Home > Tales from the Crypt: SE 1 EP 4: "Only Sin Deep" - 7, Tales from the Crypt: Season 1 > Tales from the Crypt: SE 1 EP 4: “Only Sin Deep” – 7

Tales from the Crypt: SE 1 EP 4: “Only Sin Deep” – 7


Director – Howard Deutch

Cast – Lea Thompson, Brett Cullen, Britt Leach, Pamella D’Pella, John Kassir, G. Smokey Campbell, Burke Byrnes

Release Year – 1989

Reviewed by John of the Dead

In “Only Skin Deep”, Tales from the Crypt gives us another Fred Dekker tale, this time playing on the one element that has objectified women for ages…beauty.  Sylvia Vane (Yes, a play on “vain”) is a prostitute with a one way ticket out of her current profession – her looks.  Desperate for cash, she accepts an odd arrangement from a pawn broker who offers her  $10,000 for her beauty – making a plaster mold of her face and keeping it for himself.  The baboonish woman thinks nothing of this and eventually her looks land her the man of her dreams, but she soon realizes that beauty is only skin deep.

Fred Dekker proves his writing prominence once again by expertly writing the colorful Sylvia to keep the viewer engaged and hating her every second.  She believes her looks will give her anything she desires and acts like a child when it dos not.  She foolishly underestimates her deal with the pawn broker and once the four month pawn period for her beauty is over she begins to experience some unsatisfactory changes in her facial features.  Simply put: her skin/body is suddenly aging at an accelerated rate and she is in for an ugly world when even her wealthy husband mistakes her for an old hag.  She frantically tries to figure out what is causing the worst catastrophe of her life, and when she realizes her mistake she undertakes a plan to get back her beauty, not matter the cost. Director Howard Deutch (Pretty in Pink, The Replacements) did well with this episode, executing Sylvia to perfection and allowing Dekker’s story to work its magic. Deutch uses positive live-action effects to display Sylvia’s transformation from hot broad to old hag, and his execution of her character, along with Lea Thompson’s performance make for the biggest selling point in the film.

Overall, “Only Sin Deep” is a positive Tales from the Crypt story that does not offer any good scares but does give us a worthwhile experience thanks to a good story that plays heavily on a very big element in life: beauty.

Rating: 7/10

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