Director: Rodman Flender
Writer: Rodman Flender
Cast: Bruce Davison, Christi Conaway, Darin Heames, Kelly Coffield, Ricky Dean Logan, John Kassir, and Rodman Flender
Composer: Jay Ferguson
Air Date: 1/18/1995
After the failure of his latest marketing campaign, Luden Sandelton (Bruce Davison)—president of a soap manufacturing company—is left with no choice but to fire his promiscuous wife Willa, an artistic designer/painter. Complications arise when Willa, now driven to commit homicide, makes a terrible mistake when disposing of her husband’s body.
Tales from the Crypt enthusiasts may wish to avoid this episode for its implausible twist ending and utter absence of traditional horror tropes. Those of a strictly serious inclination, on the other hand, may enjoy “99 & 44/100 Pure Horror,” which benefits from a relatively camp-free tone.
For showcasing realistic and nauseating gore effects during the final scene, this Tales from the Crypt entry should be commended by fans of visceral horror. In possibly the most disturbing shower sequence since Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, for example, layers of flesh literally peel off the body of a naked young woman, presumably killing her in the process—likely an homage to the fate of Steve Buscemi’s character in “Forever Ambergris.”
Due to its contemptible characters, “99 & 44/100 Pure Horror” may fail to captivate viewer interest beyond a surface level. Specifically worth noting are the attributes of Willa, a disloyal trophy wife; Luden, a spineless beta male; and a moronic pretty boy named Tom (Darin Heames)—all of whom lack a single personality trait with which the average person could identify. (Those with a compelling sense of justice may, however, invest in the outcome of this episode simply to witness Willa—one of the most despicable protagonists ever featured in a Tales from the Crypt story—receive the punishment that she deserves.)
“99 & 44/100 Pure Horror” is a mediocre installment of Tales from the Crypt. That being said, a satisfying, though stomach-churning, climax works to compensate for the underwhelming narrative premise of this episode.
Overall Quality: 5/10
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