Main cast: Ray Barry (Joe Garrett), Brad Pitt (Billy), Michelle Bronson (Carey Garrett). Jack Keeler (Joe’s Mechanic), and John Kassir (The Crypt Keeper)
Director: Tom Holland
Now, this is interesting: not only is King of the Road one of the three episodes meant for the scrapped spin-off series Two-Fisted Tales (the other two being Yellow and Showdown), it also boasts Raymond J Barry and – wait for it – Brad Pitt. Of course, the early 1990s were those times when he was still only starting to make a name for himself, but the fact remains that Tales from the Crypt is a series that features people you last expect would show up. It’s too bad that this episode is easily the worst of the Two-Fisted Tales trio.
Joe Garrett is a well respected police officer dealing with a rebellious teenage daughter’s not-so-sterling boyfriends like most single fathers in TV tend to do. His troubles begin when Carey’s latest boyfriend, Billy, reveals that he knows of Joe’s dark secret: Joe was once a legendary hot rod racer called the Iceman, who reigned the streets for eight years until he had to go MIA after getting into an accident that killed a teenager. Billy blackmails him into racing with him, and when Joe refuses, he starts getting violent and even uses Carey as bait to get the Ice Man to come back out of inaction. What will Joe do now?
On the bright side, Raymond J Barry is looking very DILF-y here. The sight of him in a police uniform, an unbuttoned shirt or in tight T-shirt – hmm-mmm, and if those jeans of his are not artificially padded in the back, then hell yes, he can be the ice in my hot cup of tea any time, oh yes baby. Brad Pitt demonstrates that he has only one way to play the villain – his manic, cackling Billy is the precursor to the manic, cackling baddies he will go on to play in a few movies down the road, only this particular version can get cringy to watch because Mr Pitt is overacting to a hammy degree especially at the climatic moments. He does look good, though, I’d give him that.
Also, a lot of love goes to the use of Warren Zevon’s Roll with the Punches: a great song that fits the tone of the episode perfectly.
On the downside, this episode is not only clichéd right down to this mechanic apparently keeping Joe’s car in top condition just for the moment; worse, the confrontation between Joe and Billy is straight down anticlimactic as well as predictable. The entire episode can be summed up in one line: “Prick messes with the boss and gets schooled.” Also, “waste of time”.