Director: Jeffrey Price
Writers: Peter S. Seaman and Jeffrey Price
Cast: Lee Arenberg, Katey Sagal, Iggy Pop, Sam Kinison, Al White, John Kassir, Mark Lowenthal, Lee Morgan, Joe Restivo, Richard Stay, Tiffanie Poston, John Lafayette, Vince Melocchi, Dean Cleverdon, Tony Sales, Frank Infante, Hunt Sales, and Spyder Mittleman
Composer: Michel Rubini
Air Date: 5/22/1990
Sleazy rock promoter Marty Slash (Lee Arenberg) holds a benefit concert featuring Iggy Pop, but plans to keep all the earnings for himself. However, after realizing that his “hearing problems” were in fact the result of a reawakened conscience (Sam Kinison), Marty has a “shocking” change of heart.
While Sam Kinison’s voice may irritate viewers of an exceptionally sensitive inclination, Lee Arenberg’s talents as a character actor will no doubt appeal to Tales from the Crypt fans. On that note, “For Cryin’ Out Loud” contains an abundance of dark comedy to compensate for its lack of traditional horror elements.
Though downright childish at times, Arenberg’s exaggerated style of humor works to accentuate any absurd aspects of Jeffrey Price’s narrative. The main character’s animated personality is likewise complemented by Kinison’s grating voice, which produces the effect of driving Marty out of his skin in a most amusing fashion. It should be noted that while Kinison is never shown on screen, his chemistry with Arenberg will allow viewers to sympathize with Marty despite his odious behavior.
(Spoilers beyond this point)
As indicated above, there are times when the obnoxious qualities of Marty’s conscience are taken too far. In one particularly vexing scene, the conscience yells continuously while Marty jams cotton swabs down his ears after rinsing them out with alcohol, thus preventing viewers with a low noise tolerance from focusing on the humor in Arenberg’s comedic delivery. Also puzzling is the fact that Kinison’s voice continues to taunt Marty (and the audience) even after he confesses, which raises the question of whether his problem was actually caused by auditory hallucinations as opposed to a vocal conscience (if the former is true, then this would negate the central moral theme outlined earlier).
“For Cryin’ Out Loud” overcomes any unpleasant material thanks to Arenberg’s entertaining, albeit juvenile, performance. For fans of campy horror who don’t mind being bombarded with irritating stimuli, this one will not disappoint.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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