The Ventriloquist’s Dummy (1990)

Posted by Mrs Giggles on August 19, 2017 in 4 Oogies, Idiot Box Reviews, Series: Tales from the Crypt

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The Ventrilo-quist's Dummy (1990)
The Ventrilo-quist’s Dummy (1990)

Main cast: Don Rickles (Mr Ingels), Bobcat Goldthwait (Billy Goldman), Shelley Taylor Morgan (Sally), and John Kassir (The Crypt Keeper)
Director: Richard Donner

Aspiring ventriloquist Billy Goldman’s fondest childhood memory was that of his idol Mr Ingels whipping the crowd into a joyous frenzy with his dummy Morty. Okay, so that performance turned out to be Mr Ingels’s final one, as shortly after that evening, the resort where he was performing caught fire, leaving the hand used to manipulate Morty all disfigured and such. Also, a woman died. Still, there were good memories of the show that night, plus he got a signed photo of Mr Ingels and Morty.

Thus, when Billy, all grown up now, is finally ready to make his own public debut as a ventriloquist, he has to invite his idol to be on the front row. Mr Ingels, now a bad-tempered recluse, initially refuses but relents, showing up only to witness poor Billy crash and burn. What do you know, our earnest wannabe doesn’t have what it takes, oh dear. Shortly after, he stumbles upon the scene of a murder – a woman was killed… the same woman who flirted with Mr Ingels earlier!

Deciding that his idol must be some kind of deranged killer that murdered this woman as well as that poor woman all those years ago, Billy confronts that man. Mr Ingels insists that he is innocent; it is Morty that kills those women. That’s right, there’s more to The Ventriloquist’s Dummy than meets the eye, and our guy has walked right dab into the mess. As if his evening wasn’t already ruined, the poor thing!

This one stars two funnymen and oh my, the puns and the macabre humor fly fast and loose. And Morty is easily one of the most hilarious-disgusting things I’ve seen in a while. While the episode takes its time to build up to the truly memorable – in ways both good and bad – showdown between Mr Ingels and Billy, nothing in this episode feels too much like filler. When the episode delivers, it delivers in an over the top way that is just so much fun.

There is plenty of implausible science here, but what the heck, it’s Tales from the Crypt. This is easily the most entertaining episode so far in this season, and let’s hope it’s a sign of more good things to come.

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