Tales From The Crypt- Season 1, Episode 1: The Man Who Was Death

Starring:  Bill Sadler

Original Source:  Tales From the Crypt

Directed by:  Walter Hill

Niles Talbort (Bill Sadler) is the executioner at a state penitentiary just outside of Los Angeles.  He loves his job and feels that exterminating the lowest rabble of society is the proper way to keep the world in balance.  However, the state legislation has dropped the death penalty due to its effective deterrent of lower crime rates.  With no more executions taking place, the prison is forced to let Niles go.  Niles decides to exact his own twisted form of vengeance on the criminals of Los Angeles by becoming a vigilante and serving as a judge, jury, and executioner.

Niles begins to visit courtrooms and stakes out criminals who have been found not guilty through questionable means.  His first victim is a biker who was let off on a clerical error.  The biker heads home one night and opens a gate to his home, however, Niles has rigged the fence with 2000 volts of electricity, killing the biker.

His second victim is a man and his mistress who were found not guilty for murdering the man’s wife, again let go on a technicality.  As the couple comes home to celebrate, they decide to take a dip in their jacuzzi.  Niles is their waiting and throws a wire into the water, electrocuting the horrible couple.

Niles’ third victim is a Go Go dancer who was found not guilty of killing her husband.  As she dances in her metal Go Go cage 30 feet above the ground, she doesn’t notice the two jumper cables hooked up to the cage.  Niles is in the other room with a box that will activate the currents to annihilate her.  However, the cables have been cut and the cops burst in, arresting Niles.  Much to Niles’ dismay, we find out that the state legislation has reversed its previous decision regarding the death penalty, welcoming it back with much jubilation.

The Twist:

Niles is found guilty and is sentenced to death by means of the electric chair.  In the end, he dies from the same device that he used to use to “avenge” society from its criminals.

















This episode is essentially a one man show with Sadler serving as our tour guide as he navigates through the dark, dirty streets of LA.  The great thing about this episode is the documentary approach that it is shot in.  It’s like we are watching a snuff film and Bill Sadler is our interactive narrator, constantly looking into the camera and telling us his devious plots.  Like every Tales episode, it ends on such a down note for our star and it serves as poetic justice.  Good episode and fantastic story to kick the series off with.


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