Director: Vincent Spano
Writers: Jack Temchin and Colman deKay
Cast: Miguel Ferrer, Linda Doucett, Wendie Malick, John Kassir, Slash, and Rusty Schwimmer
Composer: Greg De Belles
Air Date: 12/21/1994
Demoted to the graveyard shift by his sister/manager Rita (Wendie Malick), Gary (Miguel Ferrer)—a sleazy, hot-tempered shock jock—experiences a major boost in ratings when assigned a new partner named Valerie (Linda Doucett). No longer willing to tolerate the domineering behavior of his older sibling, Gary—assisted by Valerie—devises a plan to murder Rita in the middle of the night.
It should be mentioned that “In the Groove” features an amusing cameo from Slash, lead guitarist of Guns N’ Roses. Series enthusiasts may nevertheless choose to avoid this episode, which operates on a clichéd narrative premise.
Known for playing villainous and intimidating roles throughout his career, Miguel Ferrer (whom Tales from the Crypt viewers will recognize from season two’s “The Thing from the Grave”) should be commended for his portrayal of Gary, whose frequent shouting fits and temper tantrums add an air of menace to his character—an otherwise whiny, unlikable person.
For its near absence of traditional horror elements, “In the Groove” will likely fail to captivate the majority of Tales from the Crypt fans. (This episode does, however, contain a bloody murder sequence that, despite occurring only within Gary’s imagination, may appeal to slasher movie buffs.)
“In the Groove” should also be noted for its twist ending, which, in addition to forgoing the justice of a typical Tales from the Crypt offering, deserves criticism for its predictable and underwhelming execution.
“In the Groove” is a mediocre episode of Tales from the Crypt. Especially unremarkable are the characters of Gary and Valerie, both of whom lack the sympathetic (or even remotely nuanced) attributes that one would tend to associate with a strong villain protagonist.
Overall Quality: 4/10
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