Home > Tales from the Crypt: SE 2 EP 10: “The Ventriloquist's Dummy” – 9, Tales from the Crypt: Season 2 > Tales from the Crypt: SE 2 EP 10: “The Ventriloquist’s Dummy” – 9

Tales from the Crypt: SE 2 EP 10: “The Ventriloquist’s Dummy” – 9

Director – Richard Donner

Cast – Don Rickles, Bobcat Goldthwait, John Kassir, Shelley Taylor Morgan

Release Year – 1990

Reviewed by John of the Dead

Horror films centering on ventriloquist dummies are one of favorite horror sub-genres, and sadly I have not seen many flicks in this sub-genre worth watching. Because of this I was very excited to give a watch to “The Ventriloquist’s Dummy”, and while it was not quite what I expected it was definitely the best Tales from the Crypt episode I have seen since Season 1’s “And All Through The House”. Frank Darabont’s adaptation of William M. Gaines’ comic story follows Billy Goldman, who 15 years after seeing the greatest ventriloquist act of his life tracks down the man he has admired throughout his life, Mr. Ingles. Living alone in a secluded countryside home, Mr. Ingles has removed himself from society and show business for a reason, and the pesky Billy is going to learn firsthand where Ingles got his talents from and what forced him to leave the industry.

I just love stories where an unsuspecting, good-hearted but nosy person strongly seeks their desires and ultimately learns the horror behind them that they never saw coming. That is part of the horror behind this episode, and Darabont’s adaptation brings lots of horror after the initial development. We watch as Billy becomes immediately enamored with Mr. Ingles’ ventriloquist act, and after securing his autograph he accepts Ingles’ offer to offer him some tips to the trade…and Billy takes him up on that offer 15 years later. Billy makes the mistake of being being too pushy and not giving up when Ingles tells him to, but his biggest mistake is opening the box that contains Ingles’ famous dummy, “Morty”. The remainder of the experience is fantastic and moves at a fast pace, delivering good action and more live-action horror than I expected. Richard Donner (Superman, Lethal Weapon I-IV) may not be a horror director (he did give us The Omen), but he delivers solid horror in this piece and the other Tales from the Crypt episodes where he served as director. I mentioned earlier that this story was not exactly what I was expecting, a devout killer dummy experience, but let’s just say that creature fans and gorehounds will be as pleased as I was with this episode..

Overall, “The Ventriloquist’s Dummy” is one of the best Tales from the Crypt episodes there is. It gives us a truly haunting story that only grows in intensity as it nears its awesome climax, and with great direction from Richard Donner this is one episode that I suggest you check out.

Rating: 9/10

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