Tales From The Crypt - Strung Along
PLOT - An aging puppeteer who once ran a very popular show in the 1950's with his star puppet Coco the clown, has since retired due to health issues. Married to a much younger woman, he's become extremely withdrawn over the years and spends most of his time down in the basement talking to Coco. Finally luck seems to have turned around when he receives an offer to do a tribute show featuring his original puppets. Worried he might overwork himself, his work insists he hires some new help, which he finds quickly in the form of David, an eager young student who majors in animatronics. A few weeks pass and the puppeteer begins to slowly suspect that his wife has a lover on the side due to the fact she's never home. Sharing this theory with his new student, he begins to hear Coco speak to him more and more, insisting he better do something about his wife before it's too late.
LOWDOWN – I'm sure I'm speaking for a lot of people when I fondly remember the good old days of my childhood back when you would stay up late and every once in a while catch Tales From The Crypt on HBO. There's a complete blur of memories of certain episodes that aired over the popular seven year run. The most memorable of course was the show's opening with the theme playing and slowly going down to the Crypt Keeper's basement and having him burst out of the coffin only to have the screen get covered with green slime.
I think the show's first four seasons were it's strongest. These were very well written episodes with great guest stars. In fact it still amazes me the amount of talent they crammed into this show. For years one of my all time favorite episodes aired back in September of the 4th season.
This episode directed by makeup artist Kevin Yagher, and starring none other but my all time favorite Mr. Zach Galligan. This was an episode that I remember clearly watching when I was much younger and loving to death. In fact long before my obsession with Mr. Galligan began, I always for some strange reason felt drawn to this episode. It was one of my all time favorites out of every single episode that aired. It had a high re-watch factor for me, and I always enjoyed viewing it and loving the twist ending. Funny enough story, way back in 2008 when I was attending Rock N Shock, Zach Galligan was a guest star and I even remember almost bringing my season 4 copy to have him to sign. For some unknown reason I never met him, but I do clearly remember walking by his table and thinking to myself “Wow he aged great!”.
Now years later as my love for Galligan as grown, so hasn't my love for this episode. Strung Along reminds me of those old 1970's movies that of course features the creepy doll or puppet. The setting and atmosphere are great, as is the score. They took the whole idea of a scary puppet, years before it became popular again “via Saw, and Dead Silence.” The world of horror isn't shy to the whole creepy doll and puppet theme, but Strung Along did a great job building suspense and terror. Feeling almost like a stage play, this wonderful story has plenty of twists and turns and amazing camera work. I have a top fifteen favorite episodes from all seven seasons, but Strung Along is by far one of my favorites. It brings back great childhood memories, features one of my all time favorite actors, has a very clever plot twist, was directed by Kevin Yagher, who along with Mr. Steve Johnson was one of the greatest effects artist from the 1980's and 90's. Kevin also had directed season two's Lower Berth, which goes further into the Crypt Keeper's own back story and features one hell of a creepy and memorable ending! Strung Along I think was a great follow up and just like Lower Berth is extremely well written and features a very awesome ending.
In fact, I plan on (fingers crossed) getting Zach's character David tattooed on me next month to add onto my slow start of a horror sleeve I've started on my legs. I know my tattoo artist will knock it out of the park and I hope it heals before I get to meet Zach later next month to show him how much of a crazed fan I am. Strung Along is a very underrated episode with very memorable moments. I would love to know where Coco the clown is today. Something about puppets and clowns...they freak me out.