Director: Michael Thau
Writer: Ron Finley
Cast: John Glover, Graham Jarvis, Aron Eisenberg, Scott Fults, Jason Marsden, Jonathan Quan, and John Kassir
Composer: Nicholas Pike
Air Date: 7/24/1991
Youngsters Norm (Scott Fults), Jess (Jason Marsden), Josh (Jonathan Quan), and Aaron (Aron Eisenberg) uncover a conspiracy involving a mortician (John Glover) and local pharmacist Grundy (Graham Jarvis). When Josh’s father dies of a suspicious asthma attack, the group decides to create a documentary exposing the undertaker and his homicidal accomplice.
Likely inspired by The Goonies, “Undertaking Palor” may fail to satisfy all but the youngest of Tales from the Crypt viewers. Especially awful is the crude, low-brow humor featured in this episode, which serves to hamper a potentially compelling murder mystery.
In addition to operating on a highly unrealistic premise, “Undertaking Palor” is marred by cringe-worthy dialogue coupled with obnoxious, if not entirely detestable, child characters. Specifically, all four boys frequently insult and degrade one another, thus failing to make credible the “friendship” angle at the heart of Ron Finley’s narrative.
Also problematic, “Undertaking Palor” employs a variety of R-rated tropes including foul language, female nudity, gratuitous violence, and necrophilic undertones—elements that will surely entertain the target demographic of Tales from the Crypt, but seem thoroughly inappropriate in an episode geared primarily toward children.
“Undertaking Palor” deserves criticism for its hackneyed character exchanges and underwhelming approach to suspense building. Fans of John Glover may, however, wish to view this offering for reasons indicated earlier.
Overall Quality: 2/10
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