Director: Joel Silver
Writer: Fred Dekker
Cast: Joe Pesci, Jacqueline Alexandra, Kristen Amber, Burt Young, John Kassir, Heidi Thomas, Michael Klastorin, Troy Evans, Reginald Hunter, and Bill Cho Lee
Composer: Michael Kamen
Air Date: 8/26/1992
After cheating a gambler (Burt Young) out of his new fortune, conman Jack (Joe Pesci) proceeds to captivate the interest of billionaire twins April and June Blair (Jacqueline Alexandra and Kristen Amber). In order to marry both sisters, however, Jack must assume the role of a fabricated twin named Vic, with “sidesplitting” results.
By coupling witty humor with copious gore, “Split Personality” will appeal to Tales from the Crypt viewers. Especially amusing is Fred Dekker’s narrative premise, namely that two beautiful heiresses would fall head over heels for a short, ill-bred man and his equally ridiculous, nonexistent twin.
The character of Jack benefits from a classic Joe Pesci performance. Notably, when preying upon the naivety of potential victims, Jack exemplifies all the charming formality that would be expected of a true gentleman—a hilarious counter to his actual demeanor, the crudeness of which is enhanced by Pesci’s trademark F-bombs and “tough guy” attributes.
Complementing the charisma of Pesci, the Blair twins exude a subtle, predatory vibe that establishes the context for a finale filled with torture, murder, and mayhem. The psychotic tendencies of both sisters are further accentuated by certain physical incongruities (e.g. attractive faces contrasted with yellow teeth and ghostly white makeup), thereby offering clues as to the real intentions of April and June.
“Split Personality” contains a basic morality lesson (i.e. the pitfalls of deception) that compensates for an excessively cruel plot twist in the climactic scene.
For diehard Pesci fans and Tales from the Crypt enthusiasts alike, “Split Personality” will not disappoint. Exceptionally notable are the attempts made by Jack to impersonate his “flamboyant” brother, which effectively showcase Pesci at his comedic best.
Overall Quality: 8/10
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