Director: Peter MacDonald
Writers: A L Katz and Gilbert Adler
Cast: Martin Kemp, Nickolas Grace, Nick Reding, Roy Dotrice, John Kassir, Al Hunter Ashton, Lucy Bayler, Chris Armstrong, Bill Weston, and Murray McArthur
Composer: Nicholas Pike
Air Date: 5/17/1996
Near the end of World War II, Lieutenant Luger (Martin Kemp)—a German prisoner in a British POW camp—decides to betray his comrades in exchange for better living conditions. Thereafter, Lt. Forsyth (Nickolas Grace)—another German officer—enlists the aid of Lt. Luger to escape from the prison facility, with an unforeseen complication.
For its camp-free tone and solemn atmosphere, “Escape” should be commended by fans of the war movie genre. Horror enthusiasts, on the other hand, may choose to forgo this episode due to its lack of gory, scary, and supernatural-themed subject matter.
By forgoing the humor of a typical Tales from the Crypt installment, “Escape” maintains an air of realism that—when accentuated by the straight performances of Martin Kemp and Nickolas Grace—strengthens the credibility of Peter MacDonald’s World War II based narrative.
In addition to being a despicable traitor, Lt. Luger fails to demonstrate a hint of remorse or humanity following his betrayal—much in contrast to Lt. Martin Kalthrob from season three’s “Yellow,” who, in spite of his cowardly behavior, presents his case in a mildly sympathetic fashion. Viewers will therefore struggle to identify with the protagonist, who comes across as a thoroughly selfish, one-dimensional villain. (In fairness, however, the classic “Deaths-Head Revisited” from The Twilight Zone also features a cartoonish, stereotypical German soldier/Nazi as a main character.)
“Escape” is a predictable, underwhelming entry of Tales from the Crypt. Thus, war movie buffs may prefer the aforementioned “Yellow” over this mediocre offering.
Overall Quality: 5/10
This review is dedicated to original Tales from the Crypt actor Roy Dotrice, who passed away on October 16, 2017 at the age of 94.
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