Director: Peter Iliff
Writer: Peter Iliff
Cast: Kate Vernon, John Stamos, Robert Picardo, Frank Stallone, Johnny Williams, Eileen Brennan, John Kassir, Rich Duggan, Tony Epper, and Thomas White
Composer: Alan Silvestri
Air Date: 12/8/1993
While having an affair with waitress Lucy Chadwick (Kate Vernon), gigolo Johnny Canaparo (John Stamos) provokes the wrath of Ruth Sanderson (Eileen Brennan)—widow of a powerful mob boss and current lover of Johnny. Complications arise when hired goons Tony Rogers (Frank Stallone) and Frank Bobo (Robert Picardo) entrust Johnny, now uncertain of his relationship with Ruth, to dispose of Lucy.
Employing mafia tropes in conjunction with campy undertones, this offering may appeal to fans of the gangster movie genre. Many Tales from the Crypt enthusiasts, on the other hand, will likely criticize “Till Death Do We Part” for its lack of horror-themed subject matter, with the exception of several bloody and intense images.
After stabbing jewelry thief Willard Boogieman (Johnny Williams) to death, Ruth describes the mutilated corpse of her associate as “meatloaf” in response to one of his misogynistic remarks—an amusing reference to Williams’ character of Johnny Roastbeef from Goodfellas.
Also deserving of praise are the performances of Frank Stallone (brother of Sylvester) and Robert Picardo (known for playing the holographic doctor in Star Trek: Voyager and werewolf Eddie Quist in Joe Dante’s The Howling), the characters of whom exhibit a veneer of chivalry, politeness, and respect for social etiquette despite committing crimes of a heinous variety—a disturbing, albeit convincing, depiction of the seemingly contradictory moral code followed by the majority of mob enforcers.
“Till Death Do We Part” fails to present a clear and sympathetic protagonist with whom the average person can relate—much in contrast to The Godfather, Casino, and the aforementioned Goodfellas. Viewers may therefore struggle to care about the fate of Johnny and Lucy, neither of whom express a hint of remorse, conflict, or hesitation while engaging in highly immoral behavior.
In addition to being rather predictable, the twist ending featured in this episode will likely irritate those who possess a firm sense of justice.
“Till Death Do We Part” is a clever homage to the crime films of Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. Nevertheless, certain viewers may choose to avoid this episode for its clichéd action sequences, formulaic narrative structure, and utter absence of likable characters.
Overall Quality: 6/10
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