Director: Howard Deutch
Writer: Andy Wolk
Cast: Demi Moore, Jeffrey Tambor, Natalia Nogulich, Troy Evans, John Kassir, Kate Hodge, Earl Boen, Susan Lentini, Joe Lerer, Phyllis Hamlin, Eric Poppick, John Towey, Raina Manuel, Darlene Hartwell, and Sandra Margot
Composer: Jay Ferguson
Air Date: 4/21/1990
Local fortune teller Madame Vorna (Natalia Nogulich) informs a gold digger named Cathy (Demi Moore) that her future husband will inherit a large sum of money from a family member, but die a violent death shortly thereafter. Against her reservations, Cathy marries Charlie Marno (Jeffrey Tambor)—a fat, slovenly patron at the night club where she works. Madame Vorna’s prediction eventually comes true, though not through events that Cathy could have expected.
A campy but effective moral tale, “Dead Right” operates on the clichéd premise of a fortune seeker receiving his or her comeuppance through supernatural means. Fortunately, Andy Wolk’s narrative puts a fresh twist on the aforementioned concept, one that will no doubt appeal to Tales from the Crypt fans.
Demi Moore should be commended for portraying Cathy as a hateful, malicious, and downright cruel antagonist whom audiences can easily root against. That being said, Jeffrey Tambor steals the show with his hilarious performance as the grotesque but oddly sympathetic Charlie. Tambor’s remarkable abilities as a character actor made him the perfect person to play Charlie, though it should be noted that a tremendous amount of make-up was required in order for Tambor to physically assume the role.
On that note, Oscar winner Greg Cannom did an excellent job of transforming Tambor into a creature so repulsive that only an obvious gold digger could possibly find him attractive. To name a few specifics, the fat suit gives a realistic edge to the Charlie character, while the prosthetic nose and pockmarks that were applied to Tambor’s face add another layer of detail to the visage of this disgusting individual.
(Spoilers beyond this point)
After murdering Cathy, Charlie proceeds to inherit the fortune of his late wife before his execution via electric chair. This twist of fate can only be described as excellent, though it seems unlikely that Charlie would have been entrusted with Cathy’s financial assets when taking into account the slayer rule.
If you’re a fat, balding man with an attractive woman looking to marry you, it might be wise to think twice about her true intentions.
The perfect blend of comedy, horror, and moral undertones, “Dead Right” makes for a “killer” introduction to the second Tales from the Crypt season. Notably, Tambor’s revolting performance as Charlie should amuse fans of black humor with its over-the-top elements, while a brilliant twist ending will further satisfy those who enjoy this series for its unpredictable characteristics.
Overall Quality: 9/10
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