Director: Martin von Haselberg
Writer: Scott Nimerfro
Cast: Shelley Hack, Chelsea Field, Jonathan Banks, Marshall Teague, Corey Feldman, William Sadler, and John Kassir
Composer: Frank Becker
Air Date: 12/7/1994
Secret agents William (Jonathan Banks), Todd (Corey Feldman), and Simone (Chelsea Field) interrogate Janet McKay (Shelley Hack) over the previous identity of her husband, supposedly a former CIA assassin known as Ronald Wald. Ostensibly a typical, unassuming housewife, Janet has a few surprises in mind for all three operatives.
“The Assassin” is a predictable and occasionally silly episode. Series enthusiasts may, however, wish to view this offering, which contains a cameo appearance from character actor William Sadler—reprising his role of the Grim Reaper from Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.
Played by Corey Feldman (whom horror fans will no doubt recognize from Gremlins, The Goonies, and The Lost Boys), Todd—an idiotic and poorly trained assassin—exhibits many creepy, skin-crawling tendencies that add an air of tension to Janet’s predicament.
Though light on gore, “The Assassin” features a particularly gruesome shot of a man whose eyeball is pierced by a stiletto heel—an effect that may appeal to those who enjoy the graphic, over-the-top violence commonly showcased in Tales from the Crypt.
Upon breaking into the McKay home, CIA agents Todd, Simone, and William engage in a tedious, long-winded conversation with Janet regarding the supposed identity and whereabouts of her husband, thereby hampering the pacing of this episode.
(Spoilers beyond this point)
After revealing that she, not her husband, is the real Ronald Wald, Janet proceeds to speak in a deep, masculine voice for the remaining duration of her interactions with Simone—an aspect that, in addition to being somewhat cringe-worthy, makes overly obvious the true nature of Janet’s past life.
This Tales from the Crypt entry should be commended for its topnotch performances and compelling action sequences. Also praiseworthy, the opening and closing segments of “The Assassin” establish an amusing rivalry between the Grim Reaper and the Crypt Keeper.
Overall Quality: 6/10
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