Director: William Malone
Writer: William Malone
Cast: James Frain, Siobhan Flynn, Jonathan Firth, Gordon Peters, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, John Kassir, and Julian Kerridge
Composer: Frank Becker
Air Date: 6/14/1996
Inventing a method of harvesting thoughts from the dead, a man named Elliot (James Frain) and his girlfriend Arianne (Siobhan Flynn) break into the crypt of serial killer Valdemar Tymrak (Roger Ashton-Griffiths). Testing the device, Arianne dies while reading the memories of Valdemar—with a terrifying aftermath.
“Report from the Grave” is a poorly written contribution from William Malone—director of “Only Skin Deep” from season six. Notably, this offering struggles to maintain a consistent theme from start to finish, instead amalgamating tropes from the romance, mad scientist, and supernatural-horror genres of fiction.
Also unnerving is the appearance of Valdemar Tymrak, a knife-licking serial killer with blood spilling from his mutilated mouth.
“Report from the Grave” deserves criticism for its lack of a coherent script, making the onscreen action quite difficult to follow at times. (Malone’s frequent use of random, disturbing imagery may, however, satisfy those who enjoy experimental television with a surreal twist.)
(Spoilers beyond this point)
Additionally problematic is the ending of this episode, which fails to resolve the conflict involving Elliot, Arianne, and Valdemar in a clear, satisfying manner.
A mishmash of unrelated horror concepts, “Report from the Grave” is a confusing entry of Tales from the Crypt. Series enthusiasts may therefore choose to avoid this episode, which, by forgoing campy humor and compelling drama, will likely result in a forgettable viewing experience.
Overall Quality: 2/10
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