Looking back on.. Tales from the Cryptkeeper
Horror Comics by EC got a live action anthology show on HBO with Tales from the Crypt where many of the stories from the comics where adapted, While not for kids, the cryptkeeper was so iconic and charismatic that just like Jason Vorhees and Freddy Krueger, he became a pop culture figure that kids loved and so it got an animated adaptation for kids. How did the transition go?
Tales from the Cryptkeeper was clearly a spin-off that might even be in continuity since the theme song is basically the same and the voice actor of the cryptkeeper is also kept from the HBO show. Unlike the stories in the adult show this one featured more stories with classic horror monsters and fairly tame stories that only have a spooky visuals and characters but being more of an adventure story
Just like the live action show it’s an anthology cartoon though most stories take place in the same city of Gravenhurst, California. Go figure that’s where horror icons like to hang out. Most stories feature a happy ending or a lesson that was learned by the end of it. In fact it made you wonder what the Cryptkeeper’s agenda was since it would even put Captain Planet to shame with its public service announcements.
Even with the above mentioned it does feature some cool stories and there aren’t many shows that featured different horror monsters every episode besides maybe Mighty Max. And while most stories weren’t anywhere near scary nor creepy they were entertaining and every once in a blue moon you actually had a story with some guts that took some risks.
Now the heart of the show was the Cryptkeeper who introduced and finished off the stories in his mansion, at least int he first season The second season has him in different locales since he’s trying to avoid the Vault-Keeper and the old Witch who also want to tell their stories, most of the time the Cryptkeeper won but the other two actually told better stories now that I think about it. This made the show a bit more cartoony and less creepy which it wasn’t even that much to begin with but it’s fine since they were fun characters
The third season was made a few years later now rebranded as the New Tales from the Cryptkeeper and featured not only a new art style which was overly cartoony and did not fit the show at all since everything looked even more kid friendly. This time the Cryptkeeper doesn’t tell stories but instead he actually takes an active role in telling the stories by putting in motion the events. While not as good as the original premise it works since I guess you can say that’s how the Cryptkeeper gets all his stories.
For a short run it seemed to be successful enough and hit the right time following the success of both the TV show and other scary kids shows like Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark?. This show was definitely the least spooky of those but it still satisfied your itch when you were in the mood for something spooky as a kid. If you like some spooky themed adventure stories then you can’t go wrong watching it.
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