathy’s treatment of him: he’s predatory as well as unpleasant through and through.

Reassured by Madame Vorna that Charlie will die shortly into their marriage, Cathy eventually lets herself be persuaded by her colleague and the fortune teller to go ahead and marry him. She is convinced that she is doing the right, especially when she learns that he has a wealthy uncle. As you can guess, what happens following the wedding day is nowhere close to what Cathy is hoping for.

This episode suffers from the problem that plagues many of the episodes in this series: there is just too much obvious filler. Especially in the middle of the episode, it becomes apparent that the people behind it are just dragging things out by inserting comedic-grotesque scenes of Charlie’s courtship of Cathy, before finally getting to the good stuff in the late third or so of the episode. Even then, scenes tend to be dragged out until the impact of those scenes dissipates. For example, Charlie kills Cathy when she decides to leave him after winning a million dollars for herself, thus fulfilling Madame Vorna’s prediction of him inheriting money from a relative (in this case, his own wife) before meeting a violent end (at the electric chair). But the murder scene is prolonged with Cathy blubbering and Charlie just being his obnoxious useless self, to the point that when the knife falls, my reaction is more “Finally!” than “Oh my god!”

Still, the twist is pretty neat, and the cast does a pretty job with the material. I just wish the pacing has been tighter.

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