Top 10 Tales from the Cryptkeeper Episodes


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Now, let's talk about something not movie related but something that brings back childhood memories about some of our favorite cartoons.

Back in the day, there weren't that many horror TV shows targeted towards kids. Granted, seeing how difficult it is to make good horror for kids without accidently traumatizing them, it's not that easy. While some live action shows have managed to pull it off and resultingly became prime examples for "how to do it", like "Goosebumps" or "Are You Afraid of the Dark?",  there weren't too many cartoon shows using horror topics.

One that stuck out as one of the only cartoon horror shows at the time was "Tales from the Cryptkeeper".
No, not "Tales from the CRYPT" but it's cartoon counterpart "Tales from the CRYPTKEEPER".
Though it is often shoved aside and regarded as the lame kiddy version of the much better live-action series, without any disrespect towards the original show, Tales from the Cryptkeeper actually is a hugely underrated kids show (except Season 3 - that season was pretty much garbage).
This is why we are now honoring this show right here by counting down its 10 best episodes. Let's go...


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#10
Myth Conceptions
Season 2 - Episode 3



Starting off our list is a trip back to ancient greece...sort of.
"Myth Conceptions" deals with the theme of disrespect towards culture in favor of personal gain - and the resulting consequences.
In this story, a disrespectful sleazy archeologist is looking for the legendary shield of Perseus with whose help he managed to defeat the infamous mythological gorgon Medusa.
Though the episode itself is very straightforward and even its final twist comes off as quite a bit unexplained and sudden, it's nevertheless a memorable and interesting episode. Most notably, the final moments in the episode that have the archeologist get lost in Medusa's maze and increasingly getting paniced and paranoid is the stuff of nightmares.

Watch the episode here.




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#9
The Avenging Phantom
Season 2 - Episode 3



"The Avenging Phantom" is a remarkable episode for its themes of "being careful what you wish for" as well as conquering your fears.
It's about a boy who is afraid of the dark, only being able to sleep with a small desklight on during night. During daytime, the boy also happens to stumble through a seemingly ever repeating chain of problems: the supermarket lady who never gives him enough money for the empty bottles he brings her, an aggressive dog chasing him on his way home and a bully always forcing him to pay up when he wants to pass the gate to his neighborhood. It all changes when the boy wishes for an avenging phantom to get revenge on his enemies that make his daily life so miserable. Little does the boy know what he set in motion.
Though this is another one of the fairly simple and straightforward stories of the series, "The Avenging Phantom" is remarkably great in its use of music to set the mood as well as a nice morale put at the end of its story combining its two main themes together. It might not necessarily have the scariest monster that the show has to offer, yet it's occasional nods to Nosferatu and A Nightmare on Elm Street nevertheless make this episode additionally quite memorable.

Watch the episode here.
 



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#8
Hunted
Season 2 - Episode 11



"What goes around comes around" is what the morale of Hunted is - another powerful episode with an interesting twist ending.
"Hunted"'s story focusses on a hunter who is visiting a foreign jungle to hunt down a mystical creature said to roam the jungle. Seemingly the last of its species, this doesn't concern the hunter one little bit. Even after having received plenty of warnings by the local natives, the hunter embarks on his journey to hunt for the creature, not knowing what he is in for.
Hunted's structure is very similar to our first entry in the list "Myth Conceptions". With an ignorant antagonist taking center stage in the story who is only out for personal gain, what truely elevates Hunted beyond that is its powerful twist that teaches kids respect toward nature and even a lesson or two about Karma.

Watch the episode here.  




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#7
The Sleeping Beauty
Season 1 - Episode 6



Now for a completely different tone with "The Sleeping Beauty".
This is an episode that first and foremost focusses on comedy. This is a twisted retelling of the famous fairytale of the same name. In it, two brothers, a narcissistic knight and his nerdy little brother, are on their quest to awake the famous Sleeping Beauty with a kiss. After some spooky time through the dark forest the two "heroes" finally arrive at Sleeping Beauty's caslte - yet nothing there is what it seems to be.
There is not a whole lot to this episode but plain comedic fun. It's especially the interaction between the two entirely different brothers and the twist that is pulled on the famous fairytale that makes this episode just a very good time. There's also another episode with the same two brother characters, with them attempting to kill the giant from the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. Yet that episode is far not as memorable and spiced up with a twist as "The Sleeping Beauty".

Watch the episode here.




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#6
 Gone Fishin'
Season 1 - Episode 4



"Gone Fishin'" is an episode that stands out through it's very low key storytelling and sudden shifts in tone making it possibly the weirdest episode of the show.
Focussing on a boy who spends his summertime with his uncle fishing, he quickly learns about his uncle's ruthless and disrespectful attitude towards mother nature and animals. Seeing his uncle simply kill fish for the sake of it without actually eating the fish, the boy tells him that someday the fish might get their revenge on him and quickly starts rebelling against the fishing practices of his uncle.
Gone Fishin' is, different from the other episodes, a very slow building story. The entire story itself also doesn't focus on a certain monster like many of the other episodes but rather on psychological horror. With an uncle whose desire to simply kill for fun might easily indicate that he might just be a serial killer, Gone Fishin' gets actually quite dark when thinking about it with an adult's mindset. However, the final twist ending of the episode is either completely genius or completely idiotic. It's definitely one of the more polarizing twists in the series and definitely one of the most unexpected ones - both in a good and a bad way.

Watch the episode here.




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#5 
The Spider and the Flies
Season 2 - Episode 2 


"The Spider and the Flies" is another very straightforward episode that deals with the widely spread fear of spiders - yet it's also the only episode of the show set in the Wild West.
In this episode, a western town is suddenly dealing with a big plague of a shockingly big amount of spiders terrorizing its citizens. As no attempts of the townspeople to get rid of the eight-legged invaders turn out succesful, a shady masked foreigner arrives on his carriage offering to free the town of the spiders in exchange for all of their valuable goods. Feeling not too keen about all of this, a young boy and his sister go investigate to find out more about what's behind all of this.
As already said, "The Spider and the Flies" is a fairly simple episode which nevertheless does a good job of setting the scene and its characters. Though it's final twist is somewhat very predictable and the actual solution against the spiders is a bit goofy, it nevertheless is solidly entertaining with both adventure- and horror elements intact.

Watch the episode here.



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#4
The Weeping Woman
Season 2 - Episode 5



"The Weeping Woman" is one of the more emotional episodes in the series. Combined with its deeper and more calm backstory, it definitely sticks out though.
It deals with two girls going on a trip to a remote town whose citizens are telling stories about the ghost of a Weeping Woman haunting the place. As the two tourist girls come face to face with the ghost itself, shortly after they realize that there actually might be a good reason for why the ghost is actually haunting the place.
Even though "The Weeping Woman" is a directly horror related episode, it isn't all too scary. With the ghost seemingly just howling at its victims without actually doing anything, there isn't really much of a threat here.
Yet, it's the ghost's backstory and how the two girls manage to get rid of it that sticks out. Only rarely has the series ever boasted an emotional story on such a level (in a kids TV show nontheless).

Watch the episode here.  




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#3
The Haunted Mine
Season 2 - Episode 7



"The Haunted Mine" is a quite long episode for Tales from the Cryptkeeper standards. Yet rightfully so. Though it ultimately might come off more as an adventure tale rather than a full-on horror story, there are equal parts of adventure, horror and even comedy involved.
"The Haunted Mine" focusses on a young man visiting his aunt who lives in an old house out in the desert. As he is trying to convince her to come live with him in the city, his old aunt refuses to leave the house where she and her deceased husband lived for all these years. Coinciding with these events are a mining company's attempts to reopen an abandoned mine that is said to be haunted and cursed. Shortly after, weird things start happening.
"The Haunted Mine" is also one of the most complex and multilayered stories of the show. With multiple characters being involved in the storyline, and with so many different flavors mixed into it, there is something for everyone here. It's an episode that doesn't have a big final twist at the end, yet it also doesn't need one.

Watch the episode here.



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#2  
Transylvania Express
Season 2 - Episode 13



Talk about an episode that is just so stupid that it's great again - "Transylvania Express.
This is an episode that is clearly aimed towards comedy and somehow turns out to be the episode that most people remember when talking about the show.
It focusses on two surfer dudes who end up in the middle of nowhere in Transylvania instead of Australia (yes, they apparently are really that dumb). The solution to their problem though comes in the form of an express train that leads them directly out of Transylvania. Yet little do they know that the train also happens to carry a big delivery of coffins...full of vampires.
Simply by reading the episode's premise it becomes clear that this episode is really gearing towards simple fun with the two "Bill and Ted"-like characters. Complete with the two surfer dudes always managing to find their way out of risky situations through some of the dumbest tricks ever, like snowboarding their way through the mountains on their surfboards, it's a very over the top episode. But it's also very fun to watch since there always seems to be something happening.

Watch the episode here.
 



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#1
The Brothers Gruff
Season 2 - Episode 9 



Hands down the absolute best episode of the entire show is "The Brothers Gruff". Why? Because it completely exceeds what this kids TV show's episodes seemed to be capable of up until now.
It's an episode so full of potential, good writing and pacing that it could EASILY be directly adapted into a live-action episode of a horror show or even put into a movie if the story would get extended a bit.
"The Brothers Gruff" deals with a boy who is constantly made fun of and played pranks on by his older brother. With his parents never paying attention to him or believing him, the boy's only two friends are his pet hamster and his geeky schoolfriend. However, as the boy one day passes over a certain bridge that is said to be guarded by a troll, weird things start happening to him at home. Has the troll followed the boy to his home?
The Brothers Gruff is an amazingly well told story. Probably very much inspired by stories like Stephen King's "It", the key concept in this episode is that a mystical creature is terrorizing a young kid without anybody believing him. It's a really scary concept and very well put to use in this episode thanks to the decision to not show the troll for most of the episode (though the title card destroys it a bit). It only goes to show how well this episode is put together with the boy slowly questioning whether there actually is a troll or whether his brother is only amping up the pranks played on him.
Furthermore, aside from the very well placed horror elements in the episode, the emotional parts are equally as outstanding - for a TV kids show at least. The boy's struggle to be daily terrorized by his older brother while only having his pet hamster as company is very well put to show in the boy's honest and well written monologues.
It all comes down to a superbly pulled off climax under the bridge where both the elements of horror and even the more emotional topics like the relationship between the boy and his brother come to a great and tense peak.
It's a no-brainer that this is by far the best and most fleshed out episode the show has to offer when it comes to quality storytelling.

Watch the episode here.







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