Director: Richard Greenberg
Writer: Ross Thomas
Cast: Kim Delaney, Kevin Kilner, Don Hood, Michael Ironside, John Kassir, Willie C. Carpenter, Deborah Packer, and Dana Craig
Composer: Jonathan Elias
Air Date: 5/15/1990
After falling in love with Gloria Fielding (Kim Delaney), insurance agent James (Kevin Kilner) proceeds to murder Gloria’s husband Sebastian (Don Hood), who also happens to be a client of his. Though James and Gloria succeed in fooling the police, a blackmailing neighbor named Jerry (Michael Ironside) later presents photographic evidence of the crime in question.
While Jonathan Elias’ beautifully tragic score establishes a haunting tone, “The Sacrifice” is ultimately a weak effort. Notably, a combination of stiff performances and tedious pacing prevents this episode from overcoming its lack of traditional horror elements.
The aforementioned music composition adds some emotion to an otherwise bland episode. Especially noteworthy are the opening credits, during which Elias’ score complements a gorgeous overhead view of an upper-class city region. By combining a poignant soundtrack with magnificent twilight scenery, Elias managed to set a moody atmosphere more effectively than did the director.
The premise for “The Sacrifice” was derived from a Shock Suspenstories issue of the same name, which explains the uncharacteristic absence of horror themes. A deviation from the usual Tales from the Crypt formula could have made for a unique installment; however, Ross Thomas’ narrative falls flat not as a result of its romantic subject matter, but rather for a lack of compelling performances to drive the character motivations outlined earlier. Even talented actors such as Kim Delaney, Kevin Kilner, and Michael Ironside failed to embody the charisma necessary for a tragic romance plot to unfold, which may give audiences reason to question the extraordinary measures that James ends up taking in order to protect Gloria given the unconvincing love bond that exists between these two.
(Spoilers beyond this point)
Though hopefully common sense for most people, the moral of this story is that only a fool would fall in love with a woman he hardly knows, especially after finding out that she’s married to a multimillionaire. Had James exercised even a modicum of discretion in his dealings with Gloria, perhaps he would have seen this woman for the gold-digging, murderous flake that she was all along.
Despite the inclusion of a remarkable cast, “The Sacrifice” never transforms its potential into a captivating suspense story. Even the Crypt Keeper’s opening and closing segments contain more interesting material than the surrounding narrative, which is never a good sign.
Overall Quality: 4/10
If you enjoyed this post, please click the follow button or enter your email address in the subscription box to stay tuned for more updates.