Back in the summer of 1997, I would always stumble upon advertisements showing the Crypt Keeper’s face only to be interrupted by collegate sportsball. I knew that one day I would watch it and ultimately be curious as to why my parents would let me watch this and not the original source material, Tales from the Crypt. Well, here it is 20 years later and there’s one archived episode on the internet. The only thing this show holds on to through time is the Crypt Keeper himself.
The Crypt Keeper (voiced by John Kassir) has nothing new added from his Tales days, but his lair now has switches and a monitor where he can view and interact with the contestants. They show a few quick jump cuts to scare some people, but in the middle of it they showed what I think was intended to be blood. I’m not sure due to the quality of the recording but blood in a kids Saturday morning game show? Why couldn’t I audition for it?!?!?
As the host, Steve Saunders, introduces the game I realize that there’s one thing wrong with him. He’s dressed up like a high school kid that would try to break into the Crypt Keepers house. It would be better, from my 32 year old perspective, if the Keeper had a Grave Digger or some other dark character to play the role of the host. Seeing a white shirt on a show set that is dark and grimy, put me on tilt.
Fireball Alley is where a contestant has to protect headstones from a talking skull named “Digger” while standing on a bridge. Remember when I said that the Crypt Keeper is the only thing to hold up to the test of time? If you don’t remember the mid-90’s CG/3D graphics, you are very lucky because most of the show is green screened. I would love to see the behind the scenes footage from the parents point of view as it would honestly look better than this. The cool thing about this segment, along with the others with “Digger”, is that he interacts with the contestants. Depending on how many headstones are left he asks the contestants a number of questions to score points. After the first team tried their hands at the game, the Crypt Keeper interacts with the host. This happens through the entire show. I wish they would have him communicate with the kids too! How funny would it be if he just let loose with puns and they were heard by the kids? (There was a “Have a nice trip.” line after a kid tripped on the stairs leading into the house for part 2 of Swamp from Hell, but I think it was put in during editing.)
Fast forward to the end game and it’s a race through the house collecting skulls to make up points for the grand prize. This is something to watch yourself as there’s jump scares, and even a spinning saw blade! The set crew went above and beyond in making the basement of the house look awesome. Remember how I said that the game area looks a lot bigger than the front of the house itself? I can’t state it enough.
I keep gushing, and taking a huge dump, on the way the games look. What about the way they are played? I have only seen 5 out of the 9 events, and they all look like they would be beautiful with a new coat of paint. The games themselves should not be changed, other than the points shouldn’t be increased during Skullduggery, the final game. The game was naturally a low scoring affair that the final game should either make it a nail biter, or a complete blow out.
So, when it’s all said and done and the points were tallied, what did the winning team get? They each won a Macintosh Performa 6300, which sold for $2,800 USD which can now be bought on EBay for $65.
Chances of a Reboot: 0%
Personally Wanting a Reboot: 100%
With newer technology being available for a remake, would it be made better? Who knows? Maybe make it a adult physical game show next time? I’ll apply for the fun of it.