Director: Elliot Silverstein
Writer: Stanley Ralph Ross
Cast: Margot Kidder, Kevin McCarthy, J.A. Preston, Madge Sinclair, John Kassir, Marshall Teague, and Constance Wiggins
Composer: Walter Werzowa
Air Date: 9/16/1992
Jack (Kevin McCarthy) and Cynthia (Margot Kidder)—a spiteful, elderly couple—spend the weekend camping with Harry (J.A. Preston) and Lucille (Madge Sinclair), a more easygoing husband and wife. When Harry and Lucille share a revitalizing voodoo potion with Jack alone, Cynthia retaliates by pouring a deadly ingredient into the mixture.
A “campy” episode, “Curiosity Killed” operates on a hackneyed premise. Casual Tales from the Crypt enthusiasts may therefore wish to avoid this entry, the black humor of which is conveyed poorly through Elliot Silverstein’s incongruous direction.
“Curiosity Killed” fails to maintain a consistent tone, often transitioning from dark comedy to serious drama at the most inappropriate of times—a flaw that prevents Jack and Cynthia from evoking either sympathy or laughter when intended. For example, Cynthia’s reaction to an ostensible murder plot could, given Margot Kidder’s hyperbolic performance, be considered amusing in a slightly twisted way; however, a compelling musical arrangement by Walter Werzowa works to elicit fear, not satisfaction, while Cynthia’s life appears to be in danger.
Despite resulting in punishment for those who deserve it, the twist ending relies upon an unbelievable, if not thoroughly absurd, contrivance that serves only to insult viewer intelligence. Observant audiences will likewise note the intrusive nature of Werzowa’s composition, which, as in prior sequences, embodies an almost operatic intensity not befitting Cynthia’s well-earned comeuppance; nor the levity for which Tales from the Crypt is known.
As opposed to “Collection Completed” from season one, “Curiosity Killed” makes poor use of the bickering old couple trope. For this reason, fans of quirky humor would be wise to search elsewhere for a worthwhile horror/comedy offering.
Overall Quality: 2/10
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