Director: Tom Mankiewicz
Writers: Joe Minion and John Mankiewicz
Cast: Andrew McCarthy, Mariel Hemingway, David Hemmings, Kathleen Freeman, and John Kassir
Composer: Jimmy Webb
Air Date: 6/15/1991
Aspiring screenwriter Edward Foster (Andrew McCarthy) falls hopelessly in love with a beautiful but vapid actress named Miranda Singer (Mariel Hemingway). Upon being rejected by Miranda, Edward is given a love potion by his landlord Mr. Stronham (David Hemmings). To his amazement, Edward finds himself in a passionate romance with Miranda after administering said potion; however, the young man soon discovers that wanting something can be preferable to actually having it.
A lame retelling of The Twilight Zone episode entitled “The Chaser,” “Loved to Death” relies too heavily upon irksome characters and clichéd plot devices while building tension. This offering may therefore disappoint Tales from the Crypt fans who prefer intellectual as opposed to juvenile humor.
David Hemmings should be commended for his skin-crawling portrayal of Mr. Stronham, which, when accentuated by dim lighting and close-up shots of his sinister visage, builds an ominous atmosphere where none would otherwise be present.
Though Edward’s problems are not uncommon among inexperienced men, Andrew McCarthy failed to embody the subtlety that would allow audiences to relate with his character on a meaningful level. Additionally problematic is the general absence of background information on Edward; thus, viewers may wonder whether to root for or against this one-dimensional character and his shallow pursuits.
It should also be noted that Edward finds fault with Miranda only following her chemically-induced infatuation with him—a reaction that makes little sense when considering that her grating voice and mean-spirited tendencies would likely drive even the most tolerant of men to insanity long before her change of “heart” occurs. This problem might, however, have been avoided had Miranda initially exhibited certain redeeming qualities to counterbalance her obnoxious demeanor.
Its goofy execution notwithstanding, the premise on which “Loved to Death” operates is a thoughtful one. Specifically, Edward’s circumstances indicate that “nice guys” enamored of women such as Miranda would be wise to look elsewhere for romantic company.
“Loved to Death” is a lackluster introduction to arguably the best Tales from the Crypt season ever produced. That being said, any scenes wherein Hemmings was given the opportunity to generate and maintain a terrifying presence will appeal to horror enthusiasts.
Overall Quality: 3/10
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