Welcome back dearies, Cryptkeeper Bubbawheat here to introduce yet another writer for our 31 Days of Tales From the Crypt. Today’s ghost blogger is Daniel Lackey from The Nightmare Gallery where he takes a look at all sorts of movies with a bit of an extra edge towards horror. He takes a look at the very last episode which I have yet to watch myself, though I do plan on catching it before the end of this month, it’s the only animated episode even though there was an animated spin-off series called Tales From the Cryptkeeper that started just a few years earlier, so let’s take a look at Daniel’s thoughts on the Third Pig.
Episode: The Third Pig
Original Airdate: 7-19-96
Tales from the Crypt’s very last episode is certainly one of its strangest: an animated horror-comedy riff on the classic fairy tale of the Three Little Pigs. The titular “Third Pig” is Dudley, forced to take in his debauched brothers Smokey and Drinkey after the Big Bad Wolf destroys their houses. Unable to blow Dudley’s brick house down, the Wolf waits until Smokey and Drinkey send Dudley on a beer run, then tricks them into letting him in.
Dudley returns to find his brothers’ ravaged corpses–and is accused and convicted of the Big Bad Wolf’s crime. Sentenced to fry–literally–his only shot escaping this cruel fate comes from his brothers’ ghosts, who agree to free him but demand he take revenge on their killer. It’s all downhill from there–I probably don’t need to tell you Dudley’s story doesn’t end well.
Writer/director Bill Kopp (creator of Eek! The Cat and the Whammy of Press Your Luck) has his heart in the right place but tries way too hard to be “twisted.” The episode’s humor is distinctly juvenile, but occasionally a ray of cleverness shines through–such as when the police force and justice system turn out to entirely consist of wolves.
Also, I dare you to not laugh at Smokey’s house made of cigarettes. Never not funny.
The art style and animation shows a clear influence from The Ren and Stimpy Show, with its grotesque close-ups and bodily-function humor, with a bit of the zaniness of Tex Avery’s Looney Tunes entries. More ’90s influence can be found in the “meta” aspects of the story and dialog, particularly when the Big Bad Wolf is involved. He struggles to make his lines rhyme (something the pigs have no problem with) and verbally spars with the Crypt-Keeper, who provides the episode’s narration.
Bobcat Goldthwait lends his voice to the Big Bad Wolf, and while he does turn his performance down a notch from his standard persona, your reaction to the character will largely ride on whether or not you like him as an actor. (I’ve always been somewhat lukewarm on him, myself.) More effective are the pigs’ voices, provided by future sitcom star Brad Garrett and veteran voice artists Cam Clarke and Charlie Adler.
“The Third Pig” isn’t a classic or even better-than-average episode of Tales from the Crypt, and it’s more memorable for being animated than anything else. But it’s better than expected, and worth a look.