Tales from the Crypt Episode 50: Strung Along

General Information

Director: Kevin Yagher

Writers: Yale Udoff and Kevin Yagher

Cast: Donald O’Connor, Patricia Charbonneau, Zach Galligan, John Kassir, Lisle Wilson, and Tom Dugan

Composer: Jay Ferguson

Air Date: 9/2/1992

 

Overview

tales-from-the-crypt-strung-alongTo prepare for a tribute show, aging puppeteer Joseph Renfield (Donald O’Connor) enlists the aid of a protégé named David (Zach Galligan). In the meantime, Joseph suspects that his young wife Ellen (Patricia Charbonneau) is having an affair.

“Strung Along” fails to complement its premise with a satisfactory amount of tongue-in-cheek humor. That being said, a gory and disturbing climax will certainly intrigue Tales from the Crypt fans.

 

Pros

Joseph’s dummy Koko exudes a subtly menacing vibe beneath his innocent, childlike appearance, thereby accentuating the impact of Kevin Yagher’s killer clown/puppet concept—an overused trope in horror fiction.

 

Cons

(Spoilers beyond this point)

By behaving in a sweet, unassuming manner toward Joseph, David and Ellen have the unintended effect of eliciting suspicion before revealing their motives in the final scene—a shortcoming that, when coupled with the jealous, elderly husband subplot, tales-from-the-crypt-strung-alongcontributes to the generic nature of an already predictable story.

Also problematic is the insufferable pace at which “Strung Along” tends to progress, leaving little room for either character development or suspense building prior to the climactic sequence. While Joseph does, at times, evoke sympathy as a result of Donald O’Connor’s acting, neither David nor Ellen are sufficiently layered despite the inordinate amount of screen time dedicated to both individuals.

 

Analysis

tales-from-the-crypt-strung-alongThough occasionally mean-spirited, “Strung Along” delivers justice in a fashion that will appeal to viewers with a compelling desire for fairness.

 

Concluding Comments

The second Tales from the Crypt entry to center upon a murderous puppet, “Strung Along” is in many ways inferior to season two’s similarly themed “The Ventriloquist’s Dummy.” Horror buffs may nevertheless enjoy this episode, which benefits from a gruesome twist ending.

 

Overall Quality: 6/10

 

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